Dupain-Cheng loved with a fierce sort of affection that gently destroyed him.
wasn’t grand gestures or loud declarations or flashy devotion.
was thoughtful moments and quiet attention and unwavering loyalty.
took Adrien an embarrassingly long time to recognize it for what it was.
When everything he knew was detachment and afterthought his compass for
affection was nearly non-existent. He knew Nathalie’s cold comfort and
his father’s broken promises and Chloe’s noisy fawning. He knew conditions and
strings and if-thens.
didn’t understand second chances.
Everyone in his life was striving.
put their careers, their hopes, their reputation on his shoulders and poked and
prodded and pulled until he smiled just right and spoke just so and moved just
he didn’t know any different.
loved in the little ways.
loved in passing moments and quiet gestures and thoughtfully in a way that was
almost careless. In a way that was so very Marinette.
had always been careful, but in the five weeks since he found out the Truth he
felt like his shoes were made of glass and every next step could be the one to
problem when every shy smile, confused blush, and rapid fluttering of blue,
blue eyes made him feel like dancing, glass be damned.
removing the mask he had been gifted with the knowledge that his best friend
was never really as far away as she seemed. Ladybug was untouchable.
Marinette was so very, very there.
somehow made everything more vivid, more terrifying,
had been painfully awkward of course. Because of course it was when she
was so adamant about keeping their identities a secret.
for him, Marinette never was good at telling the restrooms apart.
“I shouldn’t have been surprised. Not when Rhysand liked to make a spectacle of everything. And found pissing off Tamlin to be an art form.
But there he was. Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court, now stood beside me, darkness leaking from him like ink in water.
He angled his head, his blue-black hair shifting with the movement. Those violet eyes sparkled in the golden faelight as they fixed on Tamlin, as he held up a hand to where Tamlin and Lucien and their sentries had their swords half-drawn, sizing up how to get me out of the way, how to bring him down—
But at the lift of that hand, they froze.
Ianthe, however, was backing away slowly, face drained of color.
“What a pretty little wedding,” Rhysand said, stuffing his hands into his pockets as those many swords remained in their sheaths. The remaining crowd was pressing back, some climbing over seats to get away.”