Happy belated birthday, @ravnesque!! Hope you’ve had an amazing day yesterday! Sorry that this is late, and also that it’s also probably such a mess with grammar and all, but I just wanted to give you something for your b-day ahh!! I’ll probably have to read it through later aka. when it’s not late at night haha, but yeah, hope you like this!! <3 <3
(Also just general disclaimer: I have no idea how much a manga costs in Euros/in France, but according to my quick research, I think 18-20 Euros is correct for two manga? Idk please correct me if anyone knows x3)
The bell chimed as a customer arrived, and, looking up from her book with a friendly smile, Marinette greeted the new customer. “Hello! Is there anything you’re looking for?”
The customer seemed startled at having been noticed so fast, and mumbled something akin to “I’m just looking” as he continued further into the shop. He was clad in a hoodie and wore large sunglasses. The typical celebrity disguise from movies and anime. Marinette resisted the urge to raise an eyebrow, but instead continued with her book.
After a minute or two, the stranger was back. “You wouldn’t happen to have any comics, would you?” The timid mumble from earlier was completely gone. Now his voice, while quite dark and suave, sounded somewhat fake. Yet at the same time, it also sounded strangely familiar.
“Sure! They’re in the back, there’s an entire wall covered in comics and manga there, shouldn’t be hard to find,” Marinette grinned, pointing between some shelves to the back of the store.
The stranger seemed a bit taken aback, and blushed. “Thank you, kind lady,” he said in the same suave, voice, doing a small bow in thanks as he disappeared into the back again.
Now that Marinette thought about it, something about the stranger in general seemed familiar. Was it maybe someone she knew? No, nobody she knew went around dressed like that. Or talked in such a way for that matter. Maybe someone from TV then? Despite the size of their store, there were actually several celebrities who came to there quite regularly. Then again, they all tended to act naturally, unlike this young man.
She heard a small gasp, and leaned to the left to see between the bookshelves at her newest customer. It seemed he had finally found the back row of comics and manga, which he seemed quite ecstatic about. She heard something that sounded akin to hushed gushing coming from the stranger and couldn’t help but smile. There was a reason why their book store was one of the favorites in Paris.
“You have the newest volumes of Yona of the dawn!!” The stranger was suddenly in front of her again, fake voice forgotten in his excitement. Marinette was almost certain that if this stranger had had a tail, he’d have wagged it back and forth in excitement.
Marinette giggled. “Yes, we get all the manga faster than the other book stores because of my family.”
“Woah, and yet I never knew about this place until today,” the stranger said, astonished. Then, it seemed as if he remembered something, and he coughed rather awkwardly. “Uh… I’ll take these then,” the fake voice was back, to Marinette’s continued amusement.
“Alright then, that’ll be 18 euros, please,” Marinette said, not able to hide her smile at the changing behavior of her customer. He blushed again as he paid, staring intently down at the bank terminal. Putting his two books into a plastic bag, Marinette held it out for him to take.
“Thanks,” he mumbled, awkwardly putting away his wallet before taking the bag. He was about to walk over to the door, but seemed hesitant. The fake act seemed to have disappeared once again. “Do you.. mind if I stay a little longer? Someone was following me, which is why I came in here in the first place…”
“Sure, this is a book store after all, look around for as long as you want,” Marinette smiled gently. She knew that that was how the celebrities that were now regulars had found their store as well. “Oh, there’s also a small reading room with some couches out that door,” Marinette pointed to a door to her left. “If you want, you can read your manga there, then leave later.”
“Really?” Marinette nodded. “Wow, that’s really nice. Thank you! A book store with a reading room…A bit weird but at the same time really fitting,” he mumbled the last part to himself as he walked over to the door and disappeared inside.
Marinette couldn’t help but look after him as her weird, but cute, customer walked away. There was this familiar feeling hanging over it all, but Marinette still couldn’t quite figure out just where she knew him from.
Several customers came and left; some of them were new faces to Marinette, other were old regulars which she happily chatted away with as they looked over what new books had arrived or which book they wanted to read. After an hour had passed, Marinette finally decided that she had to go and check up on the customer from earlier. Walking into the small reading room, she found him splayed on one of the couches, face resting on top of one of the new manga he’d bought earlier. The hoodie had slid halfway off his head to reveal messy blonde locks and a young face with dark circles underneath his eyes.
Marinette instantly recognized him, almost giving a little squeal as she did so, but stopped herself. He seemed worn out, so instead she left the room again and said to any customer who asked about it that the reading room was closed for the day. This was nothing new as they had let people use it several times before, both celebrities and regular people who needed a nap or some peace. Her father called it their safe haven, and had said that it was just as important for them to use as it was for them to share it with other people. Marinette had used it once herself, but usually just used her room instead as that was just as quiet and secluded.
Half an hour later, the new customer came outside again, yawning as pulled the hoodie over his head again. The sunglasses were already in place, hiding whatever grogginess his eyes might have displayed.
“Sleep well?” Marinette couldn’t help but ask when she saw him, which once again made him blush.
“Yeah, sorry about that. I didn’t mean to fall asleep in your reading room,” he shuffled his feet, looking away from her gaze.
“Don’t worry about it, you’re not the first one,” Marinette smiled, hoping that he might feel a little more at ease knowing that. “Also, if you want to, you can come back here again and have a nap. We don’t mind.”
The stranger turned his head towards her again. “But you don’t know me. Why would you let a stranger sleep on one of your couches like that? I could steal something!”
“No, you couldn’t,” Marinette found herself saying, somehow knowing that this stranger wouldn’t do anything to harm her. Well, except maybe accidentally knocking a bookshelf over in his excitement. “And excuse me for saying this, but it really looked like you needed that nap, so feel free to come again at any time, Mr. Agreste.”
The stranger, Adrien Agreste, already a famous artist despite his young age, looked astonished at her. “I’m sorry, when I went to check on you, your sun glasses had slid off, so I recognized you,” Marinette quickly apologized, a smile playing on her lips. “Though if I might say so, I don’t think the ‘movie celebrity disguise’ works, at least not for sleeping on couches.”
Adrien Agreste was quiet for a moment, and Marinette wondered if she might have gone too far, but then he chuckled. “I guess you’re right, maybe I should use swimming goggles next time.”
“Please don’t,” Marinette laughed as well. “Then the disguise definitely wouldn’t work.” They both laughed. “But, as I said, feel free to come by if you need a breather or a nap. We always have some room to spare if you need it.”
Adrien removed his sunglasses. “What’s your name?”
“Thank you, Marinette, that is really kind of you. I really appreciate it,” Adrien said and smiled, which in turn made Marinette blush.
“N-no problem!” Marinette stuttered.
“We’ll meet again then, my lady,” Adrien said, still smiling, as he put on his sunglasses and turned to the door.
“Have a n-nice day,” Marinette said automatically, still blushing. When he was out the door, Marinette sat down on the chair behind the counter. Weirdly enough, she was used to deal with celebrities, just not celebrities at her own age. And it seemed Alya was right about him, for once, he actually was even cuter up close.