Author's Note: Thank you all very much for the reviews, favourites, and follows! This would is the final chapter, I hope you enjoy it as much as you enjoyed the rest of the fic.
It wasn't perfect.
It was nowhere near perfect.
When Marinette had previously daydreamed about a relationship with Adrien she had to admit that she never really got far from their first ice cream trip or first cinema date that was superimposed with sparkles and pink hazy backgrounds. Then she tended to fast forward to twenty years later where they would have Emma, Hugo, Louis and the pet hamster. She never gave actual serious thought to the realities of a relationship before.
Like they might actually have fights.
Which they did.
Within the first few days of their new, budding, relationship they had two horrendous fights that Marinette thought would kill their chances for good.
The first had been her fault.
They had been snuggling on her bed (a favourite of Adrien's, Marinette quickly learnt he was a cuddler - and a needy one to boot!) while talking about previous Akuma battles when Rena Rouge came up. Adrien had asked, quite innocently, about whether or not they would see the fox-themed hero again.
"Unlikely," Marinette mumbled, "Master Fu said it would be a one-time deal with Alya."
"Wait," Adrien shifted away, "what?!"
It occurred to Marinette when she stared at Adrien's blank face just exactly how much she had kept from her partner, the guy that she's supposed to trust with her very life, and just how very wrong that was.
It didn't take any pressing whatsoever from Adrien for everything to tumble out of Marinette's lips – about the book, her first meeting with Master Fu, her theory that his father was Hawk Moth, the photocopying of the book pages before she returned it, and meeting Master Fu again to get the Fox Miraculous for Alya.
Adrien, understandably, didn't take the fact that she had kept this secret for months very well.
"You don't trust me," he said numbly, "after everything we've been through and you still don't trust me."
"I do trust you!" Marinette protested. "It was just never the right time!"
"You could have arranged a proper meeting with me outside of battles and night patrols" Adrien snapped, "or, hell, on night patrol, we don't do much on those, or you could have taken me with you to see Master Fu, but you didn't, because at the end of the day you never really trusted me, did you?!"
"Of course I do!" Marinette cried out. "I trust you with my life. I trust you to have my back. I trust you to keep me safe. I trust you with my-"
"Just not with your identity or secrets," Adrien interrupted bitterly, "right?"
Marinette's spluttered, tearful, denials were ignored and before she knew it Adrien had stormed out of her room without a backward glance.
It took a box of macarons and a load of grovelling in the next morning to get him to talk to her and then a promise of no more secrets and an actual meeting with Master Fu that very afternoon before Adrien forgave her. It took a little longer before he was fully comfortable with her again.
And when they had returned to the cuddling and talking, a horrifying realisation occurred to Marinette as Adrien went on and on about how amazing it was that he got to take her to the rooftop anyway.
"You ditched me," she whispered, "You ditched us."
"Huh?" Adrien blinked dumbly. "What was that, Princess?"
"Don't call me that!" Marinette spat out as she shoved Adrien away. "Not when stood up your friends for someone that said no!"
Adrien's mouth kept dropping open and snapping shut like a gormless fish as he stared at her bewilderedly.
"We made those ice cream plans weeks before!" Marinette hissed furiously. "I should know because we made them and remade them in order to fit your schedule. You agreed to go! You promised Nino you would come! And then, on the very day we had those plans, you ask Ladybug out - last minute I might add! – and when I said no, you still stood all of your friends up to wait on that stupid rooftop anyway. What kind of person does that to his friends?!"
"Marinette….I…I…I…mean, I didn't think!" Adrien stammered. "I just….I mean…I…"
"I don't think I can be with someone who just dumps their friends like that."
And on that horrible bitter note, that fight and night ended.
Marinette stubbornly held out against Adrien's pleading that he just loved her that much and tried her very best – and failed – to ignore his wounded puppy eyes stare for a whole day before she crumbled in her mother's arms as soon as she got home.
"Maybe we're not meant to be together!" she sobbed. "Because I'm sure it's not supposed to be this hard!"
"Oh sweetheart!" Mum laughed softly as she ran her fingers through Marinette's hair. "Relationships are never easy. So you hit a difficult road bump and discovered a flaw in Adrien, that doesn't mean you just give up. All couples fight, darling."
"You and Dad don't!"
"Oh we do," Mum said reassuringly, "we just don't do it in front of you."
Which wasn't really reassuring for Marinette but that was a can of worms she never wanted to open. Instead she let her mother's soothing words and advice of not giving up at the first hurdle and to let Adrien have a proper chance wash over her, and when Adrien turned up on her balcony as Chat Noir with a big bouquet of flowers and a heart-wrenching apology, she caved.
They discovered neither one of them were as perfect as they originally thought but that didn't mean they weren't worth fighting for.
There were daily obstacles as well.
Chloe, as expected, was a huge problem. She constantly pushed herself between Adrien and Marinette, ripping their hands apart as she plastered herself against Adrien. Marinette was barely able to grit her teeth and keep her mouth shut while Adrien continued to be irritatingly patient about the whole thing.
Then there was Adrien's impossible schedule as well, which kept them apart and exhausted Adrien to no end. Not to mention that their dates would get cancelled due to last minute photoshoots and his father just outright refusing to let him out of the house.
And whatever dates they did usually get to go on would always be suddenly interrupted by Akuma attacks.
Yet somehow, despite the road bumps and obstacles, and the occasional heartache, it was paradoxically perfect.
It was real.
Every touch, every smile, every kiss, and every sweet word between each other was so very real. And all the difficulties just made them all the more real, and precious, and perfect.
They would take in turns to sneak into each other's bedrooms in their superhero guises every night. They would cuddle up and watch films and animes together, or play video games, or listen to music and talk, or, sometimes, just make out.
Some days the most they can get is a smile and a hand squeeze before their lives get in the way and it was still miraculously perfect.
And before Marinette knows it they have been dating for a month, and then two months, and then three months, all marked with sweet romantic gestures. They finally had that ice cream date and split a red, green, blue speckled gold cone together, he literally swept her off her feet for another moonlight night on the rooftops, and she hosted a candlelit picnic on her balcony.
And then suddenly Gabriel Agreste finally notices that Adrien is dating and Marinette is invited over for dinner.
The whole thing is terrifying.
Marinette couldn't stop fidgeting as she waited in Adrien's over the top, massive, extremely cold and intimidating foyer. She kept anxiously twisting the skirt of her new dress between her fingers and biting her lip as she kept shooting nervous glances up at the staircase.
"Hey," Adrien said softly as he plucked her hand and gave it a comfortingly squeeze, "it'll be fine. You'll be fine. Father will adore you, how could he not?"
"I didn't make a good impression the first time round!" Marinette blurted out fearfully. "He probably thinks that I'm some sort of flighty fangirl or a bumbling idiot or a gabbling weirdo or-"
"He's going to think that you're the most beautiful, talented, perfect girl there is," Adrien said sweetly as he pressed a light, loving, kiss on her knuckles. "How can he not?"
"Quite easily," Marinette gulped.
Adrien chuckled as he pressed another kiss on her hand. "Impossible!" he declared with another kiss. "Father will love you, I just know it."
"I would like it," a quiet, cold voice echoed from above them, "if you did not assume on my behalf, Adrien."
Adrien flinched as his father descended down the stairs with an eerie calmness. "Yes Father," he mumbled obediently.
Marinette's heart ached at the sight of Adrien so downcast and lifeless from a few words from his father. She vowed that she'll do whatever it takes to make him smile again before the night was over.
"So," Gabriel said coldly, "you are the girl that has been distracting Adrien from his work."
Marinette bit back a retort at that. "I am his girlfriend, yes," Marinette said with stiff politeness, "my name is Marinette. It is an honour to meet you, sir."
Gabriel flickered his eyes up and down Marinette. She felt like that she was being examined from the inside out and judged for every thought and action she had ever made in her life. Gabriel then gave a dismissive sniff and turned away.
"Dinner with begin shortly," he said coolly, "don't dawdle or it'll get cold"
It didn't really improve from there.
Dinner was an incredibly awkward and silent affair as Adrien and Marinette kept their heads ducked down to avoid Gabriel's cool, unrelenting, gaze.
They were barely mid-way the main course when the questioning began.
"So Marinette," Marinette tried to not shiver at the sneering tone that sounded terrifyingly sinister, "what exactly areyour intentions towards my son?"
"Father!" Adrien squawked.
"It's a valid concern, Adrien," Gabriel said unruffled by Adrien's outburst, "as your father I need to ensure that no one is trying to take advantage of you."
"That doesn't mean you can interrogate Marinette!" Adrien said indignantly. "She's our guest not one of your interns to terrify and-"
"Adrien," Marinette murmured as she placed a comforting hand over his, "its okay!" she reassured him. "I don't mind. It's his right to be concerned about your wellbeing," she then turned with her best battle-ready face on, "my only intention towards Adrien is to make him happy," she informed Gabriel, "nothing less, nothing more."
"Lofty goals, young lady," Gabriel replied calmly. Though it might have just been her but she could have sworn his eyes glimmered with approval. "And just exactly how did you and Adrien end up together, may I ask?"
"Oh!" Marinette flushed. "Ah! Well you see, Adrien and I are in the same class together, and we were friends for ages."
"Marinette was my first friend from school!" Adrien butted in eagerly. "She's just so amazingly kind and cool, and we got to know each other better but I was so stupidly blind-"
"So was I!" Marinette interrupted before Adrien put himself don too much. "I was completely blind too!"
Adrien gave her one of his extra sweet smiles that always sent her heart doing flip-flops no matter what. "And then that matchmaking Akuma hit me and Marinette was the first person I saw," he carried on the explanation, "I gave her a bit of a fright with all my stalking."
Gabriel frowned in concern at that.
As if he could read his father's mind (and saw there was nothing pleasant there), Adrien hurried along. "And then Ladybug cured us all and I realised that I was still so very much in love with Marinette," he smiled dopily at Marinette again.
"And I love you too," Marinette smiled back.
For a moment she was completely lost in his beautiful green eyes, and his captivating smile, and his general warm, comforting, presence, and-
Marinette and Adrien jumped as they realised they were still in the same room as Gabriel. "So, ah, erm, you, well," Marinette stammered incoherently, "we talked about it all, and one thing led to another, and now we're together."
"So I suppose you can say," Adrien said as he rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly, "that Hawk Moth got us together. We ought to thank him really."
Marinette grinned at that.
They were currently in the middle of an epic Ultimate Mecha Strike III tournament in order to decide exactly who got to say thank you to Hawk Moth for bringing them together in their final battle.
Adrien, the dirty cheater, was currently winning but only because he kept surprising Marinette with kisses just when she's about to win!
…Dinner ended on an abrupt note when Gabriel Agreste suddenly started choking on his fork.