Halloween- the day of spookiness and candy. Kids are going from door to door gathering as much of the sweet goodness as they can, others are going loose by holding parties and other people couldn’t really be bothered by the holiday and stay inside, waiting for the day to be over.
The children from François Dupont were not excluded from the group hosting parties. The school thought it was a fun idea to bring the classes, and whole school in general, closer to each other. Each class could decide for their own what they wanted to do with their main classroom. The courtyard would be a place where all classes could gather to eat, drink or dance. Of course, you could always visit other classrooms, but you had to make sure to work together as a class to make your own classroom either as pretty or scary as possible.
Few hours before the party would start, people were allowed to go home and get dressed up. After all, what is a Halloween party without guests in costumes?
Alya and Nino were going to the latter’s place to dress up together, saying they had a plan for a duo-costume. Alya didn’t want to spoil what they were going as, but Marinette was almost 100 % certain that they were going to be Ladybug and Chat Noir, knowing her best friend and her admiration for the two superheroes.
Marinette’s costume was inspired by a doll she saw a few weeks ago when she passed a toy store. The doll was a little girl in a black skirt and white blouse, wearing red flats and a braid. Even if the doll was meant for the entertainment of children, Marinette was spooked by the toy and decided it would be a perfect base for her own costume. She was going to make it a bit creepier though.
Underneath the black skirt, she wore fishnets instead of bare legs, it was too cold for that anyway in October. The red flats turned into red heels. She hoped she could hold it out all evening, knowing herself and her clumsiness. She used an older white blouse. She ripped it in some spots and dripped red paint all over the piece of clothing to create blood splatters. She put her hair in a tight side-braid. She messed it up a tiny bit and added fake spiders and spider cobs. At last, but not least, she did her makeup. She used black eyeshadow and eyeliner to make her eyes as dark as possible. White powder was all over her face to make her even paler than she already was, and she used dark-red lipstick, drawing a line with red lip liner from her lips to her cheekbones to create a fake, creepy smile. At last she put in contacts, white ones that made her natural blue color gray and ‘soulless’, as that was what she was going for.
Once she was done, she grabbed whatever she needed and put that in her purse. She brought her phone and emergency sewing-kit, in case something would happen to her costume.
She decided it was too dangerous to not bring Tikki, an Akuma might show up, but she didn’t want to have Tikki in her bag in the middle of the hot crowd and with loud music. They eventually both agreed that Tikki would stay in Marinette’s locker. That way Tikki wouldn’t be bothered by the party, but would be there if Marinette needed her.
Her parents praised her costume and wished her a great evening. When she made her way inside the school, she looked around and was immediately enchanted by the pretty lights and decorations. Black, orange and purple balloons and banners were everywhere. There were soft lights that made the tables with food and drinks visible for the students, but did not take away the spooky atmosphere. Dark music was played in the back, also to keep up the creepy mood.
She was so in awe by her surroundings that she didn’t notice the person approaching her until he twirled her around and put a rose in her hand.
She stared at the plastic rose in her hands, but eventually looked up at the person who apparently wanted to charm her.
His blond hair was basically the same, but a bit more neat with hairspray and gel. He wore a light blue blazer with a logo on it that she vaguely recognized, maybe from television. Underneath he wore black pants and dress shoes. When she looked him in the eyes she noticed they weren’t his normal, bright green color but a soft blue, he was wearing contacts for his costume as well, apparently.
He stared directly at her with a smirk. And then he winked.
Which was the moment she died.
He shook his head. ‘’Tonight I’m not.’’ He walked around her in a circle to show off his costume. ‘’Do you know who I am?’’
Staring at him a bit longer, she suddenly remembered him saying not too long ago that he was a fan of anime. Now everything fell into place, she had watched this show one time as well. ‘’Tamaki Suoh, was it?’’
‘’The one and only.’’ He flashed a smile before softly grasping her hand and placing a kiss on her knuckles. ‘’If you don’t mind, I would like my rose back. It’s kind of part of my costume, so…’’ He chuckled awkwardly.
‘’I figured.’’ She handed him the rose and turned away, not wanting to be caught staring at her hand that he was still holding! The fact that he kissed it just a moment before wasn’t helping either with staying calm. She knew he was just acting like this because of the character he was, but she couldn’t help but be flustered, both because it was Adrien kissing her hand, and because his demeanor reminded her of her partner.
But that was ridiculous. Comparing the two was a stupid thing to do. She put the thought to the back of her mind, not wanting to deal with such nonsensical thoughts.
He finally let go of her hand. ‘’Thank you,’’ he said. ‘’So, what are you? A scary doll?’’
She blushed and nodded. ‘’Yeah. I saw a doll in a toy store and it just gave me the idea.’’ She twirled around to show her costume to him, feeling her skirt rile up a bit. When she came face-to-face with Adrien again, she noticed his eyes quickly coming up again to meet hers. Apparently he had been looking down. She turned red at the implication of why he was looking down, but she didn’t dare to bring it up. He was just a teenage boy, they did that. It had nothing to do with her. ‘’Y-you like it?’’
Because of Marinette’s stuttering, Adrien assumed she must have seen where his gaze was a second ago. He blushed slightly. ‘’Very much. Uhm, so, I’m gonna walk around for a bit, you know, check everything out.’’ He turned towards a hallway. ‘’Wanna join me?’’
She quickly stared at her hand, still mourning the loss of contact a minute ago, but she gathered her composure. He waited for her answer with a sweet smile. She was torn actually. Part of her wanted to check out the school anyway, so going with him would be logical, but she wasn’t sure if she could keep herself breathing if she was to spend such a long time alone with him.
‘’N-no, I need to go to my locker,’’ she said, actually happy that she didn’t need to lie to him, it was the truth after all. ‘’Sorry.’’
‘’That’s okay. See you around, Marinette.’’ With a nod he left.
Once he was gone she took a few steadying breaths. Okay, that went sort of well. She actually had a decent conversation with Adrien. And if Alya and Nino would be around it would probably even go better, and they could be arriving any minute. Tonight wouldn’t be so bad.
Nino and Alya did arrive a few minutes later, after Marinette had put Tikki in her locker, showing off the Ladybug and Chat Noir costumes they wore, just like Marinette suspected. The class gathered in their main classroom to praise everyone’s costumes. Chloé was Princess Belle, with Sabrina being The Beast by wearing a fur coat and a Chewbacca mask. Kim was the Tiger from Wizard of Oz, Rose was a fairy, Juleka the Mad Hatter, Nathanael was Dali (he didn’t feel like dressing up so he just wore a suit and had drawn a fake, curly moustache with a marker), Alix was something that looked like an ice skater so she had a reason to wear her roller blades in school, and Ivan and Mylène were the parents from the Addams family.
They had turned the classroom more festive than scary actually, but they preferred that. They just wanted to play games together and be merry, if they wanted to be scared they could always go to other classrooms. Everyone was having a good time, even Chloé was participating with glee, but probably because she could stare at Adrien all evening because he looked hot as hell in that outfit, as Alya had said to Marinette.
They played multiple games, one of them being ‘Spin the bottle’. It was just for fun, so you could kiss the person on the cheek if you weren’t comfortable with the lips. When Chloé spun the bottle on Adrien, she happily captured his lips, in a ‘friendly’ manner, of course. Adrien didn’t seem to be taken aback by her, but Marinette did see him wiping his mouth with his sleeve once he thought no one was looking. When he saw that she caught him, he laughed nervously and Marinette laughed softly in return.
She noticed he kept staring at her all evening, and one time it even seemed that he wanted to tell her something, but he was too nervous to do so. Marinette squealed on the inside, thinking that maybe there was a chance he returned her feelings. But that couldn’t be true of course. He probably was just impressed by her costume.
Another game they played was ‘7 minutes in heaven’. They had put their names on papers and put them in Juleka’s hat. Of course, there were certain ‘expectations’ of what you were supposed to do in the classroom closet. Even though the class was close with each other, the only couples were Ivan and Mylène, and Nino and Alya, so people were nervous about who the victims were going to be. Since seven minutes was a pretty long time, they decided to play it just two times, also because not everyone was excited to be paired with someone they didn’t like.
The first two people who were pulled from the hat were Alya and Nino, by luck they both agreed. With a wink, Alya pulled Nino inside the closet and the door was closed behind them. They had to keep track of time themselves. Seven minutes later they came out, Alya proud and satisfied, Nino dazed and still licking his lips.
Adrien laughed and patted his friend’s back. ‘’You okay, man?’’
Nino chuckled and pointed his finger to Alya, sighing dreamily. ‘’She’s really good.’’
Alya was the one to pull out the last two victims. She grabbed a paper and read the name. ‘’Agreste, your turn,’’ she smirked.
Adrien gulped. ‘’O-okay.’’
‘’What,’’ Alya laughed, ‘’you nervous?’’
‘’No, I’m fine!’’ He defended a bit too quick and loud.
‘’Uh-huh,’’ she said with a raised brow. She turned her attention back to the hat and pulled out the next name. She started to laugh loudly. ‘’Oh my, this is gonna be gold.’’ She grasped her stomach to ease her laughing. ‘’M, you’re up.’’
Everyone knew there was only one person Alya addressed as M, so everybody turned to Marinette, including Adrien. He was blushing violently, but didn’t seem to protest.
She didn’t fare any better. Of course, she was excited, but being in a closet with Adrien and alone with him and for a few minutes and they had to do… things! Her mind couldn’t handle it. Why did she ever agree to play such stupid games?
Both Adrien and she were pushed in the closet by Alya. Hearing a few protesting shouts from Chloé, the door was closed before they could say anything. Marinette did see Alya mouthing a quick ‘If he doesn’t have any lipstick on him I’m gonna kill you’, before the door was fully closed.
It was dark. It was silent. The only sound was their nervous breathing.
‘’So,’’ he suddenly said. It was a whisper, but it still startled her. ‘’What now?’’
‘’I don’t know.’’ It came out a lot smoother and calm than how she was actually feeling.
‘’I’m-I’m supposed to kiss you. That’s how the game works, right?’’
She nodded because she didn’t allow herself to speak again, but later on she realized he didn’t see in the dark. ‘’Y-yes, but we don’t have to. We can just, you know, talk.’’
‘’Okay.’’ She felt him grabbing her wrist and tugging her down. ‘’If we’re going to be here for a while, let’s get comfy then.’’ They both sat down with their legs folded, facing the other.
‘’And now?’’ Marinette asked. Being a bit calmer now, she assumed she could be alone with Adrien for a few minutes and have a conversation with him, but she didn’t know where to start.
‘’Let’s play a game.’’
‘’Just asking the other questions, and we need to answer honestly.’’
‘’Okay, I can do that. You start.’’
‘’All right… what’s your favorite color?’’
‘’Thought so. You wear the color all the time.’’
She blushed and was happy he couldn’t see. ‘’Is that b-bad?’’
‘’No!’’ He corrected. ‘’It looks good on you. Now, your turn.’’
She hummed thoughtfully, thinking of a question. She mentally smirked when she found one. ‘’Tell me, and be honest, what do you really think of Chloé?’’
Adrien chuckled awkwardly and she could hear him scratching the back of his neck. ‘’Well, I know you guys don’t really get along, but we have history, you know? I know she isn’t perfect, but I’ve seen parts of her that you haven’t. I personally don’t agree with how she treats people, but she was my first friend, I can’t just abandon her.’’
‘’I see.’’ Marinette nodded along with her answer.
‘’And I do know that she, uhm, appreciates me in way that I don’t appreciate her, but…’’
‘’You’re too kind to tell her,’’ she finished.
‘’You could say that. But there is also this other girl I like, so yeah.’’
Marinette perked up at that and grasped his hands before she was even thinking what she was doing. ‘’Really, who?’’ She didn’t even ask to know it was her, because she was sure it couldn’t be, but she was excited to know who the lucky girl was.
He laughed. ‘’Hey, you’ve had your question. My turn now.’’
Marinette pouted. ‘’Fine.’’
Adrien leaned a bit closer and smirked. ‘’So, is there someone you like?’’
She gulped. This could be her chance, she thought. Her chance to finally confess to him. They were alone and he did say they needed to be honest. ‘’Yes.’’
‘’That’s a pretty short answer,’’ he teased. ‘’Tell me about him. You don’t have to give names. Just, you know, describe. If you want to, of course.’’
Now that they were adjusted to the dark room, she could finally see parts of his face. She took in his features and took a deep breath. She was going to do this. ‘’He is very smart and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. We don’t talk a lot, because I’m too nervous to even look at him, but he always seems to say the right things and make my day a bit brighter.’’ She wasn’t sure if she wanted to end there. She did have something else to say, but it could be risky. It could give too much away. She was still vague now, in case she chickened out, but her next words could give him the clues he needed. ‘’We… we started of rocky. At first I couldn’t stand him, because I thought he was a bad person because of some lame incident, but he proved me wrong.’’
He smiled warmly, almost like he was affected by her words. She wondered if he knew it was him. ‘’Sounds like a great guy. Is he handsome?’’
She giggled. ‘’Hey, now you’re asking multiple questions. But yes, he is. Now it’s my turn again. So, tell me about this girl.’’ She laid her head in the palm of her hands to listen attentively.
His eyes seemed to glisten at the mention of said girl. ‘’She’s amazing! She is super kind to everyone and really smart and funny. And beautiful, of course. She always acts tough and brave, but she is a kind person at heart. I just wish I could learn more about her.’’
‘’Why can’t you learn more about her?’’
He didn’t seem to be bothered that she asked another question. ‘’You see, she is really nice and all, but she doesn’t want to share anything because things need to stay secret between us. That kinda sucks.’’
‘’It does. I’m sorry for you, that you can’t pursue her the way you want to.’’
‘’That’s okay. I can actually.’’ He suddenly tugged at her wrist to pull her closer, their faces inches from each other. ‘’But only if she wants me to.’’
‘’Marinette, I’m going to ask you a really serious question here and want you to be really honest with me.’’
She dumbly nodded. He was close enough that he could feel it on his face.
‘’Okay. Here it goes. Are you-are you... Ladybug?’’
She gasped at the question. Where it suddenly came from, she didn’t know, but she was surprised he even thought that she, Marinette Dupain-Cheng, could even be compared to her alter-ego.
‘’Please answer. And please don’t lie to me.’’
She kept staring at him, unsure of what to do. Tikki wasn’t around to ask advice from, she had to do this all on her own. She wanted to say no of course, but a sudden feeling of guilt washed over her at the thought. And he apparently seemed really sure of his inquiry, so lying wouldn’t work. Besides, she trusted him. She knew for sure that if she would tell him he wouldn’t be screaming it off the roofs in a few minutes. ‘’Yes,’’ she breathed out. Never had saying such a simple word felt so scary.
He let go of a breath he was holding. He put a hand on his head in disbelief and shock. He suddenly stood up and leaned his head against the wall and laughed softy. Marinette quietly stood up and put a hand on his back.
‘’Adrien, are you okay?’’
He twisted around to look at her, teary-eyed. He circled his hands around her waist and pulled her close, breathing in her neck. She became a statue at the sudden motion. ‘’I found you, M’Lady.’’
Now it was her turn to gasp. She pulled away from him to look him in the eyes. No way. He did not just call her that. ‘’C-chaton?” He lifted his hand so she could see his ring. It wasn’t black like it was when he was transformed, but she got the message. She fell with her back against the wall and put her hand on her forehead in exasperation. ‘’I think I need to lie down.’’
Apparently the thought of Adrien being Chat Noir wasn’t so weird after all.
Adrien laughed and went to lean against the wall next to her. ‘’Maybe I can help you with that,’’ he said seductively and trailed his fingers softly on her arm, wiggling his eyebrows.
She didn’t blush or step away from the gesture, more because she was too busy being astounded that something like that came from fricking Adrien Agreste’s mouth! He might be Chat Noir, but something suggestive like that leaving sweet Adrien’s lips? It still seemed impossible.
‘’How?’’ That was the only thing that she could get out of her mouth.
‘’Well, that hallway I went in? I... it ended at the lockers and I saw you with… your Kwami. I wanted to ask you first before jumping to conclusions though’’’
‘’Oh.’’ She was annoyed with herself for not being able to make complete sentences, but was there more to say? She was still processing everything and she had a hard time with that.
It all made sense actually. His tardiness and multiple bathroom breaks. The fact that he seemed to be a fan of Ladybug. And, she realized now, the girl he was talking about was her. But he didn’t know that the guy she talked about was him. Maybe she should tell him. All nervous feelings were gone, replaced by confusion, so another love confession would fit perfectly.
‘’There is something I should confess,’’ she started.
‘’That guy I was talking about…’’
‘’Was me? Yeah, I know. Alya has a hard time keeping quiet. She thought it was taking you too long to say anything, so she took matters into her own hands a few weeks ago.’’
A few weeks?! ‘’Oh.’’
‘’And that girl…’’
‘’I know,’’ she answered.
They stayed like that for a minute. Just the two of them in silence, taking in the new information. After a while, Adrien moved so he was in front of her. He spread his arms. ‘’Hug me? I don’t want us to be awkward.’’
Without saying anything, she bumped against his chest and let his arms surround her. ‘’Me neither.’’
They didn’t know how long they were like that, but it didn’t matter. The hug was peaceful and full of trust and promise. The bond they had as Ladybug and Chat Noir passed over to Marinette and Adrien, making their friendship feel more intense and deeper than it ever was. And it was a great feeling.
Marinette raised her head from his chest so she could look up at him. He looked down at her, his bangs in front of his eyes. They both smiled. ‘’Can I ask you another question?’’
‘’Can I k-‘’
‘’Time’s up, kiddos. It’s been almost ten minutes now.’’ Alya abruptly opened the door, startling them. Staring at the sight of them holding each other made her smile, but seeing that Marinette’s lipstick was still in perfect shape and not smudged on the boy’s face, she frowned. ‘’We’re gonna dance in the courtyard. You two coming?’’
They let go of each other and nodded. Adrien walked next to Nino to their destination, Marinette next to Alya.
‘’So,’’ the red-head said, ‘’things got steamy in there? Didn’t seem like it.’’
‘’Nothing happened. We just… had a good talk.’’
‘’Oh, so that’s why you were hugging.’’ Sarcasm dripped of her lips.
‘’Don’t be like that.’’
‘’I’m sorry, girl, but you’ve gotta tell him! Otherwise I’ll do it.’’
Marinette tapped her chin in fake-thought. ‘’Hm, funny you say that, because he said you already did that.’’
Alya’s eyes became as wide as dinner plates and she stopped in her tracks, making Marinette stop as well to stare at her. ‘’He told you? But- that means- you- and he- you know that he knows?’’
‘’And… what happened then?’’
‘’Like I said, we talked.’’
‘’No juicy stuff? Come on, don’t tell me that this all happened and you didn’t even smooch a little.’’
‘’Sorry to disappoint you then.’’
‘’Ugh,’’ Alya groaned. ‘’You guys are both lame. Just kiss already, darn it.’’ She seemed to notice something behind Marinette and smiled. ‘’And maybe that just might happen. See you later, Mari.’’ She left the dark-haired girl alone, who was utterly confused at why she was suddenly abandoned, until she felt someone tap her shoulder. She twisted around to meet blue eyes, who weren’t blue normally, and an extended hand.
‘’M’Lady, may I have this dance?’’
She shushed him. ‘’Don’t call me that here, people might recognize it!’’ She then giggled and took his hand. ‘’But of course.’’
The song was a bit slow. He led her to the middle of the dancefloor. Holding one hand, his other rested on her waist and hers on his shoulder. They moved slowly to the rhythm of the music, mostly staying in one spot but twisting their bodies around the room.
‘’You’re my partner,’’ she said after a while.
‘’You’re my partner.’’
‘’I’m dancing with my partner.’’
‘’You are. So am I,’’ he laughed.
‘’It just feels so unreal. I’m actually handling it way better than I expected from myself,’’ she joked.
He laughed along with her. They danced in silence for a while until Marinette felt Adrien tense up a bit and turn red.
‘’What’s the matter?’’ She asked.
‘’Well, uhm, I-I just realized I didn’t ask my question yet.’’
‘’Yeah. You know, before Alya opened the closet I wanted to, uhm, ask you something.’’
‘’Oh, right. Well, go ahead.’’
He scraped his throat and she noticed the hand he was holding hers with was getting clammy. She squeezed his hand in reassurance. He could ask her anything, there weren’t really bigger surprises to come tonight.
‘’I was just wondering- and you don’t have to say yes- if, you know, I could- and you totally don’t even have to answer at all- but I just wanted to ask if- oh, and I’m not just asking this because you’re Ladybug. I really think you’re awesome, Marinette and-‘’
‘’Adrien,’’ she interrupted. He needed to calm down. Was this what she was always like? Now she got why Alya was so annoyed by it.
He inhaled deeply to calm himself. ‘’Can I kiss you?’’
Her response didn’t contain any sound. Her jaw fell to the bottom of her face and it was too heavy to retreat it. She just stared at him, gaping.
‘’I’m guessing that’s a no?’’ He pouted and she felt him loosen his grip on her. That got her back to reality.
They just found each other, she was not gonna lose him now.
Pulling him back by his collar, she draped her arms on his neck and shoulder, keeping him place. ‘’No! Don’t leave! I-I mean, just… keep dancing, please?’’
He stared at her a while before nodding and resting his hands on her hips. They shuffled in silence again to the music.
‘’And… yes, you can,’’ she mumbled softly. Part of her wanted him to hear, another part was too embarrassed and hoped he didn’t have his cat-like senses out of costume.
But, of course, he did hear her. His head jerked to her at her words, mouth half open. He then smiled, and answered by tightening his grip on her hips and leaning forward.
She was internally hyperventilating. Okay, this is really happening. But it’s okay, he’s your partner, you can trust him. You don’t have to be nervous around Adrien anymore, because you have basically talked to him every day. Just close your eyes, lean in, let it happen- OH MY GOSH HIS LIPS ARE SO SOFT!
She had to step on her tiptoes to reach him, but she didn’t mind. It gave her an excuse to hold him tighter around his neck. He helped her reach him by pulling her up a bit by her hips. The whole party faded away. No distant music, no other people, no decorations; just them. Marinette always thought movies exaggerated first kisses, but now she knew that it really felt like that, especially if it was with the right person.
And heck, was this right.
They parted when the sound of howling, whistling and cat-calling burst the bubble they were in. They both turned to the source of the noise, seeing Nino, Alix and Kim.
‘’Way to go, Agreste!” Kim exclaimed.
Adrien was slightly flustered but turned back to Marinette with an eye roll, trying to ignore the others. Marinette noticed Alya near the table with drinks and food, gazing with a raised eyebrow and a knowing smirk. Marinette just shrugged and looked back at Adrien when she felt him tug her because he wanted to say something to her.
‘’Wanna ditch this place?’’ He asked.
‘’Why? You don’t like it here?’’ She was a bit offended. After all, she was having a pretty darn good time with him, for very obvious reasons.
‘’No, it’s not that. Just… I just wanted to grab some fresh air. Wanna come?’’
The way he stressed ‘fresh air’ gave Marinette an idea about what he wanted to do. ‘’Oh, like that. Yeah, of course!’’
With a smile, Adrien grabbed Marinette’s hand and let them to the hallway, ignoring Alya’s yells about where they were going. They retrieved Tikki and Plagg, who had apparently found each other and were both resting in Adrien’s locker, and went outside. Transforming behind the school out of sight, the duo went up in the air and raced each other, jumping over the rooftops of Paris.
It felt peaceful, calm, right. It was like they have known about each other since forever. Maybe they secretly did, but their minds couldn’t comprehend what their hearts were saying. They were calling out to each other without them knowing it. It has taken them a while, but here they were, vaulting in the air while holding hands, like they belonged together.
The next day during lunch at school, people were talking about the sight of Ladybug and Chat Noir sharing a kiss or two on the Eiffel Tower last night. Mostly Alya was over the moon, but other people were excited too.
Being too busy with their beloved superheroes, nobody noticed two people sharing a glance and entwining their hands under the table. It would be their little secret, for now. What mattered was that they had finally found each other, other people and their opinions were no part of that.
It was certainly a happy Halloween.