After much begging and cajoling, they had finally gotten it. It had taken Alya promising the event was for publicity purposes only for her blog, Max saying it would be educational, Nino saying it wouldn't be a distraction at all, and even Chloé calling her father, but they had gotten it. The Collège Françoise Dupont was having it's first annual Ladybug and Chat Noir Day.
Everyone was naturally bursting with excitement. It wasn't every day that they got to dress up as their favorite superheroes, in school, to boot. Alya was practically flying with her excitement. "I've been working on this costume for so long, I can't wait to show it, it's so good!" Marinette bobbed her head, smiling inwardly. Alya went on. "Oh, I can't wait to see yours, you're so good at designing it's gonna be great and-" Alya skidded to a halt and Marinette tripped into her. "WHAT IF IT'S SOMEONE IN OUR CLASS? We'll be able to see who it is! Oh my god, Marinette. MARINETTE THIS IS MAJOR!" Her skinny friend winced, heart stopping. She couldn't possibly participate.
When she got home, Marinette immediately flopped onto her bed. Her kwami, Tikki, flew out of her bag. "Tikki, what can I do? Everyone will recognize me if I dress up!" Tikki landed gently on Marinette's stomach. "Well, I'm sure not everyone will dress up! You don't have to! Just have fun, you've earned it!" She squeaked. Marinette smiled. Somehow Tikki always knew what to say to cheer her up. Then she sat bolt upright. "What if Adrien dresses up?" Tikki giggled and Marinette enjoyed fantasies of a certain blond model in skintight black leather for the rest of the evening.
The next day, Marinette dashed to her classroom seconds before the bell rang, heart beating in her throat. Please don't let me be the only one not dressed up, she silently begged. She pushed open the door and realized that yes, she was.
Everyone in the class was dressed up as either Ladybug or Chat Noir. Some costumes were obviously homemade while others, like Chloé's were evidently professionally done. For the most part, the girls were dressed up as Ladybug and the boys as Chat, with the notable exception of Sabrina, who Chloé would not let ditch her usual costume. When Marinette walked in, everyone turned excitedly to see her costume. Their jaws dropped. "YOU DIDN'T DRESS UP?" Alya shrieked. Her mouth opened and closed silently like a fish. Marinette shrugged lamely. "I didn't think everyone would be dressed up and I was running late and I forgot…" she trailed off at the disbelieving look on her best friend's face. "Sorry?" she squeaked. Alya sighed and shook her head, and the door opened again, revealing their teacher, Mme Bustier. Dressed in full Ladybug costume. The class screamed with delight and she shrugged, blushing. "Alright, class, settle down, we still need to get stuff done today." But she was interrupted by a furiously red Nathanaël waving his hand in the air, a sight never before seen. Mme Bustier sighed. "Yes, Natanaël?" He mumbled something imperceptibly. As the teacher went over to him, Alya leaned over to Marinette. "No Adrien today." Marinette sighed with disappointment. "I know," she moaned.
It appeared that Nathanaël had created a huge, artistic banner for the classroom that read, "LADYBUG AND CHAT NOIR DAY" with excellent drawings of the duo in action adorning the empty spaces. It was promptly hung up at the front of the classroom, which left a small tomato child blushing from the tips of his black boots all the way to his black cat ears.
Once the class was finally settled and ready to start, the door opened one more time. Mme Bustier looked ready to give up. Adrien Agreste slunk in, not dressed as Chat Noir. He was dressed as Ladybug.
Marinette's jaw hit the floor, along with most of the rest of the class. She could certainly imagine her beloved pulling off a Chat Noir costume, much better than one stinky kitty she could mention, but she hadn't dreamed he would pull off her costume. And so well. Had she been Ladybug at the moment, she would have let him pull off HER costume.
As he made his way to his seat, Alya gently put her fingers on the bottom of Marinette's chin and closed her mouth. "Enjoying the view?" she whispered. Marinette was too shocked to do anything other than stare. At the other end of the classroom, Chloé let out an ear splitting shriek. "ADRIKINS!" If not for Mme Bustier's ferocious glare, she would have promptly launched herself at him.
At lunchtime, Mme Bustier announced that they would be doing a group picture. "Ladybugs with their Chat Noirs!" Chloé looked ready to pop that she couldn't be with Adrien. Since Marinette hadn't dressed up and everyone was smarter than to trust her with a camera to take pictures, she was sent to go find someone to take the picture for them. As soon as she left the classroom, Marinette was struck with inspiration.
Quickly, she snuck off to a bathroom and transformed, then pulled out her yoyo phone. Please answer, please answer, she pleaded. To her delight, Chat Noir's slightly breathless voice answered. "Yes, my lady?"
Marinette spoke quickly. "I have a favor to ask you. Can you meet me on top of some building, say, the Collège Françoise Dupont?" She could practically hear his grin. "Sounds purr-fect." She groaned and hung up.
Hoping the class wasn't wondering where she was, Marinette made haste to the roof of the school. There, she found Chat already waiting for her. "This must be purr-gent," he said. Marinette groaned. "That's two purr puns today. You're losing your edge." If possible, Chat grinned even wider. "I guess my puns just aren't up to scratch today." Marinette gave him a look. "Anyways, I was wondering if I could, uh, maybepossiblyborrowyourMiraculous?" She said, avoiding looking him in the eye. His eyebrows raised. "What for?" Marinette mumbled something along the lines of "reasons." She was afraid he'd refuse, call her crazy, or even suspect she'd been akumatized. Much to her surprise, though, he nodded. "Okay, but I also get to borrow yours. Deal?" He held out his hand for her to shake. She took it. "Deal." They shook, but he didn't let go. "Alsoyouowemeakissforthis," he said quickly. Marinette wrenched her hand away. "YOU!" Chat cackled. Huffing but not wanting to lose her chance, she turned around. "Fine, but no peeking when I detransform!" Taking a deep breath, she pulled out her earrings. Behind her, she heard Chat detransform as well. Closing her eyes partly so she wouldn't see Chat and partly because she didn't want to look at Tikki's stern expression, Marinette slowly turned around. "Okay, we'll find each other's hands and give over the Miraculous." She groped carefully before feeling a pair of hands collide with her chest. "Careful!" Chat jerked back like he'd been burned. "Sorry!" Carefully, she found his hand, which was surprisingly soft, and put her earrings into it, wrapping his fingers around them. She felt Chat deposit his ring into her hand. "Alright, here goes," she said, and slipped the ring on. "Plagg, claws out!"
Slowly, Marinette turned around. She saw Chat do the same and he gave a double take as he saw her. "Wow, Ladybug, you can pull off my suit anytime!" Marinette was dumbfounded by Chat's transformation, though. He looked like a certain Agreste from earlier in the day. She shook her head. It couldn't be. "Well, do you want to meet up here at the end of today and trade back?" Chat nodded, still dumbstruck. "Well, scratch you around!" She froze. Did she just say that? She looked at Chat to see him dancing with glee. "My lady, you're learning!" Disgusted with herself, Marinette used Chat's baton to vault herself back into the school.
Thankfully, she was able to use Chat's powers to get back to her classroom quickly. The whole transaction had lasted about five minutes, but it had felt like ages. Marinette burst into the classroom before realizing that she was supposed to have been finding someone to take the picture. Fortunately for her, they had appeared to have found a tripod. When she walked into the room, Alya looked thrilled. "Marinette, that Chat Noir costume is so good! Why didn't you wear it earlier?" Marinette shook her head and gave her biggest Marinette smile. "I just ran home to put it on, I was kinda nervous this morning." Alya shook her head, admiring Chat Noir's outfit. "Well you certainly did a good job. You look GOOD. You even got the eyes, and I don't even want to know how you got the tail to work like Chat's." Marinette let out a squeak of alarm. She hadn't even noticed! Alya turned around, shocked by something. "Did you just…meow?" Marinette was mortified.
Just then, Adrien walked in, saving her from having to explain. "Sorry that took so long, guyyyyyy-" his voice trailed off as he saw Marinette. His eyes widened. "Ladybug?" Marinette felt her heart stop and forced herself to laugh. "No, Chat Noir, actually." Alya giggled and nudged her. "I guess I've found my Chat Noir, my lady," he said, kissing her hand. Marinette could hardly breathe. When had Adrien's costume gotten so realistic? It looked almost exactly like hers. Suddenly, realization dawned on her. She checked, and yup, he was wearing her earrings. This wasn't Adrien at all.
"Alright guys, come on," Mme Bustier started shoving people into position. "Adrien, Marinette, I love your costumes! Did you plan the reverse duo thing? Those costumes are so good!" She didn't seem to notice both of their eyes widen at what she had said. "If you don't mind, I'm going to put you together, right in the middle. It almost looks like Chat Noir and Ladybug switched costumes for our little celebration!" She ushered the stunned pair to the center of the picture, which Chloé did not look happy about.
"Marinette?" Chat breathed. "Ladybug?" Marinette couldn't speak. There was no way that her perfect Adrien could also be her silly cat. And yet… "Okay, class, smile for the camera!" Mme Bustier set up the tripod then rushed back to the edge of the picture, where she was paired with a cherry red Nathanaël. "I guess I owe you this, don't I?" Marinette whispered to Chat, then reached up and kissed him just as the camera clicked.