Miraculous: Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir
Pairings: Love Square
Summary: Marinette encounters Adrien working while heading to the Trocadero to draw. Adrien and Nathalie enlist her help so that they can stay on schedule and finish before the rain comes.
Whenever Marinette needed some inspiration for her designs, she would often go to the Trocadero. It was her favorite place to go for ideas as it was always bustling with people. It was a big tourist spot and it was interesting to see what people from all over the world wore. That specific day, however, she was just looking for some peace and to her luck, the early morning and less than perfect weather kept people away.
The skies continued to be gloomy, clouds hanging low as if threatening to spill at any moment. The brisk winds of the morning chilled her and she shuddered, thankful that she had put on a jacket before leaving home. She walked along the pathway of the Trocadero Gardens and studied the trees and fountains that were dully colored against the grey backdrop of the sky. She had to admit that the scenery usually looked better under the sunlight. But she found a certain charm in dreary days that other people didn’t seem to care for. So color her surprised when she saw Adrien there getting ready for a photoshoot.
Marinette blinked a few times, not sure if she was seeing correctly. But after several attempts at clearing her vision, she decided that the blonde-haired angel in the distance was in fact, Adrien. A sizable tent was erected close to them, probably housing the wardrobe and changing room. She proceeded cautiously towards the end of the fountains where they were setting up the light kits, careful not to attract attention and get in anyone’s way. The photographer was tweaking his camera and the dress team busily adjusted Adrien’s clothing so that it was just right for the photos. Adrien caught sight of her and a large grin appeared on his face, his pearly whites brilliant enough to substitute for the sunlight that was absent that day.
“Marinette!” He called to her so eagerly that her heart nearly jumped out of her chest. He sounded so happy to see her and it made her feel ridiculously special. Several of the people with him glanced over at her, curious about whom the model was so excited to see. She smiled shyly and waved to him, not quite close enough that they could talk without yelling. He sighed impatiently at the people tugging at his clothes, waiting for them to finish so he could talk to his friend. But it seemed that the photographer was finally done setting up his equipment and ready to start. His lips fell into a slight pout and she giggled at how adorable he was.
She turned and found a spot on the steps behind the photographer and sat down, carefully holding the back of her white skater skirt down so that it didn’t rise up as she bent over. She plopped her messenger bag down by her side and pulled out her sketchbook, placing it on her black leggings-covered legs. Adrien would be more than enough of an inspiration, she thought fondly.
Marinette studied his clothing. He was wearing a pair of dark wash jeans, along with a red buttoned shirt. The top few buttons of the shirt were undone and a black t-shirt peeked out from underneath. The redness of his shirt stood out glaringly against the monochrome scenery. She could see the final images in her mind—a handsome young man standing out so clearly amongst the drab world behind him.
Marinette remembered that she too was wearing red and mused that they matched. She pulled herself together in the comfort of her red jacket and sighed contentedly. She began to sketch as she watched him pose.
Every now and then, Adrien’s eyes would flit over to her and he’d shoot her his kilowatt smile. Each time, she felt her composure crumble even more. Even the spring morning cold couldn’t make her cheeks feel frosty.
About half an hour into the shoot, she noticed a familiar woman approaching Adrien. Nathalie was her name if she remembered correctly—Gabriel’s executive assistant. She must have told him that he could have a little break because he gleefully peered over to Marinette before nodding at Nathalie. He began walking towards her and she stood up to meet him halfway.
“Great work.” Marinette commended him. He thanked her and took notice of the sketchbook that she held against her body.
“Working on designs?” He asked.
“Yeah, I usually come here for inspiration. I didn’t expect to see you.” She smiled and tucked her hair behind her ear timidly. She opted to leave her hair down to keep her neck warm and really hoped that the humidity wasn’t making it frizzy.
“Even on a day like this?” He raised an eyebrow. It wasn’t exactly the best day weather-wise to be sitting outside.
“Days like these are nice every now and then.” Marinette shrugged. “I could say the same to you. It’s a strange day to be doing an outdoor photoshoot.”
“Wanna hear a secret?” Adrien asked, with a mischievous grin on his face. It was Marinette’s turn to raise a brow. “I begged Nathalie to move some stuff around to fill my schedule up today so I could avoid going to Chloé’s.” He revealed.
“No way!” Marinette’s mouth dropped open and she stared at him with wide eyes in disbelief. She never expected Adrien to do something like that. “You didn’t!”
Adrien laughed at Marinette’s reaction and assured her that he did. While he had felt rather bad about skipping out on it, he just wasn’t up for going to the party and a part of him was a little spiteful about what she did to Marinette.
A distance away, the photographer zoomed his lens on the teens and snapped a few photos. He had worked with Adrien many times and even though the boy was great at making different facial expressions, he’d never seen true happiness radiating from him before. The photographer grinned, happy with how lively the shots were. They were just two teens, having a good time and it was even better that they matched. He showed Nathalie the candid photos and she was impressed with them. They were unlikely to use them but she figured that Adrien would probably like them.
Nathalie looked at her tablet to check the time and tapped her pen against it impatiently. There was an issue with the jacket that went along with his current outfit and they were waiting on the alterations specialist to come and fix it. After another ten minutes of waiting and no tailor showing up, Nathalie sighed and approached the teens. Adrien noticed the frown on her face and asked what was wrong.
“Stephen still hasn’t shown up. We’ll have you model the other pieces first and hopefully, he’ll be here to fix the jacket before we’re done.”
“Okay,” Adrien said and turned back to Marinette. “I have to head back.” He told her. She nodded before hesitantly speaking up.
“Is there a problem?” Marinette asked. Both Adrien and Nathalie looked at her. Adrien was about to tell her that everything was okay, but before the words passed his lips, his eyes lit up. A big smile splayed on his face and he placed his hands on Marinette’s shoulders, causing her more confusion. Without giving her any answer, he turned his head towards Nathalie.
“Marinette could do it!” He said as if he had just discovered all the truths to the world. Nathalie blinked, sparing Marinette a glance before directing her attention back to Adrien.
“Come again?” She looked confused, just as much as Marinette.
“Marinette, she won that bowler hat competition back in middle school, remember? She’s really talented. She’s won a bunch of other competitions too. I’m sure she could help us.” He explained all too quickly, not even considering that Nathalie might not remember a competition from so long ago. It was something that he could never forget—one, because one of his friends was so talented and two, it was hard to impress his father let alone get praise from him, which she did.
Nathalie focused on Marinette with her usual stoic expression and the girl shrunk under the scrutinizing gaze. She studied the girl who just stood apprehensively, clutching her sketchbook tightly against her chest.
“Yes, I remember. Your father was very impressed with her design.” Nathalie said, adjusting her glasses. “But that being said, you haven’t even asked your friend if she’d be willing to help before offering her services.” She said with an almost amused lilt in her tone, something very un-Nathalie-ish.
“Oh…” Adrien started, realizing what she said was true. He hadn’t considered that Marinette might be busy or that she just didn’t want to help. “Marinette,” he squeezed her shoulders lightly. “Could you please help us?” He pleaded.
How could she no to those eyes? Those eyes held more power over her than he knew and they easily put Manon’s puppy eyes to shame.
“Um… I would be glad to, if I knew exactly what you needed help with?” She said in more of a question than a statement.
Adrien smiled sheepishly at her confusion. He didn’t mean to be so vague but the idea just suddenly came to him that he didn’t make himself clear from the beginning. He looked over to Nathalie and prompted her for an explanation.
“Come along,” Nathalie said simply and led them over to the tent. Marinette hesitated before entering. Never in her dreams did she ever think that she’d be helping out with something related to Gabriel’s designs. When she felt Adrien’s hand on the small of her back, ushering her in, she thought that she had surely died and gone to heaven.
Nathalie went ahead and talked to some of the others in the tent, telling them to hand her the piece that needed to be looked at. When she returned, Marinette saw her carrying a black blazer, still on the hanger. At first sight, there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. Nathalie handed Adrien the blazer and he put it on for Marinette to see.
“As you can see, there’s a problem with how this fits.” Nathalie said, side-eyeing Marinette. She peered at it and began to circle Adrien, taking in every little detail. She raised a hand to her chin and pondered, eyebrows furrowing in thought. Adrien inwardly laughed at her cute expression.
The blazer looked like a fine piece when it was on the hanger but it didn’t do Adrien any justice. He had a tall and slender figure, well suited for slim fit clothing. The cut of the blazer just didn’t fit his shape well. She was mildly curious as to why they didn’t have the blazer properly fitted before sending it off to a shoot.
“We’re lucky that the shoulders and sleeves fit properly.” Marinette began. There was nothing worse than trying to alter a jacket that was too large in said area. The armscye would have been cut too largely and there wouldn’t be enough fabric to allow for drastic changes. “It looks like it just needs to be taken in a bit around the chest and waist.” She hummed as she began pinching the fabric of the blazer to gauge how much it needed to be taken in.
Adrien felt a little nervous as Marinette ran her hands along his torso, pulling and tugging at the jacket. She was so close that he could smell her. Living in a bakery, she always smelled of some sort of sweetness. But his favorite scent on her was vanilla. And that was what she currently smelled like—warm, soothing, vanilla.
“So do you think you can fix it?” Adrien swallowed, hoping to get any semblance of moisture back into his throat.
“I can. I just have to separate the lining from the shell to take it in and adjust all the darts.” Her eyes flickered over to Nathalie and gave her a reserved smile. “I’m sorry, but could I have some pins?”
“Yes, right away.” Nathalie nodded and went to retrieve what the budding designer needed.
“Thanks a lot, Marinette. You’re a blessing.” Adrien chuckled.
“Not at all. To be allowed to work on a Gabriel design is a dream.” She replied bashfully.
Nathalie returned with the pins and Marinette began right away. She pinned the jacket quickly and efficiently so that he could continue modeling the other pieces as soon as possible. He stripped the blazer off and she took it from him, following Nathalie to where she could work.
Marinette sat down and immediately went into work mode. She picked up the seam ripper and began to carefully take the jacket apart. She knew she had to work quickly because Adrien had a full schedule that day.
Knowing that it was one of Gabriel’s designs that she was currently altering, she painstakingly made sure that everything she did was nothing short of perfect. It was a delicate balance of speed and precision that required all of her attention. She didn’t even notice the several times Adrien came in to change.
Nathalie was grateful that Marinette was able to finish quickly. Marinette sighed in relief, feeling the pressure dissipate when Nathalie took the blazer from her. The woman thanked her graciously. Marinette could feel every pair of eyes in the tent on her and she smiled shyly. She nodded to Nathalie and thanked her instead, for giving her an opportunity for such a rare experience.
When Marinette left the tent, it seemed that the sky was heavier with clouds than ever. The air had warmed up some as the day passed but there was still a chill as the clouds refused to let the sun shine through. The photographer was shouting out orders at his assistants and they scrambled about to finish the shoot before the rain came.
Nathalie gave the blazer to Adrien and he quickly slid it on his arms and over his shoulders. Marinette felt pride bubbling up in her chest when saw that it was now a perfect fit. Adrien gave her a thumbs up and grinned cheekily, making her own lips stretch into a smile. The jacket was the last piece and the shoot would be complete.
They had enough luck that the rain waited until they were finished packing before coming down mercilessly. Not even a minute passed before it started pelting heavily against her body. She didn’t have time to regret not bringing an umbrella when Adrien grabbed her hand and pulled her along, running to the safety of the car.
The Gorilla peered into the rearview mirror to see two teens flying into the car. He raised an eyebrow at their soaked and laughing appearances. The girl was one he recognized as one of Adrien’s friends. She was a nice and cute little thing.
Marinette let out a breath, finishing up her giggles as she brushed a wet lock of hair out of her face. She shifted her gaze over to the dripping wet Adrien and watched as he ran his hair through his golden mane. Her eyes followed a water droplet sliding down his face and she felt her whole body warm up. He looked so incredibly attractive at the moment that she suddenly became nervous and frazzled. The interior of the car felt like it was closing in on her. Her breath hitched in her throat when his eyes met hers. Before he could speak, the window on his side opened and a frowning Nathalie looked in.
“I had an umbrella ready for you, Adrien. But you took off without it.” She looked at his wet appearance with a look of disapproval. He smiled guiltily.
“I’m sorry, Nathalie. I wasn’t thinking. Marinette was getting wet so I just rushed her to the car.” He explained. Her eyes flickered over to Marinette, as if she just realized that the girl was there. She just sighed and entered the front passenger seat, carefully closing the umbrella and the door to minimize the amount of rain coming in.
“What’s your address? We’ll escort you home.” Nathalie spoke plainly. There wasn’t any hint of annoyance behind her voice but Marinette couldn’t help but feel like she was being a bother.
“Oh, no, it’s okay! The metro station is close by and you have a schedule—there’s no need—” She stopped short of completing her sentence when not only Adrien and Nathalie but also the Gorilla cocked an eyebrow at her.
“Take us to Tom & Sabine’s Bakery.” Adrien told his driver and the large man nodded before pulling out into the street.
Marinette was all well and good with talking to Adrien now, but adding Nathalie and Gorilla into the equation made her stall in nervousness. They were both straight to the point people, having little words except when necessary. She wasn’t sure if Adrien sensed her discomfort but he began speaking and she almost erupted into a sigh of relief.
Adrien picked a safe topic, asking Marinette about her designs and if she was entering any competitions. She was thankful for it, words easily flowing out about her passion. Being the gentleman that he was, he followed the conversation even though she was sure that it couldn’t be interesting for him.
After an almost twenty-minute drive, Gorilla pulled over in front of the bakery and Marinette thanked her three companions profusely. Gorilla just gave her a nod of the head and Nathalie said a simple ‘you’re welcome.’ Before she opened the door to leave though, Adrien placed a hand on her arm.
“Hold on.” Adrien leaned forward and asked Nathalie for an umbrella. “I’ll walk you.” Giving Marinette no time to protest, he opened his door and pushed the umbrella open. Climbing out, he then turned around and held a hand out to her. She shyly took it and scooted out. The two walked the short distance to the bakery door. Before going in, she turned to him.
“Thanks again for the ride and for walking me. You’re such a gentleman.” She said mirthfully, laughter ready to slip through her lips.
“Of course. I cannot have my kind lady brave through such weather unprotected.” Adrien grinned and bowed dramatically in response to her comment. She brought a hand to her lips and stifled a laugh. It always reminded her of Chat Noir whenever he acted like that and the thought of her feline partner’s silly antics made her roll her eyes.a
“Surely, I cannot let you go without a reward, kind sir.” Marinette straightened herself and stood tall, like a regal lady, much to his amusement. A few seconds passed before they both started laughing merrily. “Would you like anything from the bakery? On the house of course.”
“As much as I’d love to…” Adrien started before his eyes darted over to the car. “Nathalie has me on a strict diet. The cooks at home keep all my extra orders a secret but it’ll be hard to hide anything right now.” He chuckled, albeit dejectedly. Ah, the life of a model. Marinette frowned. She would have to sneak him some pastries on Monday, she thought resolutely. Adrien shot her a serene smile. “Well, I should get going before I’m late.”
Marinette nodded and opened the door, taking a step inside. Adrien turned to leave but her voice called out for him to wait.
Marinette felt her heart pound as she stepped towards him, mind reeling at what she was about to do. Every part of her brain was screaming at her to stop, abort the mission, but her body clearly had a mind of its own. Adrien turned back towards her in question when he felt her soft lips on his cheek. His eyes blew wide open at the action. Sure, cheek kisses were a common greeting, but from Marinette, not so much.
“Your reward, kind sir.” Marinette whispered, her warm breath tickling his skin before she pulled back. A rosy blush fell upon her cheeks as she smiled at him. “See you Monday.” She grinned and entered the bakery.
Adrien stared at the door for a few extra seconds before turning around and raising a hand to the spot where Marinette’s warmth still lingered. Neither Nathalie nor Gorilla made any mention of his reddened cheeks as he entered the car.