Tikki sighed and shook her head when she saw Marinette sleeping on her desk, she had fallen asleep while doing homework, as usual. The teenage girl could only be described as exhausted, and to be honest; sometimes Tikki felt bad for putting this burden of being Ladybug on her, all the other Ladybugs hadn’t been this tired out by it. But then again; they didn’t have the struggle of being a superhero and dealing with high school.
But she could also see that Marinette loved what she was doing, despite all the ups and downs. And if Tikki was honest with herself; out of all the Ladybugs, Marinette was her favorite and well on her way to becoming the Kwami’s best friend. There just was…something about that girl, she didn’t know. Something that made everyone (minus Chloé) want to like her.
The tiny ladybug Kwami nudged the girl softly. “Marinette!” She hissed.
Tikki rolled her eyes and nudged her again, this time a bit harder. “Marinette!”
The teen in question groaned in her sleep but didn’t react any further.
The cute tiny little creature flew up to Marinette’s ear and took a deep breath. “MARINETTE!”
The black haired girl jumped up from surprise, her eyes immediately searching the room for any type of danger. When she spotted none, she frowned and stretched her arms, yawning and covering her mouth with one hand; she looked at Tikki and blinked tiredly, rubbing the sleep out of her eye with the back of her hand. “What’s up, Tikki?”
She rolled her eyes and flew in front of the girl. “It’s Wednesday.”
Marinette rolled her eyes. “Oh, Tikki, it’s just…” she gently pushed the Kwami aside to look at the alarm clock on her desk. Her eyes widened. “Nine o’ clock! Gotta go! Thanks for waking me!”
She jumped out of her chair and rushed out the door, only stopping when Tikki cleared her throat and motioned to her adorable Christmas sweater she slept in. Marinette blushed and quickly changed clothes before running out the door; she needed to be fast, school had started half an hour ago.
Tikki sighed and crossed her arms, shaking her head as she watched the girl run away. There was just something about that girl, sweet, but awkward.
Alya nervously looked around while repeatedly tapping her finger against her knee and bouncing her leg up and down. Currently the whole school was gathered in the gym and the chair next to her on the left was still empty; Marinette was nowhere to be seen.
The reddish-brown haired girl sighed and checked her phone multiple times, hoping for any sign of her best friend.
“Excuse me, is this seat take-”
“Yes,” she muttered, not even looking at the person as she send a quick text to Marinette. She didn’t even notice how rude she was being, her only goal was to get a hold of her friend quickly, after what had just happened-
On the chair to her right sat Nino, who apparently noticed how nervous she was. He frowned and leaned closer to her. “What’s wrong?”
“Marinette is nowhere to be seen, that’s what’s wrong!” She hissed, keeping her voice low so she wouldn’t alert any other students. (Mainly Chloé)
Nino placed a comforting hand on her shoulder and smiled. “I’m sure she’ll show up, you know how she is.”
Alya glanced at her phone. “That’s what worries me.”
It was crucial that the black haired girl got here soon.
The doors to the gym opened, immediately catching Alya’s attention. The girl frantically motioned to the seat next to her and Marinette decided it’d be best if she’d do as told without asking any questions.
“Where have you been, girl?” Alya hissed quietly.
Marinette flinched and rubbed her arm, smiling a bit sheepishly. “I…uhmm…overslept, what did I miss?”
Alya rolled her eyes. “A lot, we’re having a stupid dance and everyone is expected to participate. We need to practice all sorts of couples dances, waltz, tango, salsa, you name it,” she shook her head. “It’s ridiculous, really.”
“Wait…” Marinette blinked. “We got put into pairs?”
This time it was the gold eyed girl’s turn to flinch, she took off her glasses and cleaned the lenses on her shirt. “Right…about that…”
Marinette’s eyes narrowed. “Alya…”
“I got paired with Nino!” She blurted.
“That’s not why you’re acting like this, you couldn’t care less if you got paired with him or not.”
Alya cursed and put her glasses back on, that was the problem with best friends; they knew you too damn well. She sighed and lowered her voice to a whisper. “Fine, you got paired up with the guy sitting next to the guy I’m paired up with.”
The blue eyed girl blinked and looked at the person sitting next to Nino, paling when she realized who it was. “My partner is-”
Alya covered her mouth and shushed her before she could yell. “Sssht! Yes, your partner is Adrien! Stop yelling, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Chloé’s been glaring at you since you walked in.”
Marinette turned to look at the blonde, surprised when her glare only intensified. Alya glared right back and stuck her tongue out before turning her best friend to face her again. “She’s been this sour since the pairings were made.”
“Who’s she paired up with?”
Alya chuckled. “Max.”
Marinette’s eyes widened, the thought alone of the nerdy Max with Chloé was ridiculous; she already felt bad for all the torture Max would have to go through.
“Aside from yours, these pairings are ridiculous,” Alya continued. “Alix got paired with Kim, Juleka with Ivan and so on…the only ones that are relatively okay are Sabrina and Nathanaël…and I guess mine’s fine.” She shrugged.
Nino turned to face her, a dramatic hurt look on his face. “Really? Fine? You wound me!”
Alya rolled her eyes and pushed him. “Bye Nino,” she turned back to Marinette. “But you get the point, can you dance?”
“Waltz? Yes. Salsa? No. Tango? …A little.”
The golden eyed girl blinked, surprised at the answer. “Wait, where did you learn to tango?”
Marinette blushed. “My mother signed me up for dancing classes when I was younger, but I didn’t really like it so I stopped,” she confessed. “But that’s not the point!”
Alya sighed. “You’ll be fine, it’s just-”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I advise you to go look up your partner, practice will start in a few minutes,” the principal called into his microphone.
“Well, good-” Alya’s eyes widened when she looked at her best friend. “…luck?”
Marinette was visibly shaking from nervousness, her eyes wide and unsure. “Maybe I should ask if I could get paired with someone else, right, I’ll go and ask right now!” She rambled, already getting up.
“Whoa there, Tiger!” Alya grabbed the collar of the girl’s shirt and pulled her back down in her seat, casually turning to face the two boys watching them. She tightened her grip on her best friend and acted as if nothing was wrong. “We’ll need a minute.”
She got up from her seat and walked into the girls’ bathroom, effortlessly dragging a struggling Marinette with her and leaving Adrien and Nino confused.
Alya pushed Marinette into the bathroom and locked the door, quickly checking underneath all the stalls to see if they were empty. When she was done checking, she stood straight and crossed her arms, raising an eyebrow.
She rolled her eyes. “Marinette, you’ll be fine. Look on the bright side, dancing doesn’t necessarily mean you have to talk to him, so you won’t be stuttering like an idiot!”
The black haired girl narrowed her eyes. “Thanks, you really boosted my confidence with that one.”
“See? You can be sarcastic and fun with me but you can’t even say hello to him?” Alya exclaimed. “Come on! It’s easy!”
“Not when your entire brain shuts down every time I’m standing close to him!”
Alya sighed. “Okay, this may sound cliche, but if your brain won’t work…then follow your heart.” She cringed. “God, Rose must be rubbing off on me.”
“Really?” Marinette raised an eyebrow. “That’s your advise?”
“Yup, and it’ll have to do for now!” Alya unlocked the door and pushed her best friend out, making the black haired girl trip and stumble into someone; luckily for her, that person caught her and saved her from falling flat on her face.
Marinette paled and looked behind her where Alya was standing, she winked and walked off to find Nino.
She quickly pulled away from him and brushed off her clothes. “Y-yeah, I-I’m fine! Thanks for a-asking!” She stuttered, thankful that she didn’t blurt out random words…for once. She was this close to blurting ‘potato’ before she caught herself.
Adrien frowned and opened his mouth to say something, but got cut off by another pair.
“I am not short!”
Everyone turned to look at a fuming Alix, glaring up at Kim. She purposefully stepped on his toes- still wearing her roller skates- before calmly skating off as if she didn’t just destroy three of his toes. Kim cursed and held his foot in pain, trying his best to hide the blush on his face when he saw the cute pout on her face.
Marinette forced herself to hide her smile as the pink haired girl skated past her and Adrien. “What was that all about?”
Alix rolled her eyes. “Just Kim being a jerk and me breaking his toes, nothing new,” she shrugged and skated away.
“Well…she isn’t wrong?” Adrien commented, not really sure of what just happened.
She shrugged, deciding it was best not to talk so she wouldn’t embarrass herself any further.
A slow song started playing and a couple of students groaned, already knowing what was going on.
Time’s up, the first dance was the waltz.
Marinette seemed to have lost all movement in her body, she just stood there, frozen and not knowing what to do.
“Ready?” Adrien asked, carefully stepping closer.
She nodded a bit weakly, which he just decided to ignore.
The blond boy placed one hand on her hip and grabbed one of her hands with the other while she placed a hand on his shoulder and tried not to squeal.
He was holding her hand, Adrien Agreste was holding her hand!
He looked at her for a split second before moving his eyes to their feet as he started to move. She hadn’t expected it and stumbled, accidentally stepping on his feet.
He smiled. “It’s okay, try again.”
This went on for a couple of minutes, him calmly following the steps that had been branded into his head by now, and her stumbling and stepping on his feet the whole time because she just couldn’t focus.
“Sorry!” She squeaked.
The song switched to a much faster and upbeat one, making Marinette pale even more.
Great, she had managed to mess up something as simple as the waltz and now they expected her to do the tango? The whole time she had been stepping on his feet, stumbling and trying to ignore Chloé laughing at her clumsiness.
Now she had to do the tango, this was going to be impossible. She couldn’t even handle standing at arms length from him, this dance required being very close to each other if you ever wanted to match the…intensity of it.
This was going to be a disaster.
Adrien must’ve noticed the panicked look on her face and smiled softly. “Hey, it’ll be fine, just follow my lead. Okay?”
She nodded, mentally cursing when she stumbled on the first few steps.
She kept stumbling and messing up, and frankly, she didn’t know how Adrien could stay this calm because she was even starting to irritate herself.
However, somewhere between all the stumbling and stepping on his feet, she managed to figure out his movements and he figured out hers. Marinette forced herself to clear her mind and act as if she was dancing with a random guy instead of her crush, it’d be easier that way and she could actually focus.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, smiling softly when it actually worked and her instincts started to kick in.
Step forward, step back, twirl, repeat.
Adrien frowned, she was finally relaxing, and from the looks of it; she could dance pretty well. But something about the way she moved…graceful, free, with confidence hiding somewhere in between her steps. It seemed so…familiar, as if he’d seen it before. A nagging feeling entered his brain, as if he was forgetting something crucial.
Meanwhile, Marinette had the same feeling. She had opened her eyes, reminding herself that this was actually Adrien and not some random guy. But for some reason, she didn’t feel nervous, she felt…safe, at home. All of this felt…familiar, as if she’d seen him move with such agility and freedom before. She just didn’t know where.
Adrien spun her away from him before pulling her closer again, his green eyes focused on her blue ones. For the first time ever, he actually looked at her.
Sure, she’d always been cute, she didn’t cover her whole face in makeup like Chloé did; and he liked that about her. But there were some things he hadn’t noticed before, like that pretty shade of blue in her eyes, or the cute little freckles all over her face. Those two little things didn’t seem like anything special to anyone else, but it triggered something in his memory, something he couldn’t believe he hadn’t noticed earlier.
Marinette was the person most likely to be Ladybug, her hairstyle, her voice, her eyes, the freckles, her earrings…how had he not noticed?
But then again, he could be wrong, he shouldn’t be making assumptions too quickly. He needed to be sure.
He stepped away and twirled her around, 'accidentally’ losing his grip on her and making her stumble. If he was wrong and she fell, he’d catch her before she hit the ground, but if he wasn’t…
He watched as she caught herself and made it look natural; as if it was part of the dance with surprising agility. Not to mention she had her eyes closed.
He had only seen one person move gracefully and confident like that, with her eyes closed.
He couldn’t believe it, sweet, shy Marinette was his confident and sassy Ladybug? On another note, he could see traces of Marinette in Ladybug and traces of Ladybug in Marinette, it wasn’t so impossible as it seemed. It was actually quite obvious if you thought about it.
Something in his eyes flashed as he took her hands again. He pulled her closer, moving with more boldness and less shyness, it was just a little experiment, nothing more; he just wanted to see…
Marinette’s eyes opened, confusion shining in them, but she still managed to match his bold moves easily. Although she still made sure it was…decent, which meant she hadn’t figured it out…yet.
Adrien decided to kick it up a notch, moving quicker, spinning her a lot faster, a smirk on his face the whole time as he pulled her closer again. He made sure to make his steps quick, graceful and carefree…just like a cat’s.
Marinette stopped moving altogether and stared up at him in surprise, her eyes wide. He could practically see the gears turning in her head, he didn’t need his cat vision for that.
“…Kitty?” She whispered.
He winked and spun her closer to him. “My Lady.”
Her eyes widened and her mouth dropped open, seemingly speechless as her blue eyes searched his green ones. This couldn’t be happening.
Adrien smirked and leaned closer, his eyes never leaving hers as he gently put his fingers underneath her chin and pushed upwards. “Close your mouth, Princess, you’re gonna catch flies.” He winked.
He was flirting, calling her 'My Lady’ and 'Princess’. Not to mention she didn’t feel like fainting when he moved so close to her, there was a sense of familiarity to his actions.
It really was him.
Adrien was Chat Noir.
He smirked, nothing but confidence on his face and in the way he moved. This wasn’t the cute and shy schoolboy, but the daring and goofy hero.
So why shouldn’t she play his game too?
Marinette’s eyes shone and she nudged him, signaling him to keep dancing.
So he did.
And he was pleasantly surprised to see that she met his steps with as much confidence and boldness as he did. The whole time they danced, they kept their eyes on the other; just daring one of them to look away. Their steps were fiery and perfect, Adrien spun her around like a pro while Marinette kept her balance and met his steps as if they’d been practicing beforehand.
Everyone had stopped dancing by now; just to watch them. How could they not? Their dance was…steamy, hot, fueled with fire, exactly the way a tango was supposed to be. The intensity that a lot of dancers struggled to achieve…they had it nailed down to the T. They never took their eyes off each other, but the look in them said enough.
It was as if they were playing a game with each other.
Alya had pulled away from Nino a while ago, probably from the moment Adrien had realized the truth, she had been filming the entire thing; a bright smile on her face. She lifted her glasses and wiped at her eyes, suddenly feeling a great sense of pride.
Her little Marinette was growing up.
Meanwhile, Chloé was watching the scene with nothing but anger and hatred in her eyes. What was going on? This wasn’t right! Adrien was supposed to be paying attention to her! He should be looking at her like that! He should be dancing with her like that! Not with someone as stupid and boring as Marinette!
Her eyes widened when Adrien smirked and moved his face closer to her, her blood boiling further when Marinette stayed put and met his eyes with just as much confidence. The blonde girl angrily pushed a confused Max away from her and stormed off, dragging Sabrina with her; not caring one bit that she was dancing with Nathanaël.
The song ended and everyone went back to their own business, it was lunch break, after that they just had a couple of classes before they could go home.
Alya turned the camera to face her and smiled happily. “I knew she could do it!” She said, right before turning off the camera.
Despite the song having ended and people leaving the room, Adrien and Marinette hadn’t looked away from each other. It wasn’t until Alya and Nino cleared their throats that they noticed what was going on.
“You ready to go, dude?” Nino asked.
Adrien looked behind him at his friend and nodded. “Yeah, just a sec.”
He turned back to face Marinette and leaned closer to her, placing his lips at her ear. “See you later, Ladybug,” he whispered before pulling away and following his best friend, his hands in his pockets.
Marinette just stood there, a lot of things going through her mind at the moment.
“So? What did he say?” Alya punched her shoulder playfully, practically jumping up and down on her feet from excitement.
Marinette shook her head and waved her hand dismissively. “Nothing important, but Alya, did you see that?!”
“I’m pretty sure everyone saw 'that’,” she scoffed. “Do you even know how intense that was? You guys showed exactly what a tango was about! And is it just me, or did he try to kiss you?” She winked.
“I…I don’t know…” Marinette blushed at the sudden question, she couldn’t focus, she still couldn’t believe that Adrien was Chat Noir.
Alya grinned. “He was, and you better believe it.”
Marinette scoffed, it would be stupid of her not to believe it, God knows how many times Chat Noir had tried to kiss her- kiss Ladybug.
The black haired girl shrugged, but before she could answer, the wall exploded and a guy wearing a creepy clown costume stepped through, riding a giant unicycle. Marinette’s eyes narrowed, well, this was easy, she had already figured out the place where the Akuma was.
The clown ignored them and went straight towards the science lab, Marinette frowned, she knew for a fact that Juleka was there to catch up on her project and that she was dead scared of clowns. She needed to act fast.
“…We should go,” she suggested.
Alya nodded. “Yup.”
Prompt by @jazztastic-panda (Sorry, didn’t know how to do the link)