Son Sourire

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Nathalie knew Adrien was fond of his raven-haired friend. She was a nice girl, someone who could keep him from sulking in the pit of loneliness that his father often left him in. She recalled Adrien's words to her the day before, asking if she remembered Marinette.

Of course, she did. Because she had stolen the birthday gift for Adrien from her and said it was from his father. Nathalie saw how much he adored the scarf and considering that he came home still thinking that it was from his father, Nathalie knew that the girl didn't tell him the truth. From then on, Nathalie felt guilt-ridden whenever she saw the girl.

Marinette was polite with her. Even though Nathalie was sure that the girl knew she was the one responsible for the gift theft, she didn't seem to bear any ill-will or resentment. Perhaps, Nathalie surmised, Marinette was content with Adrien being happy. It had only made her feel all the more terrible. So she found herself becoming more lenient with Adrien when Marinette was involved.

Nathalie stood there, watching Gabriel's expressionless face as he went through the photos from the shoot at the Trocadero. She had just received the files that morning from the photographer and Gabriel wished to see them immediately. He monotonously listed off the file numbers of the ones he wanted to use and she jotted them down on her tablet. She was startled when she heard an uncharacteristically curious hum and she looked up from her device to see an eyebrow quirked at his monitor.

"What is this?" Gabriel asked, eyes not leaving the screen. She quickly went through the photos to see what could be so astounding to him when her eyes landed on the photos of Adrien and Marinette. She mentally cursed to herself. She was meaning to remove them and send them to Adrien but it slipped her mind. His eyes finally rested on her and she stiffened.

"A friend of Adrien's happened to be there and the photographer took some liberties... Marinette Dupain-Cheng, sir. She won that bowler hat—"

"Yes, I remember." He cut her off. His eyes returned to the photos and a slight frown made its way onto his face. Nathalie panicked, hoping that Gabriel wouldn't try to sabotage one of Adrien's great friendships.

"She was a great help, sir!" The words tumbled off her tongue and his gaze rested on her again. She shrunk under his stare and knew she had to clarify. "The Lyon blazer had been wrongly sized and was too loose on Adrien. Stephen was called in to fix it but he didn't show. Marinette was the one who altered it for us." She explained.

"You let a child alter my designs?" Gabriel asked bitingly, despite still having a stoic expression on his face. Nathalie flinched under his tone and apologized. "Bring me the blazer." He ordered.

Nathalie made haste, fulfilling his orders quickly in hopes that his mood wouldn't worsen. She returned shortly with the blazer and handed it to him. She watched his eyes roam around the blazer as he studied the seams and stitching. If she didn't know better, she would say that he actually looked a little impressed. He placed the blazer aside and brought his attention back to his computer screen.

"Contact the Dupain-Chengs for permission to use these photos," Gabriel ordered, much to her surprise. In her shock, she didn't realize that she didn't reply until his eyes flickered over to her.

"Yes, sir. Right away, sir. Is there anything else?" She asked.

"That is all. You are dismissed." He said. Nathalie bowed and left his office with a relieved sigh.

-

Adrien was surprised when he heard his father. They normally didn't interact in the mornings. Nathalie and Gorilla were waiting for him outside and he was about to leave when he noticed his shoe was untied. He crouched down to tie it and that's when his father appeared.

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