GUEST POST: Beauty and the Beat—Ch. 4

We’re back with our guest post; @obdobuk! Chapter 4 is now up for all to read, I can’t get enough of Miraculous Ladybug fan fic. Enjoy, folks!

For those who missed the previous chapters, you can find them here -> Ch. 1 Ch. 2 Ch. 3


Chapter 4

This time the scene was completely different. Whilst Nino was very popular at club Miraculous, his beats were famous in certain circles all over Paris. And after making his return to the city known, an old friend of his had been first in line to contact him for another gig.

 

“Nino! It’s Alix! You doing ok?” Nino was just finishing up his paper when his phone had rang. Eager for the distraction he picked it up without seeing who was calling.

“Alix! I’m good thanks. How are things with you?”

“Same old. Listen, I heard you were back in town and was wondering if you wanted another gig? Just like last time”.

 

Nino grinned at the memory and quickly agreed.

“Excellent. We’ll talk details later. But keep Halloween free! It is gonna be amazing”. With a smile on his face, Nino hung up and got back to work, already planning his set.

 

When Halloween came around, Mari, Alya and Nino found themselves in an abandoned warehouse somewhere in the Parisian industrial sector. The chill in the air was being held back by all the dancing bodies as well as a dozen burning oil drums. As Nino worked his magic, Mari looked around at everyone there.

 

Like herself, they were all in full costume. Nino’s gigs always needed a mask but for Halloween everyone upped their game. For the special night, Mari had made some small modifications to their dress. Alya now had a battery icon that pulsed green in time with her heartbeat. She didn’t know how Mari had done it but she didn’t care; she loved it. Marinette wouldn’t say what her own addition was.

“It’s a surprise. You’ll have to wait and see”

 

Alya had begrudgingly let it go, but it had now been all but forgotten. They both stood at the edge of the crowd checking out the competition, because that is exactly what this was. A competition.

 

Alix was a die hard fan of dancing in any shape or form. The competitiveness that had driven her in school had only become more fierce as she had grown up, and she organised some of the fiercest dance-offs that any of them had ever been to. In true Alix fashion, there would only be a single winner. Alya and Mari both had decided that they didn’t care who won. And since no one was counting, neither would be able to tell you that they had both won one each. Tonight was definitely not a tie-breaker.

 

“You could make it less obvious that you’re looking for him”, Alya commented at her friend as she scanned the whole crowd again.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about” Mari replied, turning back towards Alya.

“Of course you don’t. But given how tall the guy is, I’m sure you’ll see him the moment he walks in. Even though you’re not looking”. Mari tried to glare at her friend but she couldn’t keep a straight face. She was hoping Chat would show up tonight but she knew it was a long shot. She knew nothing about him. Odds are she would never see him again. But sometimes the odds were in her favour.

 

“Over there! Mari! Turn Around! But be cool about it!”

Heart racing enough so that she was glad she wasn’t the one with the blinking light, Marinette casually turned in time to see Chat Noir emerge from the crowd and head straight towards them both. He was wearing the same costume as last time but his hair seemed more dishevelled. His eyes, greener.

 

“Lady Wifi. Ladybug. It is good to see you both again”. There was a reckless grin on his face as he looked at Marinette and she felt her own mouth curve into a smile.

“Oh yeah” Alya spoke before she could. “I’m sure you’ve just been dying to meet me again”.

“Well I shamelessly admit I have a favourite”. Mari blushed beneath her makeup. “But a gentlecat must always be well behaved. Plus you are a highly skilled dancer yourself”.

“You’re damn right I am” Alya declared proudly. “But you got some skill yourself. You move like a guy half your size”.

“Thank you but I wouldn’t say I’m that goo-”.

“You are” Marinette interrupted. “You are an amazing dancer”.

 

This time it was Chat who went slightly red, as the bare skin beneath his mask gave him away.

“You are too kind my Lady” he mumbled, dipping his head slightly in thanks.

“I didn’t think I’d see you tonight Chat. If I didn’t know better I’d think you were following me”. Her smile showed she wasn’t being serious.

“My Lady you wound me!” he said, holding a hand to his chest.

“Oh poor little Kitty. Let me make it up to you”. Marinette reached up and scratched behind his fake ears and laughed when Chat purred.

 

“I must admit Buginette, I did not get here by accident. DJ Bubbler is the one I followed here. To see you again is just my good luck”. Mari blushed even more than before. She swore she could feel the heat radiating from your face.

“Well Kitty, I hope you didn’t just come here to flirt with me” She challenged him.

“Would that be so bad?”

“I’d be very disappointed. I came here to dance-”

“And to see the cat”, Alya said quietly but very clearly. Marinette chose to ignore her friend and the look on Chat Noir’s face when he heard her.

“And I mean really dance”, Mari continued. “This is a competition and you’re facing two past winners”.

“I guess I’ll have to show you what I can do. Without holding back. Do you think you can handle me?”

 

Feeling more playful than she had in awhile, Marinette completely closed the distance between her and this beautiful man. Looking up at him, she smiled and whispered, “Chaton, I’ll handle everything you’ve got. But I don’t think you can say the same”.

 

The blood roared through her body and the sound of his ragged gasp was music to her ears. She stepped back until she was next to Alya; his eyes never left hers. The grin upon his lips answered the challenge that she had given. Mari could not wait to dance.

 

/

 

Adrien felt like he was immortal. He had never experienced such a rush before in his life! Standing there with Ladybug, close enough that he could feel her racing heartbeat against his chest, had been the single most exhilarating moment of his life. He had walked away after that. Adrien had said he needed to get ready for the competition but in reality, he had needed to breathe. Simply being next to her had clouded his mind. Although nothing about that encounter had been simple.

 

He stood at the very edge of the warehouse, far away enough from the people and the fires so that he could feel the winter bite in the air. It helped cool him down after his encounter with Ladybug. Despite being so far away, Adrien was acutely aware of every move she made. And from the looks of it, she was watching him as well. He grinned widely not caring whether or not she could see it.

 

Adrien had already stretched before getting dressed and had kept himself loose and limber on the way here. But he paced back and forth to keep his muscles warm and took deep, slow breaths. If winning this competition would impress Ladybug then that’s what he had to do.

 

The music suddenly changed from generic dance to something far more upbeat. Exciting but suspenseful at the same time; Nino really was amazing, Adrien thought to himself. He joined the crowd as they flocked to the centre of the room, leaving a wide open space on the floor for the people to dance.

 

Nino raised his hands into the air and everyone cheered. This was so very different compared to the club, Adrien thought. At Miraculous, Nino had been atop a stage surrounded by the finest equipment and sound systems that could be bought. Here he was standing on a thick piece of wood laid atop two oil drums. There was a cheap desk holding basic equipment which was wired into a mismatched array of car speakers.

 

Yet the skill of the man remained undiminished. Nino performed with his usual enthusiasm regardless of anything else and the crowd was in the palm of his hand.

“We all know why we’re here! Let’s get to it! First up: Timebreaker Vs Lady Wifi!” Nino called out the match-up and everyone screamed before backing up a little bit more. Adrien watched as Lady Wifi came out into the middle with someone he had never seen before.

She was slightly shorter than Wifi and much slighter. Adrien knew right away she was built for speed. She wore a skintight cyclists uniform with dark sunglasses and slicked back hair. Timebreaker also had, he noted, wheels at the bottom of her shoes. Adrien hoped she would do well, but he immediately knew that Lady Wifi was going to walk away the winner.

 

Five minutes later he was proven right. The music had started, a light and quick beat, and Timebreaker immediately blurred into motion. She was definitely fast. But the crowd prefered Wifi’s skill. She moved with supreme confidence, her body being led by the music in ways most people couldn’t imagine. Adrien could easily see why she had won before. Every inch of her possessed rhythm and she used all that she had. Everyone watching could see she danced for fun while Timebreaker was obviously dancing to win. In the end she didn’t.

 

Adrien cheered with everyone else when Nino announced, “I guess it’s pretty clear who the winner is there!”

 

Timebreaker wheeled away looking annoyed as Wifi returned to Ladybug’s side. They were standing on the opposite side to Adrien so it was easy to meet her gaze. Bug smiled at him and laughed when he winked in return.

 

Others came onto the floor and proceeded to go toe to toe with each other. Given that this was his first time, Adrien was not surprised by how many people he didn’t know. But he realised that they all must have known each other. Gamer and Dark Cupid laughed together after their bout. Stoneheart had his arms draped around Horrificator. Vanisher and Antibug taunted each other as only old friends can do.

 

Adrien realised that despite the competition, everyone here knew each other behind the mask. But he was, as far as he knew, the only one who was a stranger to everyone. The only person that he knew was Nino, but the DJ didn’t know it was his friend behind the mask. Besides he was currently busy.

 

Adrien would have been quiet. Adrien would not have spoken to anyone. But he was Chat Noir. He had made his mind up to join a small group next to him when his name was called out, causing him to freeze.

 

“And now it’s last year’s winner Ladybug, against new boy Chat Noir!”

 

Adrien’s head whipped around and his eyes met Bug’s and in that moment he knew she had arranged this. The crowd screamed. Mostly for Ladybug he knew but he liked to think that some were for him. They both walked towards each other until they met in the middle.

“For some reason My Lady, I don’t think this is a coincidence”. Ladybug shrugged her shoulders and Adrien caught a glimpse of something shimmering at her back.

“You never know. Maybe you just got lucky” she smiled.

“Black cats aren’t known for their luck”.

“But ladybugs are”.

 

With a smirk, Adrien stepped backwards and waited. Ladybug did the same. A second later the music began and he could feel the beat in his very bones. Chat Noir threw his head back and laughed. Everyone had one song that belonged to them. That spoke to them in ways words never could. Whose rhythm and beats resonated with their soul.

 

This song belonged to Adrien.

 

He didn’t think or plan. He didn’t even open his eyes. Chat just let the beat take over his body and gave himself fully over to the dance. This was the song that had first made him want to move. This was the song that he had secretly learned to play on both the piano and violin. This was the song that made his heart race yet kept him perfectly calm. This was his song and he loved it.

 

This time when the crowd screamed, he knew they were screaming for him.

 

Adrien was one move flowing effortlessly into the next. His breathing had synced with the song as it always did and there was no stopping him. He felt weightless and yet strong. Flexible and unyielding at the same time.

 

Had Chat kept his eyes open at the beginning he would have seen Ladybug stare in awe at the look upon his face. Almost as if she recognised it. He would have seen her begin to dance in her own way. This music clearly wasn’t as powerful a motivator to her as it was to him but she brought every ounce of skill to the floor as she danced. However she knew that unless her special move killed it tonight, then Chat had won.

 

The music began to build, leading up to its climax and Chat danced harder. He felt renewed. As if reserves of energy had made themselves known to him. He was unstoppable. Unbeatable. Faster he moved with ever increasing grace and power. The crowd had never seen anything like it. And they never would again.

 

With a sharp spin, Chat brought his dance to an end. A flurry of moves followed by a dead stop made the crowd go wild. Kneeling on one leg, Adrien finally opened his eyes. What he saw short-circuited his brain. Ladybug was spinning in front of him.

 

But not like he had been. Faster than he had ever seen before. She revolved and something started to shimmer. As she span, two sparkling pieces of air unfurled from her back and spread out into-

 

Wings!

 

Chat couldn’t breathe. His Lady had wings! She too came to a quick stop, moments after Chat and a second before the music. Her wings stretched out from her sides, defiant in the face of gravity as she smirked down at him. Her chest heaved as she breathed in and out, her face glistening with sweat. Adrien knew that image would be seared into his brain for the rest of time.

 

Ladybug stared down at Chat Noir.

Chat Noir looked up at Ladybug.

For a heartbeat they were the only two in the room. The moment passed.

 

The crowd flooded in and engulfed them. The screams and the roars were deafening. Everyone wanted to grab hold and crush them together. They had never seen such a display. Whoever Chat Noir was he was incredible. If there was ever a match for Ladybug then it was him. They did everything but lift the pair onto their shoulders.

 

“DID YOU SEE THAT! THAT IS NOW THE NEW DEFINITION OF DANCING!” Nino was screaming into his mic, all composure lost. But everyone seemed to agree. Never before had Adrien had so many people celebrate him in this way. He couldn’t help but laugh when his eyes made contact with Bug’s and he saw people touching her wings reverently.

 

“AND THE WINNER OF TONIGHTS CONTEST IS…”

 

/

 

“I still can’t believe you let him win” Alya grumbled as they walked towards the front door. Marinette wasn’t sure who she was talking to and apparently neither did Nino.

“I didn’t let him win”, they both said at the same time. Alya was still unconvinced as they pushed their way through the huge double doors. They wiped their feet as Nino locked up behind them. The grounds had a security system but Nathalie had asked that they lock the door anyway.

 

“Whatever. I’m over it” said Alya who obviously wasn’t. “I’ll beat you both next time”.

“The only way you can do that is if we don’t put Mari against Chat again” Nino chimed in. “Those two just bring something out in each other”. Alya laughed at the look on her friend’s face; everyone knew she had a crush.

 

“I am starving” Mari stated, not even trying to be subtle about the subject change. “I’m going to get some food. If you can behave yourselves, you should join me”. Marinette walked towards the kitchens and Alya and Nino followed, laughing.

 

The kitchens were the same as the rest of the house. They were spacious and well equipped. No expense had been spared. It was, of course, as stylish as a kitchen could be as Gabriel Agreste would accept nothing less. There was an island in the middle of the floor that held the sink and oven. Around the wall was a long unbroken line of black marble countertop flanked above and below by cabinets holding everything that could be needed. Bowls of fresh fruit and vegetables were laid out and the giant double fridge was where Marinette’s head was currently buried in.

 

“This fridge literally has everything I could want”. Her voice was muffled by the fridge but the excitement was clear. Nino and Alya went over and helped her liberate the contents. They scattered chocolate gateau, pasta, pizza, lasagna, trifle and a few other things all around the island; there was more than enough space. Nino then went and raided one of the cupboards and came back with Doritos, Pringles and Oreos. Alya took the latter from him with a smile and a kiss. They sat around their midnight feast and happily ate.

 

A few seconds later they heard a whistle and before any of them realised what was happening, one of the cupboards opened and out walked Adrien, headphones in and arms full of ingredients.

 

Nino was the one who recovered first. “You know since we all live together under the same roof, you think we’d be less surprised when we run into each other”. He continued eating his pizza and Mari kept on with her cake. Adrien, eyes wide at the shock, dumped his haul on the countertop and pulled his headphones out.

 

“I…didn’t realise anyone else was down here” he said nervously. Marinette noticed that despite the ambush, he wasn’t shying away, or even stuttering. He really was becoming more confident with them all. The idea made her happy.

“Yeah man”, Nino answered. “We all just got back and were feeling pretty hungry. Hence the raid”.

“Yeah I was feeling pretty hungry too. Was planning on a little bit of cooking”. He gestured weakly at his pile of food.

“I didn’t realise you could cook”, Mari said between bites. She wanted to keep him talking as she’d noticed that he was more relaxed if he forgot about everything else. He turned a faint red, easily seen under the gentle white lighting.

“Yeah. Some of the cooks taught me how when I would hang out with them”.

 

There was a small silence as they understood the implications of his statement.

 

“Well don’t just stand there Romeo”, Alya suddenly spoke. “Show us these masterchief skills”. By this point, all three were eating casually and watching Adrien stare at his food. Later, Marinette would swear that before he started moving he rolled his shoulders in a very familiar way but neither of the other two saw anything.

 

She watched as he strode round to the food side of the island. Cake, pizza and lasagna found their way onto the plate in his hand before he moved back to his station. “Cooking fuel” he explained simply. Adrien seemed more relaxed as he began sorting through the ingredients. The pizza was finished before he began chopping the onions. Two small ones that were sliced and diced before anyone could complain about the stinging eyes. A green pepper, tomato and a few mushrooms followed suit.

 

“Holy crap man! You can handle a blade” Nino was in shock at the speed at which he had used the knife and Mari agreed. She had been raised around bakers her whole life and they had taught her everything she knew about cooking. But Adrien was cutting faster than anything she had tried before.

“Er yeah, I’ve had a lot of practice. I enjoy cooking.”

“You and my mom would get along great”, Alya said as she finished the last of the biscuits. “She’s a pretty good chef”.

“Pretty good?” Mari replied sarcastically. “She’s the top chef in Paris”.

“Which I would say is pretty good” Alya laughed and everyone joined in. Even Adrien chuckled.

 

They continued to watch as he cracked four eggs and whisked them together in a bowl with some salt and pepper. Butter went into a frying pan on the cooker and when it started to sizzle, Adrien poured in his eggs and lowered the heat.

 

“I’m impressed Agreste. And hungry. Slice me some when you’re done”. Adrien laughed and nodded whilst Nino looked at his girlfriend, aghast.

“You just ate a whole pack of cookies, pasta and trifle!”

“I’ve been burning more calories these days. You should know, you’ve been there with me” Alya winked at Nino and he turned bright red. Mari laughed at them both even as Adrien turned red and tried to suppress his grin.

 

The kitchen filled with the scent of fresh cooked food and they all felt their stomachs groan. Adrien scattered his toppings on the still raw surface and then expertly flipped his omelette, catching it in the pan.

 

The others applauded, making him blush again. While it cooked, Mari watched as Adrien absentmindedly finished his food before poking at the pan. She was glad he was here. There was no point living in one home but still not being friends with them all. She knew he hadn’t had the same social experiences as the rest of them so she hated to push. But after he had helped her when she was injured, Marinette was happy he was comfortable around them all.

 

Adrien finally cut the omelette into quarters with the edge of the spatula and gave everyone a piece. There was silence as the first bites were taken, then-

 

“Oh my God! This is so good!” Alya squealed, eyes closed in ecstasy as she savoured every bite. The moans of appreciation coming from Marinette and Nino agreed with her. Mari was in heaven. Everything about it is perfect, she thought. When she was done there was more than a little bit of sadness as she opened her eyes.

 

She looked at Adrien as he finished his own and said “not bad”. Everyone looked at him in shock. “What?” he replied suddenly nervous. “It was good but not my best”.

 

“That…was the single greatest omelette I’ve ever eaten in my life and it wasn’t your best?” Alya looked almost offended as she glared at Adrien. And whether it was out of shock or culinary pride, Adrien didn’t back down.

“No not really” he replied calmly. “The best one I’ve ever made was some sort of omelette/pizza hybrid. Eggs, pepperoni, onions, peppers, grated cheese then another layer of eggs. It was magical”.

“You HAVE to make that for us!” Alya insisted. The look in her eyes was almost maniacal. Nino put a restraining hand on her shoulder which she shook off. “If you do Marinette will make you her famous cookies!”

“Wait what?” Marinette’s head shot up from where she was slowly polishing off a big piece of lasagna. The dancing had used a lot of energy and she was seriously hungry.

“Omelette pizza in exchange for cookies that you could make in your sleep! You know that’s a good deal!”

 

Marinette was thinking with her stomach but her head agreed as well. “Deal”. All eyes fell to Adrien who shook his head with a small smile.

“Deal”.

 

“YES!” Alya pumped her fist through the air. “Ok what do we need? Do we have all the-”

“Not now Alya!” Three separate voices harmonised and brought Alya to a stop.

“Why not?”

“Because”, Nino began, “It’s 3am and we’ve all already destroyed almost all the food here. So how about we leave the food bartering until another time?”

 

Marinette laughed while Nino led his girlfriend out of the kitchen as she protested that “it is always the right time for omelette pizza” and turned back to face Adrien.

“It really was delicious Adrien. Thank you for sharing it”.

“It was my pleasure, I’m glad you enjoyed it”. They smiled at each other then surveyed the mess that was left.

“I guess we should clean up”.

“Well…yeah but…I might eat a little more first”, Adrien said as he moved closer to the food and her. “But if you’re tired then you should go to sleep. I’ll clean this up”.

“That is very kind of you” she grinned, pulling the cake closer to them. “But it would be rude of me to leave all of this to you”. Adrien moved and sat next to Marinette, close enough that their legs brushed, and took a forkful of the cake.

 

“This is really delicious” he appreciated. Marinette agreed and between them they finished the cake and most of the rest. What was left they packed away and cleaned the kitchen afterwards. They walked towards the stairs and Mari paused, confused, when Adrien turned away.

“I’m a bit too full to sleep, I was planning to take a walk around the gardens”. Her eyes lit up at the thought of her gardens at night. Adrien had clearly seen as he invited her along with a hesitant smile.

 

Marinette was very relaxed as they strolled through the gardens together. Neither said much but it was a companionable silence. Just like she felt with Alya and Nino. The grass was wet and the air cold but her plants sparkled in the sporadic moonlight. She breathed deeply of the grass and the leaves and the mud. The mix of green scents was almost soporific and Marinette found herself swaying more and more. But she still continued to move forwards, unaware Adrien had placed a steadying hand at the small of her back.

As they walked, she leaned against him more and more until, as they finally made it back inside the house, her head was on his shoulder and his arm around her waist. They wiped their shoes and slowly trod up the stairs. Adrien led her to her room and helped her open the door. They untangled from each other and Mari walked inside.

 

“Adrien?”

 

He had begun to walk away but turned back at the sound of her sleepy voice.

“Yes Mari?”

“I’m glad we’re friends now. I like you”.

 

Marinette was tired. Too tired to notice his widening eyes or his faint blush or his small smile.

“Me too Mari. Me too”.

 

She gave him a sleepy smile and wished him goodnight before closing her door. A change of clothes and a trip to the bathroom later, Marnette climbed into bed and immediately fell asleep. All the dancing and the very late night and the walking had tired her out. Her dreams were full of black cats and moonlight.

 

/

 

Adrien was pacing in his room. On one hand he was ecstatic. He had spent time with all three of them. He had been part of the group. He was so happy and more than a little proud of himself. On the other hand he was torn. Tonight he had flirted with Ladybug. She had been so close to him that she must have heard his heart racing. He had felt her press into him for the shortest instant. His head had spun and her laugh had almost killed him. Even now he could see her wings when he closed his eyes.

 

He knew he was falling for her. And fast.

 

But just now, when Mari had smiled at him and said “I like you”. A part of him had hoped she had meant it in a way he knew she didn’t. Her smiles and her laughs always made him feel happier. She was a genuinely amazing person. He didn’t know what to do.

 

“But she will!”

 

Adrien threw himself down at his computer and began composing an email. He didn’t mean for it to be so detailed, but his communiques had been rare lately so he ended up with a four page missive for his pen pal. She wasn’t the nicest of people but she meant well. At least to him. When he sent it, Adrien felt relieved. Her advice was always solid. He didn’t always follow it but it was good nonetheless. Changing his clothes, Adrien climbed into bed and nestled into his pillow.

 

Closing his eyes, he saw Ladybug spinning. He saw his friends laughing. He saw Marinette smiling at him. His dreams were sweet.


AUTHOR’S NOTE: “And there we have it. It took a few months but Adrien is now friends with all of them. And maybe more? Who knows. I guess you’ll have to read and find out. I know it’s weird for the middle of June but the next chapter will be a Christmas one. And who doesn’t love that? Thanks for reading!” – @obdobuk


Bonus feature: “Her wings stretched out from her sides, defiant in the face of gravity as she smirked down at him.”

IMG_20170718_223005_227

I drew one of my favourite scene in this fic, I just loved that part so much. – Hannah Mae

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