Adrien checked around the corner nervously seeing that his father wasn’t there and that Nathalie was there just by herself. With silent relief he entered and called out quietly “Hey Nat?”
She gave a slight jump as she had been in the zone with her working. She glanced up from the computer to see Adrien there with an innocent smile and suppressed laughter. “What is it Adrien?”
“I have… mm…” Adrien shifted his feet as his planned speech from earlier flew from his mind. “You know what… nevermind. Sorry for disturbing you.”
Nathalie watched him start to walk away with a downtrodden face that had her curious. “Adrien.”
He stopped and turned back slowly at the sound of her call. “Yes?”
“What is it that you wanted to talk about?” Nathalie took her hands away from the keyboard to show that she was given him her full attention. Her normal blank business like stare softened the more she looked at Adrien.
Adrien looked nervously between Nathalie and his father’s office door. He wanted to trust her, he really did, but if she was Mayura and his father was Hawkmoth? Could he? He breathed in deeply as he looked a bit longer at the office door.
She gauge his reaction and figured the best course of action would be to take him away from the vicinity of his father’s location. “Do you wish to speak in your room?”
“To be honest… I don’t know.” He shifted again as he held his left wrist, covered wrapped in the bandana and many bangles from friends. He looked at Nathalie with a studying gaze that had her straighten up. He seemed to come to a near conclusion when he asked “Can I trust you?”
She blinked at the question having not expected to be asked. She automatically wanted to say no since she worked with his father. She always wanted to say yes, as she had made sure that Adrien could do as he wished within reason and spend time with his friends. She noticed that he had covered his marks so she thought over her answer as best she could and hoped it would satisfy him. “You can trust me with your connections and ensure you are able to spend time with them. You can trust that I try to do my best when it concerns your happiness. As long as things are within reason. Anything related to your father however… is a pinch of salt.”
“Okay.” Adrien tilted his head as he listened to Plagg as the kwami had discreetly hidden within his hood.
The chaotic being muttered “The answer was truthful as it gets and that it was up to you on what to do next. You got this kid.”
Adrien nodded seemingly to himself as far as Nathalie was concerned and walked over to her desk. He looked at her desk and picked up the notepad and pen. He scribbled on it before presenting it to her.
Nathalie picked it from his hands and her eyes widened a fraction at what she saw. A heartmate… He had a heartmate and he was sneaking out to go on their first date tonight. Since it wasn’t said she took it to mean that it was a person that his father wouldn’t potentially approve of but Adrien was happy with. Something she wouldn’t tell his father about. Her lips scrunched to the left as she tore up the note and did something unexpected. She tossed it into her mouth, chewed and swallowed.
Adrien gaped at the action and he could feel Plagg’s surprise too. Neither really expected it out of the professional.
She proceeded to look at him as if what she did was normal. She raised an eyebrow and talked calmly. “He has been working non stop on the christmas show line so he won’t be able to see you for the next two weeks.”
He titled his head at that, wondering why she was talking about father before something clicked and read between the lines. His father won’t notice for the next two weeks what he does. He coughed into his hand. “Thank you for checking. I’ll ensure what I do is done in a timely but safe fashion in order to not disturb his work.”
She took that to mean that he would be careful and be home at a reasonable time on the date and any future ones. Despite what his father thought of the matter, she knew that Adrien had a sensible head on his shoulders. “Very good. Is there anything else that you require?”
Shaking his head he smiled. “I’m good, thank you for your help Nathalie.”
“Very well.” Nathalie nodded her head and raised her hands above the keyboard to indicate that she was getting back to work. “Please ensure your homework is done before dinner, I’ll inform the kitchen that you require something light.”
“That would be great. See you at dinner time.” Adrien smiled brighter. He really hadn’t been sure what to do about dinner as Luka had said that he would make something for the two of them. Nathalie could be scarily perspective at times but he was glad to see that it was working for him instead of against him right now. He departed with a wave, “Take it easy Nat.”
Nathalie made a non committal sound as she got back to typing. Though stopped when she felt something drop on her arm. Confused, she swiped a finger over it and looked up to see that there were no leaks from the ceiling. When she looked back down she could feel dampness along her chin. With a tissue she dabbed her chin and followed the trail up her cheek to her eye. She guessed talking with Adrien then going back to typing up her emergency apology letter to him, had left her more emotional than she thought. If something were to happen to herself, she couldn’t leave him not knowing if the same thing happened to her as it did his mother. She couldn't do that to him.
Chat Noir waited till the camera passed by his window before he leaped out of it when it was clear. He swooped away discreetly and bumped into Ladybug and Carapace on a nearby roof.
They had come to the decision that they would have two more visible members of the team so as not to wear out Kitsunebi magic too soon. Carapace and Queen bee had been chosen and so far the people of Paris had been quite receptive to the members. It also meant that there could be a rotation to parols also between the four of them.
He greeted them with a cheer, “Hey! How’s the evening been going?”
“Been going well man.” Carapace high fived him when he drew closer. “The parkour lessons have really been helping here, even though hoverboarding has been really fun too.”
Ladybug smiled amused. “I’m glad to hear that. It certainly has been a great help having that board of yours when feeling tired.”
Chat Noir patted his baton. “I’ll stick with this for now, though I could use a toss if you're up for it? I’m running a bit later than expected.”
“Oh yeah, let’s see your physical prowess here turtle boy.” Ladybug patted Carapace arm to check for muscles. “If you throw him over Ayla’s house I am sure it would brighten her night.”
“Thankfully it is in that direction.” Chat Noir stretched, so that he was prepared to land proper once thrown. “whenever you’re ready bud!”
Carapace rolled his arm back and forth to ensure he didn’t pull anything. He could see Ladybug calling someone in the background and guessed that she was making sure that Ayla was in position to see. He clapped his hands together when he finished his own stretches. “Alright dude!”
Chat noir waited for Carapace to put his shell on the ground and was surprised to see him stand on it. His friend just beamed as he held out his hand. So he shrugged and went with it when he took his hands. That's when the shell changed into hover mode and started to turn with the two of them. Though Chat Noir’s feet where still on the ground as it turned so he had to walk then run to keep up with the spinning. Carapace was laughing when Chat Noir’s feet started lifting. The turtle hero braced his legs on the shell and held on tightly Chat’s hand in Arm as the spinning went faster.
Chat screamed when Carapace finally let go of him and he went flying through the air.
Carapace laughed nervously as he stepped off his shell shakinly. “Too much?”
Whilst holding her compact up Ladybug whistled as she had filmed the whole thing. “Maybe just a little.”
“Whoops.” He scratched the back of his neck nervously as he sucked in his breath and picked up his shell with the other. “There’s going to be pay back isn’t there?”
“Maybe… but he did ask to be tossed.” Ladybug giggled as she watched Chat Noir give Alya a salute before landing someone where by the Seine. “So possibly a punch in the arm will suffice.”
“Owh I can live with that.” He placed his shell back on to his back and unexpectedly fell over from her punching him on the arm. “Ow! what was that for?”
Ladybug grinned as she sent the video forward to Chat Noir. “I didn’t say it would be delivered from him.”
Chat Noir laughed as he watched the end of the video and sent a quick thank you to Ladybug before transforming back to Adrien. He cheerfully gave Plagg his beloved Camerbert which the kwami swallowed whole. He scrunched his nose though he said with a smile. “So gross.”
“Your palate still isn’t as refined as mine I see.” Plagg bleached happily and took in the sight of the alleyway. “We really got to stop meeting like this kid.”
Adrien snorted as this hadn’t been the first time Plagg had used that joke before but it still made him laugh. “Come on Plagg, got a houseboat to catch.”
“Bleh lovie dovie stuff.” Plagg flew into the bag that Adrien brought for the occasion so that the little chaotic being had stuff to do and not be bored out of his mind from the mushy stuff. “Have fun! No loud kissing! that is yuuuuck.”
Adrien blushed at the thought of kissing Luka but laughed it off. “Sure thing Plagg.”
“Should I start calling you alleycat?” Luka appeared at the entrance with an easy going smile. “I might have to rethink our dinner plans if you like staying in here.”
He clapped his hands over his face as it brightened further in embarrassment. He did a quick walk out of the place and stood next to Luka, he peeped through his fingers. “How did you find me?”
Luka tapped over his heart twice. “The song of your heart leads me to you.”
“Owh…” Adrien brought his hands down as he tried to listen inside himself. He felt the warmth of his bond with Luka but couldn’t sense a melody or song. He didn’t realise he had closed his eyes till he felt a tap on his nose from Luka.
“It’s a unique ability to me, my Allegro.” Luka said patiently as he watched Adrien turn curious. “I could sense the songs of others since I was born. Juleka likes to call it my heartsong ability. Once heard, unforgotten, well unless I intentionally forget it. Too many songs make for a headache.”
“That seems similar to Kagami’s. Think she explained that once she senses magic she can trail it and taste it?” Adrien tilted his head as he thought. He slipped into step with Luka as the older male led him away in the direction of where they were going for dinner tonight. “Tasting magic sounds horrible, especially when Plagg is concerned.”
Sass made his presence known by peeking out from Luka’s collar, his forked tongue poking out. “It’ss not sso bad. It’s like tasting rotten eggss.”
Adrien nearly blanched at that. “Oh gosh i’m so sorry.”
Luka laughed lightly as Sass scented the air. “It’ss alright, each to their own tastess.”
Luke smiled as he guided the other down the steps and opened his arm grandly towards a fairy lighted boat. “Marinette told me what you guys did one valentines as friends so I thought why not add a bit of romance to it this time around.”
“Don’t know about that, I was pretty romantic,” Adrien piped up confidently as he walked across the boarding plank. “So who's houseboat is this? Last I remember the Liberty was a bit bigger than this.”
“This is the baby sister to the Liberty.” Luka lightly spoke as he followed after Adrien. He was glad to see the younger one taking in the decorations; fairy lights, scattered rose petals, twinkling music coming from a hidden sound system. “This is Virtue. It’s Juleka and I’s practise boat though I’ve been using it a bit more often nowadays.”
Adrien gave an appreciative whistle as he ran his hands over the carved wood. “She’s pretty”
“Just like the boy I see in front of me.” Luka snuck up beside him and gave a light kiss to his forehead.
“You think I'm pretty?” Adrien asked stunned by the kiss that he didn’t realise he gave a memey response till he got a raised eyebrow from Luka. “Alright i’m pretty.”
“And don’t you ever doubt it.” He gave another light kiss as he took Adrien’s bag away. He moved it over to where he had set up Sass’ station for the night. He lifted up a hidden lid and Sass decided to come out of Luka’s hood to hover over the cubby hole. Luka then unzipped the bag to see the cat kwami. “Don’t eat up all the cheese in one go alright Plagg?”
“Ack you guys are no fun.” Plagg floated out the bag and twirled around Sass when the snake kwami came out in greeting. “Hey forky! Got any good games?”
“Battleshipss or card game perhapss? Luka wass kind enough to get a mini sset for me.” Sass floated around Plagg and showed the excited kwami to the cubby hole for the night’s activities.
“You decked a cubby hole for them? That’s so sweet.” Adrien commented as he watched Luka transfer Plagg’s treats from the bag into the Kwami’s hidden area. He saw a variety of creature comforts and the two kwami’s settled on teeny tiny beanbags. He felt slightly sad that he didn’t quite have a nice area for Plagg to hang out in at home.
Luka closed the lid over and reached out to Adrien. The other took his hand willingly so He held him close. He nuzzled the top of his head gently. “Stop. Plagg knows how much you care for him, you don’t have to worry too much.”
“How did you know what I was thinking?” Adrien chuckled nervously at people so easy to read.
“I’ve seen my sister have that look so many times when she feels like she’s messed up about something.” Luka guided Arien inside of the cabin. “You and her are not too dissimilar when it comes to your confidence levels when considering others.”
“huh…” Adrien slightly took in what Luka was saying. He had been looking up and was surprised to see that the roof was made of glass and that he could see the stars outside. He guessed that it was a one way glass cause on the outside he wasn’t able to see in. He looked down when there were a couple of steps leading into the dinning area and could see it was littered with comfy cushions, fake but cute tea lights and on the table was a glass teapot with a weird looking green bulb inside it, with two glasses beside it. “What are those?”
“Ah Kagami recommended it. It’s a jasmine green tea.” Luka indicated for Adrien to set as he picked up the kettle that he had boiled earlier. He brought it over slowly and lifted up the glass lid of the teapot. “Keep your eye on the bulb.”
Adrien did as was asked of him. So luka slowly poured the boiled water into the teapot and the bulb started to float a little within the water. A few seconds passed and it started unflurring a blossoming red flower and an arch of white blooms.
“This one is called sunset love.” Luka smiled as he watched Adrien watch the flower in wonder.
“Owh...Owh!” Adrien blinked as he realised something about the name and couldn’t believe how sentimental Luka already was. “We met as the sun was setting!”
Luka chuckled as he settled across from Adrien and continued smiling as Adrien blushed cutely and smiled brightly himself. “That we did.”
Adrien giggled then started rubbing his face with one hand as he felt suddenly unsettled, like he was just about having a meltdown. Luka was being so sweet and loving that it was a bit overwhelming. “I’m so sorry Luka, This is so lovely and everything but I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.”
“It’s okay Adrien.” Luka started pouring some of the flowering tea into their glasses. He kept his voice soothing as best as he could. “I’m not going anywhere.”
Adrien swallowed as he fought against the sudden onslaught of tears that threatened to spill over. He could feel that his face was smiling from how happy he felt being with Luka but it still was a bit too much after living in a not so loving household for nearly four years since his mother's disappearance. “I’m happy being here with you.. it’s just…”
Luka looked at him with knowing and understanding eyes. He had discreetly sent a message to Ladybug to do a pass over the seine for possible butterflies. He didn’t think Adrien’s father would be that heartless to use his son for an akuma but you could never be too careful. He reached over and took one of Adrien’s hands into his and did comforting circles with his thumbs. “What can I do for you?”
“Can…” Adrien choked slightly on his words. “Can we cuddle?”
Insteading of answering, Luka got up, didn’t let go of the other hand as he walked over to Adrien's side of the table and scooched in to be beside him.
Adrien shuddered as the years of feelings of what’s happened to him decided to release then and there as he was wrapped up in Luka’s arms. He tried to keep strong for so long in order to not cause too much trouble for Marinette but since the first thought of his father being Hawkmoth had been weighing him down, steadily eating away at his being. Random venting sessions with Plagg had helped in the beginning but it just hadn’t been enough as of late. “I’m sorry… I'm so so sorry.”
“Your feelings are valid Adrien.” Luka ran his fingers through Adrien’s hair in a soothing manner as he rocked the both of them back and forth slowly. “Breath with me and things will be fine.”
“Okay…” Adrien nuzzled in closer so that he had a better feeling of Luka’s breathing. He could feel the tears down his cheeks but as he focused he could feel himself settling into the same rhythm. He spoke softly as he allowed the safety of Luka blanket over him. “Okay…”
The two of them settled in silence. Luka had eventually started moving his fingers in a manner that was reminiscent of him playing his guitar that has Adrien smiling a little when he realised the movement. Luka shifted when he sensed another shift in emotion. “What’s funny Adagio?”
“Your’e playing with my hair like a guitar.” Adrien replied amused. “Do you want to play yours?”
“If that’s okay?” Luka shifted again so that he could look Arien in the face. “It’s sitting outside so I would have to move.”
“Yeah that’s okay.” Adrien slowly detached himself and pulled down his jumper sleeve to hold it in his hand then proceeded to dab away at his face to clear away the moisture. “I would like to hear you play if that’s okay?.”
“Be more than happy too.” He placed a light kiss to the top of Adrien’s head and gave a squeeze with his free hand before leaving.
Adrien sighed as he watched the other leave. He was a little disappointed that he could have potentially ruined the night with his emotions but Luka didn’t appear to be too bothered by it. He breathed in deeply to centre himself and could tell that he already felt lighter from having let go of so much. He hadn’t realised how much he had needed that.
By the time Luka came back with his guitar, he came back to Adrien sipping the flowered tea and was gazing upwards at the stars. He was really glad that he managed to convince Anarka to get half of the ceiling changed to one way glass. As he entered the room he turned off the light so the only source was the fake tea lights that he had turned on earlier and it allowed them to see the night sky better.
He startled when the light went out but relaxed when he saw Luka come in and settled across from him once more. He smiled behind his cup as Luka made sure the guitar was in tune. That was something that he found familiar himself when he tuned his piano. “What’s the melody for tonight Brio?”
Luka smiled at the nickname and started strumming his guitar lightly. The acoustic sound filled the air with what seemed like random notes but as Luka settled back in the seat with his guitar upon his legs he stared directly at Adrien as the notes turned familiar. “Just following our hearts lead.”