Special thanks to @grey-the-goose-art for allowing the use of her art!
If there was anything in this world that Adrien Agreste hated, it would be being late. He had naively underestimated what traffic would be like on Christmas Eve as the tourists went out for dinner and musicians held their special holiday-themed concerts. It would have been smart of him to take his chauffeur’s advice to leave before sunset but Adrien had insisted that the man took the evening off and that he would drive himself.
At twenty-four years old it looked like he had his life together. Two bachelor’s degrees, a master’s degree, and two homes with an extra cottage in the country to his name. Yet, with all of his accomplishments, he still felt nervous for tonight and being tardy didn’t help. Of course, no one would blame him for the butterflies in his stomach. He was going to find out who Ladybug was after a decade of wonder and frustration.
“How’s my hair?” Adrien asked, pulling into the park.
“You still have your model-quality good looks,” Plagg said, flying out of his jacket to sit on Adrien’s shoulder.
“Can’t say the same about your personality.”
He rolled his eyes and sighed at the smart-alec comment. Ten years later and Plagg still hadn’t learned to censor that mouth of his. “Just… behave yourself tonight.”
The email he had received a month ago had been a little sketch, but after years of false leads and disappointment, he figured he may as well take the chance. He was willing to pay ten thousand euros to anyone who came forward with information about Ladybug, but he didn’t expect her to reach out to him as Adrien Agreste.
He had read the email enough times to recite it from memory- I’ll be in town on Christmas Eve, Charming. There hadn’t been a subject title and the address was from a generic supplier. What set off the bells, however, was the nickname. Ladybug had once rescued him as Adrien from an Akuma attack and joked that if she didn’t save Prince Charming, nobody would. She stopped by his bedroom a few more times after that to talk to him as Adrien, similar to how he used to drop by Marinette as Chat Noir back in the day. She had taken to calling him ‘Charming’ by the time they parted ways- a nickname that only the two of them knew about.
A few emails later and he found himself looking forward to Christmas Eve for the first time in years, playing out every possible moment thousands of times as the day grew closer. And now, after a month of waiting, he was standing in the middle of a park. “I should have had the flowers delivered to the office,” he muttered, still bitter about the time crunch that prevented him from picking them up.
“Late, as usual, I see.”
The woman’s voice was instantly recognizable. Ladybug, he thought, his adrenaline spiking so he could feel his heartbeat pulsing in his hands, ears, chest- everywhere. His lungs restrained him as he struggled for air, excited and scared to see her after all these years. He turned around slowly as he felt the physical strain of her presence affecting him.
“You… Marinette?” He whispered, in shock at her appearance. How could he possibly mix up her voice with Ladybug’s?
“Surprised to see me?”
“You… look well.”
“Life has treated both of us kindly, it seems,” she said. “Although it looks like the crease between your eyebrows has deepened.”
“That’s what happens when you run a business,” he chuckled.
“Are you…” she coughed to clear her throat. “…disappointed?”
“Disappointed? Why would I be disappointed?”
He watched as her petite frame relaxed at his words. Actually… why was she there? “You always know just what to say, Charming.”
His blood ran cold as she pulled out a package from her pocket and a red creature flew out. “That… isn’t possible…” he whispered.
“What was that?”
He reached out and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her to his chest and holding her tight. “Princess?” He whispered, feeling her tighten at the nickname.
“Plagg!” The black kwami exclaimed, flying out of Adrien’s pocket.
“Plagg!” Adrien hissed, surprised at his sudden appearance.
“Plagg?” Tikki said, peeking out from behind Marinette.
“Tikki!” Plagg exclaimed, flying over to her.
“Tikki!” Marinette said in surprise.
“Tikki?” Adrien tilted his head, attempting to observe the kwami.
“My kwami. And this… Plagg… is he yours? Are you really Chat Noir?”
“Uh… yeah. I am.”
“Wow, um… Sorry, I just didn’t expect that you of all people would be… you know…”
The two stood in an awkward silence for a moment, unsure of how to proceed. “Marinette, the present!” Tikki squeaked.
“Oh! That’s right! Um… here. You said you liked them when we were in high school, so… yeah.”
Adrien stared at the blue box she was holding out to him, blinking several times to check if he was awake. Looking back up at her, he realized that there was only one thing left to do. He slowly bent down onto one knee as Marinette gasped. He took the box offered to him out of her hands and set it on the ground beside him to be opened later. “Princess,” he whispered, looking up into her eyes and sliding his Miraculous off of his finger. “…will you marry me?” He asked, holding the ring out in front of her.
That Christmas was one Adrien Agreste would never forget. His Father was outraged when he got the call to come to a small church at midnight but came, begrudgingly, to see his son get married. A sleepy pastor married the sweethearts as their already-married best friends, Nino and Alya, cried in the corner. Their rings were made of twist ties that Marinette’s parents had brought from the bakery, but they didn’t mind.
Some would call it crazy, the two of them getting married a few hours from their first meeting in half a decade, but they didn’t care. Other people couldn’t possibly understand the bond, the secure partnership built on trust and friendship, that the two of them shared. In fact, both of them had never been so sure of anything in their entire life.
And that, more than anything, was a Christmas miracle.