He was sitting in the coffee shop when he saw her for the first time. A thick sweater about a size too big hung delicately off one shoulder and was tucked into her fuchsia circle skirt. The low heels of her boots clicked melodically on the tile floor as she walked up to the register to order. He praised his choice to sit at the bar that morning when it allowed him to overhear her name.
Marinette. He mouthed it to himself, loving the way it rolled around in his mouth.
She walked over the the counter near him to pick up her order and stumbled, tripping over some imaginary obstacle on the ground. He was instantly on his feet and catching her as she fell into his arms with a gasp. Her hands grabbed the front of his suit vest, almost certainly wrinkling it, but he didn't care because she was looking up at him with eyes clearer than the most vibrant bluebell.
"Th-Thank you," she laughed nervously, righting herself and standing up straight.
"No worries," he managed to say, though his voice sounded strained even to his own ears.
"Oh no!" She raised a hand to her mouth, and he followed her gaze to see a small rip and a missing button on his vest from where she'd caught herself.
"Oh, it's not a problem. I have a jacket to wear," he started shrugging out of his vest to put the jacket on instead. His dress shirt was probably a bit tighter than it needed to be, but he was pleased he'd allowed his assistant to convince him on the smaller size when he saw how her eyes watched where it stretched over his chest. He cleared his throat and she blinked up at him. A blush dusting her cheeks as she realized she'd been staring. Instead of stuttering another response though, she looked at the vest and a determined flare came to her eye. She yanked it easily out of his hands, grabbed her drink that had arrived, and deliberately walked over to the bar where he'd been sitting. Choosing the seat next to his, she put down her cup and started digging through the messanger bag at her side.
He sat next to her, puzzled but entranced by every minute emotion that flew across Marinette's face. She finally found what she had been looking for and pulled out a small sewing kit and a bag of multicolored buttons. He watched as she sorted through the buttons with a trained eye, picking out ones that were the right size before turning to him.
"Preference?" She looked at him and smirked, holding out two black buttons that would match his charcoal gray vest, and one bright pink one. He smirked then himself, and pointed to the last one.
"I do look fabulous in pink," he winked, and she laughed out loud, the sound of it infusing a delectable warmth into his bones.
"Pink it is, Monsieur," she winked back and opened her case to pick an appropriate thread.
"Adrien," he corrected and she spared a moment to smile up at him.
"Adrien," she repeated, and he had never liked the sound of his name more.
"So," he cleared his throat again. "Do you often walk around carrying a tailor's shop in your bag? A concierge seamstress?" She laughed.
"Actually, that's a pretty god job description for me." Her mesmerizing eyes flicked up to his for a moment before concentrating again on the task, but her hands never stopped moving, sewing the rip and button on as if it were second nature. "I'm a costumer for film and stage, so most of my work tends to be very on-the-go."
"A designer?" He was shocked. She definitely had style, but what was the chance that they worked in the same field? "What are you working on now? If I'm allowed to ask, that is," he amended.
"It is actually on the hush-hush, but I can trust you, right Adrien?" She looked up at him and winked. He nodded, not quite able to speak when she threw his name around so casually like that. Like she'd been saying it her whole life. Like she had been meant to say it.
"It's an adaptation of a period novel, actually. Not as exciting as a superhero movie, but creating the dresses and morning coats and hats..oh my god the hats!" She practically swooned in front of him and he had to chuckle. She was a breath of fresh air from most of the designers he worked with. They were all brilliant and at the height of their fame, but they lacked the...passion for it that he could see in Marinette after only a few minutes of knowing her. He looked back as her, noticing that her hand had stilled and her face looked pensive.
"I never knew hats were such an emotional topic," he joked and watched her face settle back into a smile.
"Then you've clearly been wearing the wrong hats," she quipped back, holding her hands up and framing his face. "Hmmm, I'd say a derby hat for you. A big one too, dear god you have a lot of hair." She laughed as he shook his head, throwing said hair into disarray. "But no, it's not that. I've just been having some supplier issues."
Adrien perked up, hearing a business problem and knowing it was his time to shine.
"What kind of issues?" He knew most fabric suppliers in the region, maybe he could make a call for her...He absentmindedly realized that he didn't even know this girl, but a part of him still felt an overwhelming need to make her like him.
"Oh, it's just this design house," she picked up the vest again and started finishing up her repairs. "They recently came out with a enlightenment era-inspired line, and marketing wants us to try and partner with them. You know, use some of the theatrical runway pieces in the movie and do some promotional photoshoots, promoting both the company and the movie."
"It's a good idea," Adrien hedged, still not understanding the annoyance in her voice. "Do you not like the pieces?" He could understand if maybe she was annoyed because she was feeling like they were forcing her to compromise her design or the historical accurateness of the costumes.
"No! The hats are gorgeous. As it is, I want all of the versions they are selling. There's this champagne colored beret that's an extremely subtle homage to a traditional golden brocade fabric and I am in love, but they're sold out everywhere. And the theatrical versions that were showcased on the runway a few weeks ago are even more beautiful." He listened to her rave and felt a surge of pride. She was talking about his company. One of his younger designers had put out that line, to an unfortunately tepid response. Hearing Marinette gush about it comforted him more than she could realize. That hat line was why he'd signed this new designer, and she'd been a risky gamble. Hats were her specialty, and that accessory in particular was only being worn by and increasingly smaller sect of people. Adrien had a feeling that the trend was ready to change back in hats' favor, but it had still been a risk. Signing the designer had not come cheap.
"What's the problem then?" She looked up at him before answering, tying off a few threads and cleaning up her work. The partnership sounded like a brilliant idea to him, suiting both their interests. He wondered why this was the first he was hearing of it.
"The problem is the damn company. I don't even understand why. The movie I'm working on is the passion project of a very prominent director and I have no doubt that it will be a success. But I can't even get past the receptionist at this design house. The marketing intern came to me begging for me to call because they kept brushing her off. She thought maybe if the head designer of the set called, they'd take me more seriously, but this jerk at the front desk won't even give me the time of day." She huffed, and stood and he reminded himself to have a word with Plagg when he got back to the office about his people skills. Holding the vest up in front of her, she glanced it over and nodded, seeming satisfied. Smiling, she handed it back to him.
"Alright, all set, with a lovely new addition, if I do say so myself."
He shrugged on the vest, grinning as he did up the last button, his fingers lingering on it fondly.
"You're right. You do look fabulous in pink," she giggled, but then added. "And thanks. For letting me rant to you, I mean." She looked at him a bit sheepishly.
"Anytime, mademoiselle," he took her hand and bowed over it, keeping to the theme of her movie. She rolled her eyes at him, but smiled. "And," he added. "I have a feeling it will all work out for you."
"I hope you're right, Adrien." She turned and finished putting away her things, grabbing her coffee to go. "And it's Marinette." She belatedly introduced herself.
"I know," he nodded at her name on her cup, and she blushed slightly, but looked pleased that he'd thought to look. She didn't need to know that he actually knew her name because he'd been attuned to her every move since she'd entered the cafe.
"Well, I have to go. It was really nice meeting you. I'm sorry again about your vest."
"I'm not," he answered immediately, but tried to quickly cover up his response that was a little too truthful. "Now I have a Marinette original. I can say a famous costume designer added her individual flare to my vest."
"I like how your version leaves out that said costume designer ruined you vest in the first place, but I'll let it slide because I like you." She blushed again, realizing what she said, but Adrien's face broke out into a wide grin.
"Okay, well, see you!" She waved briefly and then hustled out of the cafe in an embarrassed rush.
Adrien watched her, still smiling, until she disappeared around the corner.
"Merde!" He whispered when he finally broke out of his daze, realizing he'd never gotten her number.
He finished his drink and hurried back to his office, arriving in front of his assistant's desk disheveled and out of breath.
"Woah! Where's the fire?" Nino looked up at him, but his eyes stopped on his chest and he smirked. "Nice button, boss man."
"Nino, I need a favor," he gasped.
"Well, I mean, technically you pay me, so it's less a favor and more my job," he responded but then wiggled his eyes. "Unless you mean a favor."
Adrien rolled his eyes. Being your best friend's boss boarded on a human resource nightmare sometimes.
"Focus! I need you to find me a girl-"
"That's what I've been telling you for years man!"
"No, Marinette. I need you to find me Marinette. And I need you to send her some hats…"
Marinette arrived at set, thankful that they were shooting night scenes today and she was able to sleep in for most of the morning. She'd stumbled out of her apartment half-awake this morning, desperately needing a strong cup of caffeine, but she'd found something even more invigorating instead.
She entered the costume trailer, groaning to herself as she realized what a klutz she'd been. And then, just when she felt like she'd recovered from literally falling into him and ruining his vest, she goes and declares she likes him, like they were back in collége. Practically running out of the cafe probably hadn't helped her case. But those eyes...those intoxicating eyes were just making her too dizzy. She couldn't think straight when he looked at her.
"Ugh," she plopped onto the couch in the back. She hadn't even gotten his number. He'd been so nice. Gorgeous, too, but so nice! How often did you find a man that beautiful who also just happened to be kind, and chivalrous, and a great listener... She ripped his vest, and he still sat there and listened to her rant about stupid hats. He'd even shown real interest in her problems. Him. A complete stranger.
Well,she amended, maybe not a complete stranger.
"Adrien," she said his name aloud, smiling at the way it felt on her lips, like it always had meant to be spoken by her.
"Who?" Alya popped her head out from a rack of skirts, scaring ten years off Marinette's life.
"Merde! Alya! I need to put a bell on you or something. Don't sneak up on me like that!"
"I was making plenty of noise over here. It's not my fault you were lost in a daydream about Adrien. Who is he?" Her friend plopped down on the couch next to her, both of them enjoying the silence of the trailer before actors starting bustling in and out to get ready.
"Someone I met this morning," she admitted, allowing a dreamy smile to cross her face.
"More than just someone I'd say," Alya responded and was about to continue when Meghan, the marketing intern she'd been telling Adrien about, bustled in.
"How did you do it? How?!" She jumped around excitedly, her normally stressed features stretching into elation instead.
"What?" Marinette looked at her quizzically, no idea what she was talking about.
"The hats! You got the hats!"
"I did?" Marinette was still hopelessly confused. Meghan just rolled her eyes at Marinette.
"Fine, don't tell me. But here. This came for you with the package." The young girl winked at Marinette, before turning to rush back out of the room.
"How did you get them? You've been calling that fashion house for weeks." Alya looked over at her.
"I have no idea," Marinette muttered, carefully opening the box Meghan had handed her. Lifting the delicate tissue paper she gasped, instantly recognizing the golden beret she'd just been talking about. Then she saw the note.
See? I told you it'd all work out.
I'm looking forward to working together more in the future.
She laughed, tracing her finger over his signature and shaking her head. She'd been talking to the owner of Agreste, Inc. She'd complained about Agreste, Inc to the owner of Agreste, Inc. She'd flirted with him.
"Oh my god," she hung her head, while Alya laughed, reading the note over her shoulder.
"So Adrien, huh?" Her friend smiled, but Marinette was shaking her head more now, about to drown in her own embarrassment. Then Alya pointed out his post script followed by a set of digits, and she blushed again.
P.S. I like you too
The smile on her face lit up the room and she dashed towards the door of the trailer where she'd left her bag and fished for her phone. Typing the digits in, she sent a quick message.
You're my hero.-
-Well, hello there, stranger :)
He responded immediately and she had to stop herself from squealing like a little girl.
I mean it! Part time fashion mogul,
part-time hero. Superhero, even.-
-You're the one who rescued me with
your sewing skills, so you're the real
Only after you saved me
-Fine, I'll let you win this
argument...on one condition
-Go out with me tonight
She smiled down at her phone
It's a date-
AN: Thanks for reading! To stay UTD on new stories, follow me on tumblr: unforgetabELLE