After another long and grueling morning, Marinette finds some comfort in an empty theatre, treating herself to a matinee showing of one of Adrien Agreste’s latest pictures.
This is a quick oneshot/birthday present for the lovely, beautiful, and amazingly talented @edendaphne –her birthday was on the 12th but be sure to send her all the best wishes and love!!
I based it on her Miraculous Ladybug Gangster AU (Click here for her awesome post about it!!)
Marinette settled into one of the many available chairs, relishing the soft plush of the seat along with the still quiet and darkness of the vacant theatre. Monday morning matinees always seemed to lay in their own void within the universe, offering Marinette some much needed peace after another morning of hard work at the bakery. Her muscles ached from kneading dough, carrying bags of flour, and running back and forth between the kitchen and front counter—not including the general burden on everyone as they tried to make due with living in the time of the Great Depression. Money was scarce and because of it, Marinette found herself working around the clock in order to make ends met.
So as she caught the familiar sound of the projector starting up, Marinette rolled her shoulders and stretched out her neck. She took off her jacket, laying it over the seat beside her. A familiar feeling of guilt rose up in her gut as she thought about the price of her ticket, as it usually did on her almost-weekly-now visits, but she suppressed it. She had earned this.
Or perhaps, Ladybug had earned this…
But Marinette was Ladybug afterall.
And with the latest profit from the latest Miraculous heist, the outlaw duo of Ladybug and Chat Noir had not only been able to save a foreclosed orphanage, make a generous donation to an understaffed hospital, and assist a local soup kitchen for citizens in need, but Marinette also had enough money left over from her gradual deposits into her parents cash drawer to allow her this luxury: going to watch a film.
And not just any film.
An Adrien Agreste Picture.
So she relaxed, enjoying the quiet of the empty theatre. In front of her, stretched out across the screen a pre-show short ran—a silly little animation about a troublesome cat—and she smiled.
From behind her, she heard the distant sound of the theatre door opening and closing, but she paid it no mind, even as the sound of steps neared closer and closer…
Even as a gloved hand landed on her shoulder.
No, Marinette didn’t even flinch, fully expecting to find the armed and dangerous, one of Paris’ most wanted criminals, Chat Noir, smiling down at her.
Without even sparing him a glance, Marinette whispered, “You’re late!”
She turned as she heard him jump, watching in exasperation as he hopped over the seats from the row behind her.
“Why are we whispering?” he answered as he settled into the seat beside her, his usual black suit jacket replaced with a dark grey trench coat, the collar of it turned up to graze his chin, as if to add an air of anonymity to himself. Marinette scoffed at the thought, as if that wasn’t already clear from the black mask he wore and his signature trilby hat—the black ribbon of which wrapped about the brim, comedically peaking into two points above his head, mimicking cat ears
“Because we are in the theatre!” Marinette muttered, a little more loudly than before.
Chat Noir dramatically looked around them, craning his neck and laughing, “Sorry Princess, but looks like it’s just you and me today…as usual”
Early weekday matinees didn’t seem to attract very many movie-goers, and it was something that both Chat Noir and Marinette had long since come to appreciate. Their almost weekly meetups gave them both a break. For Marinette it was a break from the hustle and bustle of working tirelessly, helping her parents failing business, the rest of her free time was easily eaten away by her vigilante escapades and side business of seamstressing.
For Chat Noir, it also seemed like a much needed reprieve from whatever these hard times were plaguing him with. Marinette knew better then to ask. And she found herself enjoying this side of him. He was calmer, quieter—albeit his signature flirting and knack for puns shone through every once in awhile. But it was a side that Marinette didn’t see that often from her partner, and it was in this odd friendship that they both seemed to find some solace.
And so Marinette smiled, reaching into her purse and pulling out a small package from the bakery. “Well,” she said, tucking her purse away on the empty seat beside her, “I guess since it’s only us, I’ll have to share.”
“How about a trade?” Chat Noir answered.
Marinette turned, finding that familiar mischievous grin on his face. In his hand, he held out a single pink rose.
Laughing, she reached out for the flower, her fingers tangling with his for a moment before she offered him the box of cookies, which he quickly accepted.
“One rose for a dozen cookies?” she said, arching an eyebrow, “I know the economy hasn’t been it’s best, but I feel like I’m being cheated here somehow…”
“Last time you said, ‘less is more’ remember?” he pouted.
“That’s cause you basically stole an entire flowershop last time!” Marinette giggled.
Chat Noir laughed, “I was trying to make a good impression! It was a date afterall!”
“For the last time it wasn’t a date!”
“Well forgive me if I want practice before My Lady finally accepts my offer of proposal!”
Marinette was forever in debt to the dark dim lighting of the theatre. It hid the blush that rose to her cheeks.
“I-well, it’s…! Uh…” She couldn’t quite think of a proper response, guilt flooded her senses and stared in disbelief at the wistful look on Chat Noir’s face as he looked off, not even paying attention to the show in front of them. It was a look she had seen before and it told her exactly what he was thinking about…his Lady, Ladybug, who was Marinette, and sitting right beside him.
She knew she shouldn’t have kissed him during that whole Dark Cupid debacle.
“What can I say?” he smirked, finally coming back to his senses to turn back towards her, “At least I wasn’t caught red handed!”
Marinette caught herself from staring too long at his lips to stubbornly look away, trying to pass it off as being put off by another one of his puns. Instead, she felt the ghosting memory of the touch of his lips on hers and jumped, turning back when she heard him speak once more.
“Get it?” he continued, unaware of her troubles, pointing to the pink rose in her hand, “Cause it’s pink—not red! Come on! I know you like pink! Didn’t you say—”
In front of them an opening crescendo of music burst, giving Marinette a welcome distraction from the thoughts and memories running through her mind.
“Shhhhhhh! It’s starting!” she said as she pressed a hand to the mouth that was causing her so much trouble and turned to face the screen.
Under her hand she felt his lips move, “But you’ve already seen it!”
Marinette dropped her hand as the opening credits began, totally deaf to Chat Noir’s annoyed muttering.
Her eyes locked on the first name to light up the screen.
She could feel Chat Noir’s eyes still on her and her blush intensified. Without even looking his way she crossed her arms and muttered, “Just eat your cookies!”
On the screen Adrien came into frame, his bright smile breaking through the black and white projection to add colour into Marinette’s life.
She still remembers the first time she saw him. How lovely his was walking into her parent’s bakery and how brilliant and green his eyes were. She had no idea who he was, but was immediately drawn to his friendly, shy demeanour. His visits became more and more frequent until it was almost everyday that he would stop by for a quick breakfast, and each day he would make her mornings brighter.
It wasn’t until weeks later that Alya shouted at her that he was the Adrien Agreste, movie star extraordinaire. But by then it was too late, Marinette had long since fallen head over heels for the man with the golden hair and a sunshine smile.
The movie started, a quiet story about young love and loss. And the pair fell into their usual silence, Marinette enjoying the film play out before them, while Chat Noir quietly munched away at his gifted cookies. Every once and awhile he would whisper something in her ear, a witty comment, some extra tidbit of information about the film, or another terrible pun that would garner a scoff from Marinette, or in a few cases uncontrollable giggles.
Until soon enough the film started to come to a close. On screen the story became a sombre love story that ended in tragedy. And Marinette felt her eyes dampen as she watched Adrien’s character fall deathly ill. Even though she had already seen this film countless times, she couldn’t hold back the tears for much longer, they easily escaped, running down her face as she watched, mystified by the performance before her.
“He doesn’t look that sick—”
Chat Noir paused, eyes wide as he caught the tears on her face, Marinette laughed in embarrassment, bringing her hands to wipe away her tears, not able to meet his eyes.
Then his gloved hands were on hers pushing a soft handkerchief into her palm, which she reluctantly accepted with a grateful smile.
He really was the greatest, too sweet, and unfailingly nice. As the film came to a close, Marinette laid her head on his shoulder, using his handkerchief to catch her tears. Chat Noir seemed to respond in kind, gently lifting his arm to wrap around her.
It wasn’t until later as Marinette was walking out into the early afternoon sun, the dust of Paris greeting her once more, that she realized she had forgotten to give Chat Noir his handkerchief. She patted the used cloth in her coat pocket making sure that it was there and reminding herself to wash it before returning it back to him next week…
Which meant she failed to noticed the fancy monogram at the corner…at least for the time being.