My contribution to Marichat May, don't say I never did anything for it xD
By the way, in French 'Juliet' is spelled 'Juliette', so it's not a mistake.
O Romeo, Romeo…
"Ugh, this is so stupid, Tikki," Marinette complained, crinkling the pages of the Literature book she was holding in her hands. "There's no way I can make this convincing."
"Not with that attitude," Tikki giggled. "Relax, Marinette, you'll be a great Juliette! Don't push yourself too hard. Besides, you'll have the book right in front of you in class; you don't have to memorize anything."
"I know," Marinette sighed dejectedly. "But I have to practice this, at least. What if Adrien plays Romeo? I want him to be captivated by my Juliette, and that can't happen if I just read straight from the book."
Tikki provided a comforting smile and nuzzled her chosen's cheek. Marinette affectionately returned the rub.
"You'll be fine, Marinette. I'm sure Adrien will-"
She stopped, large, blue eyes growing wide as she slowly retreated back.
"Tikki?" Marinette called, concerned over her kwami's change in countenance. "What is it?"
She said nothing, choosing instead to zip away and phase through the trapdoor. Marinette furrowed her brows, muddled by the kwami's sudden disappearance. Was she tired? Hungry?
For a moment she considered going after her, but she really needed to practice these lines. Besides, if something was really wrong, Tikki would tell her. Right?
With that resolve set, she looked back down to her book.
"O Romeo, Romeo!" she breathed, looking up into the night sky, to the glittering stars and the glowing moon shedding its pale light down on the balcony. "Wherefore art thou, Romeo? Deny thy father, and refuse thy name."
She paused to lower her eyes to her book, as if discouraged.
"Or, if thou wilt not…"
She glanced back up to the full moon in the sky, an eager smile dancing on her lips.
"Be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet!" she finished in a smitten, breathless sigh.
Unbeknownst to her, she had an audience to her profession, who was standing just below her, with his feet planted on top of the rounded window pane and his back and palms pressed flatly against the wall.
Idly, he wondered with a small grin, if shall he hear more, or shall he speak at this?
" 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy; thou art myself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot…"
All throughout the scene Marinette periodically kept catching a glimpse of the lines she had to read, then returning her gaze to the sky as she pretended to be a maiden in equal love and woe over the last name of the man she happened to fall in love with. She imagined her beloved Adrien's face in the night sky, which gave her the extra push to say the lines with even more emotion.
Thank God their families weren't enemies, and that they didn't live in Shakespearean time. She didn't want her and Adrien to end up like Romeo and Juliette; the story may have a few happy parts, but she knew that it ultimately ended in tragedy.
"Romeo, doff thy name. And for that name which is no part of thee, take all myself."
Marinette released a breath of relief. That was probably her best take yet, even Adrien himself would be impressed!
"I take thee at thy word!"
She screeched loudly, dropping the book and flailing her arms as she nearly fell backward in her fright. Chat Noir's head popped up from below the balcony and he was quick to lend her his assistance, grabbing her hand and pulling her to himself so she wouldn't fall.
He smirked down at the girl currently pressed to his chest.
"Call me but love, and I'll be new baptized. Henceforth I never will be Romeo."
Marinette narrowed her eyes in irritation, growling as she detached herself from the cat-themed hero.
"What the hell are you doing here, Chat?" she demanded, the words making it past her bared teeth. Not only did he scare her enough to surely take a few years off her life, but he was eavesdropping on her practicing Juliette's lines! He was probably secretly laughing at her the whole time, the cheeky little shit.
"Princess, you broke the illusion!" he bemoaned, crossing his arms together. "Juliette doesn't say that."
"I hate to break it to you, kitty, but I'm not Juliette," she replied dryly, rolling her eyes. "And why were you eavesdropping anyway?"
"In my defense, I wasn't planning on it." He held up his hands in the air, the universal sign of surrender. A corner of his mouth pulled up into a playful grin. "I was just a lonely cat in the night wanting a few cuddles, and maybe some cookies."
Marinette groaned, shaking her head as she pressed her index finger and thumb to the bridge of her nose.
"So, why are you reciting Romeo and Juliette, anyway?" she heard Chat ask. "I didn't peg you for a fan of Shakespeare."
"That's because I'm not," she snipped, picking up the book from the ground. She started to flip through the pages to get back to the balcony scene, not taking her eyes off the pages to look at Chat as she continued to answer him. "I have to read this scene tomorrow to get participation points in my class. If I don't, my grade will go down."
Chat paused, considering his next words very carefully. If he played this just right, then by the end of the night he would leave with something far better than cookies.
"Oh? And which class is this, Princess?"
"Literature," she answered automatically, her eyes darting back and forth to find the place she left off at.
"Literature, huh? Who's your teacher?"
For the first time, she glanced up at him, raising an eyebrow in suspicion.
"Why do you ask?"
"Just curious," he said, trying to be as nonchalant as possible, as though the answer was of no consequence to him. "I have a friend who is reading Romeo and Juliette now. I was just wondering if you were in the same class as him."
Marinette faltered, taking a few seconds longer than necessary to answer. It might have been a risk to tell him, but then again, he was talking to Marinette, not Ladybug, who didn't have any viable reason to not tell someone whose class she was in.
Would it really hurt to tell him? And didn't deny that she kind of wanted to know who his friend was.
"Really? What a coincidence, that's the same class my friend is in! I hate to tell you this, but they're not doing the balcony scene tomorrow."
Marinette almost dropped the book again.
". . . What?"
She was confident that her heart had ceased to beat.
"Yes, we are! You're wrong, Chat."
Chat shook his head in pity.
"Afraid not, Princess. I visited my friend earlier and he wasn't practicing the balcony scene at all. In fact, he was reading a scene from Act One, specifically the one where Romeo and Juliette meet."
"What?!" she shrieked, flipping the pages in a new panic. She was so sure they were doing the balcony scene! They got past the first Act, why were they going over a scene from it again? "But we read all of Act One…" she stopped, a new realization hitting her like a flour sack on her head. "And I was absent for that scene! I have no idea what happens in that scene!"
Chat Noir's lips twitched, fighting to repress the grin that threatened to break out on his face.
I know, he thought deviously.
"Woah, Princess, calm down!" he cautioned, placing his hands on her shoulders, the action immediately causing her to relax, although her eyes told a different story, gazing up him with fear in their depths.
He smiled in reassurance.
"You're going to be fine. Luckily for mew, I happen to play a purrfect Romeo!"
Marinette gave him a deadpan stare.
"You? A perfect Romeo?"
"Don't be so excited," he snickered. "I've read this play a few times. As a result, I ended up memorizing some of the dialogue, including the scene where Juliette and her Romeo first meet. I can help you practice for tomorrow, if you want."
Her lips pressed into a thin line, still disbelieving him.
"Alright," he acquiesced, stepping away from her toward the balcony railing. "If you don't wish to practice for whomever your Romeo might be, then I guess I'll just be taking my leave."
He turned with his back to her, grabbing the railing with both hands, about to take his leap away, when her voice called out for him to wait.
He concealed a knowing smirk as he carefully turned his head so that she would only see his side profile.
Marinette frowned, her teeth bothering her lower lip.
"Could you really help me?" she asked quietly, miraculously still in doubt of his memory.
"Of course," he proclaimed proudly, moving to stand in front of her again. "I have that scene in the bag." He didn't wait for a response before taking the book out of her hands and flipping to the exact page the scene was on. "Here."
Marinette began to read the lines. Chat caught on to what she was doing and promptly laid his hand on top of the page, causing her to become startled by the sudden movement and raise her head to look at him in bewilderment.
"What?" she questioned.
"Don't read the lines beforehand, it'll take away from the feeling of reading them for the first time." He knew it was a poor excuse, but he couldn't have her reading further along the scene and discovering what happens during it. If she found out, his plan would horribly fail.
Marinette raised both brows as she regarded him as though he was crazy.
"Okay," she surrendered in a sing-song voice, shaking her head. She turned back to the book laying open in her hands. "Now where does this start…"
"Right here," he answered, tapping a clawed finger at the first passage. He cleared his throat, then without warning took her hand in his and got down on one knee.
Marinette stared at him with wide eyes, not understanding what he was doing.
"If I profane, with my unworthiest hand," he spoke, the honeyed words smoothly rolling off his tongue. Marinette's cheeks began to develop a pink hue. Chat noticed this and kept going.
"This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: my lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand. To smooth that rough touch, with a tender kiss."
Without another word, he bent his head to plant a kiss on her knuckles with such tenderness that not even Romeo Montague could match it.
Marinette swallowed, trying to not let his kiss affect her so much. After all, she endured enough of his hand kisses as Ladybug, so why should this be different? With a shaky breath, she looked to her book for her lines.
"Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much." She glanced back to him, a smile tugging the corners of her lips up. She was already beginning to get into the role of Juliette. "Which mannerly devotion shows in this; for saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch. And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss."
Chat stood, though almost dangerously close to her.
"Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?"
For a moment Marinette almost lost her place, because she was beginning to realize just how good he was at being Romeo.
"Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer."
"O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do." Chat smiled softly, gently taking one of her hands to place it up against his own. "They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair."
Marinette turned away from those evergreen eyes that were trained on her alone. She took back her hand with her breath caught in her throat. Her heart was beginning to accelerate in its beat.
Maybe she should've thought this through before taking him up on his offer.
"Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake."
He took a step closer, so that he was standing against the book, the only thing separating them. Marinette gazed up at him in wonder, mouth parted, as she took in the smoldering look in his eyes that trapped her in their burning depths.
"Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take."
She instinctively looked back down to the page, to say her next line, when she found her head being lifted by Chat's fingers gently holding her chin. But she had caught the action cue before he did so.
Chat captured her lips in a warm kiss, of which was neither too timid nor too bold. He didn't even move his mouth, for fear of scaring her away or angering her. But she didn't pull away, so she wasn't opposed to this, right?
Marinette, meanwhile, didn't expect for Chat to actually follow through with the play's direction. Although, she was beginning to feel glad that he did, even if the kiss was just for the play and not to be taken seriously. His lips were warm, and soft as they enveloped hers. It was much better than when she kissed him when he was under the influence of Dark Cupid.
All too quickly the sensation was over, as he pulled back to stare into her eyes.
"Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged," he murmured in a low whisper, his voice a touch huskier than usual.
She could stop this. Stop this right now, because she had a growing feeling of what was about to happen next.
But, for some miraculous reason, she didn't. Though she felt it was in part due to wanting that mouth of his to actually move against hers, to see what he could really do.
"Then have my lips the sin that they have took?"
He blinked, stunned for a moment, until his lips stretched into a wide, sly grin.
"Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged, give me my sin again."
Chat took the book from her hands, tossing it to the floor, before pulling her to him and kissing her with such passion that would've made Shakespeare blush.
Marinette's breath was rapidly depleting as she tried to match Chat's ardent fervor, her hands delving into those golden strands she often wondered if they were as soft as they looked. Turned out, they were, and she soon found her fingers disappearing as she took two fistfuls of his hair in her hands. He groaned lowly, her mouth swallowing his sound of pleasure, his claws starting to dig into her hips.
She expected his claws to hurt, but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't the case. At least, not in this instance. It was a dull pain, a pleasurable pain, she decided as she tugged him impossibly closer.
When he tore his mouth from hers, she paused to regain the air in her lungs. Chat, however, wasn't so eager to take a break. While she caught her breath he took to pressing heated kisses against her neck, not marking a clear path. His kisses were erratic, everywhere against the pale column of her throat, as Marinette tried to keep her bearings. But when he returned his mouth to hers, all rational thought became lost.
They continued like this for several more minutes, never seeming to get enough of the other. Until, finally, Chat slowly detached his lips from hers. They both panted heavily, attempting to take back their normal breathing patterns. He laid his forehead against her own, the pair gazing into the others' eyes in part lustful and in disbelief of what happened.
Marinette felt a small smile beginning to coax at her mouth.
"You kiss by the book."