Marinette studied the man across the table from her, taking a sip of her coffee to help her swallow her pride. “Will you be my plus one to a wedding?”
The spluttering sounds from the other side of the table brought a small smile to her face.
“I’m sorry what?”
“I want you to be my plus one to a wedding. Preferable pretending to be my boyfriend.”
“I’m not saying I won’t do it, but why are you coming to me about this? I thought you hated me.”
“And the feeling is mutual I assume, Dick,” she shot back, exhaling. “All my other friends are either, a: taken, or b: already have a plus one, and I told Alya that I had a boyfriend, so she would stop trying to set me up with people, so that throws everyone she knows out the window.”
Dick laughed. “So you came to your rival to ask for help?”
Marinette pinched her nose and sighed. “I’ll design your suit, free of charge, something many would kill for, and I’ll be covering airfare. All you have to do is show up and pretend we’re in a relationship for the weekend. You don’t have to like me, you just need to pretend you do.”
“I’ll do it. When is it?”
“Two weeks. I’ll need to be there next week. You’re welcome to come with me or later in the week, but I will need your measurements by the weekend to make sure I can get the fabric and get it made in time. We can do the final fitting in Paris but the brunt of it should be done before we leave. My dress and the rest of the bridesmaid’s dresses should be done by Saturday, giving me Sunday to pack, and I’ll be flying out Monday,” she said, beginning to ramble as she thought about what needed to be done before she left. Dick’s chuckle broke her train of thought as she gave him a sharp look. “When are you free today or tomorrow?”
“I’m free all day today.”
Marinette nodded, finishing off her coffee. “Ready to go when you are then.”
Dick chugged the remainder of his coffee and grinned. “Lead the way.”
Marinette led the way out of the coffee shop, starting the couple block walk to her studio, the two of them walking in silence, until Dick began to whistle. She bit back a groan, she was asking a large favor of him, she wasn’t about to snap at him for whistling, lest he change his mind.
She unlocked the backdoor, and ushered him in, turning on the lights.
“I’m going to need you to take off your jacket,” she said, pulling out a post-it note, pen, and tape measure, before quickly taking his measurements, jotting them down as she worked, only giving soft instructions when needed.
“Great. So when do you want to fly out?”
“When are you?”
“Monday at 10.”
“That works for me.”
“Great. Meet here Monday at 6 so we have enough time to get to the airport and get through security and find our gate,” she told him scribbling her number down on a separate post-it note and handing it to him as she ushered him out of her studio. “See you then.”
“See you then, Marinette.”
They landed at the airport and collected their bags before heading out.
“Do we need to rent a car?” Dick asked looking over at her.
“No need,” Marinette replied. “My friend’s coming to pick us up. We’re going to be staying at his house while we’re here, since he has more space for me to work and my parents are busy at the moment preparing to cater as well as the usual bakery rush.”
Dick was about to respond, when a limo pulled up and Marinette, grabbed her bags and strode towards it as the back door opened, and a tall, blonde model of a man rushed over to give Marinette a hug, lifting her off the ground. Dick shook her head at the slight tightening in his chest.
“Kitty, not now, please,” she replied with a laugh.
“Fineee,” he replied, mock pouting. Looking over to make eye contact with Dick. “And this is the second best ballroom dancer in Gotham?”
“After Mari here of course. Don’t think she hasn’t told me all about your two’s rivalry. What she failed to mention was that her rivalry was with Bruce Wayne’s eldest.”
Marinette looked over at him eyes wide, before burying her head in Adrien’s chest.
“Kill me now, Chaton. Release me from my torturous existence.”
“Nope. Luka wants to see you and we both know Alya would drag you back from death to be at her wedding,” he replied, peeling her off his chest, before holding a hand out to Dick. “Adrien Agreste. Pleasure to officially meet you Dick.”
“You too, Adrien. I was sorry to hear about your mother and father.”
Adrien waved him off. “Thank you. I’d rather not talk about that though. No need to dampen the mood at the moment. Anyway, shall we?” he asked, grabbing Marinette’s bags and throwing them in the trunk of the car, Dick placing his in as well. “That everything?”
“Yep. Let’s go. I need a bed before everyone shows up Wednesday for fittings.”
“It’s Monday, Mari,” Adrien replied, as the driver started the car and pulled out.
“I know. Today is for sleep. Tomorrow is last minute detailing and fittings for you, Luka, and Dick. Wednesday and everyday after is for alterations and Maid of Honor duties.”
“If you want to take a nap now, I’ll carry to your room and get everything set up while you catch up on some much needed sleep.”
“You remember where everything goes?” she asked, yawning.
“Yep. And I’ll hang up all the garments first thing.”
“Thank you, Chaton.”
“Of course, Princess. Get some sleep.”
Marinette, nestled back into her seat, and closed her eyes, tilting slightly as she relaxed, so her head rested on Dick’s shoulder. He felt his cheeks heat slightly as she slept there. The two boys sat in silence for a minute, Adrien grinning at him.
“You like her, don’t you?”
“You do,” Adrien declared after studying him for a moment. “How’s falling for your competition?”
“Honestly, it just happened. But you two have something going on so I won’t stand the way of that.”
Adrien laughed. “I’m in a very committed relationship, and even if I wasn’t I’m gay, and Mari knows it.”
“Good luck though. She can be a bit stubborn when it comes to her feelings.”
“So you and Adrien seem close.”
“We went to lycee together. He’s like a brother to me.”
“And you have no problem with his father being Hawkmoth?”
She froze, placing her work down and fixing him with a cold glare. “Adrien is not his father if that is what you are trying to say. He is quite the opposite in fact and has never done anything remotely on the scale that Gabriel did. I was honestly not expecting that type of sentiment from you, Grayson.”
“No! No nonono. I’m not trying to insinuate anything like that. I just know a lot of people who would. It’s nice to find others who don’t.”
“You’ll find I’m not that shallow.”
“I’m glad,” he heard himself say, as Marinette froze once more as she was picking her work back up.
“Is that so?”
She simply hummed giving him a once over, before glancing back at her work. “I’m glad you aren’t either,” she said simply before returning to her work, in silence.
The two weeks went by quickly, Marinette somehow managing to get Dick to avoid meeting the majority of the wedding party, excluding Adrien, until the day of the wedding. Cursory introductions were made as she was whisked away, leaving him behind with Luka.
She got ready, and went around helping take care of any last minute fixes and preparing Alya to walk down the aisle. Time flew by as the ceremony came and went, she found herself next to Dick once more, with Adrien and Luka beside them at the small table for dinner, when Alya and Nino made their rounds. They had barely managed a greeting before Alya started with her questions.
“So how did you two meet?” Alya asked leaning forward slightly as she looked at the two.
“I met my lovebug here at a ballroom dancing competition. Our partners bailed and were injured so we got thrown together. I got her number afterwards, and the rest is history,” Dick lied, twisting the truth to throw them together instead of sparking their rivalry in the circuit.
“Lovebug?” Adrien asked, humor in his voice, as he turned to face Marinette his question clear on his face. “I didn’t realise you were that serious about him, M'Lady. You told him?”
Marinette glared at Dick for a quick moment and took a deep breath, pinching her nose. “No. I didn’t. He doesn’t know, Chaton,” she said softly, as Adrien’s face just went ‘Oh.’
“Doesn’t know what, lovebug?” Dick asked, looking down at her with a small grin.
“That is nothing that concerns you at the moment, Love.”
“You two have to dance then. You must be amazing at it. Please?”
Marinette glanced over at Dick, as she started to give an excuse, “We wouldn’t want to possibly take away from your big day, Alya.”
“Girl, it would make my big day.”
He grinned at Alya, cutting in before Marinette could say anything else. “We’d love to. It is your wedding, it’d be cruel to say no to such a small request.”
“Yes! After our first dance then?”
“Well we need to finish our rounds but I can’t wait. It was nice to meet you finally,” Alya said, sweeping away.
“See ya later dudes, dudettes,” Nino followed after his wife with a small, amused smile at her antics.
“So Melody, how’s Gotham been treating you?”
“Good. It’s been night and day from Paris. It’s been refreshing.”
“Refreshing?” Dick asked, staring at her. “That’s not something I normally hear from newcomers.”
“Luka don’t you need to go help your dad set up?” Adrien cut in. Luka chuckled before standing, giving Adrien a quick kiss on the cheek as he straightened.
“You're right. I’ll see you after the wedding?”
“Of course. Break a leg up there.”
“Thanks. Nice to meet you Dick,” he said as he left, disappearing backstage.
Marinette relaxed slumping over slightly, glaring at Adrien. “‘I didn’t realise you were that serious about him,’ really? You know this isn’t real.”
Adrien grinned. “Did I? I must have forgotten.”
“You and I both know you didn’t. You’ve been spending too much time with that stupid cat lately,” she muttered, looking at him.
“After 10 years you really don’t expect some of his personality to rub off on me, M’Lady?”
“I think I liked you better when you were a shameless flirt than I like chaotic troublemaker, chaton. And you sent away Luka who balances you out.”
“But now you two can drop the act for the most part for a little. You have at least 5 minutes until the first dance.”
“I can’t help but feel like I’m missing something here. Am I?” Dick cut in.
“Yes!” Adrien replied.
“No!” Marinette replied at the same time.
“So I am. Care to enlighten me, My Little Lovebug?”
“No I do not. Now is not the time nor the place and Adrien knows this.”
“Please, Princess. You know there’s no danger here.”
“Nope. Not now, Kitty.”
He opened his mouth to reply when the announcement for the first dance, Dick stood and offered his hand to Marinette. She took it and gave him a small, albeit tight, smile. “Thank you.”
“Of course. Anything for you.”
She stared at him for a moment, trying to read him as they made their way to the dance floor, as the music began playing, and the first dance commenced. The couple moved well together, clearly something that had been rehearsed until it had become second nature, the newlyweds had beaming smiles and eyes only for each other as they danced. There was a loud round of applause as they finished with a kiss, holding it there for a minute before they broke apart. They smiled at their guests as Alya zoned in on Marinette and Dick, all but physically dragging them onto the dance floor as she enthusiastically gestured at the two of them to come.
“Gotham’s finest ballroom dancers, one of them being my best friend and maid of Honor, Marinette Dupain-Cheng, have agreed to give us a dance tonight,” Alya announced as she and Nino left the dance floor before the music started.
Marinette felt Dick lightly grab her hand as the two moved and began to dance together. A simple waltz, one easy enough to do with little practice and no partner and to add small flourishes here and there.
“So what was Adrien referring to earlier?” he asked, placing his hands on her waist and lifted
Her eyes widened as she folded backwards in the lift, pulling herself back up as he lowered her down, the two falling back into step gliding around the dance floor. “Something he knows better to mention. I don’t know why he’d bring that up now unless- oh. Oh I am going to skin that mangy alley cat after we get home,” she muttered. “It’s something that no one unless they are directly involved knows about, and he knows that.”
“Got a dark secret I should be concerned about, Lovebug?”
“Secret? Yes. Dark? No. What caused you to come up with that nickname anyways?”
“It seemed to fit,” he said, as his mind started to run. Lovebug set off Adrien’s question. M’Lady. Chaton, They talk like the clips of-
“You’re Ladybug, aren’t you?” he murmured leaning in slightly as he swept her around. Her grip tightened as he said that, all but confirming it for him. “Don’t worry. I’m familiar with keeping similar secrets.”
“You better keep it to yourself. I can point out who’s safe later, but know that this is a lot of trust I’m putting on you.”
“Believe me I know. May I say you look beautiful tonight.”
“Upgrading to flirting now are we? I was unaware you’d had that much to drink.”
“I haven’t. This is only for you,” he replied, grinning as her cheeks grew pink.
The two danced in silence, studying each other for the rest of their dance. A small laugh escaped from her as they did one final lift. Placingher gently back on the ground the two finished their waltz. They ended up staring each other in the eyes for a moment before their lips met, the rest of the wedding guests seemingly disappearing for the moment, until they broke apart.
“May I take you on an actual date after we get back to Gotham?” he asked.
“I think I’d like that.”
“It’s a date then. For our first time dancing together, I believe we were pretty en pointe.”
“Oh god, not another one,” she groaned to herself, leaning against him slightly as they moved off the dance floor. “You’re going to be as bad as Chat,” she complained, with a soft smile as she shook her head.
“How’d it go?” Adrien asked, coming up from behind him.
“Better than I expected.”
“I hoped it would go well. You can make a heart dance if you just give it a beat.”