Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 5 of 53

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Marinette truly had a field day at the grocery store. It was very clear that it was a first experience for Adrien, who was looking perfectly lost in the various aisles, asking her many questions about different products and wondering out loud what they were about to cook together. She kept him in the dark as to what they'll be making, truly amazed by the fact that he didn't even have a single clue of what could be made out of a box of linguine, a carton of heavy cream and a block of Parmesan.

He made up for his ignorance when they reached the snack aisle grabbing enough sodas, chips and microwave popcorn to feed an army. When Adrien caught Marinette staring at his bounty in disbelief, he smiled bashfully. "I'm not often off my nutrition plan so I tend to make the most of it when I can."

She giggled sweetly and added a pack of cookies to their basket. "You forgot sweets then!"

They then headed for the checkout, Adrien stopping dead in his tracks a few feet before. "Do we want some wine with whatever it is we're making?"

She flushed bright red, slightly taken aback. "Um... y-y-es, white would be great."

"I'll be right back then," he said, quickly strolling away from her, leaving a slightly fazed Marinette behind. He was quick to return, a bottle of white wine in hand and a wide grin on his lips.

"Let's get home now so I can see you work your magic."

Back at the cottage, Marinette got to see first hand just how much Adrien was a novice at cooking. She'd asked him to put the pasta on to cook and very narrowly avoided a catastrophe when she noticed that he had put the pasta in the oven and was trying to find how to start it. Laughing way too much to be able to explain his mistake she removed the poor pan from the stove and instead put a large pot of water on the burner. Natalie, who was working on her laptop at the nearby kitchen table, shot a sympathetic glance at Marinette. "He never even made his cereal himself, you poor girl."

Marinette grinned in answer. "That's okay, Nathalie, I'll just watch him more closely from now on."

Adrien was quick to chime in, pouting a little. "Hey, I'm not a child that needs supervision!"

Both women burst out laughing at that biased affirmation. "Never insinuated that, Adrien. You're just... a little bit of a neophyte, that's all."

Adrien didn't spend a lot of time moping about his blatant lack of cooking skills, deeming his time was better spent helping Marinette putting together the meal that smelled better and better by the second. He followed her instructions dutifully, smiling broadly when he got something right and listening carefully when she explained how to right what he had done wrong. Adrien had alway been a good student, and the young lady was a patient teacher eager to share her knowledge, though rather simple. Once they were done, Marinette proudly put three plates of linguine Alfredo on the table, earning herself a warm smile from Natalie. "No take-out tonight! Wow, that's new!"

The young man grinned. "Let's eat this delicious linguine a la Marinette!"

She chuckled lightly. "For the tenth time tonight Adrien, it's linguine Alfredo."

He beamed at her, his expression one of sheer pride. "Not when you made it."

They ate and talked happily about just anything ranging from the latest video game to the travels they wished to do someday, the three of them enjoying the present time. Natalie had even pushed her computer aside and was actively participating in the conversation, obviously pleased with the outcomes of the evening. The wine Adrien had chosen at the grocery store multiplied Marinette's dish flavors, making it even better than it was to even begin with. She was pretty pleased with the results herself, and her hosts couldn't seem to stop commenting on how delicious everything was.

Natalie was the first to excuse herself for the night, leaving the two young adults resuming chatting about everything and nothing at the same time, bursting into laughter every now and then. Marinette couldn't for the life of her pinpoint the exact moment something had shifted into their relationship, but something had definitely changed between the moment Adrien had shown up on her doorstep and now. And she liked it.

Once they were finished with their meal, Adrien helped Marinette with the dishes before heading to the living room with popcorn and sodas in hand. The young man put some superhero movie into the Blu-Ray player and came back to sit beside his friend on the couch. Marinette curled up in her corner of the sofa, buried under a thick blanket, watching the movie intently. She absentmindedly sipped on a steaming cup of green tea, while Adrien stuffed his face with popcorn and soda on the other end of the couch. She felt so relaxed she could have easily drifted into slumber right then and there if she had closed her eyes only for a split second.

Adrien, on the other hand, really had trouble concentrating on the movie. He couldn't exactly pinpoint why, but he had an almost uncontrollable urge to erase the distance between him and the young lady beside him. 'If I pull her closer would she mind?' he thought, swiftly followed with 'Woah, where did that come from?' The movie eventually came to an end and released the poor man from his inner turmoil... or so he thought.

Marinette got up gracefully, went to put away her empty cup, and with the most beautiful smile he had ever seen in his life she wished him good night and disappeared to her room leaving him bemused. 'I wonder what those lips taste like- Wait. What's wrong with me?'

Back in her room Marinette lay down on her bed, savoring the almost perfect silence in her room. She felt incredibly serene, her heart at peace, the constant nagging at the back of her mind almost gone. If someone had told her that all she needed to remove the unbearable pressure from her shoulders was a weekend away from her duties alone with Adrien, she would have deemed them utterly crazy and ready for the asylum.

And yet, Chat Noir's completely irrational idea seemed to work like a charm.

She really would have to thank him properly for making it happen. She didn't know what came over him to organize such an escapade, but she truly was grateful, for it helped her to finally feel like herself again. Something she didn't even think possible anymore.

She was even able to talk with Adrien without feeling like a huge failure or a sorry mess for a change.

That's when it hit her.

The reason why she was so comfortable around Adrien despite her ever-present feelings for him, the reason why her stuttering had faded, was because she didn't think about them at all. She had finally stopped overthinking every single word she was saying to him in fear of what he might think of her. She was only enjoying the moment, being herself, without scheming their future fairy tale like she used to. Getting to know him better was also doing marvels to get him down the pedestal she had put him on and made him much less intimidating. He was still the kind, selfless and adorable boy she had fallen for, but he was also a sweet dork with a few flaws to show for himself.

And if she were to be completely honest with herself, she had to admit she liked this new aspect of her relation with Adrien very much. Talking with him, getting to know him and actually enjoying his company instead of panicking and focusing on not saying anything stupid... it made her wonder if it was really worth the pain at all.

Sure, Adrien would always hold a very special place in her heart. After all, loving someone this much for so long was bound to leave ineffaceable marks on one's soul.

But she didn't want to wait for it to happen anymore. She didn't want to be that silly love struck school girl anymore.

She felt ready to finally let go.

In the next bedroom, Adrien had a very different reality check. He was pacing around in his room, trying to figure out what was wrong with him.

"Plagg, why can't I stop thinking about her?"

The black and whiny deity lifted an indifferent eyebrow. "About who now?"

The young man buried his hands in his hair. "Mari... Plagg, how come in the past four years I never felt this way around her? Nothing changed! I don't even understand myself right now."

The kwami rolled on his back, looking quite pleased with himself. "You changed. She changed. You're not kids anymore."

"Aaaaargh... that doesn't help me at all. What am I supposed to do?"

Find me some cheese? A great camembert would be nice."

Adrien glared at him. "NOT HELPING."

He felt his phone buzz in his back pocket and checked it out knowing it would be Nino. Chloe was mad at him because he forgot to notice her brand new purse (the sixth one this month) so she was leaving him in peace for the time being. He toyed with the idea of telling her he was alone with Marinette at his father's countryside house, wondering if it'd buy him a few more weeks without her constant nagging.

[21:12] Nino: Hey man. How u doing?]

The young man sighed loudly. It was perfectly useless to try to hide these things from his best friend, he would figure it out one way or another eventually. He went for honesty:

[21:14] Adrien: Going crazy dude. SOS.

True to himself, the young DJ wasted no time answering.

[21:15] Nino: What's up?

[21:15] Adrien: Can't stop thinking about her. Mari.

Seeing those words displayed on the screen made them seem even more real if it was possible. He got up to look out the window, waiting impatiently for his friend's reply.

He could almost picture the puzzled expression on Nino's face by this point.

[21:17] Nino: What about Ladybug?

Adrien's fingers went crazy on the little keyboard. There were so many thoughts all at once in his mind that he had trouble organizing them:

[21:18] Adrien: I know, so fucked up right now. Mari smiled at me when she left, and I can't stop thinking about her lips now. I think I'm gonna go mad. I wanna kiss her so bad. Cannot think about anything else.

His eyes widened when he saw the answer flashing on his screen:

[21:18] Nino: About time.

[21:19] Adrien: WTF?

The next message did nothing to calm him down.

[21:20] Nino: U have liked her since day one. Like, even Chloe noticed.

[21:21] Adrien: What? No!

Did he, now?

[21:24] Nino: Dude. U smile like an idiot every time she would smile/laugh/talk/trip/move/breath. To be more obvious u'd have to wear a sign over ur head.

[21:25] Adrien: That much?

[21:27] Nino: Go get her.

Adrien put down his phone, a little bit stunned by the whole ordeal. He had expected his pal to knock some sense into him, telling him that he couldn't pine over both Ladybug and Marinette, that he had not a glimmer of hope to be with Marinette whatsoever. But there, he didn't. He seemed very supportive to say the least, and not a bit surprised by the sudden confession of the young model. Why was Nino so enthusiastic about all this? Did he know something he himself wasn't aware of? He picked up his device once again to try and pry some information from Nino when he heard a loud thud outside, quickly followed by a screeching scream.

[21:27] Adrien: FUCK BRB

Plagg stirred lazily on the pillow. "I guess my nap is over?"

Adrien wasted no time, worried sick for the girl in the next bedroom. "Sorry. Plagg, CLAWS OUT."

With a green flash, he was out the window.

Both of You

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

Part 5 of 53

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