After the disappearance of his mother, Adrien's life had become cold, dark, and lonely. His father was never around, the closest thing to a mother figure he now had was Nathalie, and being an only child was draining since he was the company's sole heir, the one who was going to inherit the company someday.
Of course, a lot of this changed after he met Marinette Dupain-Cheng. Marinette was always there with a smile, and a bag of fresh croissants in the morning, and it was Marinette who first realized his thirst for affection.
He wasn't sure how long she knew before she said, or rather did, anything. He'd had a long night, which was evident from the frown on his face, and the bags under his eyes. Marinette had said nothing, simply walking up to him and wrapping her arms around him. Adrien froze. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been given a hug since his mother's disappearance.
"Marinette, what...?" If your friend walks up to you and hugs you, what are you supposed to do? Because he had no clue.
She pulled away, and met his eyes. Shrugging, she replied, "You looked like you could use a hug." She smiled, handing him a cup of coffee (just the way he liked it), and a bag containing two croissants. "And some breakfast. Now come on, we're going to be late for class." She laughed, running towards the main doors as the warning bell rang, him right behind her.
She kept showing him those little signs of affection. A hug for a greeting, a kiss on the cheek as a thank you, holding his hand as they walked down the hall to their next class. Of course, it was all strictly platonic, and they were close friends. Though, that was only apparent to him. Why did everyone else think they were dating? She was just a good friend, helping his need for physical affection.
Until she wasn't. It hit him in the gut one morning as she handed him a bag of freshly baked pastries, a cup of coffee, and smiled up at him. That's when it hit him. There was no fireworks, no lightning strike, just him and her standing there in that moment, and he couldn't help but think, wow, I love her.
Suddenly, he could no longer see the lines between their once platonic friendship and his now romantic feelings for her. Was it okay for him to act the way he'd always acted knowing he now held romantic feelings for her, but they weren't in a relationship? He started pulling away.
He dodged her hugs, avoided her kisses to his cheek, and didn't hold her hand anymore, no matter how much he craved her affection. He wouldn't be able to live with himself if he took advantage of her feelings like that. She noticed, and she confronted him.
"What is going on with you?" There was no accusation in her tone, only concern and a hint of worry. "You're avoiding me, but I can see it in your eyes how much it hurts you when you do it. What's wrong?" He turned away, and she placed a hand on his shoulder. "Adrien, you can talk to me." She said quietly. "We're friends. You-"
"That's the problem." He said just as quietly. "We're friends. But how we were acting made people think we were dating. I thought how we were was normal for two friends, but maybe I don't want to be friends."
She pulled her hand away, curling in on herself. "Oh." She said softly. He'd never said she was making him uncomfortable. "I'm sorry. I-"
"Maybe," he continued, his voice still a whisper, "I want to be something more." She didn't say anything, and the silence was driving him crazy. He turned around. "Mari-" Her arms were around him, squeezing so tight he wasn't sure if he was even breathing, but he still wrapped his arms around her and closed his eyes. "I'm sorry for avoiding you. It was my way of dealing with my feelings."
"Why didn't you just tell me?" She said into his chest.
"I didn't want it to ruin our friendship." She looked up at him, and arched an eyebrow. He chuckled.
"You would've never ruined our friendship. Do you really think so little of me, that I would stop being your friend just because you had feelings for me?"
"No! I- Maybe? I don't know. I've never felt this way about anyone before."
Their eyes met, an instant understanding. Then she was on her toes and her lips were on his. She pulled away, breathing heavily. "I haven't either." She admitted. "But... I'm glad I fell for you."
He kissed her forehead. "I'm glad I fell for you, too."
After that, their relationship was back to normal (although now he got to kiss her, take her on dates, and give her cute pet names). He was happy, happier than he'd ever been, and he couldn't have been more thankful to have met this wonderful girl. They were in her house, cuddled up on her love seat, her in his lap and his arms around her, his head resting on her shoulder as they watched a movie.
His phone rang. She paused the movie so he could answer the call. 'Nathalie' he mouthed to her, as he held the phone up to his ear. She watched his facial expressions change as Nathalie, his father's assistant, talked, not letting Adrien get a word in. She didn't think the call was going well. He glared at the phone as he hung up, before tossing it on the table.
"Are you okay?" She asked, turning to face him.
"Yeah." He sighed, pulling her closer. "Father just wants to have dinner with you and your parents next weekend."
"Is that a problem?" She knew his father was cold, not a very good parental figure for her boyfriend, and always too busy working to spend time with him, but... Wait. Why wouldn't that be a problem?
"Not really, except for the fact that I never exactly told him I have a girlfriend. Nathalie must've found out and told him."
"Is it... Bad that we're together?" They'd only been dating for a month, but she thought that would've been plenty of enough time to tell him.
"My father... He's not like you parents. He's either going to completely ignore your existence, blacklist you from the industry, or pay you to dump me."
"That's...." She didn't know how to finish the thought.
"Yeah," He sighed. "I know."
"Well," She said, facing him with a smile. "let's go tell my parents about this dinner. We can worry about your father later, okay?" She pressed a kiss to his lips.
"Okay. Thank you for always being there for me, Mari." She got up, and pulled him up with her, linking their fingers together, as they left her room, and closed the door behind her.
She smiled up at him. "Anytime."