Marinette woke to the worst headache she had ever experienced. Some of it, of course, was to the copious amounts of alcohol she had consumed the night before (it was her 21st birthday, she was allowed to get blackout drunk) but the other 80%, she believed, came from the very painful memories of what actually went down when she had no filter after three shots of vodka.
To recap; At 7pm, she and Alya were getting ready in Marinette’s room, going through her wardrobe to find the most nightclub-esque things that Marinette owned (which, surprisingly, was quite a lot – she’d gone through a phase.) By 8, they were ready, makeup on and heels waiting at the door. By 9, Nino had picked them up and driven to the club where most of her friends and former classmates were already waiting with a shot in hand, ready to drink to her arrival (they got one, she got one in each hand, and many more offered.) By nine thirty, she’d had enough to make her slightly dizzy – and thanks to Alya going off to flirt-dance with her long-term boyfriend, Nino, she was left to stumble into the one and only Adrien Agreste.
“Hey,” she remembered slurring, attempting a smile, which in hindsight probably looked more like a grimace. But Adrien – poor, sweet, sober Adrien – righted her in her heels and returned the grin with a showstopping one of his own.
“Are you having a good time?” He had to raise his voice slightly to be heard over the music, and she thought it was cute how the moving lights hit his hair.
“The best!” She said. “Do you want to dance?”
Adrien looked around. “I thought we already were.”
She turned around, to find herself face-to-face with a dancing crowd. They were in the middle of the party, Adrien’s arms were wrapped around her waist, the pleasant buzzing in her chest was only increasing with every thrum of the music, and she realized that the lights weren’t moving – it was Adrien, bopping his cute little head along to whatever song was playing.
It would probably be best to intervene the telling of this story at this particular moment, to inform you that at the tender age of fifteen, Marinette Dupain-Cheng fell irrevocably in love with Adrien Agreste. However, as the two of them aged, she realized that fifteen-year-old love is not the same as love-love; and that it was a crush, albeit a serious one. Still, she decided to put aside her feelings as best as she can and support him, as a friend, for whatever he decided to pursue. Thus, by age 18, their friendship had vastly improved, Marinette could get through whole sentences without tripping over her words, and she could also look at him and only feel the slightest of twangs somewhere deep, deep inside. By twenty, she could look back and laugh. She had two relationships under her belt at that point – neither particularly serious – but it shed some light on the whole ‘I’m in love’ situation.
Back to the story at hand; Marinette, a complete lightweight, dancing with the blonde she’d bee crushing on for a long time, proceeded to spill her guts to him about how, for three, almost four, agonising years, she had been completely in love with him.
Adrien, the sweetheart, had no obvious reaction to the information. He smiled and patted her back, leading her to the bar where he got her situated with a glass of water and a bar stool so she wouldn’t randomly fall over. He’d said something sweet like, “We can talk about this tomorrow, when you’re sober,” or “Maybe we can discuss this later?” Either way, before she could respond a bunch of her girlfriends whisked her away where she proceeded to drink and dance all night, until she couldn’t stand anymore and was probably at the borderline of having alcohol poisoning.
From that point on, her memory is fuzzy. Maybe she passed out, and was deposited in the sweet sanctuary of her room in the forbidden hours of the early morning. Maybe she’d caught a cab in her drunken stupor, and had somehow managed to lug herself to bed, makeup and all.
But her shoes were off, and her makeup was nowhere to be seen on her pillow. She had also changed out of her dress, and was wearing a pyjama top and some shorts – not her usual choice, but comfortable none the less. Had she been conscious enough to get herself ready for bed.
“Tikki?” Marinette mumbled, rolling over to not face the wall. “What happened?”
Whilst looking for the small bed she’d made her kwami that usually rested on her nightstand, she instead came face-to-face with a glass of water, a painkiller, and a note.
“Morning Mari!” It read in very distinct, curly handwriting.
“I hope you don’t mind, but I stayed over. Alya’s at Nino’s. Have this – it’ll make you feel better. And happy birthday!”
And then, at the bottom, it was signed – Adrien.
“Oh my god,” said Marinette, sitting up. Adrien was here?
“Marinette?” Said devil poked his head through the door. “I thought I heard you up. I made eggs a while ago – do you want me to put some in the microwave for you?”
Even though her stomach twisted at the thought of eating anything, Marinette found herself nodding in some strange stupor. He offered a smile, backing out of the room and closing the door softly.
“Tikki?” Mari hissed, quieter this time to avoid Adrien’s ears. “Are you here?”
Said kwami flew out from under her bed, giving her a look. “You didn’t tell me Adrien was coming back with you! I had to hide all night long just in case he came in.”
“I’m sorry,” she said honestly, pushing her covers away from her legs and swinging them over the side of her bed, bracing to stand up. “To be honest, I didn’t even know he knew where I lived. He’s never been here before.”
It was true – in the almost-three years since they graduated from College Francoise-Dupont, she’d made somewhat of a living from an online boutique in which she made custom clothing and tailored for people. At first, it was slow – but Alya was a whiz with social media, and after about a month, Marinette was getting enough traffic and then some. They’d bought an apartment together on Alya’s 19th birthday, when she found out she was going to journalism school near where Mari was searching for her ‘dream home.’
It was a small, two-bedroom apartment, but it was dreamy enough for two college students, apparently.
Deciding that there was probably a lot of Alya’s meddling involved in this mess, Marinette sighed as she got up and took the pill with the glass of water Adrien had generously left on her nightstand. Her hair, she’d bet, was probably a mess away from the style she’d had it in last night; and whilst she didn’t have time to shower before breakfast was served, she could do something about it – and throw on some proper clothes.
Several minutes later, she emerged from her room to see a strangely domestic sight – Adrien, setting the table for two, in one of Alya’s ladybug-themed aprons. Alya had demanded them to be sold on the boutique – and, as it turned out, lots of people liked wearing Ladybug and Chat Noir merchandise.
Adrien paused his movements, as if sensing her eyes on him. “Oh, hey!” He said with a grin. “The eggs will just be a minute. Take a seat.”
She obliged, watching as he manned the kitchen like he lived here. Then again, Adrien had probably been cooking for himself for such a long time, any kitchen was somewhere he felt at home.
Adrien served her scrambled eggs with toast, and she offered him a thankful grin as he took the seat on the opposite side of the table, coffee in hand. He took a large gulp, before holding out the cup to her.
She took a large gulp herself. Two sugars, and enough milk to dilate the coffee an almost caramel colour. Just the way she liked it.
Mari handed the cup back, before beginning to eat. She didn’t have much of an appetite – but with Adrien’s encouraging gaze as he sipped his coffee, she managed to stomach half of it before pushing the plate away from her.
“So,” Adrien begun as soon as she’d finished, slumping into her seat and squinting her eyes slightly for reprieve from the sunlight that filtered through the windows and right onto her face, causing the droning ache behind her temples to worsen. “What do you want to do today?”
“I have to study for a bit, and work on the boutique.”
“Oh.” Marinette watched as the blonde’s face fell slightly. “Do you want me to leave, so you can concentrate?”
Marinette’s eyes widened. “No!” She said suddenly, provoking the blonde to smile again. “We could… watch a movie here, if you don’t mind the fact that I’ll be sewing the entire time.”
“I don’t mind,” Adrien smiled as if he were sunshine itself. He picked himself up, and Marinette could only watch as he took her plate to the kitchen, scraping what was left of her food onto a tray and depositing it in the fridge. “I don’t really have anything to do today – maybe we could study together later?”
A quick update on the situation; Mari had taken fashion design at university, but she had also opted for a business course, seeing as she’d be running things about her fashion design. Adrien was taking business, too – and out of pure coincidence, they landed in the same class, at the same university. Fun, right?
Mari stood slowly, blood rushing to her head, and made it to the sofa a mere several feet away, sinking into the cushions. Adrien watched from across the room in the kitchen section, an amused smile on his face as he washed her plate.
She reached for the remote, scrolling mindlessly through channels. “What do you want to watch?”
“A comedy?” Adrien walked over and sat next to her, just close enough that their thighs were touching. Mari stopped her scrolling momentarily, suddenly hyper-aware of the spot.
Thank god she’d changed out of those pyjama shorts, or her skin would be burning a lot more than it was right now.
“Mari?” Adrien asked. “I can look through the movies, if you want to get your sewing stuff set up.”
“Oh,” she nodded. “Right. Do you want a cookie?”
Standing, she missed Adrien’s confused tilt of his head as he watched her make her way to the fridge rather than her bedroom, where her sewing stuff was. “Sorry?” He asked, putting down the remote as she opened the fridge.
A moment later, Marinette pulled out a tray full of chocolate chip cookies, placing one into her pocket as sneakily as she could for Tikki. “I made them yesterday afternoon. Do you want some? We can snack on them whilst watching the movie.”
“Uh, yeah. Sure.” She smiled at him, passing the tray over as she made her way to her room. Adrien watched her go, a strange sort of smile on his face.
“Tikki?” Marinette asked quietly, pulling out the cookie from her pocket. The kwami flew out of her hiding place. “I brought you a cookie?”
Tikki took it gratefully. “Thank you! Is Adrien still here?”
“Yeah – I think he’s spending the day here. Maybe I should text Alya, ask her about her plans with Nino?”
Tikki nods, taking a large bite out of the cookie, and Marinette goes to her bedside table, where her phone lies, fully charged (did Adrien plug it in for her?) She sent Alya a quick text, before placing her phone down.
Mari: Adrien is here??? Also, are you coming home anytime soon?
After not even a minute, in which Marinette has scooped up her fabric and her sewing kit, the screen lights up with a response.
Alya: It’s a long weekend! I plan to stay with Nino for all of it. You should keep Adrien busy, if you get what I mean ;)
Despite herself, Mari felt a blush light up her cheeks, and she quickly turned off the phone, walking through to the living room to see Adrien had decided on a Disney movie.
“No comedy?” She asked, sinking into the sofa right next to him and beginning to organise the fabric.
“Well, I remembered you said you loved Disney – and I’ve never seen this one, so I figured…”
She looked up to see that the movie he’d chosen was Tangled. “You’ve never seen it?”
“Nope. Never got the chance.”
“Well, it’s a good choice, and I’d be honoured to take your Disney virginity.”
Adrien paused his action of pressing play, drawing back to raise an eyebrow at her. “My what?”
If possible, Marinette’s cheeks flared up even more – and she felt just about ready to sink through the floor into the depths of hell, forever. “You heard me,” she mumbled, pretending to busy herself with sewing as an excuse to look away from him.
Adrien chuckled, pressing play. Soon enough, the very familiar songs started up, and though Marinette wasn’t watching the screen, instead making small, precise stitches that took a hell of a lot longer than a sewing machine but were worth it to spend time with it, she found herself humming along and, at times, quoting the movie. Adrien watched with an intense vigour, not taking his eyes off the screen even whilst he reached for a cookie until the credits rolled, almost two hours later.
“Did you enjoy it?” Marinette asked when Adrien let out a whoosh of breath, sinking back to the sofa from his tense position leaning towards the TV. He’d been… enthralled, was the word. Captivated.
“I did! It was really good – and all the music was great. And it was animated so well!”
“I know right? Once I watched Mulan, and then Tangled straight after – and they’re so different, even though it’s only been 18 years!”
“Mulan?” Adrien asked, tilting his head like a confused puppy. Marinette’s jaw dropped.
“You haven’t seen Mulan?” She half-screeched. He shook his head. “Do you have any plans today?”
“…not that I know of.”
“We’re watching Mulan. Give me a minute – I finished this dress, so I should probably get some other project to work on.”
“Can I see?” He asked, and she obliged, standing up and holding the dress up to herself as if she were considering buying it.
“What do you think? I made it for a client – special request.”
“I think it’s beautiful, Marinette. You’re really talented.”
“Oh, thanks,” she said with a somewhat goofy smile. “Find Mulan on the TV? I have a couple of suits that need tailoring.”
And so, for the next several hours, Marinette shared her almost scary, extensive knowledge of Disney movies with Adrien, who seemed very happy to be there, with her, and learn. At one point during Hercules, she felt herself drift off – right onto Adrien’s shoulder – but he already had more movie recommendations to get him through, and he found that he didn’t particularly mind the new warmth on his arm.