Okay friend, well I hope you are prepared for an explosion of feelings here.
1. His character arc. I adore Luke at all stages of his character development (and tbh I really have no patience for people who talk about “whiny Luke”). I love him because he goes the whole journey - from this relatively inexperienced, but still profoundly earnest young man to someone who is wise and compassionate and absolutely himself. I love that his journey is hard-fought. He’s a fundamentally good person, yes, and that’s one of my fave things about him too, but he’s not this naturally all-forgiving incarnation of compassion. His compassion is burning and hard as the twin suns, and he works at it, makes a conscious decision to live that way, and has to keep re-making that decision, over and over and over again, often in the face of what everyone around him is telling him. And he makes that decision because he’s been through the depths, because he survived the annihilation of self that was Bespin for him, and he came back out from the underworld, carrying with him the knowledge of death and resurrection. He has one of the best executed mythical story arcs out there.
2. His earnestness. I mentioned that above, too, but I gotta mention it again. I really love characters who are just unapologetically decent, earnest people - people who care, people who dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to what they believe in, people who are idealistic and live their lives in that idealism, who are often wrongly assumed to be naive or foolish or unrealistic because they choose to believe in the goodness of humanity. Luke is all of those things, and often in spite of what quite a lot of people would consider evidence to the contrary, and I love him for it.
3. His goofiness. Characters who are all of the things listed above and also enormous dweebs are my greatest weakness of all. I said that the scene where they’re captured by Ewoks and Luke is just giggling behind his hand as Threepio insists he’s not allowed to impersonate a deity is one of my favorite Luke scenes ever. I was not exaggerating.
I don’t think Luke is much of a prankster, though he probably enjoys other people’s pranks. But I do think he’s probably (in)famous for his ridiculous puns. Han is constantly groaning about it. Leia is more likely to sigh fondly and say, “Well, that’s Luke.”
Things only get worse when he starts chatting more regularly with his father’s ghost. (Anakin’s jokes are awful. And I have a headcanon that ghost!Anakin, who is finally free for the first time in…ever, has really cut loose and is probably the kind of overly intense, overly dweeby person who’s just so awed by life and existence and everything that he’s caught in a state of constant wonder. And terrible jokes. But I digress.) Anyway, sometimes Luke passes on Anakin’s jokes, which always make Leia groan even more, and Han just stares incredulously every time, like, “Darth Vader told you that joke?! I refuse to believe that. It’s a fucking terrible joke.”
Then eventually Han and Leia have kids and Luke becomes the cheesy-but-awesome uncle, which is literally everything he ever wanted out of life.
Oops, I guess this became a headcanon entry. Oh well!
4. The way he interacts with Artoo and Threepio. Luke never seems to think of them as “just droids.” Even when he first meets them, he treats them like people with their own thoughts and experiences - thoughts and experiences that he is genuinely interested in learning about. His relationship with Artoo undergoes a character development arc all its own, just like his relationships with the biological characters, and I adore that. The way they talk to each other is just wonderful.
5. Luke is more Jedi than the Jedi. Or, to put it the way I’ve been saying it for years (and wow, it really is years now, what a horrifying thought!), he’s the only one who ever really gets it.
Say what you will about Anakin in AOTC, but I actually really like his definition of compassion there. And he claims it’s central to the Jedi way of life, but the cold hard truth is that we don’t see any prequel era Jedi ever actually living that way. Compassion is hard, so much harder than fighting, or even than controlling your own feelings. Compassion is knife-edged and burning like the sun, because true compassion makes you see - the other, and yourself.
In the first numbered point I talked about the journey into, and back out of, the underworld. In some ways I think Luke is the only one of the Jedi who actually makes the anabasis, the journey back from the depths. Everyone else gets stuck in that place of death. Anakin’s stuck-ness is most obvious, but Obi-Wan and Yoda, too, are trapped and largely powerless in their respective exiles. There’s no way forward for them. They can teach Luke, but all they can teach him is what they know, which is a binary, Dark and Light, good and evil absolutes, the fullest and final expression of which is Obi-Wan’s flat-out admission that they’ve trained Luke to kill his own father, because that’s the only choice.
None of the Old Republic Jedi ever could have done what Luke does, which is to throw away his sword and stop fighting. And I love that THAT is the moment when he says, “I am a Jedi” - that moment in which he is, in so many ways, acting least like the Jedi of old. There he is, a Jedi confronted with two Sith Lords, and his greatest action is to refuse to fight. Something that would have been literally unthinkable for any of the Jedi of the old Order. But not just “I am a Jedi,” no, he says, “I am a Jedi, like my father before me.” Everything about that statement is like a perfect antithesis of the old Jedi Order, from the words he says to the actions he takes along with them.
“This weapon is your life,” says Obi-Wan, and he makes it sound like a common Jedi aphorism. This weapon is your life, and Luke throws it away. Because Obi-Wan and Yoda and all the other Jedi were good, and they were wise, and they had millennia of tradition, and they were wrong.
So Luke throws away his lightsaber and rejects the binary understanding of reality, and that’s when Luke names himself, both a Jedi, and his father’s son.
And the thing is, he’s right. He is a Jedi. If compassion is central to a Jedi’s life, Luke Skywalker may very well be the only Jedi that has ever been.
Warnings: NSFW, 18+, Oral (both receiving), Slightly Rough Sex, Protected Sex, Mentions of Drug Use, Mentions of Death, Talk and Eating of Pie!
Notes: Hey look at that, we finish finished! A nice new collab from two of your favorite people in honor of belated Dave Week! The title is a play off of the fact that the beginning of this is inspired by the opening scenes of the movie True Romance. This is my fault, I’m sorry. Let us know your thoughts!
One of my favorite things about Empire of Storms is when Elide and Lorcan are running for their lives and Elide is too slow and Lorcan keeps glancing at her but doesn’t know how to tell her because he’s low key afraid of her and she just sighs and says “do it” because of course she knows what he’s thinking and without another word he just throws her over his shoulder and takes off. That scene was hilarious and I love my grumpy teddybear son and my genius slytherin queen so much
Tonight, bring all your friends ‘Cause a group does it better Why river with a pair? Let’s have a full house of leather
2) Anything For My Baby - KISS
I would give anything for my baby I would die or live, anything for my baby I would take or give anything for my baby Yes, I would take anything for my baby I would build or break anything for my baby I would rob or take anything for my baby I would do anything for my baby I would steal anything for my baby I would wheel and deal
3) Heart Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand) - Marilyn Manson
Don’t break my heart And I won’t break your heart-shaped glasses Little girl, little girl You should close your eyes That blue is getting me high And making me low
4) 700 Club - Nicole Dollanganger
cause i never believed there was a heaven til i found you and i never prayed the church always told me to but now you can count on me to get on my knees for you
5) I Wanna Be Your Dog - The Stooges
So messed up, I want you here In my room, I want you here Now we’re gonna be face-to-face And I’ll lay right down in my favorite place And now I want to be your dog
6) Angelfuck - the Misfits [i couldn’t pick one verse lmao]
Open wounds on your brow Little angel in red She isn’t loving you anymore
Little angelfuck, I see you going down on a fireplug My little angelfuck, Sighs for everyone Let those bastards believe Dry your thighs and we’ll leave She isn’t loving you anymore
7) Punk Rock Love - the Casualties
into a scene, full of lies met you there, you seemed alright gave you love, gave you heart all you gave me is a broken heart
8) the Lovecats - the Cure
We couldn’t get closer than this The way we walk The way we talk The way we stalk The way we kiss
We bite and scratch And scream all night
9) Kiss Me Deadly - Lita Ford
But I know what I like I know I like dancing with you And I know what you like I know you like dancing with me Kiss me once Kiss me twice Come on, pretty baby, kiss me deadly
10) Makeout Party - Green Day
Oh, you’re so precious, you’re a fucking delinquent Well I got myself jonesin’ and I need some fixin’ It’s a makeout party on another dimension And it’s gonna get crowded with some bad intentions
11) Dirty Black Summer - Danzig [starts at 0.43]
No summer in the winter time We’ll keep you warm like a funeral pyre Ain’t nothing like an august night, Drenched in your lovin’
12) Blitzkrieg Bop - the Ramones
They’re piling in the back seat They’re generating steam heat Pulsating to the back beat Blitzkrieg bop
Hey ho, let’s go Shoot'em in the back now What they want, I don’t know They’re all revved up and ready to go
13) Love Me Like a Reptile - Motorhead
And I like to watch your body sway I got no choice, I’m gonna twist your tail Love me like a reptile, love me like a reptile I gotta sink my fangs in you
14) Kiss With a Fist - Florence + the Machine
Love sticks, sweat drips Break the lock if it don’t fit A kick to the teeth is good for some A kiss with a fist is better than none
15) Youngblood - Green Day
I’m a rough boy ‘round the edges Getting drunk, and fallen in the hedges She’s my weakness, fucking genius Swear to god and I’m not even superstitious
16) Spooky - Lydia Lunch
Just like a ghost you’ve been haunting my dreams So I proposed on Halloween Love is kinda crazy with a spooky little boy like you
17) I Wanna Be Where the Boys Are [Live in Japan] - the Runaways
Wild in the streets, barely alive Mama’s always telling me stay inside “Don’t you hang around with those young boys Soon you’ll be lovin’ them”, they’re all my toys I wanna be where the boys are I wanna fight how the boys fight I wanna love how the boys love
18) Group Sex - Circle Jerks
Group sex! Group sex! Group sex! Group sex!
19) Adrenalize - In This Moment
I must confess, I’m addicted to this Shove your kiss straight through my chest I can’t deny, I’d die without this Make me feel like a god Music, love and sex
20) Veronica - Daddy Issues
Think I’m in love with Veronica She’s got the whole world figured out Yeah I’m in love with Veronica Mess with her she’ll cut your head off We’re gonna hang out, we’re gonna make out
With the new season of Ao no Exorcist out, I will say this because I have been thinking this over for months. I ship Rin and Izumo. It is probably the most obscure ship in the fandom since only manga readers knows how this came to be. I do ship Rin and Shiemi. It’s a very cute ship. However, although Rin and Izumo will probably never become canon, I will say that they are much more suited to each other than Rin and Shiemi. Of course this is just my own opinion. This will contain spoilers for non manga readers.
Most people simply do not understand Rin. Sadly, one of the people who understands Rin the least is Yukio himself. And several people are terrified of Rin. After the Amaimon incident, Rin is ostracized by everyone, even Shiemi, for various reasons. But Izumo just plops down in the seat next to Rin and puts all of his fears to rest. She tells him that she’s not afraid of him. He’s not the only person who’s the descendent of a demon. He’s not alone. She stands up for him and is ready to call others who avoid him fake friends and cowards to their faces. She cares and is a firm support for Rin who often pretends and behaves like he doesn’t need it.
Rin helped Izumo out once and since then, although she is the perfect tsundere, has been being kind to him in her own way.,Coming from Izumo, I feel is a big thing. I applaud Izumo and Shima in the Impure King arc the most. They were able to put aside the fact that Rin was Satan’s son and realize he was just their good old goofy friend. I believe, without this pep talk from Izumo, Rin wouldn’t have been able to stay strong and pick himself up the way that he did. So far in the manga, this has been my second favorite scene.
Shiemi is a wonderful girl and when she does learn what love is, I’m sure she’ll be fabulous with Rin. But…she will never understand the darkness Rin has experienced. A darkness, Izumo knows all too well. I believe, if Rin and Izumo could be together, they would be able to work together to pull the darkness out of each other.
When In the Izumo arc, Izumo asks for help, I was in awe of the look Rin had when he heard it. No doubt this was because Izumo never asked for help before and more like refused help. But why I find this scene so important is because, although Rin had been refusing to destroy the zombies because they were people, even though the zombies had hurt others, he burnt through all of them to reach Izumo after hearing her plea, deciding, there was no other way to save those zombies. It’s as if, Izumo keeps him grounded ans help him understand things about himself and his own beliefs in ways others can’t. Shiemi might be the girl he likes and could probably make him really happy, but a girl like Izumo would really compliment and suit Rin.
The way he stands in front of her absolutely infuriated about the way she has been hurt makes me sigh in happiness. This is my first favorite scene in the manga. And when he says:
Aside from the fact that fire is spewing from his mouth, what he says is pricelesx. It gives me the feeling he implies (although he probably doesn’t cause he isn’t really smart, but hey, Rin is pretty insightful sometimes) that no one has seen that Izumo has always been crying. She was always crying and lonely and she desperately wanted help. Understanding that the other person is hurting or having difficulties in a relationship is important, especially if like Izumo they don’t speak much. I would know…
Rin’s father died protecting him, Izumo’s mother died protecting her. This isn’t a very nice parallel, but the pain and guilt Rin once suffered alone with no one to understand him - not even Yukio - could become a hundred times lighter if he and Izumo tried to elp each other out. Of course, this could have opposite effects. It’s not a very pleasant thing to talk about so I’ll move on.
By reading her actions in the manga, I think Izumo already has a crush on Rin. But seeing how smoothly she handled Rin confessing to Shiemi made me think again. I think she might have a crush on him and not know anything yet.
If we go with the ‘They fill in each others empty spaces’ idea with a couple, Rin and Izumo match a lot. I also like the idea of Rin having a strong girl partner. Not that Shiemi isn’t strong. She’s very strong…just a soft person. I’m not one of those Shiemi haters, I infact like her to a certain extent, but I definitely ship Rin and Izumo more.
one nocturnal son of a gunby deuxoiseaux[yoonseok, E, 148k/43 ch] – don’t be intimidated by the length of this one, it’s actually a (incomplete?) domestic au drabble collection but it’s very thirst-quenching ;)
in another lifetime, your hand is wrapped in the gold at the bottom of your smile, and the only steps I need to take are in the shells that sing your name. Sadness doesn’t hold my hand, and the most prominent comforting face I wear are your morning kisses. I can taste my heart when you sigh, and the only way to miss you is when you close your eyes to inhale the dots that smooth your skin. and we aren’t afraid to love without limitations because the magnifying glass of your finger keeps blowing wishes I want to keep. I want to breathe in the color of daisies to feel your wings rub off gravity, where one ear listens and the other silences the scenes of your favorite movie I could love you in. Where I carve your name into my bones because trees rot when a year is spent falling at the hand of branches extended for nameless clouds. I guess sometimes I just miss the way you used to love me - below the temperature of never being alone. This heart has always been ready, darling all you have to do is grab it.
AO3 Link: Here Fandom: Buzzfeed Unsolved Ship: Shyan (Shane Madej/Ryan Bergara) Rating: General Content Warning: fluff, D/s, dom!Shane, sub!Ryan, implied sex, dom drop, aftercare, insecure Shane, no smut Summary: Shane knows it’s his job as a Dom to take care of his boy after a scene. Sometimes he forgets he needs care too. Word Count: 1422 A/N: Questions, comments, concerns? Ask is open. (So is DM and AO3!) If you’d like to be added to a taglist for Buzzfeed Unsolved let me know!
“You warm?” Shane asked, his voice quiet. Ryan nodded, sipping at his hot chocolate.
“Is the popcorn done?”
Shane rose and disappeared into the kitchen. He returned a few minutes later with a bowl of popcorn and settled it into the dip of Ryan’s legs. “You good?”
“Yeah… Cuddle with me.”
Shane settled onto the couch and slung an arm over Ryan’s shoulders, lightly massaging the muscles he could feel already knotting up. He’d need to coax Ryan into a bath tomorrow afternoon, and maybe a long massage. Their recent six hour scene wasn’t the longest they’d ever done, but it was certainly one of their more intense ones.
Here’s Part 5 - one more after this brings the story to a close. Sigh. This part has one of my favorite scenes! The bedroom scene. :-) I just know you will like it too! Enjoy!
Love Reveals (Part 5) by JJSprinkle
It was harder than ever the next day for Marinette to treat Adrien with distance. The fact that she was exhausted after staying up late and not having slept well for the last four nights made self-discipline almost impossible. She found herself responding to his jokes like they were old chums. She touched him unconsciously, on his hand, his wrist, his arm. Changing classes, she naturally moved to walk next to him, as if it was where she belonged. When they got to the science classroom, Adrien gave her a peculiar look, and patted her arm as he shifted away from her. Marinette realized what she had done, how familiarly she had acted, and was horrified with herself. She almost apologized, but then she realized that would just make it worse. So instead, Marinette slid into her seat and glued her eyes onto her tablet, carefully avoiding the casual conversation between Alya, Nino, and Adrien.
A folded note landed on her desk from her right. Reaching for it, Marinette steeled herself for insults. It was a drawing of two stick figures. A boy, standing, with wavy hair, and a girl, on her hands and knees, staring up at the boy, her tongue lolling out like a dog’s, with two black pigtails. The boy stick figure was patting the head of the girl-dog, and his thought-bubble read, “I’d better call the dog catcher so this stray will leave me alone.”
Marinette growled inaudibly. Taking out her pencil, she added to the picture. A stick figure, in Chloe’s striped shirt and white jacket, with Chloe’s ponytail, running towards the twosome, saying, “I’m the dog catcher. I catch ALL the dogs.” For good measure, Marinette added three boy-dogs, as hideous as she could make a stick figure, chasing after Chloe with gaping smiles on their faces.
Folding it back up, Marinette cleverly waited for the moment just before Mme Mendeleiev was to start the lesson. At that point she flipped the note back to its original author. Chloe shot her a dirty look. She got out her lab book and tablet as the teacher had directed, then Marinette saw her open the note. Chloe’s face turned red, and she crumpled the note in her hand. Sabrina tried to get it, to see what Marinette had drawn, but Chloe kept it away from her and dropped the note into her purse.
At least, Marinette acknowledged to herself, Chloe did a good job of keeping Marinette’s mind off of Adrien. But Marinette listened to the lesson with a frown on her face; as good as it felt to stand up for herself, resorting to meanness hardly made her feel better. It didn’t sit well with her. Marinette wondered how Chloe could maintain her unrelenting mean streak, knowing how being mean only made herself feel somehow unclean.
Between Chloe’s note, embarrassment over her behavior with Adrien, and sleepiness, Marinette had an impossible time concentrating on her teacher’s grating voice. So it was with dread when she heard the announcement, “Class, I remind you that there will be a test this Monday. And I’m not going to grade easy, like last time.” The entire class groaned - last time, she had not graded easy. Marinette folded her arms on the desk and laid her head down; she had already given up.
Adrien’s day was quite the opposite of Marinette’s. His happiness and contentment from the night before buoyed him throughout the day, and even Mme Mendeleiev’s announcement could not depress his spirits. Only one thing bothered him, and that was Marinette’s unusual behavior. She was acting… almost… proprietary. Too casual. Like, she imagined them as boyfriend and girlfriend. As Adrien packed up his tablet and textbooks, he frowned. In the past week, he had been more open, more friendly with Marinette; did she think that he was sending her signals? This had happened a few times before, with other girls that he’d interacted with during photoshoots. The combination of his good looks and his family’s wealth seemed to act as a magnet for some people, although Adrien had thought that Marinette was deeper than this.
He sighed, thinking of Ladybug. Glancing at Marinette, Adrien acknowledged that it was true… if Ladybug had never come into his life, he probably would have considered Marinette to be exactly the sort of girl he’d want to date. And if he was honest with himself, he knew that even now he was a little attracted to her. She was kind, intelligent, pretty, and fun. She had a spark about her that he really liked. Plus she laughed at all of his jokes, even the lame ones. But, his heart belonged to Ladybug, and to the girl behind the mask. Adrien knew from past experience that it would be better if he said something now to Marinette, than to let the situation linger. But he groaned to himself. This conversation was not going to be fun.
“Lunch again, right guys?” Nino’s question interrupted Adrien’s train of thought.
“Sorry, I can’t today,” Adrien said. His father was eating lunch at home, and so would he. “But I’ll walk down with you guys. Alya, Marinette,” he turned to them, “you guys are having lunch with Nino, right?”
“Uh huh,” Alya chirped.
Marinette kept her head down, but nodded. Now Adrien felt like she was avoiding looking at him. He tried not to roll his eyes - girls were so confusing.
Nevertheless, as the three headed off to the locker room, Adrien fell in beside Marinette. She still kept her eyes trained on the ground, seeming fascinated with the floor tiles. Adrien cleared his throat, then began, “So, uh, Marinette, remember how I told you that friend didn’t show up?”
Marinette flicked a glance at him, and muttered, “Uh huh.”
“Well, *she*,” he emphasized the pronoun, “did, last night, and everything is good now. Actually,” he stretched the truth a little, knowing that he and Ladybug had no such agreement, “we are boyfriend and girlfriend now. I’m really happy,” he added pointedly. Adrien thought to himself, there, that should take care of it.
He watched Marinette’s cheeks turn pink, and at first he thought she must be embarrassed, but once again her behavior threw him when she looked up at him, and with a warm, almost affectionate smile, said, “Really? That’s nice.” She chuckled softly and added in a strange tone that Adrien couldn’t identify, “I’m sure the girl is very glad to hear that.”
“Huh?” Adrien asked, completely confused by her reaction.
Marinette knew that if she did not exit this conversation immediately, she was going to make a cake of herself. As it was she had to bite her tongue not to flirt with Adrien. So, grabbing his hand and giving it a quick squeeze, Marinette said, “Have a good lunch!” Then she hurried off to her locker, leaving Adrien to stare after her, bemused.
After school let out, Alya walked with Marinette back to her parents’ bakery, chatting the whole way about nothing consequential. Sabine Cheng was at the cash register, and Marinette slid behind the counter, kissed her cheek, then grabbed two pastries for Alya and her to share. Then the girls went back outside into the sunshine.
“So, Marinette,” Alya started, flaky crumbs dropping onto her shirt front, “are you okay? You’ve been acting funny all week. Like, I can’t believe how flirty you were with Adrien today, and you didn’t even stutter once! But you’re, like, in your own world or something, girl.”
Marinette darted a smile at Alya, but then stared at the pastry in her hand, like she was studying it. There was nothing she could say. There was literally not one single thing about this last amazing week that she could explain to Alya. Not the kisses, not that frightening first day, not the intimate conversations. Nothing. Marinette bit the inside of her cheek, and tried to think of a bone she could toss to Alya.
“So I really liked going to lunch with Adrien this last week,” she said.
“Me too,” Alya agreed.
“Being around you, and Nino, *and* him, I guess it feels like the pressure is off, so then I don’t stutter as much.”
Alya looked almost horrified, “You mean, you don’t like him anymore?!”
“No, no! I do!” Marinette giggled. Images of kissing Adrien, of laying on top of him on his sofa, danced in her mind, and Marinette blushed. She tried again, “It’s like, trying to talk to him like a person rather than flirt with him… it’s made it easier overall. Plus, a couple of times he’s stood up for me against Chloe, and… I don’t know… like I think maybe he might kind of like me, so then actually I’ve felt a little better around him.” There, Marinette thought, that’s the best I can do. She knew that the logic was garbled, and she doubted her explanation was particularly credible, but it was the best she could come up with to explain her behavior to her best friend.
Alya did still look doubtful, and she opened her mouth as if to ask a question, but then closed it. She popped the last of her pastry into her mouth, and after a moment said, “So what now? Do you want me to ask them to go with us to the movies this weekend? Or we could get them to bring us out for ice cream, ‘cause Adrien said they would?”
“Umm, I don’t think his dad would let him.” Marinette thought about how she had acted around Adrien that day; it might actually be uncomfortable to spend time around Adrien not as Ladybug. She might trip up. Still, she thought, if Adrien spent more time around her as Marinette, maybe when she finally told him who she really was, he wouldn’t be so… so disappointed. Marinette sighed. She glanced at Alya out of the corner of her eye, wishing she could explain to her best friend her dilemma. But, there were too many good reasons not to disclose her secret identity to anyone. If she told Cat Noir, it would be different. But telling Alya? Marinette sighed again. She just couldn’t justify it, as tempted as she might be.
“I don’t know. Maybe. I don’t think he can.”
“Well, girl, we won’t know unless we ask! And then you can,” Alya made air quotes, “‘get to know him better.’” She winked broadly, and Marinette smiled.
The two sat companionably, people watching, then Marinette suddenly started, “Oh! I promised my parents that I would help in the bakery tomorrow. My dad is going to watch the marathon at the Bois de Boulogne. Can we try to do something in the evening?”
“Sure,” Alya replied.
Marinette pursed her lips, and swore, “Darn! That means I have to study science tonight. I am *so* behind!”
“Me too! This test is gonna be killer.” The two chatted for a while over their science test on Monday, until the sun became low on the horizon. “I’d better go. I’m babysitting tonight.”
“Have fun with that!” Marinette teased. “I’ll think of you while I’m studying.”
“I’ll text you as soon as I hear anything back from Nino.”
Marinette gathered up their crumpled napkins and nodded her head, “Okay. Hopefully see you tomorrow.”
“Ciao, girl!” Alya waved, and disappeared down the street.
Marinette stood for a while watching the Parisian streets grow dim in the falling dusk. She felt the exhaustion settling in her bones. She still had studying to do, dinner to eat, probably more studying, and then she’d show up at least briefly at Adrien’s - she had said she would, and knew it was important for her to keep her promise. As the sun set, Marinette felt like her energy was setting with it. Instead of studying, she wished she could take a nap. Sighing, she turned back to the bakery.
“Hey, Mom,” she greeted her mother with a kiss.
“Oh, Dear,” Sabine seemed somewhat frazzled, “could you please prepare the vegetables for dinner tonight? I need to order some items for tomorrow, and I have to do it now.”
Great, thought Marinette, studying would have to wait. “Sure!” she said agreeably, wishing she could have said no. Then she dragged her heavy book bag up the stairs before she went to work.
It was the multiple ambulance sirens blaring through the streets that warned Marinette of an akuma attack. Hunkered over her science notes, the disharmony of the sirens caused her to cock her head to listen.
“Marinette! It sounds like an akuma attack!” Tikki flitted over from the chaise lounge. Jumping from her seat, Marinette stood in the middle of her room and called, “Tikki, Spots On!” She felt lifted into the air, spinning as the red suit encased her body. Within seconds she was standing again on firm ground, lithe and limber with strength coursing through her body. Ladybug dashed across the room and up the ladder to the roof garden, then threw her yoyo out to swing through city streets following the sounds of sirens. She arrived at a neighborhood street where multiple people sat on the curb in the pools of light cast by street lamps. They were holding their faces or leaning into the shoulders of helpers. She watched a young woman hand a handkerchief to an older lady, who was sitting and holding her eyes. The older lady then turned blank eyes to the younger and said, “Gratitude you will never receive. Hateful girl, you can only peeve.” Then the older lady clapped both hands over her mouth, as if horrified by what she had said.
A little boy was crying to his mother, and through his tears saying, “You are ugly, you are mean, the meanest mommy I’ve ever seen!” Then he turned his face into her shoulder and sobbed harder.
In the distance, Ladybug heard a scream. She raced down the street towards the sound, and finally found the akumatized villain. He was shooting black ink from a fancy fountain pen right into the faces of a husband and wife out walking their dog. The villain was dressed like a stylized nineteenth century poet, with dark, form fitting trousers and a tight black jacket, large ebony buttons down the front. A snow white linen shirt with an over-large, pointed collar and flowing cuffs erupted from under the jacket. He wore high-heeled boots, and wielded his fountain pen like a magic wand.
“Away from me, you nasty cur!” the husband was saying, while clinging desperately to his wife.
“I curse you now and forevermore!” she snarled back, while tightly holding onto her husband. The eyes of both the husband and wife were pale, blank just like the elderly woman’s, and like blind people, they looked towards each other, rather than at each other.
Ladybug’s expression was stern. This villain, whatever his problem was, had to be stopped.
Just then, Cat Noir’s cheerful voice sounded up ahead, drawing both Ladybug’s and the villain’s attention. “Hey, Mr. Sunshine, why don’t you retire your pen and take up meditation instead?”
The villain’s face became pinched, “And why don’t you acknowledge greatness when you see it?” Viciously he aimed a shot of ink from his pen directly at Cat Noir’s face.
Cat Noir leapt out of the way, somersaulting in the air and then back-flipping across shots of ink until he was beside Ladybug, protectively twirling her yoyo. He grinned his cheshire smile and said, “Hello, MiLady.”
Ladybug smiled back, “Fancy meeting you here.”
Then their attention was diverted. A young boy had darted from behind a parked car toward a lit storefront, but the villain turned and shot ink directly at his face, laughing evilly. The boy grabbed his eyes like they hurt and cried, “I cannot see, I cannot see; I hate the world, the world hates me!” He stumbled awkwardly, running into cars and tripping over the curb, until a butcher in a stained apron dashed out of his darkened doorway, grabbed the boy by the waist, and carried him to safety.
“I’m pretty sure that verse you’re spreading around would not count as great,” Cat Noir taunted.
The fiend rose to his full height and declared, “I am Wordsmith, and no one, no one will ever reject me! Give me your Miraculouses, or get ready to be blinded by my glory!”
“Sorry, did you say glory, or gory, because your threats are bloody ridiculous.”
As Wordsmith screeched in rage, Ladybug rolled her eyes and said, “Seriously, Cat? That’s the best you can do?”
He grinned, then bowed his head as if in apology. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Ladybug, he started twirling his baton as a shield and called, “Word*smith*? More like, Word*schtick*!” He glanced at Ladybug, raising his eyebrows. Beginning to laugh, Ladybug shook her head, No.
However, the provoked villain started stalking them, frantically shooting darts of ink at their yoyo and baton. Ladybug and Cat Noir walked backwards, keeping a distance between the villain Wordsmith and themselves. “Okay, how’s this?” Cat Noir asked. He raised his voice and called, “The only thing blinding around here, Wordsmith, or your complete lack of talent!”
Ladybug barely had time to call out, “That’s the one, Chaton!” when Wordsmith leaped the twenty paces separating them, enraged beyond all measure. Ladybug and Cat Noir separated, swinging and vaulting away to either side of him.
“Over here!” they both called, in unison, confusing the fiend with multiple targets. He roared, firing his ink and hitting a group of teenage boys who had gathered under a streetlamp to watch the fight. They grabbed at their faces, then started yelling at each other, “Get out of my face, you f—- disgrace!” and “You’re so stupid, you’re so dumb, put up your fists, I’ll give you some!”
Ladybug and Cat Noir reconverged behind Wordsmith, again using their yoyo and baton as shields. Ladybug was grinning at Cat Noir, and when he glanced at her, she actually giggled. Cat Noir stared, surprised by her behavior. “You okay, Bugaboo?” he asked.
“Yeah,” she said, trying to sober up. It was fun, so fun, to fight alongside Cat Noir. Now, looking at him, knowing him as Adrien, knowing she had kissed those silly lips, it all gave a completely different feel to their partnership.
“This guy’s crazy. Let’s wrap this up,” Cat Noir prompted.
“Right,” Ladybug agreed. She turned back to Wordsmith and called out, “Look, whatever happened to you, harming little kids won’t make it better. Why don’t you just put down your pen and we’ll talk about it?”
“Put down my pen?” Wordsmith yelled, shooting another burst of ink at them. It splattered off of Ladybug’s spinning yoyo. “I will never put down my pen. Why don’t you give me your Miraculouses, unless you want to see more innocent citizens hurt?” He spun and shot a stream of ink at a person crouched beside a car. The girl jumped up, wiping black ink from her glasses.
“Alya!” Ladybug exclaimed.
Alya’s face beamed, and waving one arm in greeting, she called out, “Get him, Ladybug!”
The villain shot at her again, and with Alya’s face turned to Ladybug, this time some of the ink flew behind Alya’s glasses. Immediately she dropped her phone to clutch at her face. Tearing her glasses off, she wiped uselessly at her eyes. They she turned a blank stare in the direction of Ladybug and cried, “This blindness, Ladybug, is all due to you. You’re incompetent and you know it’s true!”
“Oh, Alya,” Ladybug whispered, feeling guilty.
“Come on, LB, let’s stop this guy now,” Cat Noir said firmly.
Ladybug shot out her yoyo, trying to snatch the pen from the villain’s hand, but it was met with a blast of ink. Again and again she tried, while Cat Noir approached him from the side. However, both were rebuffed, until finally Ladybug tossed her yoyo into the air and called, “Lucky Charm!” A burst of pink and red ladybug lights swirled through the air, and out of the sky dropped a little personal fan, battery powered, into Ladybug’s hands. “Huh?” she said. Why couldn’t her lucky charms ever be obvious, she thought.
Wordsmith had turned and started to run down the street, shooting ink indiscriminately and leaving a trail of blind Parisians spouting mean-spirited rhyme in his wake. Each time Ladybug or Cat Noir got close to him, Wordsmith would simply dart down a new street and race away.
“We’ve got to trap him!” Ladybug called to Cat Noir. The villain had just entered a dark, narrow alleyway, and Cat Noir could see a patch of green at the other end, a city park lit by street lamps where the alley let out. Vaulting over Wordsmith and down the alley, Cat Noir arrived at the small neighborhood park he had glimpsed. A statue of some long dead Parisian stood near the alley’s entrance. “Cataclysm!” Cat Noir yelled, and he felt power surge through his arm.
Just as Wordsmith was approaching the end of the alley, Cat Noir shoved his hand against the base of the statue. It crumbled, falling with a dusty crash into a large pile at the mouth of the alleyway. Cat Noir could hear the villain’s frustrated scream from behind the wall of rubble. Using his baton, Cat Noir valuted to the top of the rock pile.
Ladybug stood halfway down the alleyway, and Wordsmith was at Cat Noir’s feet, his back to the rock pile and facing Ladybug. His chest was heaving, and anger twisted his mouth into a cruel grimace. “No!” he yelled, shooting ink relentlessly at Ladybug as she slowly closed in on him. Her spinning yoyo splattered each blast.
When she was only ten feet from the villain, and he was shooting an almost continuous stream of ink in his panic, Ladybug suddenly pulled her yoyo back and instead held up the Lucky Charm. The little fan whirred in a high pitched whine, and when the ink hit its wall of wind, the stream scattered and flew back the way it had come. Black ink splashed across Wordsmith’s face. As he screamed and swiped at his face, Ladybug’s yoyo shot out and she captured the villain’s pen. Snapping it in two, she cried, “No more evil-doing for you, little akuma!” A black butterfly wiggled out of the pen, and tried to fly away, but Ladybug called, “Time to de-evilize!” She twirled her yoyo in a circle, and it snapped closed around the black butterfly.
Pulling the yoyo back to her, Ladybug delicately drew one finger along its surface. The yoyo opened up and inside sat an innocent, white butterfly. It took off, flying out of the dusty dim alley, into the night, a smudge of glowing white against the midnight sky. Ladybug smiled, “Bye bye, little butterfly.” Reaching down to grab the fan, she tossed it high into the air and shouted exuberantly, “Miraculous Ladybug!” Immediately a burst of red and pink lights lit up the night, and swept throughout Paris, returning the people and the streets to rights.
Cat Noir leaped off of the pile of rubble just as it was restored to its original statue form, and Wordsmith, crouched at his feet, was enveloped in purple smoke. When the smoke cleared, a middle aged man was left in its place, wearing jeans and an old-fashioned smoking jacket with faded brown patches on its elbows. He sat back on his heels, buried his face in his hands, and started to cry. Cat Noir crouched down next to him and placed an arm around the man’s shoulders. “What have I done?” the man cried tearfully into his hands.
“Hey, it’s okay. Everything is alright now,” Cat Noir reassured the man.
“Did I - did I hurt people?” Cat Noir’s expression told the truth, and the man gasped as if in pain. He looked ashamed at Cat Noir.
“But we made it all better,” Cat Noir replied.
Ladybug squatted down in front of the man, “Yeah, it’s all okay now.”
The poor man continued to cry. “All I ever wanted was to bring beauty into the world, and now look what I’ve done.”
“Are you a poet?” Ladybug guessed.
The man looked at her miserably, and nodded. Then he said, “But no one likes my poetry. Editors are rejecting me all the time.”
“No one?” asked Cat Noir gently.
“Well, no one that matters,” replied the man.
“Who ‘matters’?” pressed Cat Noir.
“The editors,” replied the man, eyes downcast.
Cat Noir smiled kindly. “The editors are only important if you want to make money from your poetry. Take it from me, money is not all it’s cracked up to be. Beauty is more important.” The man sniffled back his tears, and scrubbed his face. Cat Noir added, “Keep writing your poetry for the beauty, and you will make the world a more beautiful place.” He glanced from the man to Ladybug, who was staring at him. Her face looked… Cat Noir blushed.
Ladybug listened to Cat Noir’s words, and knowing Adrien, she knew the import of what he was saying. Her mouth fell open a little, in awe of how perfect he was. Strong and sincere, courageous and kind, intelligent and wise… admiration and tears glowed from her eyes, and when Cat Noir glanced up at her, and saw her expression, he blushed.
The poet broke their spell by rubbing his face again and then saying, “Thank you, Cat Noir. Thank you, Ladybug.” He pushed himself to his feet. “I’ll never forget you.” Then, he tottered out of the alleyway into the city beyond.
Ladybug was still staring at Cat Noir. A spot on her earrings was blinking, and a paw pad on his ring was beginning to fade. Ladybug’s expression was making Cat Noir uncomfortable. He rubbed the back of his neck and said self-consciously, “What?”
“That - what you said. That was really…” Ladybug searched for a word that would not sound overdone. Amazing? Beautiful? Deep? Blinking, she finally said, “Nice.” She was still staring at him like he was the sun, the moon, and the stars in one amazing package.
The intensity of Ladybug’s stare, the expression on her face, her whole behavior… it was everything that Cat Noir had ever hoped for, yet it felt so sudden, so complete, he did not know what to do with it. And how could she look at him like that anyway, when she was currently kissing Adrien? Cat Noir shook his head, confusing himself with his spinning thoughts. Another spot, and another paw pad, faded. “Um, we have to go,” Cat Noir said.
Ladybug shrugged and replied, “I know,” but then she ignored their imminent transformation and asked, “Is that really how you feel?”
“You mean, what I said to that guy?” he asked. Ladybug nodded her head. “Yeah. I mean, money is great and all, but it’s like a tool, I think. I’ve seen it used for good and for bad.” He thought about his father, always substituting money for decency and love. “But beauty,” he thought of his mom, of the joy she had brought to life just by her bubbling laughter, by the grace of her movements, by the kindness of her thoughts. “Beauty just is,” he finished. “And the world doesn’t have enough beauty,” he added solemnly. Vaguely he was aware that another paw pad and another spot were blinking, but he was captured by Ladybug’s expression.
For Ladybug, the urge to wrap her arms around Cat Noir, to chase away the shadows in his eyes, to declare her love for him with a passionate kiss, was almost overwhelming. “You’re -” she started to say, but the beeping of her earrings right in her ear finally distracted her. She glanced at Cat Noir’s ring and instinctively said, “Your ring!”
Cat Noir responded hastily, “Your earrings!”
The two stared at each other, wanting desperately to continue the conversation, but knowing that if they stayed…
Cat Noir squeezed his eyes shut, struggling to decipher how he felt. If Ladybug saw him transform into Adrien, she might feel that he had toyed with her, even betrayed her. Ladybug frowned, knowing in her heart that if Cat Noir found out now that she was Marinette, before she had a chance to deepen their friendship, surely he would be disappointed when he found out who she really was.
“We have to go,” Cat Noir finally said.
Ladybug nodded her head, “Uh huh.” But just as Cat Noir turned to vault out of the alleyway, Ladybug reached forward to grasp his hand, to squeeze it quickly. He completely missed her gesture, and Ladybug let her empty hand fall back to her side. She watched Cat Noir disappear around the corner, and both disappointment and relief welled up inside of her. Her arms still itched to hold him, to hug him, but if she didn’t leave soon, she would transform far from home. So dashing out of the alleyway, Ladybug threw out her yoyo and began to swing home.
She barely made it into her room before she transformed. Tikki swirled out of her earrings and landed with a small thud on the cushions of Marinette’s chaise lounge. Marinette stood in the center of her room, feeling disoriented. A large part of her mind was still Ladybug, back in the alley, replaying the scene with Cat Noir. Marinette turned to Tikki and implored, “Can you retransform soon?”
“I’m so tired, Marinette,” Tikki responded.
“Please?” Marinette begged, pulling open the tin where she kept cookies for Tikki. Only one remained. She pushed it at Tikki. “Please, can’t you please eat this quickly? I know it’s not much, but I promise we won’t be out long. I just… I just want to see him. I promise I’ll be quick!”
Tikki sighed in her little voice. “It will have to be quick, Marinette; I won’t have much energy even with this.”
“I promise!” Marinette smiled. “You eat this while I tell my parents good night!” She disappeared from the room, and Tikki gnawed at the cookie. Marinette reappeared five minutes later, all smiles. She climbed up onto her bed and fluffed her pillows beneath her blankets, then said, “Are you ready Tikki? Can we go?”
“Okay,” Tikki’s voice had a little more energy to it, “I’m ready. But remember, not long!”
Marinette grinned, her mind on Adrien, “I promise!” Then she cried, “Spots On!” and felt Tikki swirl into her earrings. Within seconds, Ladybug’s red suit was hugging her like a glove, and strength was coursing through her body. She clattered up the ladder to the roof garden, and then shooting out her yoyo, she zoomed off into the night.
When the knock came at his window, Adrien’s heart somersaulted. He hadn’t gotten over the look Ladybug had given him in the alleyway, and he wasn’t sure what it meant. He hurried over to open the window, and held out his hand to help Ladybug in. Adrien reminded himself to act as if he were seeing Ladybug for the first time that evening.
“Hi,” he said, his eyes glowing.
“Hi!” Ladybug replied, and then threw her arms around him and hugged him. “Oooh!” she exclaimed in joy. She just wanted to shout, ‘I love you!’ But Ladybug knew she would freak Adrien out if she said that. So instead, she thought it; she shouted it exuberantly in her mind, hugging him and smiling inanely against his shoulder, and loving him.
Adrien chuckled in happy surprise, and hugged her back. He kissed the crown of her head. Her shampoo smelled like mango, and Adrien smiled.
“I - I can’t stay long,” she told him, faithful to Tikki.
“Oh,” Adrien replied, disappointed. “Okay.”
Ladybug hugged him one more time, then leaning back, and placing her hands on either side of his face, pulled him down for a gentle kiss. “What shall we talk about tonight?” she said.
Adrien pulled her back into a hug, and laying his cheek against her silky hair, said, “I don’t know. I don’t care.” The two fell silent and just stood, wrapped in each other’s arms, contented.
Ladybug rested her head against Adrien’s shoulder, and the adrenaline began to slip out of her system. Lethargy wrapped around her contentment, and she closed her eyes, quietly listening to Adrien’s steady heart beat. The long week, and the late hour, began to pull at her, and she stifled a little yawn.
Adrien laughed softly, “Did you just yawn?”
Ladybug nodded. “Sorry,” she smiled.
“C’mon,” he pulled her by the hand to his bed.
“What?!” Ladybug asked, surprised.
Adrien laughed and rolled his eyes, “I’m not suggesting *that*,” he said. “But I’m tired too. You lay there, I’ll lay here, and we can just hold hands and talk a little before you have to go.” He pointed to opposite ends of his large bed.
Ladybug considered his suggestion, then said, “Let’s make a rule. If we begin to kiss, we either have to be standing, or we have to move to the sofa.”
Adrien grinned. “Okay. Or we call Nathalie,” he joked.
Ladybug laughed, “Or your dad. We could always call your dad.”
“Yeah, that’s a great idea!” Adrien smirked, then flopped cross-wise onto his bed, near the pillows.
Ladybug weighed the situation for one second longer, then crawled onto the foot of his bed, and stretching out on her back, held out her hand towards his. Adrien’s comforter was dark blue and velvety, and Ladybug turned her head to rub her cheek against it and to watch Adrien. “Tell me something about your childhood,” she said quietly.
Ladybug watched a small smile flit across his face. “Okay…” he said, then fell silent, thinking. “Once, when I was young, about seven, my mom took us all on a picnic. My dad didn’t want to go, he was working on a design or something, I think. But my mom made the entire lunch - we had cooks already by that time, but my mom wanted to do it by herself.” As Adrien was talking, Ladybug scooted closer to him, so that she could touch his golden hair. Adrien paused, and turned his head to look at her.
Ladybug smiled at him and said, “Go on.”
“Anyway, mom and I went into dad’s office, to get him to come, and at first he refused, because he was working. So my mom,” Adrien smiled at the memory, “started to pull his shirt off - we had brought casual clothes in to him, for the picnic - and then tried to pull this bright green t-shirt over his head.” Adrien laughed softly, replaying the memory in his mind. His father had batted his wife away at first, annoyed to be interrupted, but her golden laughter won through, and finally his dad had grinned, and boosted Adrien up into his arms while kissing his wife. ‘I’ll go, but not in that ghastly t-shirt. The color makes my eyes hurt!’ Adrien’s mom laughed, making it clear she had chosen it as a joke. Ultimately they all went on a picnic, and rented paddle boats, and he and his mom had gotten a sunburn on their noses and his dad had gotten angry. But it was a nice angry, a loving angry.
“So what happened then?” Ladybug’s soft voice broke his reverie.
“Oh, we had a fun picnic. We rented paddle boats and laughed a lot.” Adrien grabbed Ladybug’s hand and pulled her closer to him. He stretched his arm out, for Ladybug to use as a pillow, and draped the other loosely around her waist. “You tell me one,” he said.
Ladybug laughed quietly. “I also remember going on a picnic when I was little. But I remember climbing a tree - it seemed really tall at the time! - and I got so high, I could even see the Eiffel Tower in the distance, but then I got scared and couldn’t get down.” She smiled at Adrien. “My dad had to climb the tree to ‘save’ me. I just think that memory is so funny now, given, well, you know, given what I do now.”
The two shared their laughter.
“Here, turn over,” Adrien said. With her back to him, Adrien grabbed a pillow to place beneath Ladybug’s head, then shifted closer so they could cuddle like spoons. It felt so nice to be close like this, and both Adrien and Ladybug sighed.
Ladybug knew that Adrien would be able to understand her thoughts when she continued sleepily, “Sometimes I look back on my life before I got my Miraculous, and it’s funny how many boundaries I let -” she yawned, “I let stop me.” Ladybug snuggled her cheek into Adrien’s pillow. She could smell him in the fabric. His scent was a little like vanilla, and a little like fresh grass. With his arms around her, and his scent enveloping her, Ladybug felt utterly relaxed. When Adrien spoke, she could feel his chest rumbling gently with his voice.
“I can imagine. It’s like an escape from what you feared you were destined to become, to everything you hoped to be.”
“Mmm…” Ladybug used the last of her energy to pull Adrien’s hand up to her mouth to kiss it, then she closed her eyes and drifted peacefully off to sleep.
Ladybug’s even breathing was a soporific to Adrien. He lay quietly, languidly, and let his eyes drift closed. Snuggled against Ladybug, the world seemed perfectly right. “Bugaboo?” he whispered softly. Only her even breathing answered him, and without another thought, Adrien too lost himself in sleep.
It was the whispering that woke him.
“I hate your sticky cheese, you know that,” a high-pitched voice was complaining.
“Well, I’m not going down into those kitchens for a cookie! There’s a cat down there!” Plagg’s voice roused Adrien further.
A small laugh tinkled, “That’s funny!”
“Just eat some cheese and be done with it!”
“Don’t you even have crackers up here or anything? And then she still has to wake up.”
“Well, we could let them sleep,” Plagg’s voice sounded deviously amused.
“Plagg!” the high-pitched voice chided, “*They* need to decide when to tell each other. It’s not for us to - Eek!” Tikki flew behind Plagg, as if seeking cover, as Adrien raised his head to stare in the direction of the voices. In the darkness, his eyes picked out the black smudge that was Plagg, and he could see a little head with dark blue eyes staring at him over Plagg’s shoulder. It took his sleep-fogged brain a second to realize what he was seeing, and then, without giving it any thought, he turned to look at Ladybug.
Except, it wasn’t Ladybug. Turned on her back, with his arm still draped around her waist, a gentle smile on her lips, was… Marinette!
Adrien’s mouth dropped open, and he raised his head to stare, at first not believing his eyes.
“Oooh! I *told* her I didn’t have enough energy for this!” Tikki said.
“Shush!” Plagg ordered. “This is gonna be good!”
Adrien glanced at Plagg, then glanced back at Marinette, sound asleep on his bed. He stared, as the reality of the situation slowly sunk into his mind. Marinette… Marinette… his mind kept trying to form the sentence, to give words to his new knowledge. A smile began to grow on Adrien’s face, until a wide grin gleamed white in the darkness. Very carefully, Adrien raised his hand to tenderly sweep her bangs away from her eyes.
He chuckled softly. How funny this was, that he and Marinette, he and Ladybug, were in the same class, were friends, that he’d even thought - he smiled again, amazed at his good luck. He laid back on the bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering what to do.
Adrien raised his head to look again at his kwami, then carefully shifted away from Marinette and rolled onto his stomach, bringing him closer to Plagg. “Shh…” he admonished, “She’s exhausted.” The little red kwami stared at him uncertainly. “You’re Ladybug’s kwami?” he asked in a whisper.
Plagg whispered in reply, “Tikki, meet Adrien. Adrien, this is Tikki.” He turned sullen eyes to Adrien and complained, “You don’t seem very surprised.”
“Oh, I’m surprised,” Adrien assured Plagg. “I just don’t want to wake her up.”
“Hello,” Tikki flitted out next to Plagg.
“Hi. Pleased to meet you,” Adrien said quietly. Tikki smiled. “I have some crackers up here. Is that what you wanted?”
“Aren’t you gonna wake her up?” Plagg asked hopefully.
“Shh!” Adrien said, then shook his head. “I have to think about this. If she wanted me to know, she would’ve told me already.” Plagg snorted, and Adrien gave him a stern look. Then he slowly crawled off his bed and crept to his desk.
Tikki flitted after him and whispered hopefully, “Cookies would be even better.”
Adrien tried quietly to rummage around in a desk drawer, and finally pulled out a half-eaten box of crackers, and a couple of cellophane-wrapped ginger cookies. “You can have whatever you want,” he whispered.
“Would you please open the cookies for me?” Tikki asked.
As quietly as he could, Adrien opened the cookies and placed them on the edge of his desk, dropping the wrappers into a trash can. Then he sat in his chair to think.
Tikki perched on the edge of his desk, nibbling away at the cookies. When she was halfway through the pile, she paused long enough to say, “You’re really nice.”
“Thanks,” Adrien whispered back.
“I’m not sure Marinette would be unhappy if you found out she was Ladybug,” Tikki whispered. Adrien looked at Tikki, trying to unpack the meaning behind her words. He glanced back over at Marinette, still sleeping placidly on his bed. A feeling of tender possessiveness swept over him, and Adrien looked away.
Ladybug could have disclosed to Adrien her real identity at any time, he thought. They were friends. She would have known it was safe to tell him. But she hadn’t. He was pretty certain that she hadn’t even told Alya. Keeping her identity secret was so important to Ladybug. Adrien rubbed the back of his neck, weighing pros and cons. He glanced over at Tikki, and a thought occurred to him, “Does she know who I am?” he whispered.
“Umm…” Tikki prevaricated. It was not for her to divulge Marinette’s secrets.
Adrien waited, but Tikki said nothing else. The room was silent except for the sound of Tikki’s nibbling. Pushing up from his chair, Adrien said, “Okay, look, I’m going to pretend to sleep. You wake her up, and get home. If… if she asks if I know, you can tell her.” Adrien glanced over at Marinette. In his mind he could superimpose Ladybug’s image over her sleeping form. He thought about the day before, at school, when he had told her that he and Ladybug were girlfriend and boyfriend. He laughed softly. No wonder she had smiled.
Adrien’s eyes played over Marinette’s sleeping form. Girlfriend and boyfriend. She meant so much more to him that just that.
“Tikki,” he looked back over his shoulder, “If she asks… Tell her I want to know her. I want her to tell me who she is. I … I really, truly, want to know.” Tikki watched him. She knew all of Marinette’s doubs, she knew why Marinette was so frightened to disclose herself to Adrien. And she knew that Marinette was foolish. Just as Marinette was one of the sweetest Ladybugs that Tikki had ever had the pleasure to partner with, Adrien was one of the kindest Cat Noirs she had ever met. In fact, it was a little surprising that such a kind person had been given the power of destruction.
Tikki flitted over to the bed. “Plagg, you be nice to Adrien,” she admonished.
“Sure, of course.”
“Don’t tease him too much!”
“I haven’t so far,” he said.
“Wait,” Adrien whispered, “Did you know Marinette is Ladybug?”
Plagg grinned, “Sure! Marinette never leaves Tikki behind. And, I know Tikki.” Plagg shot a look at Tikki that was surprisingly soft. “I sensed her from the beginning.” He grinned, his little fangs gleaming in the darkness.
“Oh, Plagg!” Tikki sounded exasperated, “You’re incorrigible!” Plagg laughed quietly, and then Tikki giggled.
Adrien, however, glowered at Plagg in the dark and whispered, “We’re having a talk when they leave.” Plagg merely grinned at Adrien. “Okay, give me a couple more minutes with her before you wake her up, okay, Tikki?” He carefully climbed back onto the bed and snuggled close to Marinette. Wrapping his arm around her waist again, Adrien pressed his cheek against her silky hair. That sweet mango smell tickled his nose, along with a muskier sleep smell. Adrien closed his eyes, and indulged in a fantasy. She knew him, and he knew her, and they were boyfriend and girlfriend. In fact, his imagination took flight, they were in university together, sharing an apartment, and this is how every night was spent. Snuggling in each other’s arms. Longing enveloped him, longing and sadness over what he could not have in his life right now, and it was as Adrien was squeezing his eyes tightly against the tears that were threatening, that he heard Tikki fly to Marinette’s other shoulder and whisper in her ear, “Marinette! Marinette, wake up!”
Tikki pulled on one of Marinette’s pigtails, to pull her out of sleep.
“Hmm?” Marinette’s sleepy voice answered. Adrien pressed his lips together to keep from smiling. She was adorable.
“Marinette, wake up! You’re in Adrien’s room! We have to transform!”
Adrien kept his eyes shut, but he could sense Marinette coming fully awake, and beginning to panic. He heard her gasp. “It’s okay. I found something to eat,” Tikki fudged, “But let’s go now!”
“Okay! Shush! Don’t wake him!” Slowly, Marinette slithered out from under Adrien’s arm. She padded across the room to the other side of his desk, and Adrien heard her say, “Ready? Okay, Spots On.” The bright flash of light should have awakened him, but Adrien ignored it and pretended to sleep. He heard Plagg chuckling from behind the pillow at the top of the bed.
A quiet shuffling, and then Adrien felt Ladybug’s gloved hand sweep aside his bangs. She dropped a soft kiss on his forehead and whispered, “Good night!” Then he felt her pull the bed’s comforter up around him. Adrien peeked through his half-shut eyelids to watch Ladybug sneak to his bedroom window, hop up, and then disappear into the night.
After a moment, Adrien rolled over, flicked on his bedside light, and said crossly to Plagg, “Okay, Plagg, let’s have a little talk.”
the scene in The Retribution of Mara Dyer where Mara is trying to guess Noah's password and Jamie finds out and tells her it's "marashaw" and wow Noah's password is literally a fantasy of Mara taking his last name and how if circumstances were different Mara would have made fun of Noah for making her first name + his last name his password and how that is one of my favorite scenes in the series that i named my blog after it *sighs* *cries* *dies*
Warnings: Drama! Swearing! Plot development! An
(almost) bar fight! (okay, not really, but there is a fight in a bar, so…)
Word Count: 1550(ish)
A/N: It’s finally here, kids! This is basically The Scene of this
entire story, and I think it might be one of my favorites, so I hope y’all like
it too! Feedback is always welcome and very much appreciated, happy reading!
+++ i wrote this 10,000% with my friend @bxebxee in mind. this entire story is for her, and i thought of only her as i wrote this entire fic because i love her so, so, so much. it’s lightly inspired by howl’s moving castle bc im such a ghibli fan haha but anyways, she means the entire world to me and i just wanted to gift her with something to match the cold weather. so here is something soft, something whimsical and something sweet with none other barista jeon wonwoo. enjoy! +++
+++ wonwoo scenario - rated fluff - 4.3k words +++
a rainy day meeting with you
the cafe is almost unnoticeable as first, hidden
away so well that you nearly miss it when you try to escape the rain. you run
too fast however and trip on a crack in the sidewalk, landing directly on your
knees and ripping your brand new stockings in the process. yelling out a
big curse in frustration, you bring yourself back up to your feet and look up
only to see a shabby, run-down door with a wooden sign hanging above it that
read “howl’s cafe”.
you squint your eyes in suspicion. the place
seems tiny and unkempt, you could almost sense the mold growing within the
walls. but the cold rain continues to beat down on you and with a defeated
groan, you stomp up to the front door and loudly slam the rickety door open.
Day 1: The Moment You Started to Ship Them (Tropes)
Being an American, I’d never heard of Holby City. I happened upon the fandom via tumblr and watched all their scenes on youtube in late July 2016 - just before ‘Back in the Ring’ aired. I can safely say I shipped them from their very first scene (one of my all time favorite Meet-Cutes) and am envious of the original fan girls who got to see all those flirty eps live, waiting impatiently each week (or for several weeks) for more.
The scene where they meet in the car park holds a very special place in my heart and plays a featured role in several of my fics. I didn’t have time to write a drabble today, so I’m going to be that terrible person who quotes her own (already written) fic. Thanks @ddagent and others for initiating this.
With an affectionate sigh, Serena raises one hand in the air, inviting Bernie to spoon her and the fit is so right Bernie wonders if they will ever leave this bed. One arm wrapped around Serena’s waist, the other buried under their shared pillow…it’s as if decades of fatigue and dread have leached from her weary soul in a matter of seconds.
“Tell me something…” Serena rumbles, interrupting Bernie’s contemplative mood.
“Anything,” she instantly, foolishly agrees.
“I’ve spent a fair amount of time over the last year wondering when it all began - at what point we stopped being friends and colleagues in favor of something more…”
“And?” Bernie encourages.
“And it occurs to me that you’ve been trying to tell me something or show me something for a long time…even when I was too damned blind to see it. Am I wrong?” Serena asks, sounding less confident than usual.
Bernie shakes her head, tickling the back of Serena’s neck with her nose. “You’re not wrong.”
“I thought maybe…the night I stepped down as deputy CEO and we went to Albie’s with Jason…you were looking at me in that way you have…”
“Mmm, what way is that?” Bernie asks and Serena can tell by the sound of her voice that she’s smiling.
“It’s the same way you look at a bowl of raspberry ripple,” Serena explains, a little smugly. “Like you wanted to eat me alive…”
“I’m not arguing with you…” Bernie admits, and it isn’t the first time she’s said so.
But there’s more to it, and Serena knows it. “Even before then…before you started on AAU…we would bump into each other and you’d give me those looks. At what point…I mean, when did you know…”
Bernie stills Serena’s flustered rambling by whispering, very close to her ear. “I remember the first time I saw you like it was yesterday.”
“In the car park,” Serena volunteers immediately, as if it’s what she’s expected all along but was afraid to say aloud.
“Yes, but not when you think. I saw you before my shift even started. You were having a heated row with your car’s engine.”
“And you didn’t offer to help?” Serena asks, in mock offense. “That’s not like you.”
“True,” Bernie admits with a blush that Serena can’t see. “But I was late and…posturing a bit in front of Mr. Hanssen. Didn’t want him to know how nervous I really was.”
“Well, I suppose that’s understandable,” Serena confesses, albeit begrudgingly. “Besides, you came ‘round eventually.”
“Do you know what I remember most about that day?”
Shifting in Bernie’s arms, Serena rolls onto her back so they can look into each other’s eyes, but doesn’t say anything.
“Your smile…” Bernie finally answers, tracing Serena’s lips with the tip of her finger. “I was having the worst shift…wrung out by what was going on at home. And I looked up at the sound of your voice and I…well, let’s just say it felt awfully nice to flirt with a pretty girl…even if it was only for a few minutes and I knew it couldn’t go anywhere. Turned my whole day around.”
“You were undressing me with your eyes,” Serena tuts, but Bernie can hear the emotion in her voice. She hadn’t imagined things between them, all this time. It was always there.