GUEST POST: Beauty and the Beat–Ch. 6

Chapter 6 is now posted! My guest posts by @obdobuk continues to bring us all the romantic void we need from Miraculous Ladybug while waiting for the next season! Hope you have a good read 🙂

Missed some chapters? Worry not! You can find them here ->
Ch. 1 Ch. 2 Ch. 3 Ch. 4  (with bonus fanart) and Ch. 5


 

Chapter 6

“YOU DID WHAT?!?”

“SSHHH!!!”

Despite the fact that the house was gigantic and her door was closed, Marinette forced Alya to be quiet. She had no desire for Adrien to hear any of this.

 

They were both sitting on her bed as they caught each other up after the holidays. Both had stayed in contact but some things just needed to be told in person. Alya had told Mari about the man who kept trying to flirt with her despite smelling like he’d never taken a shower. And Mari told Alya about kissing Adrien on Christmas Day.

 

“Will you stop shouting?” Marinette almost begged.

“Why? He knows you kissed him right? He was awake? Because if he wasn’t then I’m sorry Mari but I don’t think I can take your side in this”.

“Of course he was awake” Marinette glared at her friend. “He was awake and participating thank you!”

“Ok, ok” Alya said, holding up her hands in surrender. “How about you start from the beginning and leave nothing out”.

 

So Marinette told Alya everything about the time Adrien had spent with her family. The days with everyone laughing and having fun or just watching movies together. The nights when it was always just them relaxing or talking or joking together.

“We grew really comfortable with each other. And then the gifts on Christmas…” Marinette’s eyes once again drifted to the charm bracelet that she only ever took off at night. “He really surprised me with this. Then there was the way he reacted to his gift”. She could still feel the way he hugged her.

 

“It was a really emotional day. And we were both sitting next to each other at night and my mother pointed out the mistletoe, which I know she put there, and the way he was smiling was just so…”

 

Marinette remembered the way he had kissed her and sighed.

“Did you just sigh romantically?” Alya asked.

“Shut up”.

“I’m just wondering when we entered a 19th century romance novel. But seriously it sounds like you might like him”.

“I know that”.

“Then what’s the problem? He clearly likes you. He’s been following you for weeks”.

“Wait what?” Mari was shocked. Both at being told Adrien liked her and that he had been following her without her noticing.

“I don’t mean like that”, Alya corrected hastily. “I mean every time you walk by his eyes just kind of automatically follow you. Enter a room, leave a room, change seats, stand up. Any time you move he watches you in a definitely not creepy way”.

“Maybe he’s just sensitive to movement. I’m like that”.

“True but he also glances your way when you’re not moving. Every few seconds like clockwork”.


Marinette processed this new information. It was one thing to accept that yes, he had kissed her. And yes, he had enjoyed it. But to accept that he actually liked her was something else entirely. Not that she thought Adrien was that kind of guy but…

 

“Do you think it’s smart? Getting into something with Adrien? I mean, we live together”.

“So do Nino and I”, Alya countered.

“Yeah but you were together for a few years first. Adrien and I were living together, without saying a word. Then we spoke a little. Then we became friends. Then we kissed. Does that sound like the beginning of a healthy relationship to you?”

“No it sounds like Beauty and the Beast”.

 

Marinette rolled her eyes as her best friend laughed at her own joke.

“Seriously Alya, He’s only just getting used to having friends and I’m living in his house for free. That doesn’t sound like a normal situation”.

“The situation is what it is Mari”, Alya counselled. “You can either make it work or not. It depends on how you feel about him. Is he someone special or was he just some Christmas fun?”

 

Mari thought about it. Really thought about it before answering.

“No he is special. I just don’t know…”

“Then you take time to figure it out. You don’t owe him anything because you kissed. And to be fair Adrien isn’t the kind of guy to see it that way”. Alya laid back on the bed, thinking the situation over. “In fact”, she continued, “odds are he’s thinking he crossed a line and messed things up”.

 

/

 

“Nino, I crossed a line and completely messed things up!” Adrien was anxiously pacing back and forth across his room whilst Nino stared, amused, from the sofa. “I was so stupid! I should never have done it. I don’t know what I was thinking. Now she’ll never talk to me again”.

 

The idea of Marinette never speaking to him again made him feel impossibly worse and he began pacing faster.

“Dude calm down and tell me what happened”.

“I kissed Marinette”.

 

Nino reacted far more gracefully than his girlfriend had. He did not shout out loud or freak out. His eye’s widened a little, but mostly he was silently cheering. Nino had been a massive supporter of Mari and Adrien since he had first seen them smile at each other. Alya had said he was crazy.

‘Who’s the crazy one now?!’ he thought at his girlfriend.

 

“When did this happen?” Nino asked out loud.

“At Christmas. I was there for two weeks and they were the best of my life. We had fun every day. And it wasn’t like there was something planned every day. Sometimes we just all sat together for hours talking and having fun and it was like…” Words failed Adrien as he couldn’t think of anything to liken it to.

 

“Having a family” Nino supplied as his heart broke for his friend. “It was like having a family”.

“Exactly!” Adrien cried, joy suffusing his features. “It was like I was a part of their family and it was perfect. Then there was the gift she made me. A photo album of all of us from the last few months and it was perfect”. Adrien carefully picked it up from his bedside table and handed it to Nino. Adrien figured Nino had helped make it, but seeing it complete was something else.

 

“Then later on we were hanging out as usual, and then there was mistletoe and all I could think about was how beautiful she is and I just really wanted to kiss her so…”

“So what?”

“So I kissed her”.

 

Nino suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. Fine, he would get the details from Alya later. After months of waiting for this, he wasn’t going to settle for “so I kissed her”.

 

“Ok and why do you think you messed things up?” he asked.

“Because Mari doesn’t think of me that way. Why would she? She’s so amazing and fun and happy and a few month ago I was the hobgoblin who lived in my room”. Nino snorted at the comparison.

“Sexiest damn hobgoblin I’ve ever seen”.

“I’m being serious Nino”.

“So am I dude. You’re being too hard on yourself. You’re a great guy. She’d be lucky to have a guy like you”.

 

In his current state, Nino’s words never had a chance of having any effect on Adrien. He was far too worried about having irreparably damaged his friendship with Marinette to even consider the outlandish possibility of her liking him back.

 

Adrien sat down on his bed.

“I don’t know what to do Nino. I’ve never done this before”. Nino stayed silent for a moment before asking.

“Adrien, have you ever been in a relationship?”

 

For a moment, Adrien imagined he was back in front of the cameras and the journalists and all the old instincts came back. The classic interview responses and the subtle implications that he had prepared for the terrible realities of his modelling career. But when he looked up at his best friend they all faded away. Here with Nino, he didn’t need them.

 

“Yeah but probably not in the way you think”. Nino sat there and waited for Adrien to finish. “For years the only people I was around were stylists, photographers and models. And the models were the only ones around my age. So sometimes, depending on the model, we would hang out between shoots. And as we got older, “hanging out” began to mean different things”.

 

Adrien paused to see if Nino had anything he wanted to say but he simply continued to listen. It made it easier to keep talking.

 

“It was never anything serious. We both knew that in a couple of weeks we’d be sent to different parts of the world to work with other people and companies. So we were smart enough not to get attached. But it was nice. All day long we were painted and posed by people who just saw us as a prop to be used. Having someone there who saw you for who you were and understood what you were going through, it was…nice”.

 

Nino listened as more pieces fell into place. A history of short, emotionless relationships. Watching his peers vanish, leaving him more and more alone. After all of that, Nino was astonished that Adrien had become the man he was.

 

“So this would be your first emotional attraction?” Adrien smiled at the phrasing.

“Yeah I guess you could say that. I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t want to stop being her friend. But I don’t know what else to do”.

 

Also, he could never tell Nino, but Ladybug was a part of this fear. Somehow he felt that she had an almost equal claim over him. He knew it would be unfair to both himself and Mari if he tried to start a relationship when he was thinking about another woman.

 

“You talk to her dude. Just be honest with her and one way or the other it will all work out”. The phrase echoed in his mind along with scenarios of hurting Marinette and never being able to talk with her again. But he recognised the wisdom in Nino’s words. He also knew there was no point waiting.

“I’ll talk to her tonight. Just before dinner”.

 

Adrien had first joined the rest of them for dinner on the night before Nino had left for his Christmas holiday. He figured since everyone would be focused on him, the fact that Adrien had joined them would slip by unnoticed. He had been wrong.

 

For the rest of the day Adrien and Nino stayed in his room, while Nino shared every story about his trip with the accompanying photographs. Adrien had already heard all of these stories via their group chat but watching his friend’s face light up as he spoke made them seem brand new. They talked for hours until the dinner gong sounded and all of a sudden, Adrien’s nerves came back full force. But he squared his shoulders and headed down with Nino.

 

They were the first ones there so Adrien decided to wait at the door while Nino took a seat. He wasn’t waiting long. Marinette and Alya came down a few minutes later and, when she saw him standing there, Mari froze. She was pulled down the stairs by Alya and left at the bottom while Alya joined her boyfriend.

 

Adrien was shocked and grateful. Alya was not known for her restraint and he had been very nervous that she would say something and make everything much more awkward.

“Marinette? Is it OK if we talk first? Before dinner I mean?” Adrien didn’t understand how he managed to sound vaguely confidant as he spoke, but he was grateful for it. Marinette didn’t say anything, she just nodded and followed Adrien into the lounge.

 

They stood in the middle of the room facing each other. Adrien was on edge and he could tell Mari was as well.

“Mari, I like you. I really do. I want to make that clear. I kissed you because I wanted to kiss you. I think you’re amazing and I still find it a little hard to breathe when you’re around”.

 

Marinette had gone perfectly still, looking at the ground. Adrien didn’t even think she was breathing anymore. One way or another.

 

“But the thing is, I don’t want to rush into a relationship. I still feel a little awkward around you guys at times to tell the truth. I’m still not really used to being actual friends with people. And I really value your friendship Mari. I just don’t want to start something I’m not ready for and ruin what we have now”.

 

She was now looking at him. Meeting his gaze while he spoke. Adrien wanted to think she was calmer and more relaxed, but he genuinely had no idea.

 

“I don’t want to pretend it never happened. Kissing you is one of the happiest memories I have. But I want to move slowly. This would be my first real relationship after all. Now I’m going to stop talking”.

 

Adriens mouth snapped shut as he became very self-conscious over the fact that he had just monologued like some terrible character in a bad film. He stepped backwards, ostensibly so as not to crowd her, but he knew he was doing it so she would have room to run away. But she didn’t. Marinette stayed where she was, looking at Adrien with an unreadable look on her face.

 

“Ok”.

 

Adrien, who had been expecting insults and accusations was thrown by the succinct agreement.

 

“Ok?”

 

Mari smiled softly and it immediately relaxed him whilst increasing his confusion; there was no subterfuge in her expression.

 

“I agree with you Adrien. Kissing you was…amazing. And I definitely want to do it again. But we’re not exactly in the best place for a full relationship are we?” Adrien nodded in agreement, his entire body feeling lighter than it had since Christmas. “So OK. We take things slow. We’re friends who kissed once. Things don’t have to change at all. And if they do then…” Marinette shrugged as if to say it’s all good.

 

They stood there for a moment, just smiling at each other. Adrien laughed before impulsively hugging Marinette. This wasn’t the emotionally charged embrace of Christmas. This was two friends holding each other just because they were happy.

 

“I almost want to stay here longer” Adrien said, after they had parted. “I just know Alya is dying to know what we’re saying”. Marinette laughed.

“I give it about two minutes before she breaks down the door”.

“That would be hard to explain to Nathalie so perhaps we should go back to dinner”.

“That’s a good plan. I am a little hungry”.

 

Adrien and Mari walked slowly back to the Dining room and pushed open the door at the exact same moment Alya reached for the handle. She tried to race back to her seat next to Nino but they both saw her.

“Going somewhere Alya?” Adrien asked, a smile on his face. He watched as Alya narrowed her eyes before shrugging her shoulders.

“Well if you really want to know, I was trying to listen in on what you two were talking about”. Adrien laughed as Mari rolled her eyes.

“I admire your honesty”.

 

“You guys good?” Nino asked, an eyebrow raised. Both nodded and Nino and Alya accepted it without comment. Nino knew they’d both get the whole conversation word-for-word later on, nothing ever stayed a secret in this house for too long. Like when Alya had told him every detail of the kiss. Or rather when he had extracted every detail from her.

 

“I don’t want to go back to school tomorrow”, Mari said with a groan. Adrien sympathised. He was still ahead of the curve but not by much; he was starting to have to try.

“Oh man me neither” agreed Alya. “The professor said that this semester is when a quarter of people drop out. The workload is hell”.

 

They continued complaining about their studies for the rest of the meal and only stopped to thank Sasha for the souffle she gave to them all.

“It’s no trouble guys”, she demurred as she cleaned the table. “You should ask Adrien to make his sometime. It’s very good”.

“You make souffle?” Alya exclaimed.

 

“Not again” Adrien heard Nino mumble as his girlfriend fixed the former model with a piercing look.

“Yeah I’ve made it once or twice” Adrien answered. He was pleased to see that Marinette looked impressed.

“Well you’ll be making it a third time for us” Alya declared.

“And what do I get in return?” Alya looked confused for a second but her expression cleared as Adrien continued. “Last time I got to taste Marinette’s baking, so what do I get this time?”

“I think that should be decided between you two. I don’t know what part of her she wants you to taste next”.

 

Adrien was completely thrown by the innuendo and his jaw dropped. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Marinette go bright red and he was fairly certain that Nino had elbowed Alya in the ribs if the way she jumped and scowled at him was any indication.

 

“I…er well…” Adrien would have kept stumbling through a sentence he didn’t have had Alya not grinned at him.

“It’s good to know the old Adrien is still in there somewhere”.

 

Mari and Nino rolled their eyes and Adrien simply closed his mouth. She was right to say that the old Adrien was in there somewhere; shy, awkward and reluctant to speak. He was far more comfortable around these guys now, but that didn’t mean he didn’t at times feel out of place. Sometimes they would talk to each other about things he had no idea about and it made him feel almost like he was on the edge of their circle. Adrien knew that they didn’t do it on purpose though and it made it easier to bear.

 

It was better to be on the edge of the group than on the outside looking in. He knew. He had experienced both.

 

/

 

Things settled once they’d been back in university for a few weeks. Studying was once again a priority for Marinette as her professors were hinting that her exams would not be in any way easy. Her friends reported the same, although Adrien never seemed to be as overworked as the rest of them. That annoyed her.

 

But then he would smile and she would smile too.

 

“Ow!” Marinette cursed her lack of focus for the pin prick in her fingertip and continued designing a miniature gown for one of her classes. She was particularly proud of this concept. Marinette had spent a great deal of time in the last few months creating several concepts for her project and she had chosen this one to take forward. It hung off one shoulder and it’s bodice had a woven effect that drew the eyes down to the layered skirts. It had taken Marinette several days to figure out how to weigh them perfectly, so that they ‘swished’ just right when moving, but didn’t alter the way the dress held itself when the wearer was standing still.

 

But she had figured it all out and now all she had to do was make it. Mari snorted to herself. That’s all I have to do.

 

Marinette threw herself into her work and didn’t even realise when night fell. She didn’t hear the dinner gong or her phone vibrating as her friends messaged her. She didn’t even hear the knock on her door, so focused she was on the dress taking shape before her eyes. Mari paused to appraise her work so far and jumped when a hand touched her shoulder.

 

“It’s just me Marinette”. She dropped her hands from her protective shield and swatted Adrien on his leg.

“You scared me half to death!” she complained, heart still racing.

“I’m sorry” he apologised even though he was grinning. Marinette was about to hit him again when she saw what he was carrying.

“I missed dinner?”

“You did. But I brought you some food. Can’t have you working yourself to death”.

“What time is it?”

“It’s almost midnight. Alya and Nino have already gone to bed. They were pretty exhausted”.

 

Marinette took the plate from him and set it down next to her. She contemplated leaving the dress as it was for the night, but knew she had to finish this stitch otherwise it would annoy her all night.

“Five minutes?” Adrien sighed in a way that she knew wasn’t serious and sat down on her bed to watch. Four minutes and thirty seconds later, she was done and put everything down before taking the plate and sitting next to Adrien. He had a dazed look on her face.

 

“What’s wrong?” she asked as she began eating.

“Nothing’s wrong”, he replied. “I’ve just…your hands. While you were working they were so steady, every stitch perfect. It was like watching a master seamstress. Watching you work was…amazing”. Had Marinette not been as hungry as she was, she might have appreciated the compliment more than she did. That’s not to say she didn’t appreciate it. She just appreciated the food more.

 

Adrien sat back and closed his eyes. Marinette watched him as she finished her food. He seemed so relaxed, so at ease with everything, she couldn’t help but smile a little. Putting her plate aside, she crawled over and sat next to him. He smiled without opening his eyes.

 

“How was your food?” he asked, eyes still closed.

“Delicious. Thank you for bringing it”.

“Anytime”.

Marinette rested her head against his shoulder and closed her own eyes as well. As they both sat on her bed, a wave of exhaustion washed over her and she physically felt her eyelids get heavier. She leaned heavily against Adrien, unable to find the strength to sit up and Adrien must have sensed the change.

 

“Mari? You ok?” He too sounded tired. She felt him shift and begin to move away until she wrapped her arm around his. “Come on Mari. I need to go and you need to get ready to sleep”. As if completely ignoring him, which she was, Marinette tightened her grip on his arm before slowing falling to the side to lay on her bed. Adrien did not resist that hard.

 

Marinette felt Adrien lay down behind her, moulding his body to hers. It was soothing but he still wouldn’t stop talking.

“Marinette I really need to go back to my own-”.

“It’s quiet time now Adrien” Marinette whispered. She could feel his heartbeat against her back and it was as slow as hers. Once again the realisation hit her that he must be in amazing shape, but it vanished into her tired mind as soon as it came.

 

The boy behind her sighed in resignation and shuffled closer to her. His arm appeared beneath her head to be used as a pillow and she gratefully accepted his offer. The winter chill still controlled the weather but Adrien was better than a blanket. Marinette had thought that the heat she felt the last time she had been this close to him had been because of what they had been doing. But she was wrong; he was a furnace.

 

Marinette clutched his arm tight to her chest and fell asleep seconds after Adrien.

 

 

It was still dark when she woke up. Marinette knew she was in her room but beyond that she had no clue about anything else. In the next instant Marinette became aware of the arm wrapped around her waist and remembered everything. The realisation that it was Adrien’s arm around her brought a small smile to her lips. It was his body pressed up against hers. His bare chest against her skin.

 

Wait…That isn’t right…

 

Her fears were slightly assuaged when a quick downward glance told her they still had their pants on. Thank God, she thought. But where did our shirts go?

 

She turned and confirmed that Adrien was indeed bare-chested and she was left in her bra. Marinette relaxed and tried to remember when they had half stripped down. But before she could, Adrien’s arm flexed around her and she knew he was awake.

“What time is it?” he asked quietly when she rolled in his arms to face him.

“Early” she replied, her voice as husky as his. He smiled softly at her, their faces only inches apart. “Adrien, where are our shirts?” Marinette couldn’t be sure because it was so dark but she thought he had just gone red.

“You can blame yourself for that.”

“Me? How is it my fault?” she argued, all the while letting him pull her closer.

“Because you woke up randomly, said ‘goddamn furnace’, took your shirt off then fell back asleep”.

“And how is that my fault? You’re the furnace. It’s your fault”.

“No, I sleep at a normal human temperature. But with you it’s like I’m holding a bonfire”.

 

Marinette paused for a second as she realised, yes he was holding her. Now that she was facing him, his hand was spread wide on the small of her back. This was not just an arm draped over her, Adrien was actively holding her to him. This made her feel all manner of things.

 

“Accepting for a moment you’re right, even though you’re not, where did your shirt go?”

“When you took yours off, I went from mildly warm to boiling alive. So to survive the night I had to take mine off as well”.

 

Marinette leaned forward and kissed the top of his chest. She revelled in his gasp as she moved her lips across his skin. She took her time as she kissed her way across his collarbone and to the base of his throat before slowly pulling back. But not very far.

“Hmm you may have a point” she whispered, lips tingling.

“What…what do you mean?” Adrien’s voice was ragged and it made Mari shiver.

“You are definitely very hot”.

 

Adrien pulled away from her as if to look directly at her. It was too dark to see her face, nor anything else for that matter, so Marinette was more confused than anything else.

“Did you just make a pun?”

“Maybe I did. What are you going to do about it?” Marinette poked him in his bare chest and waited.

 

Adrien didn’t move, then he did. His lips were on hers before she knew it and her arms were pulling him even closer. He kissed her with the unbridled passion she had seen when he was playing his music. FINALLY! Marinette thought as she returned the kiss with everything she had. After several seconds Mari rolled onto her back. This gave Adrien two options. Break the kiss and stay where he was, or follow her.

 

She knew what his choice would be.

 

Their lips never parted as they moved, and when Adrien laid upon Marinette, the first sensation she felt was his weight. Adrien was heavy!

 

It’s impossible to appreciate how heavy someone is until you either pick them up or they lay on top of you. And at that point in time, Marinette was very appreciative of Adrien.

 

Adrien was deceptively muscled and Marinette roamed her hands all over his bare torso as his frame deliciously pinned her to the bed. He broke their kiss and Marinette’s complaints turned to moans as he began nibbling and sucking his way up and down her neck. Her fingers dug into his back hard enough for him to enjoy them.

 

The way he groaned and gripped her harder let Mari know that he enjoyed them very much.

 

They moved closer to each other, something Marinette would not have thought possible and yet they managed it. Her clothes were tight and itching; they were getting in the way. And more importantly, so were his. In the time it took for her hands to drop to his waistband, a voice of reason managed to break through the haze of hormones.

 

Are you sure?

 

She wasn’t. Her fingers stilled and Adrien noticed and stopped what he was doing.

 

“Mari?” he asked, his voice husky in the darkness.

“This is kind of the opposite of slow don’t you think?” Adrien remained silent for a few seconds before chuckling and rolling off of her. She immediately felt cold.

“Yeah, you’re right. I’m so-”

“Don’t apologise” Marinette said firmly. “I wanted every second of that. I still want it. But I don’t want to rush and risk ending up regretting it, you know?” She felt him nod as he lay next to her.

“I know. And honestly I would hate it if you regretted our first time”.

 

Mari smiled. There weren’t many men who would be OK with hitting the brakes so suddenly. He was really something.

“But now there’s another problem. I’m cold. Would you please hold me again?”

“Of course I- er…wait a moment”.

“What’s wrong?” Adrien’s reluctance confused her. “Is everything OK?”

“Yeah…it’s just that…I er…I’m…It may not be comfortable for you right now”.

 

It took Marinette a few seconds to understand what he meant and once she did, she burst out laughing. She felt Adrien’s hand on her shoulder as he gently shoved her before, he too, chuckled his amusement.

 

“Trust me Adrien, I would feel perfectly comfortable. But I can’t” she said turning to face away from him in an invitation, “say the same about you”. Marinette felt him immediately press against her and bit her lip at the sensation.

“I’ll take the sacrifice” he whispered into her ear.


AUTHOR”S NOTE: “Over halfway there and a little bit of bedroom antics for you all. I can see how the ending is going to go so don’t worry about me leaving this unfinished. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment below! Next up, Valentine’s Day!” – @obdobuk

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