If there was one thing that Adrien wished he had known, before giving up homeschooling once and for all and finally starting to build a life, was that loving wasn’t nearly as simple and dreamlike as his extremely well-developed imagination had led him to believe. He truly wished that he could borrow Bunnix’ Miraculous sometimes, just to head back to that room where he used to spend his entire time on his own dreaming of himself and his soulmate and getting married at sight, and tell him that if living was hard outside, heart matters were even harder.
Love wasn’t that ideal, it wasn’t reductive.
It wasn’t nearly that basic either. It took him a while, but he had figured it out.
It had all started with Ladybug of course, most of his new experiences in the real world had started with her. He had fallen in love with her pretty much two days after meeting her… granted, being stuck into his own house for years thinking of himself as a poor prince in waiting of a savior rather than a knight out to get the princess, might had developed in him a bit of an eagerness for romance. She was smart, beautiful, courageous, resourceful and a hero, what was there not to love? Besides they were Chat Noir and Ladybug, they were meant to be… because… that was Ladybug. The moment he had realized how much he loved that image – if he used to fantasize before looked at him now –, and how he had started to slowly care less and less about knowing what was hiding behind it, that was the dealbreaker. He didn’t want to be in love with a figure, an icon for Paris, because it was what all people had always reduced him to. It would have not been a good way to start, and it would have not been fair for her either.
Getting over all those dreams about the marriage, the children and the hamster – oh the hamster, heart stay still – that he had wished for so intensely had been… easy? Not exactly, but smooth. A strong emptiness and pain that had slowly faded away with time. After all, Ladybug was never going to be far from him, and she cared about him a lot, he knew that much. He could love her, no matter what, no matter in what way.
After that singular and very one-sided experience, a spectacular sequence of disasters had made him slowly and steadily feel aware of how much messier the concept of relationships really was. One thing was dodging Chloe’s overly affectionate tendencies or his fans’ intense assaults over him; the other realizing that Kagami was ready to commit into something he wasn’t sure of, that Lila was still somehow convinced that he wanted something to do with her after all of her lies – for a fox this sly she sure was in denial… why did that sound hypocrite? –, and that Marinette had apparently harbored feelings for him almost as soon as they had met – oh yeah that was why. Life, a real, multifaced, worth living life was chaotic and confusing, it hurt, and it saddened, and he was behind everyone, struggling like mad to catch up.
Rejecting so many people he cared about had been awful. Some of his closest friends, all important parts of his life in different ways, and all because he wasn’t smart enough to understand feelings and his own clearly weren’t right. When Marinette had smiled at him with tears in her eyes, saying that it was okay and that she understood, Adrien had decided that it was enough. He wasn’t going to attempt anything else, if it always ended up with hurting someone he cared about.
He could deal with his feelings on his own, he always did, without paining anyone. There was no problem anyway, after Ladybug no one had ever shaken his heart.
No one, no one at all… and during that time, between slowly realizing that perhaps looking for wedding rings after two days sounded a little unreasonable and somehow managing to hate his face plastered all over Paris even more than before, the Music Festival had occurred, along with the awakening of Captain Hardrock. The famous tripping over the bridge had happened, a goofiness that had somehow gotten him into a band.
Him had happened. The charming, kind, intriguing guitarist of the Liberty, that had welcomed him the moment he had been there.
… Adrien was starting to hate his heart a little bit.
Luckily or unluckily, around that time he had found himself too caught up in his and other people’s messes to even realize how he had always unconsciously smiled at the boy whenever he was there, and how it had become normal for him to stay with him after band practice, without caring on how father could had reacted to his delay – just how dense was he about his feelings… never mind. It took Lila to finally focus on something other than plotting, Chloe to start paying attention to her own life instead of worsening others, and Marinette and Kagami to begin exchange sweet looks for him to finally find some normality to think – and develop an extremely intense fanboy soul.
Enough to realize that ever since Desperada, with the brilliant introduction of Viperion to the team, Adrien had found himself as Luka’s confidant, the only one besides Ladybug aware of his secret identity. Exciting stories, confessions, insecurities, all while the guitarist was making such an effort to communicate with words, because he trusted him enough not to judge his mind.
And Adrien was enjoying the confidence, the vicinity. A lot. Truly a lot.
… way too much for it to be normal.
It had woken him at night. He had teared up in his bed, curled on one side while Plagg had been purring next to his ear all night. It was the first time that being in love had felt this terrifying. He didn’t want to mess everything up, not again, not with Luka. The freedom he felt with being on the Liberty, the time spent with his friends in the band, the warming welcome he had always received from captain Anarka and Juleka – and by extension Rose, those two always came in pair –, and every single moment spent without having to care about who he was and what did he represent because Luka didn’t care about covers, he cared about the real music coming from people. Everything could disappear in a moment.
With that set of mind, he had spent some of the most tense moments of his life, constantly pondering about what to do next. What exactly was a person supposed to do if he liked another without making a mess? What was the alternative to confess his undying love and hope to plan a wedding at the end of his studies? Was there an alternative??
His anxious attitude had inevitably gotten the attention of his group of friends, that for some miracle hadn’t gotten tired of his denseness, especially Marinette. She hadn’t seemed to care much, especially not while distractively holding the amulet Kagami had made for her – somehow love life had made the fencer even deadlier during practice, like she was fighting was someone, impressive. It had taken them to bribe him with a new recipe of croissants from the Dupain-Cheng bakery to be forced to talk, a necessity that had exploded out of his lips the moment his friends had been gathered on Marinette’s bed to listen. The sweets had been amazing. Just a bit salty… but that was probably because he hadn’t been able to talk without tearing up all over the food.
At the end of the discussion, Marinette had squeaked so loudly his ears had started to ring.
“You have to confess and get together, you two would be a great couple!” To which he had responded that he didn’t want to risk it, especially since he didn’t know how it was going to end.
Alya had slammed her hands over her own knees – ouch –, standing up.
“You have to man up! Don’t think about what could happen, go for it and make him yours!” To which he had said that he didn’t want to be insensitive again in case it didn’t go well – also that that kind of wording was a little confusing, enough to turn him bright red.
Then Nino had looked up from his phone, looking a little baffled. He had changed too, considering that love matters used to make him all nervous.
“Why don’t you ask him out first and see how it goes from there? You don’t have to become boyfriends if it feels too soon.” The table had gone silent, all eyes were on the DJ, who simply arched an eyebrow. “… you do know you can go on a date with someone, realize that it’s not working without actually get together, right?” More silence had followed. Adrien was sure that he had felt a weird mixture of disappointment and relief, while Marinette had looked so very shocked.
In conclusion, Nino was amazing. Like that was new.
Starting from there the blonde had been practicing in front of the mirror every day, terrified of rejection but less tense over how things could go. Despite fans and admirers his past relationships, if those could be called, weren’t giving him much of a booster or a good feeling about how this chance was going to play. Somehow it hardly mattered. Luka was a very reasonable person, he was going to reject him very nicely. It had been almost uplifting the idea of the guitarist treating him with absolute kindness, even while shattering all of his dreams.
One day Luka had called him over for an improv session. It happened often, this artist was extremely instinctive when it came to music, and he had told him that having a more rational and accurate player like Adrien around grounded him to his usual style. It was flattering every time he was called for that same reason, it was an occasion that made the blonde ignore all about his current schedule – of course he was at fencing right now, Kagami could cover- uhm, confirm for him –, to finally focus on something that he really wanted to do. Luka was always waiting over the bed of his room, playing a few notes, stopping for minutes then going again. It was calming and endearing, like Adrien was allowed to hear the inside of his mind.
He had been standing there, legs crossed at the end of the bed while Luka was lying down with the instrument. There had been only sounds for all of this time, without additions or suggestions or anything. It was nice. Really nice. Adrien had wondered what else could he discover out of him just by stay close like this, and how much he wanted to. The need to let those words out had been steadily growing without him realizing it.
“Luka?” Until they were out. “Do you wanna go on a date with me?” Mirror practice had helped, it had come out almost mechanically. There was a spark into his stomach, the adrenaline pouring out. The melody in the air had stopped for a pretty terrifying second.
Then it had come back as a full, real song. It was timid, sweet, and sincere.
“I’d love to.” In his own giddiness, Adrien could admit of being wrong. Yet he was almost sure he had seen the calm and controlled guitarist blush the tiniest little bit.
A single date at the restaurant where Alya’s mother worked at without people in the way – he loved his friends so much – had followed another one walking hand in hand through Rue Montorgueil in disguise – at last he had achieved his long-lasting dream of looking like someone else without the mask –, that had followed another one at a secret party Chloe had organized at Le Grand Paris for her classmates – she had given him such a smirk at seeing his plus one, gossip was coming. It had nothing to do with the dates of his daydreams, the ones he had lived through his head for years: every single time his stomach was so tense it felt like it was burning, painfully, making him question if he really wanted this. Then, the moment they were there talking, engaging themselves into an interesting topic while letting time pleasantly leave them behind, the stress was gone and there were only the two of them.
They had gone like this for months. Some absolutely lovely months. At some point Alya, stopping him at school, had calmly stated that him and Luka combined with Marinette and Kagami were making her feel single, and she had a boyfriend, so it was probably time to make it official. He had agreed with her, of course he had. He liked Luka… yeah right, he loved him. Everything with him felt so real, so close and intense, like he was finally living.
His feelings weren’t the problem… Luka’s were.
Not that he doubted him. Not after all the little orange blossoms left over his keyboard before band practice – they meant eternal love, oh heart stay still once again –, the songs sung for him whenever he felt upset or angry at his father, or the hand kisses at the end of every single date, like he was being cherished every single time. One of the guitarist’s biggest qualities was his sincerity, Adrien was absolutely sure he could trust him and his heart. Just how he had never blamed anyone before, not Chloe, not Kagami, not Marinette, not even Lila, for their feelings towards him.
They had been real, like his own feelings for Ladybug used to be… but they were for Adrien only, the supermodel, Paris’ iconic pretty face and perfect boy. That perfection in him, one he had been forced to practice in order to please his father, that was attracted others, but it wasn’t in any way all that was in him.
What was all the rest? It was also there. But it came out only whenever he wore the mask.
With time, the image he had been forced to wear for the profit of his father had grown into an uncomfortable, old sweater that he hadn’t known it had felt unbelievably itchy until he got the possibility to take it off, to try something else. And that black-leather armor was his absolute favorite. Nothing felt like freedom as that, nothing felt like him as those moments, whenever he jumped into the sky holding hard onto his staff. Thanks to his Miraculous he had discovered himself. Thanks to that he had found out that he liked making jokes, he loved puns, he liked making a fool of himself for the sake to have fun. He liked risking, he liked dancing, he wasn’t too keen on closed places, and he absolutely loved how the moon reflected into the Seine at night after patrol. Everything was him, so vividly him it made him choke a little at the mere thought of it.
Adrien Agreste was another mask, one he was growing considerably tired to wear. He had been through some love experiences now, even though they did not end quite well: there was no point into pretending to be someone he wasn’t, there was no meaning into hiding himself when he truly wanted to establish a bond with someone. He had known this, he knew this.
But if everyone liked Adrien better… if Luka liked Adrien better, how was he supposed to do that?
The tension coming from those thoughts was there only when he wasn’t around his favorite guitarist, making him at least forget about the dilemma coming with. Even so, around those times he had found himself at least wondering exactly what kind of opinion his date had about Chat Noir. He wasn’t sure, they had never talked much in their superhero personas, because of the urge of the moment and because with his lady’s strategic mind and a power like Second Chance it was unfairly easy sometimes to solve the situation – Ladybug needed to start bringing Viperion more often and yes, maybe just a little bit to see more of Luka in sexy snake cosplay. He was fairly sure he didn’t mind him, he seemed to even smile at him sometimes – total heart eyes –, but he wanted to be sure.
It had been night at the Liberty, they had ordered pizza. Sugary drinks made Rose giggle like mad, so Juleka had brought her to her room to take a nap and probably cuddle, leaving the two of them alone. That wasn’t weird. Wondering if the guy Adrien was dating liked his cat counterpart, that was weird. At the end, looking at how relaxed the boy over the sofa was while distractively bending the last pizza crust, he hadn’t been able to do pose a potentially confusing question, asking instead what he thought about Ladybug – he had made a mental post-it to whine loudly into his pillow later.
Luka had brought up stuff he already knew, how she was a great leader, an inspiration, extremely smart and courageous. Despite the failure of questioning him Adrien had smiled, he was weirdly happy they thought the same about his partner.
“She has a huge responsibility and deals with it incredibly, that’s commendable… with that being said, my favorite is Chat Noir.” A boom inside. “He’s hot.” A second, bigger explosion had occurred into Adrien’s head – in a feeble spark of lucidity he had begged his brain not to produce smoke out of his ears. Luka had laughed, playing some more, without looking directly at him. “And he’s such a selfless, reliable person, you can tell from how he doesn’t hesitate to help others or support me or Ladybug. He’s incredibly loyal, and… really funny.”
It had taken perhaps a second too long, in which a thousand of tiny little Adrien running all over his brain had been screaming out loud hysterically about how this handsome guitarist was a Chat Noir fan, and it had been the best day ever. Then he had managed to talk, ask, his voice was a little raspy.
“You… you like his puns?” Luka had scooted closer to him, smirking a little.
“It’s our little secret.” With that he had put a hand around his shoulders, bringing him closer to him. The blonde had abandoned himself into the embrace, trying to hide the giddy smile in his chest.
It got easier to let himself go from that moment forward, knowing that at least some parts of Chat Noir Luka didn’t mind at all. Having Nino groaning like mad after they had all taken their matchmaker ice creams from Andre, with Adrien coming out with a “I scream for an ice cream”, had been worth it just to see the guitarist rolling his eyes with an endeared smile. It had felt good. He couldn’t fully let go, being a model and famous and all that baloney, but he could stop pretending for a moment and embrace a little bit more about himself.
It had hit him much later that perhaps, maybe, possibly, the matter of telling Luka about his superhero identity was meant to come up at some point. It hadn’t seemed an important matter before, he was not supposed to do reveal it anyway according to Ladybug. Then again, this wasn’t a relationship behind masks like that one, it was as open as it could be. Also Plagg wasn’t exactly the biggest fan or rules anyway, he had doubted he would have minded. Hearing Luka talking about his latest adventure with Viperion, basically summarizing everything Adrien already knew from his point of view, made him feel a bit guilty about not coming clean. Still, it was hard to recall that unpleasantness with Luka always ending the discussion making a comment about Chat Noir, probably catching up over the fact that Adrien was also a ‘fan’. Knowing that such a charming boy like Luka considered his pun machine alter ego attractive, stating that the only blondie with green eyes as handsome he knew was Adrien, was definitely a good way to end the day.
Then, that had happened. Apparently, Hawk Moth had thought that the idea of unleashing once again Gorizilla over the powerless city of Paris was a hilarious idea. It had taken them forever to calm him down, the bodyguard had been all agitated since there had been no sign of his protegee – at least for what he knew. Cataclysm, Lucky Charm, Miraculous Ladybug, the script was old and overused and after the most tired pound it ever Adrien had called it a day, sinking into his own bed as soon as he had been home.
The unconscious was a calming place, a pleasant one, just like Luka.
Just like Luka… Luka… the date.
Out of pure will and terror he had managed to get on his feet, realizing with horror that not only he hadn’t just fallen asleep, but he was also late. Two. Hours. Late. Dread didn’t describe properly the feeling that had taken over. Begging a very annoyed looking Plagg he had launched himself into the night sky, running on all four out of pure despair. When he had arrived at the restaurant, miserably closed, Luka was leaning over the wall of the entrance that was off, humming a very mellow, very melancholic melody. And he had dressed up, for once in his life wearing something classy, a white dress shirt and a black jacket without sleeves. His hair had grown a bit in those months, enough for him to pull a little ponytail.
What a waste, Adrien had thought. What a waste on someone like him, this beautiful person lightening up as soon as he was there, running to hug him, saying that he knew there had been an akuma today and he was happy to see he was okay. Except he wasn’t, this wasn’t, it was not okay. He was taking advantage of his position, the fact that there was stuff he was keeping for himself. It wasn’t fair for himself, most importantly it wasn’t fair for him.
“And you’re okay with this?” He didn’t know what he had been implying with those words, he had felt the need to get them out. To be heard. Because Luka always listened.
The guitarist had given him a weird, aware look, holding up his hands.
“I am if you are.” Unfair. Unfair. Unfair. Nothing but that feeling of guilt had filled his heart, and Adrien had rushed in, hugging him as closely as he could. Luka had embraced back, caressing his back slowly and gently as it was his way of being, telling him that they could postpone on a day with a less dangerous akuma terrorizing the city. Adrien had kept his eyes shut, choking silent sobs against his jacket. Thinking that maybe it was okay, maybe they could still keep going like this. H was scared, besides there was no need to change anything, or even better there was no need to say something that wasn’t needed. This was enough, this could be enough.
Adrien had then opened his eyes, only to feel them pinching. From the window of the restaurant, he could see the lonely white table with two dishes and two glasses, and all around… were candles and roses. Luke remembered. He had remembered the mention of the romantic gesture the blonde had done for a girl that hadn’t gone as planned. He had remembered how Adrien had always wished for something like that for himself. He knew how much of a hopeless romantic he was. Luka knew him.
At the same time, he didn’t. He didn’t know him. It was not okay.
It was not okay, and it was not enough.
Mirror sessions were back after that, more frantic than ever but less frequent than he would have liked – he was dense he could admit, not enough to proclaim to his father or Nathalie that he was Chat Noir while in the shower. He had wished it was like preparing for a shooting, or even imagining to be an actor like mom was. The tension was nothing like. The number of warnings coming from all directions was massive, starting from how once again his friends were getting worried about him – he wasn’t going to resist the bribe of chocolate chip cookies for long –, how Ladybug had expressively told him no one was supposed to know about their real identities, how there was no telling how Luka was going to react over the fact that his date was the cat boy with whom sometimes he fought crime with – man that was a weird line to say out loud. He had found it hard to sleep, too tense to get lost into his dreams, questioning his decision all night long.
One night, after a particularly harsh internal battle between him himself and he, he had rolled over a little too much forgetting about his poor little cheese-eating friend. He had been on his way to apologize to the squished kwami, but with a single firm gesture coming from his tiny arm Plagg had gotten him to shut up, eyes widened and extremely pissed.
“You’re telling him.” His eyelid had twitched a little. Right, he had kept him awake as well. “I don’t care what Ladybug says, I don’t care what Tikki says, you’re telling him.”
“It’s not a question Adrien, it’s an order. Do it or else you won’t find Atlantis that much of a natural disaster.” Wasn’t for experience he would have doubted that this tiny guy was able of much. Good thing he did have precedents, so Adrien had opted to nod and lay down once again. Following orders was still pretty normal for him anyway. “… besides…” Plagg had scooted closer to him, nudging against his shoulder while closing his eyes. “No secret is worth taking away your happiness, kid.” Adrien had found no problem sleeping from then on.
At last, after a bit more of self-convincing, it had all come down on the matter of when. Adrien wasn’t exactly sure if the news was particularly good or bad, consequentially he had no idea if the reveal had to be organized during a joyful or tense situation. Was a date a good idea? Or was it better to simply invite him over, or go to his house and talk? Luka was a great listener, but he didn’t always like to talk much, maybe he was going to feel pressured in the second case. He communicated better with songs… but writing a jingle about how he was a superhero in a leather suit with a ring that could pulverize the Tour Eiffel didn’t sound like a hit – maybe… or maybe it was, he had to ask Luka later if the matter was going to be solved. After so much time pondering, he had been left with nothing concrete, no ideas. He couldn’t ask his friends, nor Ladybug. Maybe this was a bad decision after all – never mind Plagg that was still glaring.
He had been trying to focus on his Chinese homework all afternoon, his mind running miles with him unable to make it stop. Then his phone had lightened up, a welcomed distraction that had blossomed into absolute delight at reading the sender’s name. Despite the migraine coming along with the situation, it was all worth it just for a chance to be with him.
Melody : Hey Sunshine
Melody : If I remember right you’re free tomorrow
Melody : Do you want to come over?
Me : Of course I do :)
Me : My schedule ends early afternoon
Me : Is the evening okay?
Melody : Perfect
Melody : Dress nice, it’s a date
Melody : A special one, for a special day
Me : Why? What’s tomorrow?
Melody : Wanna guess?
Me : …
Me : Thursday?
Melody : Ahah, well also
Melody : But also exactly one year since the Music Festival
Melody : It’s the day you and I met
Somehow while melting into an absolute puddle of tears and adoring whines, Adrien had realized that this guy was too wonderful. In his heart the last thing he wanted to do was ruining something good, especially a night Luka had prepared for him. But this wasn’t about himself anymore, this was about giving him what he deserved. Hopefully they were going to have a date still after this.
Hopefully. Adrien had tried to forget about that eventuality, at least enough to finish his homework. It had taken him a while to fall asleep that night – Plagg had simply whispered “thin ice” in a very grumpy tone.
The next day he had used all his experience as a model to look his best, raised two thumbs up at his mirror, and headed out. He had begged his bodyguard to leave him alone on this one and the big guy had actually agreed, somehow seeing his seriousness and commitment more than his father – granted that the bar was pretty low on that one. The path leading to the Liberty was not exactly short from his house, yet he had felt the absolute need to rethink everything. Perhaps to find it in himself the strength to blame himself for wanting to come clean only now. It had been a year, a year since he had met Luka. He had changed so much, his thoughts, his world, himself. He was there to make just another change and take control, it was terrifying and exciting…
… and there he was.
When he saw the Liberty, his stomach did that fluttering again. Pure tension and longing mixed together, because this was about him and it was making him grow terrified; but this was about him, and he loved everything that involved him. The sight of the ship covered in aromatic candles and roses with the table prepared on the bridge, the most romantic place once again, should had not surprised him after all. He still had to close his eyes for a moment to recollect himself.
Luka was waiting on the dock, smiling at him. It was such a lovely view, and when he extended his hand towards him it turned into the perfect view.
“You look amazing. You’re ready?”
He was. He finally was. Adrien sighed, shaking his head.
“I have to tell you something first.” Huh, something was wrong. The guitarist had changed expression, he looked so confused and hurt all of the su- wait. “Ah! No! Not that kind of ‘I have to tell you something’, an actual ‘I have to tell you something’!” He had practiced this moment for so long, how was it possible he had never noticed how off it sounded? Luka let out a nervous laugh. Ah, his hands were sweating already, where was Chat Noir’s confidence when he needed it? “I really need to get this out of my chest.”
“Oh, okay. I’m listening.”
“And if afterwards you have doubts about…” He didn’t like it, but he needed to state it as it was. “… all of this, I’ll understand.” He was in. He was doing it. No turning back. That most likely didn’t sit right with Luka, he wasn’t looking any less distressed.
He reached for him, grabbing one of his hand for comfort. Even though he didn’t understand, he was still doing his best to be there. Gosh, Adrien loved him, so much.
“Don’t jump to conclusions, tell me what it is and then we can talk about it.” He looked for communication in his relationships, he had told him from the start and even before, during the times they used to talk about anything and everything, waiting for the sun to set behind the bridge over the Seine. The blonde hoped they were going to talk too.
He closed his eyes again, took the deepest breath in his life, and nodded.
“It might sound crazy, but please listen to me and believe me.” Luka nodded immediately. “I…” He had composed a whole speech about how much these last months had been amazing, how he was sorry that he had kept quiet over something important for so long, and how he hoped that they could still try and be together for real. A convincing discussion slowly leading to the reveal. “… I’m Chat Noir, and I love you.” Out of all of that he had taken seven words max and blurted them out without a single thought in his head.
The cat was out of the bag, classic cat superhero style. If only that knowledge wasn’t making him feel worse. He was tense, sweating, completely still, waiting for his judgement. Every second was turning into a minute then an hour then it was getting lost into his own misty head.
It was warm outside, even at that hour.
Those long fingers clenched around his hand.
Adrien looked up. Luka was smiling tearfully at him, his blue eyes were mesmerizing. He laughed happily, then he reached for his cheek. Heartbeats echoed into the blonde’s head as he got closer, eyes narrowed but still open as to catch any kind of rejection. It hit him very very slowly that this was actually true, this out of world fantasy was not a fruit of his messed up imagination, and the moment the realization took over Adrien closed the distance between them. Wow. Luka kissed nothing like he would have expected. His hand on his cheek was careful and gentle like him, but his lips were caressing his with want and passion, like they had lost all the patience behind the moment they had met in electric need. Closeness was something Adrien had missed for such a long time and could never get enough of. Luka’s closeness was whole, real, his. He reached for his jacket, just to hold onto something and have another proof that this was happening.
They parted, and then got closer, kissing again and again, happily trapped into a bubble in which time and space couldn’t reach them. When they back away with trembling breaths, Adrien felt his lips getting immediately cold and couldn’t help himself as he reached for one last peck. Luka laughed into it, pressing back then leaning his forehead over his. There was an amount of sweetness into those eyes that it made the blonde want to look away, his sight getting all blurry.
“I love you too.” His hand was still over his face. “Will you be my boyfriend?”
The answer was the clearest of his life. It was screaming from the bottom of his stomach, it was highlighted in neon in the middle of his brain. He was almost tempted to tackle him to the ground and let his actions speak for himself – alright he needed to chill for a moment –, then confusion hit him. He… he said it, he had said it, right? He told him the truth about his identity. Then what was this lack of reaction? Where was the amazement, the fright, the confusion, even the anger? Adrien Agreste had just confessed he made a habit of running over the roofs of Paris in full cat cosplay and this was the reaction?
“I… you… what’s going on?” Luka giggled, probably still caught up with the latest nice mood. Maybe he didn’t believe the blonde, maybe he didn’t hear him at all. For a musician this talented it sounded farfetched to miss a sound, but you never knew. “I’m… I’m Chat Noir, Luka.”
The guitarist blinked, smile slowly decreasing but without disappearing.
“Yeah, I heard that.”
“As the superhero, Chat Noir.”
“Yeah, I know that.”
“Then why aren’t you saying anything about that?” A little shrug. The last thing he would have expected was this nonchalance. It was maddening. “I’m a superhero, I’m Chat Noir! Why aren’t you mad? You deserved to know! You should’ve known for a…” Suddenly the guitarist’s eyes were not as easy to find as before. Like they were hiding something. “… a… while…” Again, Adrien was extremely dense emotionally, and some things were harder to understand for him. But he wasn’t stupid, most important, he couldn’t ignore that little guilty grin of his taking over. “… you knew.” The pressure that had assaulted him for the last period disappeared completely, now there was only absolute shock. “You knew I was Chat Noir?!? What in the world, since when?!?”
The guitarist passed a hand over his neck, looking a little reluctant. It was a little weird of an emotion on him, on someone so on track with himself and proud of his persona. He took his hands, gently guiding him onto the bridge. That was one relief at least.
“To be honest, I was never completely sure. If you hadn’t told me I wouldn’t have known one hundred percent… but at some point I started to have my suspicions.” He led him near the rail, the moon was mirroring into the water of the Seine. His heart soared at the view. “It was the kind of thought you pay attention to only when something comes up, so I never actively tried to prove it was real.” He sounded relaxed. Perhaps he had made peace with it for a while.
Adrien nodded absently, feeling a weird limbo between relief that he wasn’t completely recognizable and that there were at least doubts in people’s minds.
“Okay, but there has to be a time when you started to think about it.”
“… there was a moment.” Once more Luka looked guilty, while smiling still. He looked at him, raising his hands. “Again, it was a doubt, not a certainty. I never actively knew for sure you were Chat Noir, okay?” The blonde frowned but nodded. “Well… remember the Desperada incident?”
He gaped, so strongly he almost chocked.
“You have a suspicion for months?!” Luka laughed a little, that managed to calm him down a little.
“An idea, a speculation, call it what you want. It got me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.” He leaned against the rail, looking pensive. “We were hiding in the lockers, and while I was in there I heard you opening and closing a locker… then opening and closing a door.” Holy Miraculous he was an idiot. “When I found you with Ladybug in the sewer you left, and I got the snake Miraculous. Right after that Chat Noir was back.” He grinned, eyes lightening up. “From that moment the possibility has never really left my mind, and nothing has happened that made me think it couldn’t be real.” Of course not, Adrien was never around Chat Noir and Chat Noir was never around Adrien. It almost made sense – sure, ‘almost’.
Adrien took a few deep breaths, still recovering from that sudden reveal – a confession that did not go the way he would have expected. He looked at this guy who so calmly was taking everything in, a view that was calming like very few other things and, slowly, he smiled, joining him at admiring the Seine. He let his head fall onto his shoulder, closing his eyes for a moment.
“I was so worried about this.”
“I’m sorry, I really didn’t know what to do. On one hand I didn’t want it to be true, because it made me feel anxious whenever I looked at the news and saw another dangerous akuma.” He wrapped his arm around him protectively. It felt so nice. “On the other, it was kind of an endearing thought, that the two gorgeous blondes I knew just happened to be the same person.” Gosh he was going to die, this person did not hold back with compliments with either of them.
“Wait, if you were thinking about it since back then… were you teasing me on purpose whenever you talked about Chat Noir in front of me?” Whoa, he had to take in the fact that this very zen guitarist was able to make such a suggestive smile. I made his entire face burn. “Oh my gosh.”
“You were always blushing whenever I did it, I couldn’t help myself.”
“It was too adorable. At that point either you were really him or you found him attractive as well… which I would’ve understood.”
“Stooop!!” Adrien covered his eyes, his heart bursting out of his chest, laughing out what was left of his fear. “… you really don’t care? I’m the one who asked you out, not Chat Noir.” A bit a sadness made him step away just a little. “And people like me better when I’m not him…”
“If people aren’t into you when you’re a blonde superhero with a sexy catsuit, maybes there’s something wrong with them. I suggest blindness.” It got him to laugh. Luka brought him closer, arms around him. “Besides, there aren’t two people here. You are Adrien, and you are Chat Noir. Being a superhero is a part of you. And I love it, because it makes you… you.” Truly sincerity was his biggest quality. Adrien didn’t doubt a word that had come out of his mouth. He leaned his head into the crook of his shoulder.
“Are you sure?” Luka nodded, his hair tickling his cheek.
Then he pulled away. He put a finger under his chin, raising it up. Their eyes met. There was such a calm, comfortable world behind those blue globes. It made him want to never leave.
“You’re a rare symphony, Adrien Agreste, one that had been kept hidden for far too long. I wanna hear that song, your soul, finally free to be heard. I want to know its beauty, because the echo alone is astonishing.” He knew him. He knew all of him. “The kind and selfless to a fault, the professional and determinate model, the mischievous and enchanting superhero, these are all notes that play in your life, that make your life. And I wanna be part of that song, if you will let me.” He pressed another, shorter kiss on his lips, as to seal this moment forever into his body, forever into his heart.
There was no way Adrien would have been able to stop tears. Luka gulped. The blonde smiled, a horribly wide, unsophisticated curve that would have made all of his photographers shudder at the same time. Perhaps that was why it felt so immensely good.
“You… y-you’re not allowed to say you’re not good with words after this.”
The guitarist laughed, relieved, holding him closer.
“It’s a yes then, Sunshine?” Adrien smiled, reaching forward again, thinking that there was no imaginary world of his able to replicate this.
“It’s a yes, Melody.”
This was pure, unparalleled, wholesome reality.