Continuing Tales

Both of You

A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by Maerynn

Part 41 of 53

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Thursday arrived faster than everyone expected, and soon the time left to get ready for all the big events coming up their way began to feel stifling. There was so much left to do, and so little time left. As the week went by, Adrien quickly realized just how much the upcoming events were taking their tolls on his overstressed girlfriend. Marinette had always been less than focused around him (granted, it was getting better and better ever since they began dating) but it was truly reaching ridiculous lengths.

Over the course of the past week, she had twice forgotten her schoolbag at home, somehow lost Tikki in the classroom, ruined not one but two entire batches of cookies by putting salt instead of sugar in them, knocked two potted plants off her balcony, almost set the fire alarm off in her parent's kitchen trying to boil water, handed in an assignment with "Marinette Agreste" written as the student's name, undid the wrong seam on a jacket for Alya, and even managed to fall asleep while running herself what should have been a relaxing bath, which overflowed and earned her a heartfelt rant about sleep and priorities from a rather annoyed Tom.

So when Adrien grabbed her hand at the end of Thursday's school day, dragging her to his waiting town car, it didn't come as a surprise to him that she barely reacted, following him without questioning the sudden change of habits. Fidgeting with the hem of her skirt as she sat beside him on the rear seat, Marinette kept rambling about their upcoming graduation and all she had left to do without paying attention to their surroundings. Once the car finally came to a stop, however, she stepped out and paled, speechless. "Adrien, why are we at Agreste head office?"

"Well, you're going to need a dress for Saturday's ball, and I know for a fact that you're running short on time." Adrien smiled softly at her, tenderly stroking her long fingers with his thumb.

Figuring at last where her boyfriend was headed, Marinette groaned weakly. "What in the world are you trying to do, kitty? Are you even sure your dad would agree to me being here?"

Smiling at her smugly, Adrien gallantly opened the car door for her, "It was his idea, actually."

Marinette followed him into the building, silently sulking as he led her to a cozy fitting area. Upon setting foot into the small but warm room, she sighed, still warily eyeing her boyfriend. "Adrien, you didn't dare…"

Her idea could never come to completion seeing as a small and adorable seamstress entered the room on their heels. She was a middle-aged woman, with her sand-blond hair gathered in a bun at the back of her head. Her kind gray eyes were full of acceptance and understanding as she dutifully pulled a number of dresses out of their garments bags. Nodding briefly to Marinette as a greeting, she began to work without further ceremony, holding gorgeous gowns in front of her lithe body, either wordlessly nodding to herself or sighing in disapproval, the whole ordeal being punctuated by Adrien's commentary.

Adrien and the seamstress (who turned out to be called Helen) eventually settled on a floor-length gown made out of royal-blue satin that clung to her curves just right without being openly provocative. It had a boat neckline that nicely showcased Marinette's freckled shoulders, and its mermaid skirt did wonders to enhance her muscular yet still delicate body. A layer of intricate lace in the exact same shade was covering the whole dress, making it even further feminine and unique in its own.

The second Marinette stepped out of behind the privacy screen, it became quite clear that she would walk Chloe's red carpet wearing that lace masterpiece whether she liked it or not. Adrien was staring at her open-mouthed, in utter awe, while Helen was smiling knowingly, arms crossed in front of her with the look of someone who had just achieved her life's mission. The little woman smirked, eyeing her work with a clearly proud eye. "Tell me, Adrien-honey, how in the world did you manage to snatch yourself such a fine lady?"

"I don't know, Helen," sighed the young man with a dreamy expression tattooed on his face, "I keep asking myself that exact same question every single day."

Hearing those words coming from her boyfriend/partner, Marinette couldn't help but roll her eyes. Helen didn't notice, still engrossed in her touch-up work. "My, my, I didn't think I'd ever see the day Mr. Agreste would enamor himself. You were always such a sheltered kid, I thought you were a hopeless case, no offense intended."

Adrien smiled, shamelessly eyeing his girlfriend clad in a more-than-gorgeous ball gown, shyly looking back at him. "None taken, Helen."

The good-hearted nature of Adrien and Helen became evident as the latter hemmed the gorgeous ball gown they had blissfully successfully coaxed Marinette into trying out despite her previous reluctance, casually bantering with each other.

"Oh Adrien dear," the older woman suddenly squealed, still focused on hemming Marinette's dress, "'I just remembered. Your father asked for you to review some mock-ups for the next line, and tell him if there's anything you're uncomfortable with. They are in the next room, awaiting final approval. Would you please go and look while I finish this?'

Left alone with the working woman, Marinette let her thoughts wander to the upcoming events. She dreaded the graduation day, knowing it would be a really emotional day for her parents and herself, and was really looking forward to Chloe's party. She wouldn't pass on spending time with the whole class on last blissful time for anything, and time with Chloe was nice as of lately. The blonde heiress was still going strong with her change of attitude, her budding romance with Nathanael only doing her further good. She had even proved herself to be helpful a few times through Marinette's tribulations of the past week.

She was pulled back from her thoughts by Helen gently nudging her, signaling that she had finished taking her measurements and everything she needed to alter the dress. Marinette politely thanked her and stepped back behind the privacy screen to change back into her own clothes. As soon as she handed back the gown over the panel, though, Helen asked, 'Would you try something else for me before you go, hun?' her tone somewhat pressing, insisting.

Startled, Marinette shyly asked, unsure of what was going on, "What for? I thought we already agreed on the royal-blue lace gown. You even altered it to my fitting and everything."

The older woman sighed, "Ah. Yes, lovely young lady, but I have been struggling with a little something on another design, and you fortunately happen to have just the right figure to help me out."

Marinette shyly complied, a bit reluctantly trading her school clothes a knee-length little black cotton dress. It was a really simple design, with a flowy skirt and short sleeves hugging her arms perfectly. Twirling in the room a little, making the full skirt swirl around her legs, Marinette giggled in delight. "It has a somewhat playful vibe, but it's really charming nonetheless. I can perfectly see myself wearing this on a date. What were your worries with that design, Helen?"

Before the older woman could answer, Marinette heard a familiar throat-clearing sound behind her. "Our main worry was that you would refuse to go on a proper date with yours truly," Adrien stated in a soft voice, "seeing as our first real date ended up being such a pathetic fluke. So what do you say? Would you like to go on a date with me tonight?"

Speechless, Marinette found herself looking at a rather dapper-looking Adrien, neatly clad into black dress pants and an emerald-green button-up that nicely brought up his eyes.

"You had all of this planned out beforehand, didn't you?" she asked, a smile threatening to burst from her face at any given moment.

Adrien smiled right back at her, his look one of pure love and adoration. "I maybe have. Marinette Dupain-Cheng, will you grant me the honor of being my date tonight? Don't leave that lovesick man hanging, that would be plainly cruel."

Her heart swelled in her chest seeing the lengths he went to only organize them a lovely evening, to finally treat her to a first proper date. So Marinette crossed the room and threw herself at him, wrapping her arms around his neck and planting a firm peck on his unsuspecting lips. "Yes, Adrien, I'll gladly go on a date with you."

Grinning, Adrien offered her his arm, and led her back to the town car, the enthusiastic cooings of Helen as she had snapped pictures of them for keepsake still fresh in their minds. Marinette's nearly constant pestering about their destination stayed unanswered as the young man drove with an everlasting and contented smirk on his lips. Her pleased gasp when he stopped the car near a gorgeous private beach deepened the happiness blossoming in his chest. He had been hesitant about using his father's connections for this, but the stars in her eyes made it worth his while. He was with his lady, the woman of his dreams, on a carefully planned date. She was gorgeous in her little black dress, a provided pair of kitten heels in her feet and her hair tied in a messy bun at the back of her head. Feeling giddy and anxious to get to the actual date, he quickly rounded the car and opened her door, offering her his hand.

Adrien walked her toward the sand at a leisurely pace, enjoying the quiet and the warmth of the evening. When they reached it, he gallantly kneeled down to help her remove her shoes, both of them resuming their walk barefooted. A few minutes later, Marinette let out a surprised squeal, her eyes lighting up with pure bliss at the scene laid out before them.

A large and thick cotton blanket had been laid on the sand, and various plump cushions were disposed on it, giving a cozy feeling to the area. Each corner of the blanket was carefully held in place by wrought-iron poles planted in the sand. Lit paper lanterns were dangling from said poles, enveloping the whole scene in a subdued, warm light. A nice rattan-braided basket patiently waiting for them revealed to encase some baguette bread, a wide array of cheeses, some fresh fruits along with a nice selection of her parents bakery's macarons. A bottle of white wine and a sparkling apple cider were waiting into an ice bucket beside the basket, with some frozen grapes.

Marinette gaped at Adrien, her heels still clutched in her hands. "Chaton… This…"

"Is this okay?" he cut in, scratching his neck just like he did every single time he was uncomfortable or unsure of himself, "Alya said that you liked the beach, but I wanted to make it really special since our last date was such a disaster. But it's incredibly hard to find a beach near Paris so I had to pull a few strings and I hope I didn't went overboard with this and now I'm rambling—"

"It's truly amazing, Adrien." Marinette took pity on the poor boy, and put an end to his misery. "I would never have dared hoping of such a perfect evening with you."

The way he looked at her hearing her words, with a lovesick grin on his face, made her heart skip a beat in her chest. She sat on the blanket beside him as close as humanly possible without blatantly climbing into his lap. He had put so much thought into that stolen evening, had so carefully planned this moment to remember that she found herself falling in love with him all over again.

They ate while talking quietly, planning the next few stressful days, going over details, chatting about their last days of school, never breaking physical contact. His hand on her knee, their thighs flush against each other's, her fingers laced with his. They shared the wine in between kisses, Adrien feeling himself becoming more and more greedy of her. Marinette's fingers in his hair as they kissed, the hint of wine on her lips, it was making his head spin.

Once their stomachs were full and their lips tired from all the kissing, Adrien found himself lying on his back on the blanket, Marinette nestled comfortably in his arms. Her head was resting slightly above his heart, and she had an arm draped over his stomach. As he looked at the stars above them, the waves a few feet away muffling out the sound of Marinette's breathing, he silently mused about how great his life had become ever since she had walked into it.

His heart pleasantly swelled in his chest as he began to form wishes about a life with her. Falling asleep every single night with her lithe body cradled in his arms just like that, waking up every morning to bluebell eyes full of love and adoration for him. Fixing her breakfast every morning just to see her eyes light up when she'd finally manage to get out of bed. A white and vapory white veil in her dark strands as she'd walk down the aisle on her father's arm, smiling fondly at him, and him only. Reading or grading papers while she would sew besides him, quietly chatting about their days. Mops of sunny-blond and midnight-black hair running around in a living room full of toys—full of life, of love. Growing old with her, sharing every single day of his life with this beautiful lady he was lucky enough to love like a mad man, and be loved back.

A contented sigh escaped his lips, and Adrien felt his lover slightly twitch in his embrace.

"Penny for your thoughts, kitty?" she asked, her voice barely above a whisper.

Adrien softly kissed the top of her head, tightening his arms around her. "I was just thinking about the future."

Marinette giggled, a sound he would never grow tired of. "So tell me. What do you want to be when you're all grown up, Adrien?"

Without skipping a beat, he breathed, "Your husband."

The young woman tensed in his arms, then let out a soft chuckle. "I sure hope this wasn't your idea of a perfect proposal, because I'm sorry to tell you it's not gonna work out the way you wished."

"Don't worry, Marinette, the day I'll propose to you, there's gonna be flowers everywhere, tears, the perfect ring and the perfect timing. You deserve nothing short than perfection." Adrien smiled, his fingers tenderly caressing the exposed skin above the back of her dress. "But I do want to spend every remaining day of my life with you. I want to build a family with you, I want to be by your side through every ups and every downs. I want to grow old with you, and love you until my dying breath."

Marinette's breath hitched in her throat. For the second time that night, she felt her heart swell with love and adoration toward the handsome blond she was leaning on, and a single tear slid down her cheek. "I'd love that very much. All of it."

She let the beating of his heart underneath the thin fabric of his shirt, along with the familiar warmth of his body pressed against hers lull her in a state of perfect contentment, of sheer relaxation.

An hour or two later, a highly amused Tom would call Adrien, asking if they had managed to fall asleep somewhere under the stars. The young man would promptly deny the good-hearted accusation (they totally had) and promise to return their missing daughter right away.

An hour or two after that, Adrien would tenderly explore every inch of his girlfriend's skin in the darkness of her room, loving her with all his being into the wee hours of the morning.

The day after, graduation would come, along with a string of life-altering decisions to make and major changes to both of their lives.

But for the time being, they were only two young adults profoundly in love with each other, basking in each other's warmth on a Parisian beach one nice summer evening, being without a care in the world one final night.

Both of You

A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by Maerynn

Part 41 of 53

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