Mother’s Day had been a day to remember.
Sure, there had been the initial panic with Littlebug disappearing. And then the discovery of another living doll running around. Because yeah, it was a Chat Noir doll—which was awesome, but more importantly it meant that Littlebug wasn’t alone. There was the initial fear that there was actually an akuma involved and someone was making more of these dolls for some unknown purpose, but that was soon erased when he realized that the dolls both came from Marinette and that she was fully aware of making them.
Oh, and the discovery that Marinette was actually Ladybug. There was that, too.
He…hadn’t known what to think at first. It wasn’t quite the romantic identity reveal he’d been dreaming of, but it was AN identity reveal and seeing Marinette’s shocked and stammering reaction more than made up for it. Revealing himself in turn ended up feeling less like a build up he’d been expecting and more like a release.
He hadn’t even realized just how much he’d been stressing over it, actually. Not knowing who she was under the mask meant she could be anyone—from someone like Rose to someone like Chloe. All this time he had been trying to prepare himself for that. But the matter he hadn’t considered—or rather had been trying very hard not to think about—was how SHE would react to the discovery of HIM. Would she like him as Adrien? What if she hated him? What if he wasn’t the type of person she could like? What if her knowing his identity unsettled things too much?
And now that the answers were there, it only brought up other questions. Because he knew Marinette wouldn’t hate him. But…now that they knew they were already friends, what effect would this have? What if it ruined their team dynamic? What if they messed up because of this?
He was excited, sure. But he was also really uncertain. And it seemed she was, too.
“Aren’t you…?” She started before trailing off, worried and biting her lip.
“I’m really happy to know it’s you.” He assured her. Because if Ladybug did end up being someone he already knew, he was only all too pleased that she would be Marientte.
“No,” She shook her head. “Aren’t you…aren’t you scared?”
Truthfully, he was. For a lot of reasons.
“If Hawk Moth gets either of us, the other will automatically be at risk. Then there’s the fact that now I know it isn’t just Chat Noir fighting monsters, it’s Adrien, too. And that…that’s difficult to take in.”
“I’m scared, too.” He admitted. “A lot could go wrong.”
He felt something shuffle onto his lap and looking down, he couldn’t help but smile at the way Littlebug was looking up at him encouragingly. He patted her head in response, feeling calmer just by having her support.
“It’s scary knowing that if I lost Ladybug, I’d be losing Marinette, too.” He looked back up at Marinette. “And it’s definitely going to be different going into a fight knowing it’s Marinette I’m actually working with. That’s something I’m going to have to figure out how to manage. But I think this could be a good thing, as well.” He hesitated a moment before taking her hand in his. “Now that we know, we can support each other both in the masks and as ourselves. We can make this work.”
“You think so?” She asked, hopefully.
He nodded. “We’ve done it before. Both as Ladybug and Chat Noir as well as Marinette and Adrien. We just need to figure out out the dynamics on both sides of the mask and work out the best way to use this to our advantage.” He couldn’t help the smirk at that. “And if anyone excels at that, it’s you, My Lady.”
Seeing her smile and the way she lit up at the prospect made him feel braver as well. It was…kind of comforting to know that Marinette had a lot of the same worries. And it showed that there was more to discover.
They spent a lot of the rest of the day just talking. Mostly about their respective dolls, how Marinette had made them, what they had been up to. But also about their lives—why Littlebug had been so good for Adrien and how Chaton (She called him “Chaton”! How adorable!) had been keeping Marinette on her toes. What Marinette had discovered about the dolls and their powers. What Adrien had noticed about Littlebug and how things work around her.
But…they also talked about themselves and each other. Finding out Marinette had been holding a crush on him all this time was a pleasant surprise. And his explanation for just WHY he had fallen for Ladybug since around the same timeframe also seemed to have more of an impact than any of his previous attempts at confessions.
It was nice knowing that they had been each other’s crush all along, but…for all that they were both happy to have the reveal (if not just a bit worried and having valid concerns about Hawk Moth in the meantime), the sudden revelation of the other’s secret identity and having their own known did have an impact all it’s own and they had to acknowledge were both struggling to navigate that.
The reveal didn’t come with a romantic relationship like he had been fantasizing all this time. It did, however, certainly come with A new relationship, and one he certainly wasn’t disappointed by. It was not just a closer partnership with Marinette, but also a change in setup with the dolls. Now that they both knew about the dolls, it seemed wrong to keep them apart—especially given how happy the two seemed to be together.
Thus they agreed on arranging regular playdates and exchanging of “custody” (as Adrien called it) or “babysitting duty” (per Plagg as he groaned all the while). With an exchange of schedules, they started to coordinate times to meet—both to bring the dolls together and to allow themselves a chance to spend time together and continue to figure things out as well. To Adrien’s relief, this reveal also meant that when his schedule got particularly hectic, he had someone he could leave Littlebug with whom he could trust with her care. And Marinette admitted feeling the same about Chaton.
“Even if he is a little troll sometimes.” She commented, giving the little guy a poke. Chaton merely smiled cheekily before grabbing Marinette’s finger and nuzzling it, prompting a round of petting that left the doll a curled up vibrating mass in her lap.
There was also the matter that he was pretty certain the dolls had planned this out. And though he couldn’t really bring himself to ground Littlebug for it, he did give her a firm talking to once they had gotten home (though he doubted it really made a difference given how proud she continued to look).
The next month was spent this way. Spending more free time together. Finding more spots in his schedule to add meetings and get togethers. It was taking a bit of time for the two of them to reconcile what they knew of each other as civilians and what they knew of each other as their superhero partner, but it was time worth investing and Adrien was only finding himself enjoying getting to know Marinette more and more.
And through it all, though he hadn’t thought it possible, he only found himself falling more and more in love with her.
All in all, Mother’s Day had been full of surprises. Adrien couldn’t say he regretted or was disappointed with any of them. With that one day, several of his desires came to fruition and while they weren’t exactly how he had envisioned, he had still been more than satisfied with the results.
If Mother’s Day could turn out that well for that side of things, he thought to himself that night with growing hope, then maybe Father’s Day would work out, too?
Father’s Day blows.
Part of him felt bad for the negative thought, but the rest of him was too hurt and disappointed (and angry, though he wouldn’t admit that) to care.
Adrien had prepared a good couple months in advance, even before the incidents of Mother’s Day. He made sure Nathalie kept both their schedules clear. He bought the specially designed gift. He made the card himself. He had specifically requested his Father’s favorite meal to be the dinner. He had even managed to find a special edition copy of his mother’s movie for them to watch together. Then after the reveal with the dolls and Marinette, she had even been kind enough to agree to keep the two with her for the day despite her own Father’s Day planning. And while the two didn’t seem particularly happy, they settled with little fuss.
He set up everything. All he needed was for his Father to be there.
…wild guess which one didn’t happen.
It was a last minute meeting, Nathalie had told him. There were no other times the other party would be available. It was very important. It couldn’t wait.
And of course this meeting took precedence.
And of course it lasted the entire day.
And of course all of Adrien’s well fashioned plans were made pointless. All with a single phone call.
He didn’t even bother to voice his displeasure. He barely ate any of the food—no point when it tasted like ash anyway. He didn’t try knocking on the door to his father’s office, which lacked anymore sound or indication of life than any of the rest of the house. If he tried to knock, he half expected there would be an echo.
Instead, he gave up and just went to his room.
So Adrien was left sitting on his bed, looking down at the stupid card and the stupid box with the stupid gift he’d gotten for the stupid dinner his father, kicking himself mentally for being so stupid. Because of course his father wouldn’t come. Of course the man in charge of a fashion company would have better things to do than spend Father’s Day with his own son.
“Come on, kid.” Plagg said, trying to cheer him up. “You can still give it to him another day, can’t you?”
“I know.” Adrien sighed.
Plagg merely floated close by, listening.
“I know it’s silly to expect so much out of one day, but…” He couldn’t help clenching his fist. “I had put so much into this! I prepared ahead of time. I went well out of my way to make sure everything was set up. I made sure he wouldn’t be busy. All he had to do was just BE there, if just for half an hour, and he…and he…”
He flopped back on the bed, staring balefully up at the ceiling.
“He couldn’t even do that.”
His eyes trailed to the kwami who could only look down at him despondently.
“What did I do wrong?”
Plagg winced. “Nothing! It wasn’t your fault.”
“But it had to be something.” He argued. “If he can find time for everyone else, what does it say when I have to schedule to be able to spend time with my father? And that even after all that, he would just put me off anyway?”
“It says that he’s a crappy father.” Plagg replied, bluntly.
He almost laughed at that. He didn’t, though. He was certain he would start to cry if he did.
“I think I just want to call it a day.” He replied, bitterly. Nothing personal to the kwami, but for all that Plagg could be supportive, Adrien really just wanted to forget this day happened and try to sleep.
The insistent tapping sound made that difficult, though.
A poke in his shoulder pulled at his attention. “Kid, you got company.”
Weird. There couldn’t be anyone at the door. Nathalie and the staff had no doubt already left for the day.
The tapping continued, more insistent.
Adrien raised his head up to look towards the window and—oh! That company.
He practically jumped to his feet and quickly made his way to the window where Ladybug was waiting…along with a carrier bag? He shook his head and unlocked it to allow her entry.
“Ladybug? Is everything alright?”
“I’m fine. There’s nothing wrong, just wanted to visit.” She reassured him as she entered. In a flash, her transformation ended and Tikki was there as well. “I’m sorry. I know you had plans, and I hope we didn’t interrupt.”
He shook his head bitterly. “There was nothing to interrupt anyway.”
She frowned, clearly displeased. “I see.”
Apparently she did see there was more than he was telling her. But while she was not happy about it, she did not comment on it further. For that, he was grateful.
“Then it’s a good thing we came by after all.”
That got his attention.
She gave a smile that made his heart flutter and set down the bag. It was one he recognized quite well, and he was pretty sure he knew what—or rather who was inside.
And sure enough, two little heads poked up out of the bag and two sets of eyes settled immediately on him.
“They wanted to see you.” She explained with the fond smile, though no explanation was really necessary.
They never needed an explanation to be able to see him.
As they peered up at him from the bag, he couldn’t stop the smile. “Hey, you two. What have you been doing to make Marinette come all this way?”
It wasn’t admonishment, not really. There was a teasing lit to his voice and he couldn’t help but feel glad to see them.
Somehow, they could sense this, because both reached up for him. And in short order, Adrien had two little dolls in his arms and hugging him as tightly as their little plush bodies would allow.
Marinette laughed quietly. “I think they missed you.” Tikki giggled behind her hands and even Plagg gave a small smile.
“But they saw me just this morning.” Adrien replied. That didn’t stop him though, as he hugged them back just as much. “I missed you, too.”
It was all too soon that the two were pushing away from him, just enough to point to the bag that Marinette placed on his table. Curious, he took them over and set them both on the table next to the bag.
“How were they?” He asked Marinette.
“They were fine. Quiet most of the day, though I was admittedly a bit distracted with the ‘Dupain-Cheng Father’s Day Mecha Strike Tournament’.”
He blinked. “Really?”
She shrugged with a small chuckle. “It was what he wanted.”
He felt guilty as he was mixed parts happy for her and jealous of how simple it was to appease her father and how easily they could spend time together. The others seemed to catch on, as he was jerked out of his brooding before it could really begin by a little plush polka-dotted hand tugging on his own to guide him to the bag.
“What’s this then?” He asked, curious.
Marinette smirked. “While I was busy preparing for my Father’s Day, these two were busy as well.”
Both Chaton and Littlebug were staring up at him eagerly, Littlebug pulling and Chaton pointing—both wanting him to check the bag. Confused on how to respond, he looked to Marinette for answers. She simply smiled and shook her head.
“How about you let him take a seat and I’ll pull them out?”
The two dolls merely bounced eagerly, not at all put off by the waiting. Amused, Adrien sat in the chair and watched as Marinette reached into the bag to get whatever it was they had wanted him to see.
“Here we are!” She announced as she pulled out a piece of paper. Chaton stood up on the tips of his toes and made grabby hands for the page. Again, Adrien found himself smiling at the antics as the doll almost seemed to cheer once he had the paper in hand. Turning to Adrien, Chaton almost seemed to be beaming with excitement and pride as he held out the paper to him.
It was a picture. Childishly drawn in crayons with little blobs of color that he easily recognized were supposed to be people. Himself, Marinette, Littlebug, and Chaton. There were even two little circles with eyes floating above them that could only be Tikki and Plagg.
Happy Papa’s Day!
He suddenly found himself having to blink. A lot.
“My Lady?” He asked, trying not to choke. “What is this?”
“After you mentioned your Father’s Day plans, they got curious and wanted to know what it was. And once they knew…” Marinette sent him another smile as she pulled something else out of the bag—something woolen. Cloth? Two of them—one red with black polka dots and the other was black with green dots…no wait…cat prints. “They wanted to do something special for you.”
Littlebug took the items from Marinette and presented them to Adrien as well.
He reached out for them, finding his hands unsteady as he took hold of the cloth and…oh…mittens.
“They were really insistent on doing this themselves. They made the card,” The picture, he realized. “They both knitted the mittens as well.”
Heh…hehe…his kittens made him mittens.
Marinette paused, realizing just how much he was shaking.
“I’m just…I’m gonna need a minute.”
He didn’t want to cry. It’d mean he was sad and make them sad and it wasn’t their fault and he didn’t want them to think that but it hurt except it was such a sweet hurt and he didn’t…he didn’t know what to—
“It’s okay.” A soft whisper came as arms wrapped around him.
Slowly, he reached out and hugged her back.
“It’s okay, Adrien.”
And like that he gave in and let the tears fall.
It had to have been a good while that they stayed like that. Him in her arms and her holding him and smoothing his hair. She didn’t shush him or try to make him stop. She just let him get it out because this was too sweet and he didn’t deserve it except he did—he had to because they were there—they were all there and they clearly felt he deserved it because they wouldn’t still be there otherwise. He felt Marinette’s hand in his hair and two little sets of arms hugging his legs and even Plagg had nestled into his neck with Tikki on the other side. And he just cried and they let him and for once he didn’t feel like such a bother even though he knew he was getting Marinette’s shirt wet and he hadn’t even thanked the dolls for their gifts and Plagg never really cared to show any real emotions besides laziness but he was purring into his shoulder and…
He wasn’t the best son. So how was it that he could be considered a good father?
How could they see him that way?
He hadn’t done anything to deserve it. He didn’t raise them. Or make them. He only spent time with them and took them places and hugged them and taught them things and…
He was with them. Even when he was busy he still tried to make time for them. That was…only everything he wanted from his own father and it was impossible wasn’t it? How could it possibly be that easy of a thing to give?
Just some of his time…and it was just that simple?
So…why couldn’t his own Father do it?
It was a few minutes more before the shaking eased and the tears ebbed. There was a feeling of stress flowing from his body that he hadn’t realized just how tense he had been before. It was amazing how crying could actually make you feel better.
“Thank you, Marinette.” He whispered. “But I’d like to stay like this just a little longer if you can.”
He felt a pressure to his head that in any other situation would have sent him over the moon but now only made him feel more relaxed. “Whenever you’re ready.”
So they remained like that. Nobody speaking or indicating any discomfort their very positions probably caused them. Adrien couldn’t express just how grateful he was. They stayed there until he was ready to pull away. It felt like it was simultaneously too long and too soon when he was finally calm enough to separate. Marinette smiled sadly in understanding. Tikki floated up and patted his cheek. Plagg…surprisingly didn’t move from his place, though the purring did die down. The kids though…
They had broken away and there was shuffling again from the now overturned bag as the dolls were reaching in and pulling out…a couple of big things.
“Oh. There was one other thing.” Marinette said as she guided him to the table.
Adrien almost didn’t believe his eyes.
Awaiting him was a pink ceramic bowl, a spoon, and a box of cereal. He didn’t know what kind it was—something sugary and filled with marshmallows, given the packaging. Something clearly unhealthy.
He couldn’t find it in him to care.
“They wanted to bake something for you as well, but I figured it might be better to have something simpler in case you had just eaten.” She explained as the two dolls set to opening the box. She gave a small chuckle. “It’s also because the last time Chaton tried to make something, we ended up with 750 macarons.”
He blinked in shock. “Like…750 actual individual ones?”
“Yeah. I had a hard time explaining it to my parents. That and the loss of all the ingredients used up in the process before I caught him and stopped him from making more. Then Littlebug found out about it and wanted to try. She apparently had a goal of 2000.”
He gaped. “So that was why you kept giving out all those macarons!”
She laughed. “Kind of makes me wish they’d been there for Heroes Day. My picnic announcement wouldn’t have been any issue with them helping me.”
He couldn’t help but laugh as well. Both dolls looked all too pleased with the praise. Or maybe they were just happy he was laughing now after the tears earlier. He certainly found his mood improved.
What followed was a Father’s Day dinner of a children’s cereal and milk from his own fridge, shared with his superhero partner and gifted by the two pseudo-children in plush form. It had been overly sweet, chock full of sugar and calories and all sorts of unhealthy things that would have made his dietician have a heart attack. There had even been a little toy inside. A kazoo of all things.
It was weird.
It was probably the best Father’s Day dinner he’d ever had.
While he and Marinette had been eating, the kids were looking over his movie cabinet. He hadn’t realized just what they were doing until he had finished eating and they approached him with a DVD in hand.
They looked up at him pleadingly.
He patted both of them on the head.
A movie sounded really good right now.
And as he settled in to watch, Marinette sitting by his side, the kwamis resting on the top of the couch, and two little forms nestled between them, he couldn’t think of a time he had felt more loved.