This is a non-miraculous AU where Ladybug is a comic book series written and drawn by Alya and Marinette (respectively) and Adrien is an avid fan. As the title suggests it takes place at a ComiCon. I do not own anything to do with Miraculous Ladybug. Enjoy!
Marinette was rearranging the displays on the table when a voice called out to her. "Marinette, help me!"
She knew that voice. Her face flushed red before she even turned around. Running towards her, eyes wide with panic, was Adrien Agrest. She sighed and tried to control her heart. "H-how you can? I-I mean, how can I help you?"
"I broke your jacket. Can you fix it?"
If she wasn't so flustered she'd have sighed. "You paid for it. It's your jacket, but let me see the damage and I'll let you know if I can help." She stepped back and eyed him carefully. Today he was dressed up as Tamaki from Ouran Highschool Host Club. With his naturally blond hair styled just right, the resemblance was uncanny, aside from the green eyes that stood in contrast to Tamaki's blue.
The problem was glaringly obvious. The button of his light blue jacket was missing and the button hole had ripped.
Not trusting herself to speak, she motioned for him to hand it over. She reached under the table for her sewing kit as he slid out of the jacket and laid it in front of her. She held up her hand, not meeting his gaze. "Button."
He offered it to her like he was holding a wounded bird, and she took it hoping he didn't notice how her hands shook. "Can you save it?"
"How long do you have to wait?"
He bit his lip. "The indi comic book publishing panel should be starting in thirty minutes, and Ladybug will be on it. I want to get in line for that in the next fifteen."
Thirty minutes?! Crap, she needed to get going. "The button is easy, but this rip is a bit harder."
His eyes turned big and sad. "So, you can't fix it?"
"I-I didn't say that. I won't have time to fix it properly, but I can jerry-rig something for you." She finished the button and snipped the thread, then fished her hand around in her Con bag to find fabric tape. She handed him the jacket and ripped off enough fabric tape to run the length of the rip. When he put it on, she held the torn fabric together as smoothly as possible, applied the tape to the back, then pulled the button through and pressed the two sides of the coat together, trying to ignore how she could feel his abs beneath the fabric. "There. That should hold for now. If it doesn't hold, you can come back later and I'll do something more permanent."
He beamed at her. "Thanks, Marinette. Are you going to cosplay this year?"
She laughed nervously. "You know I don't cosplay."
He frowned. "It's such a shame. There are so many possibilities. Especially with your sewing talent. It would help promote your business."
She blushed and looked away. "That's what customers are for."
He grinned. "And I tell everyone who asks that it's a Marinette original. I should get a discount on the next piece I order from you for being such a good customer. I'd be happy to model some of it for your website."
"She could pay you in cookies like she does me." A voice interrupted as a slender brunette teenager came to lean on the table beside Marinette.
"Manon, get back to work," Marinette chided.
Adrien raised his eyebrows. "Cookies?"
"Marinette makes the best cookies. Like wifeu level cookies," Manon said.
"Which you will get none of if you don't get back to work," Marinette warned her, face now red.
"You've been holding out on me!" Adrien said. "I didn't know you could bake."
"It's just something I did to bond with my parents. Anyway, don't you need to get in line for that panel?"
Adrien checked his phone and cursed. "You're right. I should get going." Before she could protest, he shoved some cash into her tip jar and ran off, presumably to get in line for the panel. Speaking of which…
She felt her phone go off and looked down to see a text from Alya. Are you getting ready? Staff wants us ready in fifteen.
"Manon, are you good to take over until I get back?"
The brown-haired teen turned to look at her. "Yeah. Get going. You should have left ten minutes ago."
Marinette took off, shooting a text to Alya to let her know she was on her way. First, she made a pitstop to the bathroom to change. She locked herself in and pulled the outfit out of her Con bag, carefully brushing her hair into twin pigtails and wrapping them in red ribbon. A bit of red to her eyes, some spirit glue to keep the mask in place, and then she pulled on her costume. The unassuming woman who entered left in bold red and black, turning heads as she went.
"Ladybug!" Someone squealed. "Can I get a photo with you?"
Marinette hesitated. "I'm sorry, but I'm about to be late for a panel. Find me later and I promise I will."
The teenager nodded, understanding, but looking put out. Marinette felt a twinge of guilt, but realized that if she were late for the panel, Alya would kill her.
"If you make it quick, we can do one photo," she said, accepting that Alya would kill her for sure.
The girl squealed and snapped a quick selfie, quickly heading back over to her awaiting friends as she shouted her thanks.
Marinette took off running before anyone else could try to talk to her. A staff member caught her outside the vendor's hall and escorted her to the room she'd be speaking in with Alya and some other people. They bypassed the line of people waiting, and she made a beeline to Alya behind the discussion table.
"What took you so long?" her friend hissed as they started letting people in to take their seats.
Marinette offered her an apologetic smile. "I got caught up as other me and ran behind a bit. A client asked for help with a wardrobe malfunction, and then a fan asked for a photo."
Alya rolled her eyes. "Girl, you are too nice. You need to learn to tell people no."
"I tell people no all the time," Marinette protested.
Alya scoffed, then straightened and turned to look at the gathered audience. They could talk more later; for now, it was business time. Marinette took a couple of deep breaths and closed her eyes to get into her persona of Ladybug.
"Thank you all for coming," the staff member said. "I know that you all have a lot of questions, so we're going to set the mic up here and do a Q and A. One question per person, unless we get through everyone first, and, please, no asking the panel members if they'll read your manuscript. We have writing panels later in the day and more tomorrow if you want feedback. Without further adieu, we will now start the indi comic book publishing panel."
There was a smattering of applause and a scrabble for some of the more eager participants to get towards the front of the line.
"Oh look, your boyfriend is back again," Alya hissed under her breath, pointing to Adrien.
Marinette hoped that her face wasn't as red as she thought it was. "For the last time, quit calling him that!"
Alya opened her mouth to retort when the first speaker stepped up to the mic. "Umm, this question is for Ms. Cesaire: what are the benefits of doing a web series before publishing?"
Alya straightened and flashed him her brightest smile. "Good question. First, if you're not well known you want to build an audience..."
The panel went on like that with everyone falling into the rhythm of answering, and the other panel members giving their own input every now and then when they had something to contribute, even if the question hadn't been directed at them. Marinette was getting into the swing of things and was full on Ladybug by the time Adrien stepped up to the mic.
It was probably the only thing that kept her from having a heart attack at his question. "Ladybug, will you marry me?"
Alya let out a whoop of laughter, getting quite a few of the crowd going too. Marinette merely raised an unimpressed eyebrow as her intestines tied themselves in knots. She gave him a cool look up and down as if considering. She could practically hear the fanfics being written about the encounter between Tamaki and Ladybug, and it was that thought that got her to roll her eyes. "That would be a no, Chaton."
"Can I at least know your real name?"
A few other members of the crowd shouted in agreement.
"One question per person. Next, please," Marinette called.
He walked away, not looking put out in the slightest. The next guy walked up to the mic and looked between Adrien and Ladybug. "I'd like to ask the same question as that guy."
Marinette leaned forward to where her mic sat on the table. "Which one? Marriage, or my name?"
He flushed pink. "Umm, y-your name, please."
"Is Ladybug not good enough for you?" she asked, giving him a flirtatious smile.
He was now beet red and unable to form a coherent sentence.
"Next question, please," Alya called out, causing the still stuttering boy to shuffle away from the mic.
Most of the serious questions had already been asked so the flirting began, and the attention turned more towards Marinette specifically. Alya ate it up, jotting down some of her favorite lines to be used in later volumes of their series. Marinette hoped that the other panel members weren't annoyed with her, but the Ladybug side of her was too busy being sassy to really focus on much beyond the next quip. Their allotted time ended, and the staff member retrieved the mic from the audience and thanked everyone for attending. Everyone dispersed with Alya and Marinette heading to the restroom together.
"Adrien was persistent as ever," Alya said as soon as the restroom door swung closed behind them.
"Shhhhhh!" Marinette hissed, whipping her head around the restroom to make sure no one was there to eavesdrop.
"What? I'm sorry, but there is a hot, single man out there practically throwing himself at you, and you just told him no. I'm asking you, like I have at every signing and event we do that he shows up to- why?" Her face had gone from teasing to exasperated as she spoke. "Are you ever going to tell him?"
Marinette's face flushed scarlet. "That Felix, aka Chat Noir, is based off him?" She snorted. "I don't think I need to stroke his already inflated ego any more than it already has been."
"What about the fact that Bridgette, aka Ladybug, is based off Marinette?"
"Everyone knows that, and she's only based off of my looks because you asked me to, Volpina." She spat out the name of another character from their comic series based off of high school Alya.
"No, everyone knows that Ladybug is based off of the comic artist who insists on not revealing her name and dressing up like her own character at all of her signings."
"You know how I do in crowds when it's the real me." Marinette said, leaning forward to let her head hit the porcelain sink in front of her.
Alya switched tactics and gave her friend sympathetic pats on the back. "That was back when we first started out. You're so much more confident than when we started out all those years ago."
"I've been doing Ladybug for so long, though, that it's kinda our thing. It's part of what got us noticed starting out. I wouldn't know how to not be Ladybug, especially around Adrien. I mean, he actually knows me in real life now! I can't tell him. What if he finds out Chat Noir was based off his face and thinks I'm some kind of crazy stalker or something?"
"To be fair. He is just as stalker-y as you are with how he follows you around everywhere. Which you do very little to actually discourage. He's the only one you ever call 'Chaton'."
"Well because I like him, but I can't tell him as Marinette because I get all tongue tied, but I can't tell him as Ladybug either because then he'll find out I'm Marinette."
"Yeah, what even is your life?"
Marinette groaned. "Thousands of people buying my stuff on Etsy, hundreds of personal requests for things, and I finally open my own actual, real, life shop to find out that the hot boy I've been using as a model for Chat Noir lives near me and is freakin' adorable. It's not fair. Weebs aren't supposed to be this hot."
"Oh no," Alya said dryly. "The hot boy you're crushing on likes you back. Go tell him who you are and start kissing already."
"He doesn't like me. He likes Ladybug. It's not the same thing, and if I ever told him who I was at this point, I think he'd be disappointed and creeped out."
Alya raised an eyebrow. "You know you're crazy, Girl."
Marinette just whined and turned to look at her from where she was resting her head against the sink.
Alya leaned over and patted her head. "There there, get a hold of yourself. We've been in here too long, and I'm certain he's waiting outside to talk to you. Are you going to head over to the Ladybug booth and do some singing?"
"Can you go check on Manon and make sure everything is going well over there?"
"Why can't you go?" Alya said, straightening and heading towards the door.
Marinette snorted and gestured to herself.
"Right, Ladybug doesn't go to Marinette's Designs." She opened the door and turned back with a grin. "I was right. He's out here."
Marinette wasn't sure if she should grimace or grin and was certain her face was twisted in some red combo of the two. Leaning against the wall, his cocky smirk in place and looking far too good in that suit, was Adrien. He pushed off the wall and headed towards her as soon as she was clear of the bathroom doors. "Afternoon, My Lady. It's good to see you again."
"Hello. Enjoying the Con?"
He beamed as he sidled up beside her. "Much more now that I've seen you."
"Well, always happy to make a fan's day," she said.
She started walking towards the booth with him sticking right beside her. "Are you following me?"
He came closer. "How can I help it when you're so irresistible?"
She laughed and pushed him back by the nose with her hand. He made a grab for it and tried to kiss her knuckles but she pulled her hand out of his and flicked his nose. If he was upset by the rejection, he didn't show it. He let his hand fall to his side and kept walking with a wide smile.
"Follow me if you've got nothing better to do, but keep your hands to yourself, Chaton," she warned, marching on ahead of him so he wouldn't see her blush.
They headed over to Alya's booth and were only stopped three times along the way for pictures. Marinette was thankful when they reached the booth. Nino was manning it while her best friend was away.
"Hey, Nino. Everything go well?"
He nodded in her direction. "Sup, Dudette? Alya said you'd be heading this way."
"I agreed to do signings for an hour," she told him, slipping into the extra chair and pulling a pen from her Con bag.
Adrien hovered off to the side of the table. He exchanged greetings with Nino, having met when Nino came along to help out with other signing events.
A line had already started to form, so Marinette got to work signing books and scraps of paper and whatever else was shoved in front of her. Nino ran the cash side of things, handing out comics and paraphernalia to those who paid. Adrien just patiently waited off to the side, occasionally taking pictures with people when they came up and asked.
"I love your costume!" she heard one girl squeal as she wrapped an arm around him and held up a peace sign for the camera.
"Thanks," he told her, disentangling himself as soon as the mini photoshoot was done. "Marinette made it. Her booth is three rows down. She takes commissions."
Marinette smiled at that, but overall was starting to feel uneasy. She only had fifteen minutes left before her hour was up. Then she'd change back and help Manon with her own booth.
Adrien was still here. What was he still doing here? He wasn't talking for the most part, letting her focus on her other fans, but he was really close and acting twitchy, like he was nervous about something.
Alya came to relieve her when her time was up, and Marinette started heading in the direction of the restroom so she could change.
Someone grabbed her hand. "Ladybug, wait!"
She turned to see it was Adrien. "I'm sorry, but I'm not signing anything else right now. You had your chance."
"That's not what I was going to ask you about." His face flushed red.
She raised an eyebrow. "What is it then?"
"I noticed you're not scheduled to do anything else until this evening and wondered if you wanted to hang out for a bit. They have an open tournament right now of Ultimate Mecha Strike 3.
She gave him a sad smile, but shook her head. "I'm sorry. I have somewhere I need to be."
"Could I come with you then?"
Her eyes widened in panic. "No," she said too quickly. "I m-mean, no thank you. I need to take care of some stuff up in my hotel room, and I'd rather do it alone."
"Uh, okay." Adrien looked disappointed, but he took a deep breath and tried one last time. "How about I take you to dinner before your next panel. There's a great sushi bar near here."
"Adrien," she said quietly. "You don't like me. You don't even know me."
"I do know you," he argued. "True, I don't know that much about you, but I'm trying to."
It hurt telling him no, but she just couldn't see him liking Marinette. "You like a girl in a mask. You don't even know my real name."
"I would if you told me."
Before she could answer someone else behind her squealed. "Juleka!"
From her perspective, Marinette could see a tall goth girl waving at whoever had shouted behind her. Running feet, and then someone clipped her elbow to reach her friend. While they only clipped her, the petite figure in a pink wig full on ran into Adrien and they two went down in a spectacular crash. Marinette and the girl she assumed was Juleka came rushing over.
"Are you alright?" both asked the duo on the ground.
Adrien groaned, having taken the brunt of the fall, but the girl popped up looking shamefaced. "I am so sorry. I should have been paying more attention to where I was going!"
Despite her attempts to help him up, she wasn't strong enough. He waved her off. "I'm fine. Don't worry about it."
"Are you sure?" She hovered over him, her face etched in concern.
"Yeah, go on. Thanks for your concern; be more careful in the future." He got up and dusted himself off with bravado to show he was alright.
"Okay then." She let her friend pull her away.
Only once she was gone did he do a more thorough inspection and notice the elongated rip in his jacket. "Mari's gonna kill me." He hissed, looking down at his jacket in dismay.
She wasn't even thinking when she replied with, "I will not."
He snapped his head up to meet her eyes. "What?"
There's one more installment to come with a possible sequel if you guys like it. Reviews are always appreciated!