Disclaimer: I do not own Miraculous Ladybug. It belongs to its respective owner.
Roses Are Red
It's an early morning in Paris, and Marinette breathes in the smell of fresh roses and lavenders as she enters the flower shop she works at.
She still remembers the first time she walked in and how powerful the smell was, to the point of making her feel nauseous by the end of her visit. But after a few shifts, she's grown used to the strong scent, and just a whiff brings a smile of familiarity to her face.
Her world is full of color—pink carnations, white daisies, blue petunias and much, much more—and she couldn't ask for anything better. It's cheerful and vibrant, just like her, and although it's just a simple part-time job, she loves it.
The flower shop is empty most of the time. The only time it's ever crowded is during Valentine's Day, and late winter because of the seasonal colds. Marinette doesn't mind the silence though. Sure, it gets pretty lonely sometimes, but it gives her time to take care of the blooming flowers.
One day, while watering the budding plumerias, the bell above the shop's door rings, indicating that someone just entered. Marinette puts her sprinkler down, walks over to the back of the counter, and waves her right hand as a polite greeting.
"Good afternoon," she greets. Her mouth falls open at the sight of her customer; messy blond hair, emerald green eyes, pearly-white grin. He's gorgeous, and to top it all off, he seems to be around the same age as her. She closes her mouth upon realizing that she's gaping.
"Good afternoon," he greets back. He takes a look around the humble little shop while making his way to the counter, and scans all the colorful flowers in view. He then looks at Marinette and asks, "Aside from yellow roses, what's another flower that means welcome back?"
The room suddenly grows silent. Marinette's face turns red like a full-bloomed rose—and not because of his gaze or his voice or anything of the sort.
But because she has absolutely no clue what the meaning of each flower is.
When she doesn't answer after another five seconds, the customer repeats his question, but she obviously still doesn't know the answer. Marinette doesn't lie and would feel too guilty to sell him a flower that doesn't mean welcome back. Just as she's about to tell him that she's going to go check in the back (or in other words, go to the back and search this up on her phone), he starts laughing.
Marinette just stands there awkwardly, not knowing how to respond to the situation, when: "You have no idea, do you?" he asks.
She feels the embarrassment hit her, and she turns a darker shade of rose red. "No…" she mutters quietly.
"That's actually really funny," he grins. "A florist who doesn't know the meaning of flowers."
"It's not even that funny," she pouts. "The bouquets are pre-made anyway. All I have to do is sell them."
"True," he says. "But shouldn't you at least know the meaning of some? I mean… if you want to make good sales, you should at least know how to put together a custom bouquet."
Marinette doesn't say anything more because he's right. She hasn't gotten the chance to put a custom bouquet together yet, but when the day does come, she doesn't want to accidentally sell one out that means both congratulations and sorry for your loss.
"You're absolutely right," she finally says. She scratches the back of her head with her hand, and looks down to avoid eye contact. "I'm really sorry about this."
She hears the sound of crinkling, and then she looks up and she sees her customer smiling warmly at her. He places a small bouquet of yellow roses on the counter and holds out a bill for her to take.
"I'll just stick to yellow roses then," he says. Marinette nods and rings it up for him, and he waves his hand when she presents him her change. "Keep the change."
"Oh, th-thank you," Marinette stutters, dropping the remaining coins into the Tips jar.
"No problem—" he eyes her nametag. "—Marinette. I'm Adrien. It was nice to meet you."
"It was nice to meet you too, Adrien. Sorry again," she says.
Adrien nods, plucks a single lemon geranium from a bucket nearby and presents it to her right before leaving. Before Marinette could stop him to ask what the flower was for, he's already out of the shop and out in the busy streets of Paris. She looks down at the flower in confusion.
"Maybe he wants me to save it for the next time he visits…?" she asks herself.
Shrugging, she goes to the back of the shop and places the flower in a little vase. She'll be sure to save it for him the next time he comes by.
Adrien comes back three days later.
It's a rainy day in Paris, and Marinette is arranging the already-made bouquets sitting on top of the counter near the entrance of the store. While fixing up their wrapping, she sees a hand waving to her from the other side of the window. She looks up to see Adrien smiling happily at her from the outside with a black umbrella providing him shelter from the falling raindrops.
"You again," Marinette says when he enters the shop. Adrien gives her a nod of acknowledgment and shakes the water off of his umbrella.
"Me again," he says, strapping his umbrella close. "It's raining real bad outside."
"I can see that," she frowns, taking a look outside. "I should've checked the weather this morning. I didn't bring an umbrella, so I'm going to be soaking wet when I get home."
"How—"Adrien proceeds to pick up an iris and presents it to her. "—irisponsible of you."
There's a silence between them, until: "You did not just make a flower pun, did you?" Marinette groans.
Adrien laughs clear and crystal-like. "Oh, but I did," he says. She rolls her eyes at him. "Sorry, I couldn't help it."
Marinette takes the flower despite his terrible pun, and tells him, "You forgot your lemon geranium, by the way."
Adrien blinks. "What?"
"Your lemon geranium," she repeats. "The flower you gave me last time? You forgot to pay for it."
Adrien resists the urge to slap his forehead. "You… really don't know the meaning of flowers, do you?"
"Huh?" she asks, but then her face lights up. "Oh, I get it! You're saving it for a bouquet, right?"
She nods almost too enthusiastically. "Yesterday, you asked me what I would do if I ever had to make a custom bouquet. You're making me go through a trial! That's it, isn't it?" Marinette looks far too proud of herself for coming up with it, and Adrien couldn't bring it to himself to tell her that she's wrong. She's pretty oblivious, but he's sure she's going to figure it out someday.
"…Right," Adrien says slowly, and Marinette cheers for guessing right (though she's wrong). "Please keep all the flowers I'm going to give you safe for me. I'll buy it once it's all complete."
"Sure thing," she smiles. "So, what brings you here?"
He shrugs. "I saw you through the window. Thought I'd say hi."
"Any flowers today?"
"Just a single white rose," he tells her as she goes and rings up his wanted flower. After paying, he says, "Thank you for the daisies, by the way. My father really liked them."
"No problem," she grins. Due to the weather outside, Marinette places the white rose in a plastic cylinder to prevent it from getting wet.
"So, do you really not know the meaning of flowers?" he asks once he receives his flower.
"No, why is it such a big deal to you?" she huffs. "I know the names of all the flowers, shouldn't that be enough?"
Adrien makes a thinking pose. "I'll bring you a book about it one day." He notices her make a face at the word book. "Is there something wrong?"
"Not much of a reader," she laughs.
"You don't like reading?" he asks incredulously. She shakes her head, and he holds a hand up to his chest. "You're kidding. How could you not like reading?"
"I have a really short attention span?" she tells him, and it sounds more like a question than an explanation.
"You'll like the one on flowers, trust me," Adrien assures. "I pass by the bookstore a lot. I'll go buy it once it's back in stock and pass it to you."
"Alright, sure. Thanks, Adrien," Marinette smiles. She takes a look outside and by the looks of it, the rain wouldn't be stopping anytime soon. "You should hurry home before the rain gets worse. "
"What about you?" he asks, recalling that she forgot her umbrella.
She waves a hand. "I'll manage."
Adrien looks down at his umbrella thoughtfully, then holds it out for Marinette the same way he held out his flower for her to take. "Take it," he says.
"What? No, no! I couldn't! You'll be drenched by the time you get home—"
"And you won't?" he cuts in. "Take it. I'll be all right."
"But your flower," she says, pointing at the single white rose.
Adrien pulls open his jacket and digs the flower in there. "It'll survive," he says.
Before Marinette could protest even more, he takes her hand and places the umbrella in it, and exits the flower shop. He runs off the moment he makes it outside before Marinette could chase after him, so she just looks down at both the flower and the umbrella in her hand.
Adrien doesn't come by every day. Though Marinette hates to admit it, when he does come by, it makes her feel so inexplicably happy that after each visit, she can hardly wait for the next time he needs a bouquet.
It's a warm and sunny morning, and the flowers are blooming fresh with drops of dew. Marinette is stacking up ceramic and terra cotta pots when the bells above the door chime to indicate the presence of a new customer.
"Good afternoon," Marinette greets happily when Adrien walks into the shop. She immediately notices that he looks a little off today. His smile isn't as bright or warm as usual, nor are his eyes. She doesn't say anything about it yet.
"Good afternoon," he greets back once he makes it to the counter.
Adrien normally starts up a conversation instantly, but he stays silent after his greeting. Marinette's instincts weren't wrong when she noticed something off about him.
"Do you need any flowers today?" she asks.
"Oh. Are you sure?"
It's silent. It's eerie.
Marinette is just about to ask him what's wrong, when his phone rings all of a sudden. He picks it up and answers, "Hello?"
Marinette turns around and pretends to fix the assorted bouquets behind her, but she can't help but overhear his conversation on the phone.
"…for your birthday…"
"Today's Adrien's birthday?" Marinette thinks to herself. When Adrien finally puts his phone down, she asks, "Adrien, today's your birthday?"
He looks up at her, and she turns red at his gaze.
"I-I didn't mean to listen! I just overheard…" she says, waving her hands.
"Yes, it is. I'm sorry if I seem a bit upset today." He hesitates for a second before continuing, "It's just… my father's missed my birthday for the past two years already, and I was hoping that this year would be different."
Marinette feels bad for him after hearing his explanation. She couldn't imagine not having her mother or father there for her birthday.
"I'm sorry," is all she can say.
"It's not your fault, don't worry," he smiles.
There's a silence again, until Marinette suddenly exclaims: "Wait here!" She runs to the back of the shop and comes back with a small bouquet of flowers and a little white box. She presents both items to him with a grin on her face.
"Here!" she exclaims.
Adrien blinks. "Huh?"
"This is the nicest bouquet we have. Take it! I'll pay for it, don't worry," she says, presenting the little bundle of roses and daisies and apple blossoms to him. Adrien takes it from her hand with a shocked expression on his face. Then, Marinette places the white box on top of the counter and opens it up to reveal three beautifully-designed pastries. Adrien's mouth waters at the sight. "My parents are bakers, so they always pack me a bunch of extras for my snack. You can have it!"
Adrien looks down at the flowers and at the pastries as if they were the most precious things in the entire world. Then he looks up at Marinette and pulls her into a hug despite how awkward it is since the counter sits right in between them.
"Thank you," he whispers.
Marinette is shocked at first, but slowly eases into his touch and hugs him back. "Happy birthday, Adrien," she says once he let go.
Adrien doesn't stay for very long; he decides to take his leave when another customer enters the shop.
"Thank you again, Marinette," Adrien says. "This really means a lot to me."
"No problem," she says.
"Before I forget," he says, plucking a dark pink rose from the bouquet and giving it to her. "For my custom bouquet."
"Of course," Marinette says.
He leaves the shop, and she smiles the rest of her shift.
"My father's assistant came down with the cold," Adrien says on his twelfth visit. Marinette looks up from watering the budding camellias and welcomes him.
"Do you want a big bouquet?" she asks, eyeing the colorful batches on her right.
"A small one will do," Adrien says. "Nathalie likes flowers, but not that much."
"You're getting your father's assistant a bouquet?" she asks, gesturing for him to follow her to the far left of the store.
"She works really hard and she talks to me more than my father does," he says and although it sounds sad, he makes it sound like it's nothing. "She's family, I guess. And I feel I should at least get her something."
"That's so nice of you," she comments.
She shows him a row of small, colorful bouquets. Adrien picks one out that he's certain Nathalie would like, and walks over to the cash register to pay for it.
"I'm sure she's going to like this one. Thanks," Adrien says, pocketing his change. When his eyes are trailing back up to Marinette's face, they suddenly land on the sketchpad sitting on the side of the counter. "Hey, what's that?" he asks, pointing at it.
"Oh, this?" she asks, holding it up. Adrien nods. "It's my sketchpad."
"You draw?" he asks.
"More like design," Marinette says, opening it up. Adrien's eyes widen at the first page; it's a drawing of a lasagna-strapped, ladybug-patterned sundress with a black ribbon wrapped around the waist area.
"You thought of that?" he asks, and she nods. "That's amazing!"
Marinette turns red at his compliment. "R-really?"
"Yeah! You have talent, Marinette," he grins. "Seriously, I wish I could draw like that."
Adrien stays longer than he planned. For another half hour or so, he flips through the pages of Marinette's sketchpad and comments on each design. Marinette gains more confidence in her sketches from what he tells her and she discovers just how easy it is to talk to him. Adrien suddenly gets a phone call in the middle of his sentence, and her face noticeably falls when he tells her he has to leave.
"I have to go," Adrien says, closing her sketchbook. "You're really good at designing, Marinette. You should definitely pursue it."
"Thanks, Adrien," she says.
"Well, see you," he says, taking a purple lilac out of nowhere and presenting it to her.
Marinette takes the flower and waves bye to him. When the door of the shop closes, she looks down at the flower with a bright smile on her face.
Marinette is carrying ten pounds of soil when Adrien walks through the door of the humble little flower shop one late afternoon.
"Marinette?" he asks, startling her. She lets out a squeak, and he runs to her side when she drops the sack of soil. "You okay?"
"O-oh, Adrien, hi," she says. "I'm good, thanks. I just have a lot of things to do today."
"Really?" he asks, and watches her carefully get back up on her feet with the soil in hand.
"Yup, my boss ordered a bunch of new flowers, bags of soil, flower pots and a lot of other things. She wants them all organized and well-placed by tomorrow morning," she frowns. Then, she continues, "Oh, right! Do you need any flowers today?"
Adrien shakes his head. "I just wanted to say hi. But since I'm here, I figure I should help."
"Huh? Oh! No, no, no! I'm fine! I can do this all by myself; you don't have to worry about me!"
"It's too much work for one person, and besides," he shrugs. "I don't have anything all day."
"Adrien, you really don't have to—"
He rushes to the back and comes back out with a bag of soil as well. "No, but I want to."
Marinette smiles. "Thanks, Adrien."
"Anything for you, my Lady."
The two spent the rest of the day making bouquets according to the list Marinette's boss left behind, watering the flowers, organizing the equipment, and doing many other tasks that needed to be completed. While they worked, Adrien brought up the game Twenty Questions, so that they wouldn't work in silence.
"Favorite color?" Adrien asks while tying colorful ribbons around the plastic of the last of the new bouquets. "Mine's blue."
"Pink," Marinette answers from the other side of the store while watering the drying flowers. "Favorite instrument? I like the piano."
"Me too. Favorite dessert? Mine's Mont Blanc."
"Macarons! Favorite flower?"
Adrien's voice sounds a lot closer than it did a few seconds ago, Marinette notices. When she turns around, she's shocked to see him standing right there holding out a red rose for her to take. Marinette gladly accepts the flower with a smile.
He leaves right after because it's closing time (she didn't even realize), and Marinette doesn't stop smiling the rest of the day.
Theo Barbot isn't her type.
Sure, he's kind and passionate and creative, but he's not for her. He's good at drawing and sculpting, but she's still not interested. He always tries his best in everything he does and loves her with all his heart, but Marinette can't love him back.
"I'm back from my art show in Italy," Theo announces upon entering the shop. "And I brought this along with me." He pulls out a red velvet box and opens it up to reveal a sparkling diamond necklace.
It's beautiful, it's expensive, it's gleaming under the light, but there's just something about Adrien's smile and the way he gives her flowers that makes her so much happier.
The door swings open when Theo is still presenting the piece of jewelry to Marinette. Both she and Theo turn to the door to see Adrien standing there, looking somewhat upset by the scene before him.
"Adrien!" Marinette exclaims as he approaches the counter. She fails to see the glare Theo sends in Adrien's direction.
"Hi, Marinette," Adrien greets with a smile. He looks down at the diamond necklace, and frowns.
"Oh, Adrien, this is Theo," Marinette introduces with hand gestures. "And Theo, this is Adrien."
Theo holds out a hand. "Nice to meet you, Adrien," he says. Adrien doesn't like the way he said his name one bit; it sounded forced and disgusted.
"Nice to meet you too, Theo," he says in a polite manner.
"Do you need any flowers?" Marinette asks.
Adrien shakes his head. "Just wanted to give you a flower," he says. He walks to the far end corner of the store and picks out the flower that caught his eye when he entered the shop. He gives it to her upon reaching the counter.
"For your bouquet?" she asks. Adrien's face drops for a second, but it's too subtle for her to notice.
"…Right," he says. He then takes a book out of his backpack and hands it to her as well. "This is the book I mentioned from a few weeks ago. It's finally back in stock. Make sure to read it, and just give it to me when you're done."
"Oh, thanks! I will," she says.
Adrien nods. "Well, it was nice seeing you today. And it was really nice meeting you, Theo," he says, turning to the obviously jealous brunet.
"Likewise," Theo spits.
"Bye, Adrien," Marinette smiles.
When he leaves, Theo begins telling her about his adventures in Italy, but Marinette doesn't listen one bit. Instead, her mind is focused on the book and the flower Adrien gave her.
She would've loved to have Adrien stay instead.
A week passes by and Adrien hasn't visited once.
Marinette is evidently upset by this, but then again, he must have more important things to be done.
Sighing, she locks the entrance door of the little flower shop and starts cleaning up and watering the plants before getting ready to leave. While picking up her stuff in the back office, Marinette accidentally drops her bag, causing the contents to fall out it. While picking up her belongings, her eyes land on the book Adrien lent her a few days ago.
"Flowers and Their Meaning," Marinette reads aloud after inspecting it.
She opens up the book and notices that the pages are filled with pictures of flowers and their meaning underneath each photo. She flips through the pages one by one, stopping when she sees a flower that looks so awfully familiar.
"Lemon geranium?" she says, trying to figure out why it seemed so familiar. "Wait…" Marinette turns her head to look at all the flowers Adrien gave her after a few of his visits. She approaches it and inspects each flower, stopping when her eyes land on the lemon geranium sitting somewhere in the center of the bouquet. The memory hits her almost instantly; it was the first flower Adrien had ever given her.
"Lemon geraniums mean nice to meet you," she says, reciting a passage from the book. "How sweet."
The second flower she eyes from the bouquet is an iris from his second visit. She rolls her eyes at the memory of the pun he made when he gave her the flower, but a smile slowly finds its way to her face when she recalls him lending her his umbrella. The start of a new friendship I'm sure I will cherish.
The third flower is a dark pink rose from when he spent his birthday with her at the flower shop. She remembers running around in the back office trying to decide on the prettiest bouquet and finishing off the rest of the half-eaten pastry in the white box she gave him. Her gift to him was something so simple, but the fact that it made Adrien happy made her happy. Thank you.
The fourth flower is a purple lilac. Adrien gave this one to her when he came to buy a bouquet of flowers for his father's assistant. She grins at the memory of him complimenting her designing skills. She doesn't feel so shy about showing off her drawings now. I think I am falling in love with you.
The fifth flower is a red rose from when Adrien spent the day helping her with the newly arrived flowers. She remembers his bright smile and clear voice while they were playing Twenty Questions (though it ended being more than twenty questions). I love you.
The sixth and last flower of the batch is a yellow hyacinth from a week ago, when he met Theo. Marinette's eyes widen at the definition. Jealousy.
It's when she reads the final definition that it hits her.
Adrien isn't making a custom bouquet despite what he says.
"Adrien likes me…?" she says slowly.
Marinette almost slaps herself for being so oblivious. Adrien confessed to her multiple times through flowers, and she never had a clue. She doesn't know what to say, what to think, when the image of a boy with messy blond hair and green eyes and soft smiles enter her mind.
It gets pretty lonely and boring working in a shop that's rarely ever busy. On days when the flowers don't need any more watering and when the shop is already clean and tidy, Marinette just sits by the counter with her sketchbook and pencil as her only friends.
But when Adrien started visiting, her days have gotten so much brighter. Sometimes, she stays a little longer after closing to care for and water the flowers he leaves her after each visit. Sometimes, she looks around the flower shop and sees that the colors have gotten more radiant after one of his visits. Sometimes, she walks home with a little more cheerfulness, and there's a spring in each step she takes. Sometimes, she lies in bed and replays an entire day spent with him because he makes her that happy.
It doesn't take a second more for her to know her answer to his affections, and she dashes right out of the flower shop, but not before plucking a specific flower from one of the buckets.
Marinette speeds around the little town of Paris, searching for a familiar blond. She's screaming his name down the streets and after twenty minutes of nonstop searching, she screeches to a halt.
Adrien loves to read and often mentions the newest book he's reading; the bookstore should've been her first stop. She sprints when the bookstore comes into view, and she pushes open the entrance door forcefully, startling those inside.
"ADRIEN!" Marinette exclaims the moment the door swung open. She's shushed by the store clerk and the people reading, and shrinks under the attention she unintentionally put upon herself.
"…Marinette?" a familiar voice asks, and Marinette's face immediately brightens. She turns her head in the direction the voice came from to see the one she's been looking for standing in the middle of an aisle. She approaches him, making sure to hide the flower behind her back.
"You didn't come by this week," she says simply. For a split second, she sees something in his eyes light up, but it disappears just as quick.
"I'm sorry," Adrien apologizes, but gives no explanation. He places the book he has in his hands back in its place on the shelf, using this action as an excuse to look away from her. "Were you looking for me?"
Marinette nods. "I have something to give you!" she exclaims.
Her voice is a little too loud, so she's shushed once again by a reader close by.
But she doesn't mind—
Marinette holds out the flower she's hiding behind her back—a jonquil—for Adrien to take. It's lop-sided and some petals have fallen off while she was running, but it's a jonquil nonetheless, and it still holds the same meaning.
Adrien carefully takes it out of her hands and inspects it with confusion written all over his face. But once realization finally dawned on him, he smiles brightly at her, and Marinette returns the smile with equal warmth and happiness.
—because just like Adrien, the flower could speak for her.
The seventh and final flower is a jonquil, this time from Marinette to Adrien.
I love you, too.
A/N: Inspired by the tumblr au prompts, "You work in a flower shop and every time I come by I take a flower and give it to you" and "You're a florist but when I ask you what the meaning of a flower is you actually have no clue".
I told myself that I wouldn't write any more LadyNoir fics, but I sit on a throne of lies and I am such LadyNoir trash that it just can't be helped. I'm so sorry if this was too cheesy LOL I wanted to write a flowershop!au and then this happened and I was like what how. But yes, can I take a moment to say how much I love Adrien/Chat Noir because HE'S SO CUTE I'M CRYING I LOVE HIM AS CHAT NOIR ESPECIALLY BECAUSE PUNS AND FLIRTY AND MESSY HAIR OH MY GOSH AND HE'S SO IN LOVE WITH LADYBUG I CAN'T HANDLE THESE FEELINGS.
(And not going to lie, it's a lot more fun writing him with his Chat Noir personality rather than his Adrien personality ahahah).
Thank you for reading! :)