Originally written for Marichat May 2018 - Day 26
(Sorry, not sorry for this. The plot bunnies wouldn't let it go. There are feels and a bit of a songfic, though I didn't post all the lyrics. Also, proper credit for the songs is mentioned throughout and more information will be given at the end. I am not affiliated with ZAG or any of the musical artists mentioned here. Please support them all!)
Chat Noir leapt down into Marinette's room and abruptly stopped short at the sight and sounds before him.
"Cheesy American pop?" he laughed, watching Marinette dance and twirl around her dress form, singing along to a song that had been popular a few years ago.
"Hush, you," she grinned back, barely even pausing in her dancing.
Chat belatedly noticed that she was also pinning fabric to the dress form while she danced and sang. Amused, he simply watched her until the song ended. Then he clapped, cheering and demanding an encore. Marinette laughed, giving him an exaggerated bow. Just then, the next song came on and Chat audibly gasped in delight.
It was "Macho Man" by the Village People.
"Oh, no," Marinette groaned, stepping over to her desk to change the song.
"Oh, yes!" Chat sprang forward and got there first. He quickly grabbed her player and held it above his head, just as the lyrics started.
"'Body-body!'" he sang along, playing keep-away while Marinette tried to wrestle the stereo away from him, "'wanna feel my body, baby?'" He grinned at her teasingly.
"Oh. My. God. Stop," she growled, trying hard not to laugh, "you do not need any encouragement!"
"'It's too much, my body!'"
"'Check it out, my body!'" Chat continued to sing shamelessly, dancing (admittedly-badly) while Marinette covered her face with her hands, trying to stop herself from laughing.
"If I let you sing the next song, will you turn this one off?!" she finally cried.
Chat, who had been considering twerking for the second verse, pondered her deal.
"What's the next song?" he finally asked.
"I dunno. It's on random."
"Oooo, taking a chance against the bad luck of Chat Noir?" he whistled at her daring, even as his rubbed his hands together with glee. "Done! But you have to sing with me!"
"Ugh, fine," Marinette said, rolling her eyes.
Chat pushed the NEXT button.
And started cackling as soon as the song came on. Marinette swore and banged her head against his chest.
"No, please no!" she begged.
But Chat was already singing "Sexyback" by Justin Timberlake. Snickering, he put the player back down on her desk and grabbed Marinette, dancing with her as he sang along.
"C'mon, princess," he laughed gleefully, "there's even a girl part!"
"There is no way in Hell I am calling you a 'dirty babe,'" Marinette deadpanned.
"That's the part you have a problem with?" he asked, sounding surprised. "Not the shackles?! Why, princess!" He gasped dramatically.
"Fine, but you gotta promise to sing the next one! The whole song! No matter what it is!"
"Fine, geez! I promise! Just turn this one off!"
Chat Noir let her go to go push the button again, gleefully anticipating the next song. If his luck held, it would be even worse….
He froze when he heard the first few notes, his mood immediately dropping. In front of him, Marinette paled.
Chat knew this song. He knew it by heart. He'd sung it on repeat on some of his darker, lonelier nights. Part of him wanted to wonder why she had it on her playlist as well, but… he already knew the answer. He stepped back over to Marinette and pulled her into a dancing position.
"First verse is mine," he said, starting his part with a sad smile.
"'See, I can't wake up, I'm living a nightmare that keeps playing over again,'" he sang. "'Locked in a room, so hung up on you, and you're cool with just being friends….'"
He felt Marinette's hand unconsciously grip his own tighter.
This was a bad idea, he thought as he automatically continued to sing his verse.
We need to stop. There's no reason for us to go through this. We've cried to each other about who we love already.
I know who she wants. She knows who I want. There's no way for us to win this game. Not unless…
Well, I can give her who she wants.
If I give up on Ladybug.
If I give up on all my hopes and dreams.
If I give up on my lady ever feeling the same way I do.
"'Why don't you love me?'" he sang louder into the night, hoping beyond hope that somewhere, somehow, Ladybug could hear these words that came from his heart. "'Touch me? Tell me I'm your everything, the air you breathe in—why don't you love me? Baby? Open up your heart tonight, 'cause I could be all that you need. Ohhhhhhh… Why don't you love me?'"
"'Why don't you love me?'" His voice faltered a bit when he realized what was next. The second verse. Marinette's turn to sing. And he knew exactly who she'd be singing to in her heart…
Curse his bad luck. Why had he agreed to sing this song again?!
"'See, I'm just too scared, to tell you the truth, 'cause my heart it can't take any more,'" Marinette sang softly, trembling in his arms. "'Broken and bruised, longing for you, and I don't know what I'm waiting for.'"
Chat clutched her tighter as he felt her tears start to fall on the front of his suit.
"'Left on the sidelines. Stuck at a red light. Waiting for my time.'"
No, dammit! We were happy! Why'd I have to go and screw it up by insisting we sing this song together?! Marinette was happy! She was laughing and dancing around her room before I came in here!
"'So just tell me…. Why don't you love me?'" Marinette was practically sobbing the lyrics at this point. Chat was about to pull away and tell her they could sing something else, but she stubbornly wrapped her arms around his neck and sang louder, seemingly determined to get through this.
"'Touch me,'" she sang, "'tell me I'm your everything, the air you breathe in. Why don't you love me? Baby?! Open up your heart tonight, 'cause I could be all that you need….'"
Her voice faltered again as she stood there, very nearly shaking in his arms. Once again, he had to admire her bravery. Trying to face your own feelings—especially unrequited love—was hard. He knew that from personal experience.
"'Why don't you give me a reason?'" Her voice broke as she sang softly, sounding like she was talking directly to the part of him that was Adrien.
Chat smiled and imagined Ladybug.
"'Please tell me the truth,'" he sang, resting his cheek on Marinette's head.
I know what you're going through, he thought. I know it. I hate it. And I wish there was another way….
"'You know that I'll keep believing,'" her hand reached up to card through his hair and he echoed her in the song automatically.
"'Till I'm with you…'"
At this point, they were really just hugging and swaying slightly, not even enough to be considered a dance. Chat didn't care. He loved these moments with her. When she offered him what little strength she could, even though she had her own heart break to deal with.
God, he loved her.
"'Why don't you love me?'" he sang softly, pulling back just enough to look at her.
She smiled back at him. "'Kiss me,'" she sang, closing her eyes as he kissed her forehead just in time to sing his next part.
"'I can feel your heart tonight; it's killing me, so—
"'Why don't you love me?'" They sang together on the last chorus, their voices growing in strength as they clung to each other. Chat felt his own smile grow when Marinette's tears were replaced with a sad smile.
Then, to his delight, she laid her head on his shoulder as they continued to sing and sway to the song. He pulled her close, wishing for all the world that she was his. His to hold. His to kiss the tears away. His to laugh and dance with, even though they knew they were being silly. His to come home to, when his house grew too cold and lonely.
Then he nearly swore at himself.
She already was.
They already did those things.
They hung out alone together. He came here whenever he could, just to get away from the emptiness of his room. They danced and laughed and played and knew each other better than any of their other friends. They hugged and cuddled. They'd even kissed, each of them claiming they simply wanted to know what it felt like. (Which didn't explain the extra kisses afterwards, but if she wasn't gonna say anything, neither was he.)
You stupid cat, he thought, even as he continued to sing to her. She's yours. Your girlfriend, in every way but in name. And she'd gladly be your official girlfriend if you'd just freaking let her! So, why…?
He'd have to give up on Ladybug.
He nearly snorted. He'd have to give up on a woman who'd already admitted she was in love with someone else. Gee, what a hardship…
And, he belatedly realized, he hadn't even been thinking of her this whole time. During the song he usually reserved for pouting about his love for Ladybug, he'd been thinking of Marinette instead.
"'…Open up your heart tonight, 'cause I could be all that you need….'"
The words of the song brought him back out of his thoughts, and he found himself stroking Marinette's cheek with his thumb. All that I need, he thought. She's been here all along….
"'Why don't you love me?'" the song sang, fading fast.
But I do, he thought back. He couldn't deny it. And there was a simple, easy, astoundingly-terrifying way to prove it and make her completely his.
His breath caught as he considered it.
Marinette. His. –Again, his heart skipped a beat.
He could come here as a civilian, instead of hiding as a superhero.
He could talk to her in class like they did here, instead of being intensely-awkward, stuttering and begging their best friends with their eyes to just take me away already….
Because, no matter how many times they assured themselves that they'd still be friends, he understood it was hard for her to be around him when Adrien had already rejected her.
But this, this was another chance.
He could hold her. Touch her. Kiss her, if she'd let him!
His mouth went dry, and he clutched Marinette to him as his whole body ached.
I want her so badly—oh God, is she gonna hate me?—Ladybug's gonna kill me—no, if I explain it right, she'll understand. Marinette's trustworthy.
Marinette's the one who's gonna kill me, he thought frantically, his mind going a mile a minute. All those times she's talked to me about Adrien. About her crush on Adrien! And I tried to let her down gently, I really did… and now, I have the nerve to—focus! Focus, Chat! Just tell her the truth. Tell her everything. She'll understand. She's amazing like that.
OH GOD, HOW LONG HAVE WE JUST BEEN STANDING HERE LIKE THIS? The song's over—what the heck is even playing now?
His cat ears twitched as he listened for a moment. "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran. Chat's mouth twisted into a smile. How… well, utterly perfect. He took a deep breath.
"Princess, there's something—"
"Chat, I have to tell you—"
He looked down at Marinette in surprise. She'd started talking at the same moment he had. He gave a little laugh.
"Go ahead," he said. To his surprise, she looked away, blushing.
"Maybe you should go first," she said nervously. "Mine's kind of important. And shocking."
Chat laughed again. "So is mine. Ladies first!" He stepped away from her and gave her a little bow.
She looked like she wanted to argue for a moment, but then shook her head and steeled herself, taking a deep breath.
"I—um… I just wanted you to know," Marinette said nervously, "we've been together for a long time—well, not together-together, but just as friends! Or maybe more than friends, I dunno—I dunno how you feel about all of that, or me, or—UGH!"
Chat smiled at her as she visibly shook herself out of it and took another deep breath, obviously trying to calm herself down.
"I love you," she said, looking him in the eye and squaring her jaw. He felt his face break into a smile as giddiness rushed through him.
"I know I shouldn't," she continued, looking nervous again, "and I know this is gonna come as a big shock and all, but I—I love you," her voice cracked and she looked down. "It just kinda snuck up on me! I didn't mean for it to happen, but I do! And I want to be with you! …And I know you love Ladybug—"
"Marinette—" he began.
"No, please, for the love of God, let me finish!" she cried, shaking her head. "Because this—oh, please, oh please, if anything else, don't hate me!—I didn't do it out of spite or anything, it just happened, and I—oh, damn it, Tikki, spots on!"
Chat stared at her in disbelief as a flash of pink enveloped Marinette, leaving his beloved, spotted partner in her wake.
Ladybug looked up at him nervously, swallowing.
"Please say something," she whimpered. "I had a whole speech planned, but I just forgot it all."
"You-you're…," Chat stammered. He swallowed, trying to make some sense of his spinning brain.
"I'm sorry," Ladybug said weakly. "I never meant to lead you on or anything—"
"No, no, of course not!" Chat said. He'd never have thought that about her!
"And I'm sorry that I'm the one you spilled all your secrets about Ladybug to. No judgement from me, I swear!"
Chat laughed weakly, but let it get stronger and stronger as the whole irony of their situation crashed down around him. She was slowly listing off every excuse and apology he'd thought he'd have to make to her!
"I love you and I want to be with you—and I understand if you need to be angry at me for a while, I really do," she babbled on. "I know our identities are supposed to be a secret—and Tikki's gonna kill me, by the way—but I figured, out of everyone who could possibly find out my secret identity, you're definitely the most trustworthy—but you have to promise to make an extra effort not to get akumatized, you hear me?"
Chat Noir burst out laughing at that.
"Chat, I'm trying to be serious here," Ladybug grumbled.
"I know, I know," Chat laughed. "I'm just… processing all of it." This was incredible. He'd never in his wildest dreams… But, wait. He licked his lips.
"What about Adrien?" he asked nervously, trying to sound casual.
Ladybug face drooped into true sadness. "I lost him," she whispered, holding her hands to her heart. "To be honest, I never had him to begin with. It was a stupid celebrity crush. If I couldn't even talk to him… well, I had no right to ask him to have a relationship with me. He's still wonderful, and perfect, and I'm sure he'll find someone just as perfect for himself… but, yeah. It won't be me. Nino says he's got a major crush on a secret-somebody anyway.
"It hurts, but," she looked up at her partner again, "then I realized that, if I did start going out with him, I'd probably have to stop seeing you so much. (No guy's gonna want his girlfriend being visited by a superhero every night, after all.) And that hurt even worse. I well-and-truly fell in love with you, Chat. So... if you still want me, here I am!" She said cheerfully, holding her arms open.
Chat could only stare at her, dumb-struck by his own good luck.
"Please say something, kitty," Ladybug said meekly, caving in on herself after a moment. "You're being so quiet, it's freaking me out."
The uncertainly on her face broke Chat out of his reverie and he was finally able to move, walking right up to her and pulling her into a hug.
"Oh, my lady," he sighed, relaxing in her embrace. "I'm just surprised, that's all."
"I know, I know, it's a lot to take in—"
"You had the same idea I had."
He felt Ladybug freeze in his arms. "Wha—?" she managed to say.
He chuckled in anticipation.
"Plagg, claws in!"
"Chat! What are you—AAAAAAAHHHHHHEEEEEEEIIIIIIII!" she shrieked, flying away from him, only to trip over her chaise. Adrien watched in horror as the love of his life tumbled head-over-heels to land on the floor behind the little couch.
"Oh my—Ladybug, are you alright?!" he cried, desperately trying not to laugh.
Ladybug peeked up at him from behind the chaise, her eyes wide.
"Amazing? Spectacular?" he teased, grinning at her winningly. "Truly the cat's meow?"
"Hi," he said simply, waving a bit. Beside him, Plagg snorted in laughter before disappearing, probably to find some cheese. Adrien bit his lip, suddenly nervous about this whole thing again. "So, about that whole… I'm-sorry-I-never-meant-to-lead-you-on-or-anything-and-please-don't-hate-me-because-I-honestly-didn't-mean-to-hurt-you-I-just-kinda-fell-in-love-with-you-by-accident thing? Yeah, um, ditto?"
He looked down at Ladybug to see her gaping at him.
He rubbed the back of his neck. "I see what you meant when you said you forgot your speech," he said, feeling awkward. "That sounded a whole lot better in my head."
"Yup, it's me," he said sheepishly. "I guess fate has a weird sense of irony, huh? Either that or Master Fu is moonlighting as a fortune teller/soothsayer."
Ladybug squeaked again and ducked her head under the chaise.
"Oh my God, oh my God, this isn't happening, this can't be happening!" she muttered to herself. "All those times you—actually this kinda makes a lot of sense…. Aww, Hell! Adrien, I just got over you!" she exclaimed.
"Only to fall in love with me again," he agreed, nodding solemnly. "Believe me, I get it."
Ladybug groaned and whimpered as she rubbed her face against her chaise cushion.
"Do you want me to put the mask back on?" Adrien asked gently. "Will that help you?"
She looked up at him, her eyes softening. "My God. It's really you, isn't it?" she said, coming around the chaise lounge to stand in front of him.
"In the flesh."
"Why aren't you freaking out?" she asked indignantly.
"I learned to internalize my screaming awhile ago," he admitted. "And I'm kinda used to all my plans being derailed somehow. Believe me, I'm a total wreck inside. But also… really, really happy." He took her hand in his.
"Did you mean it?" he asked eagerly. "That you want to be with me?"
"Of course!" Ladybug exclaimed. "Why else would I reveal myself to you? I figured at least one of us could be happy! I just… didn't… think… it'd be both of us…."
Just then, "Kiss Me" by Ed Sheeran came on Marinette's player.
"Plagg," Adrien growled. "Stop messing with the playlist!"
"You can prove nothing!" Plagg called back. Adrien turned back to Ladybug and shrugged apologetically.
"That was him?" she gaped.
"Probably," Adrien admitted. "I don't know how he got ahold of your player when I was still in the suit, but I do know he likes Ed Sheeran, so…."
"Lies and slander!" Plagg called across the room.
"Wait a minute," Ladybug said, thinking of something. "Tikki, spots off!" She de-transformed in another flash of pink light. "Tikki, did you—"
"You can prove nothing!" Tikki sang, already zipping across the room to be with Plagg. Adrien and Marinette watched her go with bemusement.
"Did she?" Adrien asked.
"Probably," Marinette admitted, blushing. "She likes Ed Sheeran too."
"Innocent until proven guilty!" Tikki called back.
Adrien and Marinette both gave long-suffering sighs. Then they looked at each other and burst out laughing.
"Oh, man, think of all the awkwardness we could've saved ourselves from if we'd just told each other earlier," Adrien sighed.
"It's still dangerous," Marinette said softly. "Even more so… now that we both know."
"I can't think of anybody I'd rather take this on with, though," Adrien said, smiling at her. Marinette blushed.
Adrien reveled in watching her for a moment, just marveling. She was his. Truly. Completely. He'd never been so happy in his life… there was only one thing that could make it better….
"Sooo, do I need to put the mask back on to get a kiss out of you?" he quipped, grinning. "I know you like the tail, so—"
Marinette sprang at him with a laugh, her lips finding his while her arms twined around his neck. Adrien wrapped his own arms around her as tight as he could, returning the kiss fervently. He picked her up and twirled around with her, happiness bubbling out of him as they both laughed through their kisses.
"'I want a hippopotamus for Christmas! Only a hippopotamus will do….'"
"Sorry! My paw slipped!"
A/N: This project is proof that having your songs on shuffle can be dangerous if you're prone to feels. (Yes, my stupid ipod gave me this exact playlist while I was trying to brainstorm Marichat fics. If I have to suffer, so do you!)
If anybody wants more information about the songs, please feel free to contact me, but this site won't let me post links. As for the first song that Marinette was singing, just think of your own favorite, upbeat, totally-cheesy song that you like to sing when no one can hear you. You know the one.
"Macho Man" -Village People
"Sexyback" -Justin Timberlake
"Why Don't You Love Me (feat. Demi Lovato)" -Hot Chelle Rae
"Perfect" -Ed Sheeran
"Kiss Me" -Ed Sheeran
"I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" -Gayla Peevey