GUEST POST: Beauty and the Beat—Ch. 3

Hello everyone, we are back with the fan fic written by my first guest @obdobuk! In case you missed it, he is writing an exclusive short fan-fiction based on the infamous TV series, Miraculous Ladybug. For those who missed the previous chapters, you can click Ch. 1 and Ch. 2—happy reading!


Chapter 3

Adrien couldn’t stop laughing. It was six in the morning and he was in his room, sitting on his couch laughing hysterically. He knew he could be as loud as he wanted and no one would hear; he wouldn’t wake anyone up. If there was even anyone nearby to wake up. Adrien didn’t know if Nino had yet returned from the club and he didn’t know where Marinette and Alya were. He hadn’t seen them there at all, and had only been able to recognise Nino from the music decks he had been surrounded by.

 

The night had been amazing…

 

Adrien had waited an hour after the other three had left before sneaking out. Even though he lived without any supervision, sometimes his movements managed to make it back to his father. ‘Best to err on the side of caution’ Adrien thought, as he climbed out of his window before scaling the garden walls.

 

A taxi found a tall blond man in a black and green hoody wearing sweatpants and a cat’s mask that covered most of his face. Even without the streetlights, the driver would’ve seen the wide grin on his face.

 

Adrien made it into the club in the early morning and walked into his first dance scene. It was better than he had pictured it; the flashing lights and the smell of sweat and permeating everything was the thumping of Nino’s music. A group of young men and women around his age looked over at him and, like the cat he was dressed as, he went stiff and the hairs stood up on the back of his neck.

 

But there was no recognition. Two of them laughed and gave his costume a thumbs up before returning to their drinks. It took a few seconds before it sank in.

“They can’t recognise me”. Adrien couldn’t hear himself over the sound of the music but it didn’t matter. A smile was growing wider and wider upon his face as the joy built within his chest. Behind this mask, he was free.

 

With a howl of delight, Adrien threw himself into the writhing mass of bodies and let himself act as wild as everyone else. He loved every minute of it. Never in his life had he ever been able to act so…young. He was always having to be in control around people; first because of how he was raised and then because he was afraid they wouldn’t accept him any other way. But with this music, Adrien was free to let loose. Soon after however, the music changed.

 

Adrien followed suit as everyone around him stopped and focussed on two women standing in a growing space. They were swaying with the music and before they had even taken their first step, Adrien knew they would be amazing.

 

He was right.

They both moved like nothing he’d ever seen before. In all of his years, first dancing for fitness and coordination and then for fun, Adrien had never known anyone to move like they did. The internet girl was raw power with flawless rhythm while the bug preferred grace and speed.

 

Adrien was in awe. They were perfectly in time with each other without even looking. They danced better than anyone he had ever seen and, to him at least, the Bug was amazingly beautiful. If pressed, Adrien would say it was her eyes that got him, but in truth it was all of her. From the way she danced to the way she smiled and everything in between.

 

He cheered with everyone else when she had finished but didn’t have the nerve to go up and talk to her. Instead he kept dancing, wondering what it would be like to dance with her.

 

Three more times the two women came up to dance and every time he was blown away by their talent. Others had begun challenging them as well. Men and women who, incorrectly, thought they were as good as the two women who had dominated the dance floor tonight. Every time the call came for challengers, Adrien yearned to throw his hand up and test himself against them. But he held himself back until Nino had announced that this was the final dance.

 

Sitting on his couch, Adrien’s heart sped up again at the memory.

 

He had raised his hand and Nino had given him the moniker of Chat Noir as he walked into the wide open space. Everyone had cheered as he stepped out and Adrien could see Ladybug smiling and cheering for him as well. He was sure Lady Wifi was as well but he only had eyes for the Bug.

 

No one expected anything from him. Then he started moving and everyone changed their minds. He danced in a way that none of them had seen that night. Ladybug and Lady Wifi were short and slim. Adrien was much taller and much more muscular. When he danced, everyone gasped. The power he was able to use coupled with his grace and balance was incredible. From spinning in one spot to gliding weightlessly across the floor. Writhing with the beat as everyone roared.

 

But he only had eyes for her.

 

And the Bugs eyes were wide and glowing. ‘She’s impressed!’ His ecstatic thoughts pushed him to new heights. Bouncing from place to place. Twisting in mid-air before dropping to his knees. He let go and became Chat Noir, dancing like a madman. Doing things he had never tried before and pulling them off by the best combination of skill and luck.

 

It was fun. He felt the same way he did when he played music. Doing it for the thrill of the act itself. When he stopped moving, everyone screamed. But once again he only cared about her. He walked towards her and she rushed forwards to meet him halfway.

“That was incredible! I loved it!” Her smile was wide and her eyes bright. Every word made him feel amazing.

“Thank you Ladybug. That means a lot. I was hoping it would impress you”.

“It really did. Where did you learn how to dance like that?”

 

They were surrounded by the crowd, all patting them on the back and trying to push drinks on them but they only spoke to each other.

“Oh here and there”.

 

Adrien had no idea where this side of him had been hiding but he was enjoying it immensely. And it seemed so did she.

“Mon minou”, she laughed. “You’re being very mysterious”.

“A cat has to keep some secrets from his Bug”. Her eyes twinkled.

Your Bug?” Chat Noir leaned in closer as if for a kiss.

“If you’ll have me”.

 

Giggling, Ladybug placed her finger upon his nose and pushed him away.

“Easy kitten. We’ve only just met”. Over her shoulder, Lady Wifi had appeared and was pulling her away. “See you next time Chat!” In a heartbeat she was gone, vanishing into the crowd. And from then until he fell asleep, Adrien could not stop smiling.

 

/

 

Mari woke up late. Her, Alya and Nino had returned home at around six and she, feeling well exercised and delightfully spent, had immediately fallen into a deep sleep. When she awoke she just laid in bed and relaxed.

 

Last night had been wonderful. It had been so long since she had danced like that. Marinette couldn’t stop smiling. The music, the club…everything had been perfect. She flipped her pillow around and hugged the cool side close to her face. Her door opened as Alya made her way in before dropping onto her bed.

“Last night was epic” she said, worming her way under the covers.

“So good”.

“That guy at the end liked you”.

“Chat Noir? Don’t be crazy. I bet he’s like that with all the girls”.

“No way. There were girls there built like strippers, looking like models and wearing barely anything but his eyes never left you. He likes the way you move”.

“He moves pretty well himself” Mari admitted.

“And he looks good while he does it”.

“Don’t let Nino hear you say that”.

“Who do you think pointed it out?”

 

The lifelong friends laughed amongst themselves as they talked for almost an hour and Marinette kept thinking about the Chat Noir, the way he danced and the grin on his face while he did it.

 

It was an easy Sunday for them. They had no plans other than relax and recuperate. The three of them ate a small meal and relaxed in the lounge. The fire was crackling in a very cliche manner, as Alya pointed out, and they spent the entire day talking about last night. Nino agreed with Alya that the Chat Noir character had been particularly interested in Marinette.

 

Marinette denied everything.

 

“Do you think we should invite Adrien out with us next time?” Nino asked. Mari smiled at the mental image while Alya simply burst out laughing.

“That man can barely look me in the eye for longer than two seconds without running away. I think the dance scene might be a little out of his comfort zone”. Alya sat on one of the couches with Nino’s head on her lap, with Mari opposite them. He looked up at his girlfriend.

“I’m telling you he’s a nice guy. Just really shy”.

“So you think the best place to take a shy young man is a dance club surrounded by attractive people wearing revealing clothing all pressing in on you?”

Nino was silent for a beat then, “shut up”.

 

Marinette laughed with Alya but privately agreed, Adrien would hate it there. It’s a shame though, she thought. He should relax every once in awhile. Just then the image of him playing his violin came back to her and she almost groaned. She did not need this again.

 

 

The days passed and school continued but Mari and the others found that they were becoming used to the workload. It didn’t pile up as often as it had and they had more free time on their hands. Alya had taken to sleeping more and Nino to hanging with Adrien which Mari genuinely approved of. She still felt guilty that they were all living in his house and he did seem very alone when she saw him. Her free time was spent in the gardens.

 

Even though the weather was getting colder and a little wetter, Marinette loved the gardens. Growing up in the centre of Paris meant that apart from a few plants on her balcony, she had never had such greenery so close by and now she found that she enjoyed walking around the grounds.The pool was cold and the court was covered, but Mari did not care. It was the gardens themselves she was in love with.

 

The endless grass and the trees that hung over everything; their limbs strong and proud with the smaller branches sagging under the weight and reaching for the ground. Oak trees in every corner as if pinning the garden down with Willows and Walnuts and Sycamores scattered around. The flowerbeds were also full of colours and shapes, some fading with the weather while others held on a little longer. Roses of varying colours, Lilies, Hydrangeas, Daffodils. There was even, Marinette was delighted to find, a small bamboo plant growing in a secluded area of the garden. She had found it a few days earlier when she noticed a rough path behind one of the Oaks.

 

She travelled that path now as she had then. Behind the tree and through a small hedge until she came to a small area with the bamboo shoots rising out of the rich dirt. But this time Adrien was there.

 

With the quietest squeak, Marinette stumbled to a halt, rustling the leaves on the floor. She could see Adrien head perk up at the noise but he didn’t turn around.

“My mother planted this”.

The only thing that could have shocked Marinette more than randomly meeting Adrien, was Adrien talking to her as if it was an everyday occurrence. And without the stuttering or mumbling she normally heard from him, Marinette realised that Adrien had a very pleasant voice.

 

“I don’t really remember her much”, he continued. “Just a few memories, some of which I’ve probably made up from pictures I’ve seen. And then Nathalie told me about this place. Apparently my mother loved the garden. She refused to let anyone touch it; it belonged to her. She planted this in secret from my father and she used to bring me here. I remember that very clearly but I honestly thought it was a fantasy. Or a dream. it’s one of my favourite places”.

 

Adrien turned around and made eye contact with her. The moment he saw her, he froze. Marinette in turn panicked at once again sneaking up on him during a private moment and tried to flee. Spinning around, Mari tried to run through the hedge but her foot tangled on some roots and she went down.

 

“Marinette!”

 

As far as she could tell, she wasn’t injured but the moment she tried to stand up, her ankle flared and she went tumbling back to the ground. She was pushing herself up again when she felt Adrien kneel down next to her.

“Are you ok?”

“Yeah I’m fine. Seriously don’t worry”. Marinette tried to stand again but once again, her ankle hurt so bad Adrien had to grab her shoulders to stop her from hitting the floor again. He threw her arm over his shoulder, moved both of his beneath her and then before she knew it, Mari was being carried full on damsel style by Adrien Agreste.

 

Now it was her turn to stammer and stutter.

“Ad-drien you don’t nee-this is real-you can p-put me down. I’m fine!” She tried looking up at him but when he looked back at her, her face turned red and she turned away.

“Marinette you could barely stand. I am not putting you down”.

 

Mari kept trying to persuade him but Adrien didn’t let go. Which, she admitted to herself, was probably the right decision. As he walked the distance back to the house, she noticed that he wasn’t even breathing heavily. She wasn’t very tall but she was still a grown woman with more muscle than most, thanks to her dancing. But Adrien might as well have been carrying a child.

 

Once back inside the house, he carried her to the lounge and set her down on a sofa.

“I think we should go to the hospital”, Adrien said as he knelt down beside her. “It may be broken”.

“It’s not” Mari replied. “I’ve broken a few bones before. This is just a twisted ankle”. Adrien looked torn.

“You know it’s no trouble right? I don’t mind taking you”.

“No that’s not it. I need my ankle far too much to risk it being silly. I promise. It’s just twisted”.

 

Adrien stared at her for a moment, brow furrowed as if debating if she was being genuine or not. Eventually he nodded.

“Ok then. No hospital”, he stood up and walked out of the room. “Wait here for a second” he called back.

 

Without having much of a choice, Marinette sat back and waited. She looked around the room and rubbed her hands together; she didn’t know what else to do. Eventually she heard his footsteps and, once again, had the urge to bolt.

 

Adrien came back into the room with his arms full of various items. He knelt next to her couch and began laying them out.

“Ok so I have ice, frozen peas, bandages, painkillers, cream and some water”. Marinette became more and more bemused as he listed everything.

“What’s the water for?”

“You” he said handing her the bottle. “You should drink”.

 

Still in shock at what he was doing, Marinette took a sip of her water which she almost spat out as he began unlacing her shoe.

“What are you doing?” she exclaimed, raising her hand to her mouth to stop water from spraying him.

“We have to take your shoe off otherwise it’ll start getting tight when the swelling gets worse”.

 

Marinette watched as world famous model, Adrien Agreste, fully unlaced her shoe and eased it off of her foot followed by her sock. Despite how slow he moved, it still caused her to grimace in pain for which, Adrien apologised. Then, lifting her foot, he slid the ice pack beneath her ankle before resting the peas on top. Mari immediately felt relief.

 

“Thank you” she sighed gratefully. Adrien, still sitting on the floor, simply nodded. “Who did you think I was? When you started talking about your mother” Mari clarified when he looked confused.

“Oh. I thought you were Nino”. He looked away from her and once again Mari felt bad that he was forced to have three extra people in his own home. Just because he was starting to get along with Nino doesn’t mean he suddenly loved the situation.

 

Her phone buzzed. “It’s Alya” she said, reading the message. “She said she’s coming home as fast as she can but it’ll be about ten minutes”. Mari had texted her friends about what happened just so that they would know. But trying to stop Alya from coming back was like trying to stop the tide.

 

Adrien nodded and stood up, avoiding her gaze and shuffling awkwardly on the spot. “That’s good. I’ll leave you alone then. You have the medicine” he said pointing at the small pile at her side. “Is there anything else you need?” When she shook her head, Adrien nodded once more and began to leave.

 

“Thank you!” Mari blurted out causing him to stop and half turn towards her. “Thank you for helping me out”. Adrien waved away her thanks and continued walking away. “And I’m sorry”.

 

This time he fully turned to face her, an expression of confusion upon his face.

“Why are you apologising?”

“Because this was your home and we kind of just started living here. I mean, we couldn’t have afforded to live on campus so if we didn’t want to travel almost three hours a day we would have been forced to go to worse schools. I’m really grateful to live here, we all are, but you had this amazing home all to yourself and we kind of just intruded so…yeah. I’m sorry”

 

Marinette didn’t know why she was talking so much. But she wanted to say something as she doubted whether she would ever have such an opportunity again. Curiously, Adrien hadn’t looked away. He stood in the doorway with a look on his face that Mari couldn’t decipher.

“Mari, this wasn’t a home before you came. It was a house. A big empty building with no noise and no laughter. Just me. I know it doesn’t seem like it because I’m not good with people but, I’m really happy you guys are here”.

 

Adrien gripped the back of his neck in a nervous gesture and turned from the room. “I mean, did you seriously think this was all my father’s idea?”

 

Marinette sat on the couch thinking about misconceptions and how to move forwards until Alya rushed in ten minutes later and immediately went into big sister mode. It was an exhausting afternoon after that.

 

/

 

With a mountain of pillows beneath his back, Adrien reclined on his bed while he worked. He was making good progress with his paper when the dinner gong sounded and his stomach growled almost a second later. A lifetime of hearing that bell before dinner had resulted in a Pavlovian response. Putting his computer to sleep, Adrien wondered about what he would bring up to his room tonight when a knock on his door caused him to start.

 

“Er…yes?”

Adrien could not begin to guess at who was at the door. Had Nathalie dropped by for an unannounced visit? It definitely wasn’t his father; he never knocked.

 

The door opened and Nino’s head popped through the gap.

“Hey man, gonna come down for some food?” Despite having spoken to both Nino and Marinette separately, the idea of eating with all three of them made him panic.

“Er well I have a lot of work to do” Adrien mumbled, feebly gesturing at his laptop.

“Are you sure? Alya is eating with Mari in her room because she can’t really move so it’ll be just me down there and I would enjoy the company”.

 

A noticeably relieved Adrien smiled and got up from his bed.

“It would be nice to eat at a table for a change”.

 

As he walked into the Dining room, Adrien felt as if it had been months since he had stepped in it last. ‘Everything seems so new’ he thought as he sat opposite Nino. The chef who laid out the meal of ravioli, steamed vegetables and garlic bread seemed very happy to see Adrien eating with a friend. But the young man didn’t notice.

 

“Mari told us what happened today” Nino said, filling his plate after they had both thanked Bruce for the food. “I mean she’s in pain and that’s not good. But between us, it sounds like it was pretty funny”. Adrien, who had not been expected that, almost choked on his food. Nino sat and grinned at the sight of his friend trying to keep his meal in his mouth.

 

“Oh man it definitely must have been funny” Nino continued as he began eating. Adrien eventually managed to calm down even though his eyes still watered.

“I mean, at the time I thought she’d broken her ankle so I was pretty scared but looking back…it may have been a little funny”. This time it was Nino who laughed.

“So what actually happened? I mean I know she tripped and fell but what were you guys doing out there? She never said”.

 

Adrien was a little shocked. He had expected Mari to tell them everything but it seemed as though she had kept the details to herself. She hadn’t told them about his mother’s secret garden.

“I was just in the garden and I heard someone come up behind me. Actually Nino, I thought it was you and I just started talking. After a bit I turned around and saw it was Mari”. Nino noticed the use of her nickname but said nothing. “I froze, she bolted and went flying. That’s when I picked her up and carried her back”.

 

Still unused to talking much, Adrien resumed eating a little more rapidly than he normally would. Even with Nino there were still times he became a little self-conscious. But he was trying to get past it.

“I’m glad you were there man”, Nino commented casually as he too kept eating. “It’s good to know Mari has another friend she can rely on”.

 

He’d said it so casually that Adrien had almost missed it but eventually he processed it. Friend, Nino had said. Was Marinette his friend? He wanted her to be. But he had caused her to fall over. Were they friends inspite of that? Were they friends because of that?

 

“This is good food” Nino said as he speared another piece of ravioli on his fork and ate it. “And it’s good to see you down here. You should join us more often man. We’d love to hang out with you more”. Adrien was now approaching a state of confused combustion.

 

The idea that they wanted to spend time with him made him ecstatic.

The idea of actually spending time with them all made him terrified.

The idea that Nino was lying to take pity on him made him depressed.

 

His expression must have betrayed how he was feeling as Nino hurried to add, “but there’s no rush. We have all the time in the year”.

 

The conversation turned to what shows they were watching when they had the time and Nino mentioned that one of his favourite animes was showing it’s long-awaited season two.

“But it was not made for a laptop screen. Titans should be slaughtered on a big tv”. Adrien laughed.

“Yeah my parents were not fans of television so I had to buy and install one myself”.

 

Nino’s head flew up and he locked onto Adrien’s eyes with such intensity that the model began to get nervous.

“Err…Ni-”

“You have your own tv?”

“Er..Yeah”

“What kind?”

“OLED. 60 inch”

 

Nino’s entire face began to glow as he imagined it in his head. Adrien, who had by now looked away from his friend, began eating the apple pie that had been served as dessert. He had almost finished it by the time Nino spoke again.

 

“Feel free to say no but, what do you say to you showing me your set-up and me showing you the glories of Attack on Titan?”

“I’ve been meaning to watch that. Sounds like a plan”. Adrien happily agreed to spend more time with his friend but after a second felt a little bad. “Are you sure you don’t want to see Alya or Mari? I mean you don’t have to-”.

 

Adrien cut off the rest of that sentence and Nino, displaying his usual social grace, didn’t draw attention to it.

“There isn’t much for me to do honestly, you did all the real work. I’ll check in on her though. You’re more than welcome to come with me. See how she is”.

Knowing that it was the polite thing to do, despite his nerves, was how Adrien found himself walking through Marinette’s doorway with Nino’s arm draped across his shoulders.

 

The first thing he noticed was that her room smelled like her. He knew he shouldn’t be surprised but he was. Pleasantly so. She wore a very nice perfume that he couldn’t recognise and her room was full of the scent. Adrien tried not to look around so as to respect her privacy. But he also couldn’t make eye contact with either girl for more than a split second without looking away. All in all, the distance from the door to her bed seemed much longer than it actually was.

 

“Ladies how are we doing?” Nino asked as they stopped at Mari’s bedside. “We just wanted to stop in to point and laugh at you”.

“Very funny Nino” Mari deadpanned while Alya threw a pillow at him.

“How are you feeling Marinette? Is there anything we can get you?” Adrien coloured slightly as he forced himself to meet her gaze. This caused her to redden as well.

“I’m fine thanks Adrien. I still have the medicine you gave me so I’m good for now”. She smiled in gratitude which made them both go red. It was painful for Alya to watch.

 

So of course she had to make it worse.

 

“Agreste. I hear you carried my girl from the bottom of the gardens all the way back up here without breaking a sweat. Is this true?” Nino almost lost it at the look on Adrian’s face. The poor guy had gone wide-eyed and could barely string a sentence together.

“Err…I-well”.

“And I know that’s not easy. She’s all muscle. Nice body, curved like a dream. Wouldn’t you agree?”

 

At this point Marinette became just as red as Adrien and tried to grab Alya to shut her up. But being immobile made it slightly difficult. Nino decided to get Adrien away before his girlfriend ruined all the progress Adrien had made.

“Ok crazy woman. Away with you. We have more important plans than listening to your nonsense”. Nino guided the still stuttering model out as he had guided him in. Just as he closed the door they both heard Mari explode at her oldest friend.

 

“ALYA I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!”

 

They had made it down the hall and into Adrien’s room before he had regained some semblance of normal speech. Nino was doing most of the talking and they were both fine with that.

“I didn’t get a good look earlier but I really like your room man”, he said as he looked around. “It’s very stylish but also really comfy”.

 

Adrien looked at his room through Nino’s eyes. As he had lived here his whole life it was much fuller than the other three. The bed, desk and the other furniture was clearly of the finest quality. There was a high end computer on the desk and various chairs and couches arranged around his room. Nino gestured towards the couch that was facing a wardrobe.

“Unless you are really into your clothes, I’m guessing you hid it in there?” Adrien nodded and they both sat down on the soft, warm sofa. One button on the remote opened the doors and another turned the tv on. The picture quality almost made Nino weep. “It’s so beautiful!”

 

With a grin, Adrien felt back to his old self. Or rather, his new self. They relaxed back and Adrien handed over control to Nino who began streaming the first episode. A second later he paused it and turned to Adrien with a look on his face.

“Are you one of those people who talk during movies and shows?” Adrien cocked a perfect eyebrow.

“Do I look like a barbarian?” Nino smiled in relief.

“Good. Alya and Mari do it all the time. Literally. All. The. Time”. Adrien made a face of shock and horror.

“How can you stand to watch anything with them?”

“When I absolutely have to, I get them both a lot of popcorn. Then they’re normally too busy eating to talk. But when I can’t do that, I join my best friend and watch stuff on his TV”. Adrien looked confused and Nino sighed.

“You, dude. I’m talking about you”.

 

Once again it took Adrien a second to process what had been said but once he had, he felt a swell of happiness wash over him.

“Oh. Cool”. He didn’t know what else to say but thankfully Nino didn’t expect much.

“Hell yeah”. Nino played the anime and they both settled in to watch.

 

“Also, I refuse to watch this in anything but the original Japanese”.

“Once again, not a barbarian”.


AUTHOR’S NOTE:A little bit of LadyNoir and a little bit of AdriNette. Thank you all for reading, I’d love to hear what you think so far! I am a great believer in the Bro-hood that is Adrien and Nino. And yes, I am an Attack on Titan fan as well. If only I could watch it on a TV like Adrien’s. Come back soon for chapter 4!– @obdobuk

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