It’s not that Adrien was worried about being cast as Chat Noir per se—it’s not like he was going to audition for the part anyway—but with his uncanny resemblance to Chat Noir, largely due to the fact that he was Chat Noir, there was a good chance that Alya would force him to audition for her play anyway.
Okay, so maybe he was a little worried.
His worry only increased tenfold when he received a text from the said redhead saying that he was needed in the auditorium as soon as possible, which in Alya speak, meant right now. He could just imagine it now, his entire superhero career revealed because of a school play. His friends would kill him. His father would kill him. Ladybug would kill him. Well, maybe she’d swoon a bit over him being Adrien Agreste before she killed him. Being a model did have to have some perks, didn’t it?
The moment he walked into the auditorium where auditions for Musically Miraculous were currently taking place, Alya practically charged at him, dragging a disgruntled Nino and Marinette hurrying to keep up with her friend.
This is it, this is it, this is it, Adrien thought, fear making his palms sweat. He’d envisioned this moment so many times, from the moment Alya suggested the script in the first place. He schooled his expression and ran over the lines he practiced in his head once more.
“Adrien,” Alya began.
“I’m really sorry, but I’ve got stage fright and I can’t play Chat Noir!” Adrien blurted out, rubbing the back of his neck out of embarrassment.
He watched as three pairs of eyes blinked in surprise then proceeded to burst out into various stages of laughter. Nino was guffawing at his friend’s expense, practically completely bent over at the waist and clutching his sides as he tried to control himself. Alya wasn’t much better, taking off her glasses to wipe some tears in her eyes. Marinette, bless her heart, looked properly embarrassed for him and did her absolute best not to laugh, but even she couldn’t help the few giggled that escaped her.
Adrien sputtered at his friends’ reactions. “What? Why is everyone laughing?”
Alya finally managed to calm herself down enough to she choke out, “Why would you think we would want you to play Chat Noir?”
Um, because I am Chat Noir? “Why else would you text me about a Chat Noir emergency that you needed to see me about ASAP?”
“Alya and I were arguing over some of the arrangements for Chat’s solo and since you are part of the music team, we called you,” Nino finally said, grinning as Adrien flushed in embarrassment. “I can’t believe you thought we wanted you to play Chat Noir.”
Adrien narrowed his eyes at her. “Well do you have a Chat Noir yet?” he challenged, knowing full well that Alya had a difficult time casting her two superheroes.
He knew he was screwed when he saw the shit eating grin grow on Alya’s face. “As a matter of fact, I do. Alix will be Chat Noir. She’s got the spunk, the wild hair, she’s perfect.”
Adrien’s jaw dropped before he could stop it. Was she seriously telling him that there was a better Chat Noir than Chat Noir? “And why would Alix be such a great Chat Noir, but I wouldn’t be?” Adrien retorted. There was an odd mix of relief and resentment over the recent turn of events. Adrien wasn’t sure which emotion he was leaning towards. Plagg was amused though, if the vibrations at the bottom of his bag were anything to go by.
“Because you’re Adrien Agreste! Literal sunshine child—all proper and twinkly,” Alya told him. “Chat Noir is much more…”
Wild? Outgoing? Real? Adrien could make a whole book about all of the things that Chat got to be, but Adrien could not. This was a good thing, wasn’t it? It meant that he was so good at hiding his identity that not even his closest friends suspected it. The very idea seemed ridiculous to them. That was good. That was very good. He just thought that they didn’t have to laugh that hard.
“Mysterious?” Nino offered. Just as Alya was about to agree, a loud snort drew their attention to the pigtailed girl making a face.
“Marinette?” Adrien prompted, noting how a cute blush spread across her cheeks as her gaze flit away from his.
“Right. Well, Chat is a lot of things, but I don’t think he’s mysterious. He’s a total goofball, for sure. And a bit of a nerd, but in a cool kind of nerdy way, if that makes any sense. I mean, his puns make it kind of obvious what a dork he is,” Marinette said with an oddly fond smile on her face. It made Adrien tilt his head in confusion as he felt a faint flare of recognition run through him. Marinette took in his look with something akin to panic and began to wave her arms so frantically that Alya had to take a step away from her to avoid getting hit. “Not that he can’t be serious! He can! He’s great, and reliable, and trustworthy. Ladybug is lucky to have him as a partner! I think, I mean, not that I would know how Ladybug feels since I am not Ladybug. Obviously,” she said so fast that Adrien didn’t understand a lot of it.
He managed to pick out the words great and I am not Ladybug and decided to take it as a compliment. “Thanks, Marinette,” he said and placed a hand on her shoulder, noting in mild alarm how red her face grew as he did.
Alya watched the whole thing in amusement before clearing her throat, “So, about the arrangement, Mr. I Think I Can Be Chat Noir, care to weigh in or should I ready your cat suit?”