Of Birds and Bugs
It was all Jagged’s fault, really.
Though did that mean Marinette should thank him?
It had been a normal day. It was after school, and Marinette was spending this rare piece of spare time working, trying to find the perfect destination for a surprise class trip that she was helping Mme. Bustier to arrange.
It was more difficult than Marinette had expected it to be. The budget was tighter than Marinette had hoped, and there was only so few places that would keep all of her classmates interested. Marinette knew that she didn’t necessarily have to try and make the trip good for everyone, but she also knew that Lila would turn it on her and say that Marinette made the trip bad on purpose.
So, Marinette had spent a couple of days brainstorming ideas and possibilities, both nationally and internationally. Different destinations, hotels, events and the like, but they would either be discarded for not being in the budget, or because it would probably not be enjoyed by the class.
Even if her classmates didn’t like her anymore, Marinette was still class president for a reason, and that was for the fact that she was efficient.
Marinette had even spent all night just researching one location, only to trash the idea when dawn broke, realizing that, while the idea was good as a concept, would probably not have been interesting enough for her classmates.
Then, when also counting in the fact that the trip was supposed to be at least somewhat educational as well…
It was safe to say, Marinette was starting to get desperate.
Her biggest fear though, would be to have it all planned and ready to book, just to be thrown to the side because Lila couldn’t come because of whatever stupid lie she would come up with, forcing Marinette to scrap the idea because; If poor Lila couldn’t come, then Marinette wouldn’t mind finding something else, right?
Marinette let out a tired sigh, Tikki patting her on the knee in silent comfort.
The moment of quiet, however, was broken by the ringing of a phone, the ringtone one that made Marinette jump up from her seat to pick up the call, running around her room to find her phone somewhere in the room.
“Penny!” Marinette exclaimed, slightly breathless from her searching, greeted once she answered the call.
“Hello Marinette,” there was clear amusement in the voice of Penny Rolling on the other line. “Jagged was wondering if you could drop by the hotel, there’s something he wants to discuss with you.”
“If it wouldn’t be too much trouble.” Penny sounded apologetic, and Marinette was quick to reassure.
“Of course not! I uh- I’ll hurry.”
“I’ll send a car over to pick you up. Take your sketchbook with you.” Penny added, and Marinette was already running around her rom, getting ready.
“Sure thing! See you soon Penny.”
A little break never hurt anyone.
Break might have been a generous word for what she was about to do.
The moment Marinette stepped into the hotel room, she was swept up in Jagged Stone’s arms, twirled around for a while before finally being put down, a little dizzy.
“Mari! You are just the rocking girl I need right now.” Jagged exclaimed. “There’s going to be this super rocking charity gala meant to support young creative souls like yours here in Paris next week, and I want you to design my suit for it.”
It took a second for Marinette to understand what Jagged had said, her eyes widening once realization hit her.
“R-really? Are you sure?”
Marinette had designed a couple of things for Jagged over the last few years, all the way from album covers and posters to performance outfits.
This time was different though, because if Marinette was right about what gala he was talking about, then there was a chance that he would be asked about who designed his suit, which meant that he would be stating on international television that Marinette had designed it for him.
Sure, Marinette had been mentioned in a few magazines from time to time, but this was on a whole other level.
“Of course, I’m sure! No one gets my rocking style like you do Mari.” Jagged said. “Which brings me to the next topic.”
Jagged propped his booted feet up on the coffee table, his arms crossed behind his head.
“I’m allowed to invite one or two people to come with me to the event, and I was wondering if you would like to go with me and Penny.”
“I-I- that would be amazing!” Marinette yelled out in excitement. “I would love to!”
“Awesome! Penny is gonna contact your teacher about getting you free from school a little earlier so you can focus on this, alright?”
Marinette just nodded hurriedly, getting out her sketchbook and started asking questions, if there was anything in particular that he wanted.
“I just want the suit to be me, you know? None of that fancy crap, I want it to be Rock n’ Roll!”
Marinette had to pause for a moment to try and figure out which route to go with for the design. Despite Jagged being adamant that the suit could not be fancy, he was still going to attend a high-end gala.
An idea suddenly struck, and Marinette started sketching furiously, until she had a rough sketch of an idea she liked, showing it to Jagged.
Jagged’s eyes lit up, and with a few pointers here and there, Marinette was able to come up with a design that she was happy with.
“We’ll pay for whatever fabrics you need; you just focus on making that rocking suit for me, and of course a lovely dress for you.”
After that, the next couple of days were a bit of a blur for Marinette.
Between school, trying to make that trip a reality, and finishing Jagged’s and her own clothes for the gala, Marinette had been so busy that she hardly even paid Lila any mind.
She didn’t even realize that Lila planned a party to be thrown the exact same day as the gala took place, or that she wasn’t even invited, her focus was solely on finishing Jagged’s suit on time.
Still, when the gala finally came, Marinette was not prepared for the amount of paparazzi that would be present outside of the gala.
Because of the amount of celebrities that would be present, no one outside of those invited were allowed in, making the place outside cramped as reporters tried to get a look at the various important people who would be present.
Penny, noticing Marinette’s discomfort by the number of reporters, tried to calm her down a bit.
“It’s going to be fine Marinette, both you and Jagged look wonderful tonight.”
“Yeah, my little Rockstar! You have nothing to be worried about.” Jagged tried to reassure.
“It’s not that. It’s just-“ Marinette thought about her classmates, about how Lila would lie and manipulate the situation, about the accusations of why she didn’t tell them about it. “Do you think I could get in another way?”
Marinette focused in her lap, not seeing the concerned glance that the two adults shared.
“Of course, I’ll go with you.” Penny said, and once Jagged Stone got out of the car and was flocked by various paparazzi, all of which held back by bodyguards. Penny instructed the chauffer to drive a little further ahead, where she and Marinette got out, and went in through another door.
Jagged was asked a wave of questions, from his latest album, to his next tour and, of course, who designed his suit for the evening.
The pants were a deep purple, with studs going along the hem and up his legs. The jacket was made of leather, but designed like a normal suit jacket, studs covering the lapels. His button up shirt was made of black, see-through lace, and he wore black lace gloves to go with, these not being fingerless like his usual ones. Marinette had said they looked more sophisticated.
The button up shirt wasn’t buttoned all the way up, and his boots were a little high, the heels being covered in a purple metal.
“This rocking outfit was designed by my favorite creative soul here in Paris, a girl named Marinette Dupain-Cheng.”
As the paparazzi asked more questions and Jagged slowly, but finally, made his way inside, another rich person came to walk the carpet to get in, and got swamped by all of the paparazzi.
Penny and Marinette spent the time talking to one another while waiting for Jagged to get inside, a few people throwing curious glances at Marinette as they didn’t recognize her.
Penny was concerned, however. She had noticed over the week how Marinette avoided certain topics or would divert a conversation once it went to talk about her classmates.
Penny knew that Jagged had noticed it too, and if they were the reason Marinette was worried about walking down the carpet with Jagged, then they had to do something about it.
“So…” Penny started. “How is it going with school?”
“It’s going well, my grades are doing pretty good despite my occasional absences but-“ Penny cut Marinette off.
“I meant your classmates. How is it going with your classmates?” She tried.
Marinette looked down.
She had guessed that it was going to be brought up eventually, she had just hoped that it would have been later. She sighed.
“It’s… kind of complicated-“ Marinette was cut off once again, but this time by an excited Jagged Stone who just got inside.
Marinette, seeing this as an opportunity to avoid the most likely awkward conversation that was about to happen between Penny and her, looked up at Jagged with a smile as he slung his arm over her shoulder.
“You are going to be so busy from now on Marinette, I’ve already had so many people come up to me and ask for your contact information. Be prepared for an onslaught of emails in the future.”
And just like that, the conversation about classmates was forgotten in favor of mingling with the rich and famous. Marinette was introduced to a series of people, her email was shared, and for once, she seemed to smile just a little brighter than before.
Marinette was at the refreshment table when Jagged walked up to her, with a tall, muscular looking businessman.
“Mari! I’ve gotta introduce you to this rocking fellow. This is Bruce Wayne, one of the few good rich folks you’ll meet.”
Bruce seemed slightly startled by that description but smiled none the less to Marinette.
“It’s nice to meet you miss…”
“Oh! Uh- Marinette! Marinette Dupain-Cheng, sir.” Marinette hurried.
“Mari here is my favorite little designer. We’ve been working together since she was 14.” Jagged said proudly. “When I got invited to this fancy gala thing, I knew only Marinette could make me something to absolutely rock tonight.”
Bruce’s eyes widened in surprise, and he looked Jagged over, assessing the overall design and quality.
“You made this? The quality looks incredible.” He looked at her. “And I’m going to guess you made your jumpsuit as well?”
Marinette stammered, before quickly nodding her head.
While working on Jagged’s suit, Marinette had to make her own outfit as well.
She was originally going to just make a dress, but then she flipped through her sketchbook and found the design for the jumpsuit, and immediately started working on that.
The jumpsuit itself was deep red, accentuating her long legs, and with the kitty heels she was wearing, made her look slightly taller. It was sleeveless, and the top had sharp edges, making a small angular dip at her chest. Marinette had wanted to give a nod towards Jagged with her design, seeing as it was because of him that she could even be there, so she added a floor length (foe) leather skirt, cut down at the front to reveal her legs, and lined with a deep red on the inside.
“I was just glad that Jagged wanted me to design this for him.” Marinette said meekly, tugging at her braided side-ponytail.
“No need to be so humble, Mari! Of course, I wanted you to do this!” Jagged looked at Bruce, eyes wide and full of stars, almost like a proud parent. “Mari is such a talented girl, and she won’t even brag about it! But, that’s why I’m here.”
Jagged proceeded to tell Bruce about Marinette’s long list of accomplishments, from the various contests she had won, to all the things she had designed for him and Clara Nightingale, to how she had been class president for the last three years.
Marinette was slowly curling in on herself, her shoulders rising, her head sinking, trying to disappear from that very moment.
Bruce, seeming to take pity on the girl, decided to cut in on Jagged’s ramble about his talented “niece”.
“What sort of duties do you have as class president?” Bruce asked.
Marinette, straightening after finally being addressed, pondered the question for a moment.
“I’m often mediator in conflicts that pop up in the class and I arrange a couple of class trips.” She said. “I’m trying to figure out a longer trip away from the school, but the budget is pretty limited, so it’s hard to find something that goes under all of the requirements, not to mention interesting enough to for the rest of class.” Marinette frowned, thinking about all of the places she had considered, but ultimately not going with.
“I’m hoping to have found something by the end of the month but…” Marinette shrugged.
Bruce nodded in understanding, a plan already forming in his mind.
I hope that was good! I plan on posting this every other week, with MJM being posted the other weeks
@ozmav I hope you enjoyed this long prologue
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