A/N: and months later, I'm part of a Lukanette exchange that inspired me to write a second part ;D Enjoy.
It was only the weekend they got to spend together, but being with her for any length of time was a balm to his battered heart. Being so close to her, hearing her heart song live and in person, it made him ready to pick up a guitar again and face the stage and roaring crowds.
He was as rejuvenated as a guitar with fresh strings.
But all too soon, it was time for her to go back to Paris, leaving him behind to finish his tour as Jagged Stone's opening act. They were standing in the airport, and he was very close to picking her up and taking her back to the car with him, refusing to let her leave.
"Call me more often," he said instead, squeezing her tightly.
"I will," she said, her words sounding much like a promise. "Text me after your shows. Tell me how it went. No matter the time difference. And I'll get back to you as soon as I can."
A moment of silence passed between them, one that was full of tension. Her hands slid up to his shoulders, a blush now staining her cheeks. He couldn't resist the urge to lean down and meet her, pressing a kiss to her lips.
So, what if it was in an airport. It was drowned out by the music roaring in his ears. Music that she caused in him.
He did everything to commit that song to memory.
"Stay safe," he whispered once the kiss had ended. They hadn't moved far, though, which was likely to result in another kiss in the immediate future. "Sleep well. Study hard. But not too hard."
"Same for you. Don't overwork yourself, Luka," she gently warned. "And I'll be excited to hear the new songs you and Jagged are writing."
"I was just happy to hear an old one," he said, tapping her nose playfully.
Her smile was brighter than a spotlight, and he would much rather bask in this warm glow than the one on the stage.
After one last parting kiss, he forced himself to let her go and take a couple steps back. With a wave, she grabbed her rolling luggage and turned away to head towards her plane. He stayed, watching her fully disappear from his sight before returning to the awaiting car.
"I like that girl," Jagged commented as they drove off. "She's creative. Lively. You picked a good one, mate."
"She's amazing," Luka quietly agreed. "Thank you for sending the tickets, Penny."
Jagged sputtered while Penny sat smugly in the front. "How'd you know it was Penny?" he asked.
Luka smirked. "Penny organized everything. You just told her to get the tickets," he said, reaching out to rest a hand on Jagged's shoulder. "So, thanks."
Appeased, Jagged reclined back in his seat looking rather proud of himself. If Luka were listening carefully, he probably could have heard the harmonies of two people reveling in a job well done. But for the moment, all he could hear was the lingering melody of his Marinette.
The last few months of touring finished up, meaning that it was time to head back to Paris. Luka could not have been happier to have gone home. He was surprisingly homesick after being gone for months on end, but if he was being honest, he didn't know how much of it was homesickness, and how much of it was being away from his darling Marinette.
They'd gotten closer somehow despite the distance between them. Maybe it was because the barriers were gone and real, raw feelings and emotions were thrown around freely. There wasn't a "friend" line he had to worry about crossing. Now, the girl who called and texted and facetimed him on a regular basis was the love of his life.
Marinette was there waiting for him in Paris alongside his sister and mom. To get home after touring for so long, only to see his three favorite women in the entire world waiting for him was like hearing his favorite song come on the radio after a long day. They smothered him in hugs and refused to leave him alone the rest of the night.
He didn't really have a problem with that other than he wanted to spend some alone time with Marinette.
So when she had to go home, he leapt at the opportunity to walk her back.
He clung to her hand, relishing the feel of her clinging back. To be able to touch her, to hold her, to hear her heart song live as she stood beside him, was completely refreshing. She was already stitching up his worn and haggard heart and he hadn't been with her more than four hours yet.
"I missed you so much."
Luka looked down at her, his heart overflowing. "I missed you, too. More than you know."
"I'm glad for you," she said. "But I'm also selfishly glad you're back at my side."
"You can be selfish," he assured her. "I'm more than happy to indulge you."
Her smile was bright and beaming. "I'm really happy to have my boyfriend back home."
"You're singing my favorite lyrics."
She giggled before taking a half-step closer to him, snuggling up against his arm. "I love you."
Alright, he lied. That was his favorite lyric. "I love you, too."
Having just finished the tour meant there was a lot of downtime at home.
Downtime that was full of Marinette.
It didn't have to be them being all couple-y or going on dates. The quiet time that he spent with her meant the world to him. After so many days of loud, roaring crowds and cranked up music, the quiet sounds of the skritching of a pencil on paper or her incoherent mumblings or the soft swishing of eraser against the paper were a balm to his ears. He relished the quiet. Of it finally being quiet enough for him to hear the music around him, again.
The soft strumming of a guitar, of the stings reverberating to the gentle touch of his fingertips, he had missed this. Of being with a person one on one and being able to hear their heart song.
He was able to play along with it. But he also learned, he was able to guide it.
He was able to put an amused smile on her face. He was able to get her to relax when she was stressed. He was able to get her rocking along with the music and worked up into a doodling frenzy.
Those quiet moments where they could play off each other, those were the moments hope swelled in his chest. Hope that forever could be just like this.
After the tour with Jagged Stone, Jagged's label company approached Luka with an opportunity of a lifetime.
"They wanna sign you?!" Marinette shrieked as he told her the news.
"They wanna sign me!" He couldn't help but be completely psyched. After all, it was the opportunity of a lifetime.
With a squeal, Marinette ran into his arms, holding him tight as he picked her up off the ground. "You're gonna say yes, right? You better say yes."
"You bet, I am."
"That's so amazing! I always knew you had what it took."
His heart warmed at that. She had always believed in him, and honestly, having her support as well as the support of his family was one of the reasons he'd gotten so far. "Thank you, Marinette. It means the world to me."
They'd only been dating six months by the time Luka knew that he was ready for the leap of faith. She was the only one for him. And he was nearly certain she returned that sentiment.
Meaning it was time for him to face her parents.
Luka honestly loved Marinette's parents. They were fantastic people who clearly loved their daughter and only wanted the best for her. And he held them in the highest respect.
Hence why he was here now.
"I would like your permission to marry your daughter."
Luka was still in shock that her parents gave their permission so easily. However, he felt the pressure to prove to them that they did not make a mistake in allowing him to ask for her hand. After all, they were young. Marinette was in her second year of university, not even twenty yet. But despite that, he felt like they were ready to be in a fully committed relationship.
However, before he could do anything more to move forward to a future, he actually had to ask for her hand.
When Marinette was busy with the chaos of her school, he thought it was the perfect time to find himself in a jewelry store without getting caught by her or her friends. Juleka knew, but Luka knew he couldn't keep that a secret from her. He did, however, beg her not to tell any of Marinette's other friends.
"It's our secret," she said with a smile. "But she's a size five and a half and doesn't want anything big that will snag on fabric."
Luka chuckled. "Anything else I should be aware of?"
"No. Those are the important things."
"Should I get your approval of the rock when I get back?"
"Then I'll see you when I return."
He had done some online shopping prior to going out, but he realized that he couldn't actually get a real idea of what he was buying, meaning physical shops it was.
Glancing at the first shop, he didn't see anything he liked or that he thought would remotely fit her. The second shop was nearly as hopeless, though there was one that was kind of nice.
He kept his fingers crossed that the third time was the charm.
"Hello. How can I help you today?"
He smiled at the woman behind the counter. "Looking for a ring."
"Oh!" The woman lit up, just like the others had when he mentioned a ring. Apparently, jewelry people liked selling rings. Maybe they did that with everything, but there was a certain excited air they carried at the mention of a ring. "This way. Were you looking for something specific?"
"Not traditional," he began. Because Marinette deserved better than some plain diamond. He wanted to give her something with color. Something that was vibrant and unique, just like her. "I'll narrow it down from there."
The woman nodded as she pointed out some of the options. "Maybe I could provide some more assistance, though. If I knew more about what you were looking for or more about the woman you're planning to give it to."
In response, he lifted up his long sleeve, showing off his tattoo: Marinette's handiwork. "She's an artist. Specifically, a fashion designer, but she drew this on me a few years back. She says everyone has a symbol or color or pattern that suits them and this—" He pointed at the flower in the crook of his arm "—is hers. She's a unique girl, and I don't want to get her something that looks like any other diamond on a silver band."
The woman looked at his tattoo intently. "She certainly did a good job on that. It's really cool."
"She really did," he said, rubbing the tattoo fondly. That had been nearly four years ago, yet, it felt like it had always been part of him.
The woman smiled before turning back to the ring selection. She then ignored it as she looked in a drawer behind the display before pulling out a couple rings.
"We don't get many people wanting non-traditional rings," she said, setting a couple rings on the counter. "But I'm thinking you're looking for something like this."
Luka's eyes widened as he studied the two options.
"And then I have a few more that might interest you as well if these don't," she added.
Luka had to give her credit: she picked them very well. One of the rings had a ruby set in a rose gold that had a delicate loopy pattern on it. It perfectly matched the flower that was on his arm.
The second one, though, was what caught his attention. It was a ring that didn't have an impressive stone on it whatsoever. Instead, it had two lines of tiny gems, one deep blue and one light blue, that twisted together in a silver setting.
"May I?" he asked, reaching towards the blue twist.
With a smile, the woman offered it to him to inspect. In that moment, looking it over and running his thumb over the band, he knew it was perfect for her. To bring out the blue of her eyes, to match her rosy skin tone, and there was nothing that would snag on fabric.
"This is it."
The ring was a little more expensive than he'd wanted, but it wasn't that much overbudget. He was more than willing to splurge for her. Particularly if it was to be a ring she'd wear the rest of her life. He wanted her to love it, just like he loved the tattoo he put on her.
When he got home, he got the Juleka Stamp of Approval, that was shortly followed by the Mom Stamp of Approval.
And when Marinette showed up, he was so thankful his mom distracted her long enough so he could hide the ring.
"What was that?" Marinette asked with a smile when he came to collect her from his mother.
He decided to play innocent. "What was what?"
"Your mom stalled me."
"She was talking to me about random things."
"You know Mom loves you."
Marinette narrowed her eyes at him. He knew he couldn't pull the wool over her eyes. He was okay with her thinking something was up just as long as she didn't expect a proposal. "Okay," she said, her tone skeptical. "If you say so."
"Your launch album is dropping soon, right?"
He nodded. Currently, they were hanging out in her room at her parents' house as he was assisting her by modeling a suit. Definitely not his style, but she somehow made it look perfectly suited for him anyway. "Yeah. It is."
Marinette squealed. "That's so exciting."
It was. He didn't want to be conceited or anything, but he was incredibly excited for his album to come out. People were already lining up for the pre-orders. He supposed that was thanks to him touring with Jagged Stone. He'd forever be thankful for the man who'd given him a chance.
Just like he'd forever be grateful to the woman whose heart song so heavily inspired him.
She was on the verge of tears, and he was the one to cause it.
If they were any other kind of tears other than the happy kind caused by him going down on one knee and asking her to marry him, he'd be bundling her up in his arms already. Instead, he just waited for an answer, his own heart leaping wildly in his chest as he waited for an answer.
As he put the ring on her finger, he could hear her heart song, one swelling with overwhelming emotion. But his was, too. And the two together sounded like the most perfect symphony that he doubted he'd ever be able to recreate the sound.
Though he did try, he wasn't sure he succeeded. It had been too perfect of a moment to fully recreate.
They were going to wait until the summer to get married. Meaning that he had to wait for the end of her second semester that had only just started. However, that did allow them plenty of time to plan the wedding as well as things that their future entailed.
Like where they'd live, for one.
"I want to hold off on having kids for a while," Marinette had said. "So we can aim small for our first apartment."
"Who said anything about kids?"
Marinette's expression fell, and he swore that he could hear a screeching violin in the background somewhere.
He laughed and leaned close to her. "I'm teasing."
Her smile was slightly strained, but most of the tension in her shoulders disappeared. "I guess we never talked about kids, huh?"
"We didn't, but I knew you wanted them. Juleka told me years ago."
Marinette grumbled something that Luka couldn't hear, but he suspected it was something no-so-nice about his sister.
"I want a couple kids with you," he assured. "It sounds fantastic, honestly. You'll make a great mom."
The rest of her discomfort vanished at that. "You'll make a good dad."
"I'll do my best," he said. "But I have a feeling that with you as a mom, they'll be some of the best kids ever."
"And with you as a dad, yes, they will," she corrected.
He could only smile.
"But, getting back to the apartment," Marinette said. "Because I don't want to have kids until I finish school and get a job and all that, I say we can start off small."
"Actually, I kinda wanted to bring up the possibility of… not an apartment."
Her brow knit together. "Like a house?"
"Like a boat."
Her eyebrows shot up.
"What do you think?" he asked. "About living on the water?"
She paused, lips pursed in thought. "I guess I haven't thought about it," she said. "It never even crossed my mind despite… well." She motioned to his room, the one in the boat he grew up in.
He chuckled. "You can think about it. It's just a suggestion."
"I… I don't know," she said. "It would be cool, I guess. But at the same point, I worry about my sewing space not being on completely solid ground. I just don't know if it would affect it that much. And what about storms and all that? If that would really throw me off if the river got choppy."
He hadn't even thought about that. "I suppose that's true."
Marinette bit her lip. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to kill your dream."
"Don't be," he quickly assured. "This is what marriage is, right? Compromise? Learning to merge two different opinions in order to build a life together?"
"Yeah," Marinette agreed.
"So this is one that sounds like I might have to give up on. It does get a little bumpy in the weather, and if that's going to be a big no for you, then we'll just have to get a house on land."
"Are you certain?"
Marinette bit her lip. "I just hate you're the one giving this up. It sounds like you wanted this."
"I do… did," he admitted. "But that's because I grew up on the water. I'm used to it. I like traveling up and down the Seine on occasion."
"Then it sounds like we should be close to the Seine, if we can. So you can still be close to the water. And we'll just have to take boat rides whenever we can."
Luka smiled. "That sounds like a compromise."
His mom insisted they get married on the boat deck, and no one had any objections to it.
It was a simple affair. Nothing fancy. Neither wanted it that way. The ship was decorated with flowers and such, and he was wearing a vest instead of an overcoat—Marinette was very merciful to him in that way considering it was early summer and the heat had come. Jagged Stone himself insisted on playing at Luka's wedding, which was extremely kind. How Luka had become so close to Jagged was still a shock, but he wasn't complaining.
When Jagged Stone's version of the wedding march played, Luka nearly stopped breathing at the sight of his bride.
For a moment, time stood still and the music faded away. It was just him and her and the symphony in Luka's head going wild with excitement.
He couldn't help but be exorbitantly happy.
When she approached him, he held out his hand to grab hold of hers, and from that moment on, everything became a blur. All he could hear was the music in his head. Her heart song and his meshing together and becoming one melody.
The officiant went on, only breaking into Luka's thoughts when he said vows were to be exchanged. Those lyrics they each sung were burned into his head, matching the melody their hearts played.
And then, the end of the song rolled around, the final lyric "you may kiss the bride" being sung.
A symphony played in the background, the roar of cheers a drumming beat. Yet another perfect song that Luka would do everything to cling to, to recreate later to play for his wife so she could hear this melody, too. The one of him and her uniting in perfect harmony.