Hello! This fic takes place when Adrien and Marinette are both 18. They're in university, and Hawkmoth is still a challenge. They don't know each others' identities but Alya knows Marinette is Ladybug. For convenience they're all in the same university so bear with me haha.

Marinette hit the snooze button on her phone and groaned into her pillow. She hated having class so early in the day. But it was the only time Costume Design was offered. She rolled out of bed and threw her hair into a ponytail. She changed into a pink t-shirt and a pair of jeans matched with a jean jacket.

She grabbed an apple to eat for breakfast as she scooped up her school bag. Alya was still fast asleep, snoring away peacefully. Marinette longed to be sleeping as well but she didn't want to be late to another class.

She left the dorm and made her way across campus to the classroom. She stepped inside, but tripped on the steps up to her desk. She gasped as she fell and giggles erupted around the room. Marinette sighed and stood, quickly making her way to her seat.

Marinette went to eat her apple before realizing it was gone. She must have dropped it when she fell. She sighed and pulled out her notebook, opening it to the sketches she'd done for class.

The pages were filled with images of different costumes, ranging from clowns to animals, to masquerade gowns and masks. She also had some theatre costume designs written down, mostly period piece costumes.

The professor walked in and began lecturing about seams and the different kinds. Marinette already knew most of this, but it was nice to have a refresher. But she also learned one or two new stitches that would help smooth over any rough seams she usually had.

As the hour dragged on she finished up some more sketches. She admired her work and set her notebook back inside of her bag. She stood as the professor dismissed them and stepped down the stairs. As she got to the bottom she frowned as she saw her squashed apple on the ground.

Great. She'd have to go to the cafeteria now.

She walked into the cafeteria and looked at the options to choose from. She simply grabbed a sandwich and a few chocolates and sat at the closest table. She noticed someone standing next to her and blushed as Adrien stood before her, tray in hand.

"Hey Marinette! Mind if I sit with you?" He asked, a stunning smile on his face.

"Adrien! N-no, not at all, sit a take- er, take a seat." She stammered, waving to the seat in front of her.

"Thanks! So, how was class?" Adrien asked as he took a bite of his food.

"Oh, it was good I guess. But I already knew most of the stitching patterns we learned today. And I dropped my apple on the way in... so here I am." Marinette shrugged, picking up a chocolate and nibbling on it.

Adrien grimaced, "Well I'm sorry about your apple, but I'm sure it's a good sign that you know these things. It means you're good at what you do!"

"You think so?"

"I'm positive." Adrien replied, smiling again. Oh, that smile.

Marinette had long given up on Adrien ever loving her, but it didn't stop her from thinking he was the sweetest guy she knew, on top of being a gorgeous model. Her attention had shifted in the past few years, but now she was starting to catch feelings for her partner-in-saving; Chat Noir.

She knew she might never know his identity, but besides Alya he was the only one she could really trust. Who else would know the pressures of superhero life besides the person she was with every day? Not to mention they'd saved each other countless times.

She also knew though that Chat had been head over heels for her for so long, that now if she fell for him it may seem insincere. But maybe she was just worrying too much.


"Huh?" Marinette asked, blinking. She hadn't realized she was quiet for so long.

"I asked if you wanted to walk to class together?" Adrien asked, smiling softly.

Oh, right. They did have their next class together, a first-year literature class. Marinette nodded, "Yes, of course."

She stood, but too quickly, and her tray slid out of her hands. Quick as lightning Adrien caught the tray, stacking it on his own. "Don't worry, I'll put these back."

Marinette smiled lightly, gathering her bag and waiting for Adrien to come back. He reappeared, and gathered his own bag. They left the cafeteria and walked across campus to their literature class.

Adrien held open every door for her, and Marinette blushed, thanking him quietly. They walked into the room and Marinette took a seat up front while Adrien walked further back. The first day of class the seats had been full by the time Marinette walked in, so Adrien and her weren't seated near each other.

Marinette heard arguing though, and turned to look behind her. Two girls were yelling at each other. Something about boyfriends and pictures. Marinette frowned but turned back around.

Then there was a shriek, "Akuma!"

Marinette gasped and turned to see an Akuma latch onto the necklace of one of the arguing girls. The girl quickly turned into a scaled lizard person. Presumably she'd been called some sort of insult to make her appear that way. She blew a stream of fire out of her mouth and at the girl she was arguing with.

Marinette ducked out of the classroom, running to the nearest bathroom. She opened her bag, glancing down at the sleeping kwami inside. "Tikki," the small creature opened her eyes and shot out of the bag. "We have a problem. Spots on!"

Marinette became Ladybug in the blink of an eye, and she shot out of the bathroom, racing back towards the classroom. But by the time she got there, everyone, including the Akuma victim, had disappeared.

To her surprise, Chat Noir appeared beside her, "M'lady, seems we have a drama problem?"

"Yes, we do, we need to find where she went before she burns down the whole school." Ladybug replied.

She and Chat raced off, following cracked walkways indicating a large lizard had walked by. They heard screams coming from across the campus and quickly made their way over. They saw the Akuma victim rampaging, blowing fire all over.

"Look! The Akuma must be in her necklace." Ladybug stated.

"But how do we get close to her without being roasted?" Chat asked.

Ladybug hummed, looking around. She sighed, "Lucky Charm!" A black and red spotted giant muzzle appeared. Ladybug gasped as she hefted it up.

"We muzzle her?"

"I guess so." Ladybug replied, "You distract her, I'll jump on her head and make sure she can't spew fire at us. Get ready, Chat."

Chat nodded, taking off to distract the lizard lady. "Hey, Godzilla! What's wrong? Someone get underneath your scales?"

Ladybug meanwhile yo-yo'd onto the lizard's head, gripping the muzzle and wrestling it onto the snout of the lizard. The lizard roared, but the fire was snuffed.

"Cataclysm!" Chat shouted, slashing the necklace around the lizard's neck. As the lizard transformed back into a girl, Ladybug shot her yo-yo towards the Akuma, capturing it.

"Bye bye little butterfly." Ladybug spoke, smiling softly as the white butterfly fluttered away.

The girl before them blinked, looking around in confusion. "Where-where am-"

"It's okay now, you were akumatized. But, just to be safe, maybe avoid your friend for the day…" Ladybug replied, grimacing. "I trust you can get back to class though?" The girl nodded, and Ladybug turned to Chat.

"I have to get going too, things to do, you know." Ladybug commented, swinging her yo-yo.

"Wait!" Chat interjected, clearing his throat. "M'lady, would you perhaps be interested in a stroll?"

Ladybug turned away as she blushed, "I already said, Chat, I have to go."

"Not now, but, maybe later?" Chat Noir asked, leaning on his pole.

Ladybug smiled, "Maybe."

Chat grinned wider than she'd seen before, and bowed to her, winking. "I look forward to it, M'lady."

Ladybug shook her head fondly, then yo-yo'd away. She transformed behind her class building and then went inside, hurrying to class.

As she sat down Adrien burst into the classroom. Marinette smiled at Adrien as he walked by, and he nodded to her. But due to the Akuma the professor decided to call class early. Marinette packed her bag again and stood up, almost running into Adrien.

He caught her elbow and steadied her as she laughed nervously. "Sorry," she muttered, "Didn't see you."

"That's okay, hey, I was wondering if you wanted to hang out since we have some free time?" Adrien asked, tilting his head.

Marinette gaped, "Uh, yeah! Well, actually, I was going to do some studying...maybe another time?"

Adrien shrugged, "Well, how about a study partner? We do have an exam coming up."

Marinette smiled, nodding, "Sure, that sounds great, thanks."

"Of course, anything for a friend." Adrien replied, moving aside and indicating for her to go first.

Marinette smiled and led the way out of the building towards the library. She was happy to be spending time with Adrien, and while she did want to study, she was honestly kind of hoping she could have gone on that walk with Chat Noir. Adrien talked and joked with her though, and they studied for their literature exam together. Quoting Shakespeare and analyzing different types of poems and short stories. Sharing opinions and takes on different things.

"Oh this one's my favorite." Adrien spoke, "It's about feeling the freedom in the air and among the creatures in the spring. Everything is light and flowing. It's truly beautiful."

Marinette looked at the poem, reading it herself. "That's an interesting take! I always thought of it as the beauty in the little things, admiring the small aspects of something or someone over the big picture. It's not necessarily about freedom to me as it is about living life."

"Isn't that the same thing?" Adrien asked, a hint of sadness in his voice. Marinette grimaced, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. Adrien looked over at her and offered a smile. But Marinette knew it wasn't the sincere ones he's given her before.

"I think your vision is beautiful though, really." Marinette answered. Adrien nodded then flipped to another poem.

"That one's about loss, a lost love." Marinette pointed out, placing a hand on the page he'd flipped to. "Chasing and chasing and never getting anywhere. Until one day it's too late."

Adrien tilted his head. "I always thought it was about finding love. Falling deeper and deeper. While they may lose each other temporarily, I'm sure they'll find each other again."

Marinette gasped as she looked up at him. His eyes sparkled and she blushed, flicking her ponytail over her shoulder. She cleared her throat, "I hadn't thought of it like that."

Adrien simply smiled, still gazing at her, "I tend to have a poet's mind."

Marinette laughed, "I know." Adrien raised a brow, and Marinette quickly added to her statement. "Well you always did super well in the poetry sections in classes."

Adrien nodded, "Yeah, my mom loved poetry."

Marinette placed her hand on his, offering a small smile. "Maybe you could write a poem I could read one day."

Adrien laughed, "Maybe, I'm sure finding inspiration wouldn't be too hard." Marinette blushed, then looked back at her notes.

Surely he hadn't meant it in a flirtatious way. He couldn't be interested in her, could he? Surely he was just helping her as a friend. But, were the tables turning now? Now that she was growing fonder of Chat Noir was Adrien finally growing fonder of her?

Thanks for reading all the way through! I hope to keep this story going and have quite a few ideas for unique battles and the plot will get juicy not to worry.

See y'all hopefully in the next chapter!