When watching the Puppeteer 2 episode I couldn't help but wonder what if Marinette had looked up a second sooner and seen Plagg. Thus, this story was born.
Also I'm probably one of the few people who loved that scene anyway. I thought it was hilarious in all its awkwardness. Plus I'm amazed at Adrien's ability to remain a statue despite everything Marinette did. I mean, he could have saved a lot of awkwardness by breaking character earlier! At least by the end, while sad, Marinette didn't give up on him, so it was basically a reverse Glaciator.
Regardless, enjoy my alternate take on things!
It's All Fun and Statues Until Somebody Gets Spotted
Summary: Plagg didn't quite hide quickly enough when Marinette came out of the bathroom.
"Marinette's important to me and I'll do whatever it takes to make her feel good when she's around," Adrien told Plagg as they hopped out of the elevator looking for said girl.
The black kwami smiled, "Like giving her cheese?"
Adrien answered with a grin, scratching his kwami's belly, "Like cheering her up, making her laugh, doing pranks, like you always do for me."
"I'm super cool. I'm super cool," Marinette repeated to herself, heading back to where she left Adrien.
"Watch this, Plagg," Adrien whispered as he struck a pose.
"What exactly are you doing?" he asked from Adrien's shoulder.
"Shhh," he hushed the kwami, "I can't let her think it's the real me."
Marinette walked towards them, still unaware of their presence. Looking up, she suddenly let out a scream and jumped back. After the small fright, she let out a breath. "It's only his statue."
Her gaze flicked up to a black blur that had been floating by his right shoulder, only for it to disappear. Oops. Maybe he hadn't been seen.
"Plagg? Plagg, was that you?" she called, stepping closer, not noticing the statue's slightly widened eyes.
Behind Adrien's back, Plagg debated on how much Tikki would kill him if he revealed himself. To be fair though, the game was already half up the second Marinette called out his name. Showing himself would only, shall we say, help it along. So wiping the devious grin off his face, he poked his head out from behind the Adrien 'statue'.
Marinette's eyes widened. "What do you think you're doing here?" she hissed, closing the distance between them. "Where's Cat Noir? Why aren't you with him?"
Plagg floated out from behind his chosen, leaning back in the air and idly waving a paw. "Oh, I'm sure he's around here somewhere." He had to resist glancing back at Adrien. He just hoped she didn't give herself away too quickly. It would be much more fun that way. "But whatever. I'm sure he's fine. What're you doing here, pigtails?"
"Me? Uh, well…" she tented her fingers, staring at the ground. "I'm here with some friends."
Plagg made a show of looking around. "Funny, they don't seem to be around at the moment."
"They're around. Well, sort of. Alya and Nino are taking care of Manon so I could be alone with Adrien."
"Doesn't sound like that turned out very well. Unless you meant the statue," Plagg smirked at Adrien, catching the glare sent his way. It was gone a second later as Adrien re-schooled his features just in time for Marinette to look back at him.
A heavy sigh left the girl's lips, hugging an arm to herself. "That's because I freaked out. Again! I can't spend two seconds around him without all the wrong words spilling out!" A determined glint shone in her eye and she clenched her fists by her sides. "But today that's going to change. I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna tell him."
Plagg smirked. This was just getting better and better. "And what's that, kitten? Are you going to confess your undying love of cheese?"
She scoffed, rolling her eyes. "No." Something softer settled upon her and she looked past him to the Adrien 'statue'. Stepping closer, she tilted her head to look into Adrien's eyes. "I'm finally going to tell him that I love him. That I love when he smiles. And not one of those fake ones for the pictures but when he truly smiles because something made him happy, and how I love it even more when he laughs. I want to tell him that he stole my heart away the day he gave me his umbrella and how he keeps stealing it away again every time I see him because he's just so kind and compassionate. I want to be there for him when he's feeling down and comfort him whenever his dad shuts him out." She stood on her toes, bringing her face close to him, as she cradled his cheek in her hand, "To tell him that my only wish is that he would return even the smallest amount of affection that I have for him."
Plagg had to bite his lip to keep from bursting into laughter. This was too perfect! He seriously couldn't have planned it better if he'd tried! At least all the boy's stupid posing has come in handy for something.
Sighing, Marinette pulled back. Turning away, she hugged herself. "But how am I supposed to say all that when I know my heart will want to leap out of my chest and my tongue will get so tied up in my mouth. Facing akuma's is easier than this…"
Adrien's face shifted the instant she'd turned around. He stared at her back, his gaze a mix of surprise and awe. His stance relaxed and his arms snaked around Marinette's waist. He practically purred in reverence, "Marinette…"
The girl herself squeaked and before anyone could blink, she'd thrown him over her shoulder and slammed him into the ground. Her anger morphed into recognition then into fear. "Oh my gosh, Adrien! I'm so sorry!"
He coughed as he tried to catch his breath. "It's okay," he wheezed. "It was my fault for scaring you."
This time Plagg couldn't hold it in. His cackling laughter echoed through the museum. Two pair's eyes whipped around to him, Marinette in shock and fear, and Adrien in annoyance. "This is the most fun I've had in centuries!" he howled, clutching at his stomach.
Marinette reacted first. She snatched him out of the air, cutting his laughter short, and hiding him from view against her chest. She laughed nervously, "Haha, fancy that, it's uh, my friend's rare hairless flying cat from Achu. They have such strange vocalisations. Almost sounds like words sometimes! Or laughter! I, heh heh, wonder what he's doing here. I'd better go look for him!"
While she rambled, Adrien picked himself off the floor. He grinned at the bluenette and grabbed her hands before she could run off. "Marinette."
She sucked in a breath, eyes wide.
"You don't have to do that."
"I- I don't?" she squeaked.
"No," he smirked. "I do have one question though. How do you know my kwami?"
Her jaw dropped. "Your… Wha-?"
She stepped back, pulling her hands away and letting Plagg slip through her fingers. The kwami eagerly zipped over to hover by his chosen's shoulder and watched the drama unfold. Marinette gripped her hair, a haunted look in her eyes as she took in this new revelation. Her gaze slipped past them to where the Adrien 'statue' once stood. Her eyes widened and she glanced back at him then back at the spot. A dying keen left her as she turned away. "This can't be happening. This cannot be happening!"
"Marinette?" Adrien called softly, his hand hovering half outstretched towards her, uncertain as to whether he should intervene or not. The last time he touched her he ended up on the floor after all.
She sat down, covering her face with her hands.
Adrien joined her, keeping a little distance between so as not to crowd her. "Marinette, I'm sorry. This was supposed to be a joke to make you feel better and not be so awkward around me." He ran a hand through his hair with a sigh, "but like always does, something went wrong." He glanced back at her. "Please don't hate me. I'd do anything to have you not hate me. We can pretend this never happened."
The bluenette peeked over her fingers. "You thought I hated you?"
"Well," he looked away, rubbing the back of his neck, "You were always so nervous around me, and then Nino was being really confusing when I asked him about it, so… I don't know." He glanced back at her, the tiniest of smirks peeking through his expression, "But I guess I now have the answer for that."
"Oh my gosh!" she groaned, hiding her face again.
"No! Wait! Please don't be embarrassed. I- I'm flattered. Really. No one's ever said things like that to me before. I mean, sometimes my fans say that they love me, but they don't really mean it. None of them care about what I think. Not like you. It, well…" He rubbed the back of his neck, "it made me realise how much you mean to me too…"
Marinette slowly lowered her hands, glancing at him and seeing his earnest expression before turning her gaze to the floor. "I… that wasn't the way I wanted to confess my feelings to you, but I meant every word of it."
Fiddling with his fingers, Adrien glanced at Marinette. Plagg could see the conflict on his face and could take a good guess as to what it was about. The stupid boy was trying to figure out what to say so as not to hurt her and yet not give up his love for Ladybug. The black kwami knew he was going to have to intervene again if these two had any hope of getting together.
"Marinette…" the blond spoke, earning her attention. "I-"
"Don't you have something else to say, pigtails?" prompted Plagg.
Fear flashed through her eyes, just as her face flushed. "Uh, well, um…"
The sound of someone entering the room startled both teens. Their attention whipped towards the disturbance and they both jumped from their seats. "Hawk Moth!"
Adrien grabbed the umbrella from the figure of Aurora. He blocked Hawk Moth's cane, protecting Marinette. "Run!"
Her eyes darted from 'Hawk Moth' to Adrien.
"Well, you'd better do something, kitten," Plagg whispered, having tucked himself in the back of Adrian's shirt collar.
The familiar look of determination crossed her face as she put aside her thoughts and feelings and prepared to do what needed to be done. Leaning closer to Adrien, she whispered in his ear. "I'll be right back, Kitty."
The boy gasped, only stopped from completely dissolving as the wax Hawk Moth statue broke free of his hold and attacked. He kept it at bay until it disarmed him. Thankfully Ladybug rescued him before he could he harmed. He couldn't help but give her a dopey grin after she set him down, revelling in the pink tinge to her cheeks as she leapt away to take on Hawk Moth.
"Do you plan on helping her this century?" grumbled Plagg, jolting him from his reverie.
He ran for the elevator, staring at her even as the door closed. "I love that girl…"
Later that afternoon, with the Akuma defeated, the Gorilla dropped his friends at their destinations. Alya and Nino had been left by her apartment, and Marinette had just said goodbye to Manon and Mrs Chamuck. Adrien held the door open with a grin as Marinette slid back into the car.
Silence hung between them as they drove off, neither one quite sure where to start. Once again, Plagg took it upon himself to initiate the talk.
"Are you two just going to sit here or would you like me to tell you about the history of cheese?"
Adrien's eyes widened in fear. "No! No, it's alright!"
"Plagg!" Tikki scolded, poking her head out of her chosen's bag to glare at him. "Don't threaten them. You're scaring the poor boy."
"Aww, he's fine, Sugarcube. Besides, they really ought to sort this out soon, or I'm gonna here his moaning for forever and a day."
"Plagg!" Adrien hissed, shoving the kwami back into his pocket.
"It's the truth!" he shouted back, voice muffled by the shirt.
Marinette giggled, a fresh wave of pink dusting spreading over Adrian's cheeks at the sound. He cleared his throat, searching for the right words. Plagg grinned and poked his head back out. He gave a small rumbling purr to help out his chosen, and immediately felt him relax.
Looking over at Marinette, the blond channelled his inner Cat Noir. "My Lady," he purred reverently, earning a squeak and a bright blush on the bluenette. "We didn't get to finish our conversation, you know, the one about you being in love with me~"
If it was even possible, her blush deepened. "Uh, y- yes, well, um…" Pausing, she took a breath, gaining strength from her own kwami's presence. "It's true." She turned to him. "I love you, Adrien. I've been in love with you for a while now..."
"Then it's fortunate that I love you too, Marinette. I've also been in love with you for a while now."
"Gee great start, Casanova," muttered Plagg.
Adrien shot him a glare before focusing back on Marinette, "I'm sorry for being so oblivious to your feelings… I feel like an idiot for not seeing it earlier."
"I'm sorry for pushing you away and keeping you at arms length," she returned, fiddling with her purse strap.
He chuckled. "I guess we were both a bit blinded by our love for each other."
Giggling, she agreed, "I suppose we were."
"Do you…" Adrien swallowed, "do you think we could get it right this time? To finally be on the same plain…"
Plagg could practically feel his chosen's fear. Silly boy. Did he really think he would be rejected? Yet again, he needed Plagg's help. "Just say yes, be his girlfriend and go out already! Sheesh! Where's my cheese?"
Adrien's head whipped around to Marinette. She smiled brightly back at him, giggling at his wide eyes.
"Yes, I'll be your girlfriend," she laughed.
A bright dopey grin stretched across his face at the news. It almost made Plagg gag. Almost.
"Well don't just sit there," he snapped. "Kiss her!"
Both teens blushed, earning an eye roll from the black kwami. What did it take to get these idiots together?
"It's about time you two remembered one for once," grinned Tikki.
"Um, so, may I, my Lady?" Adrien asked, leaning closer.
Marinette leaned closer too so that they were practically nose to nose. "Yes, Kitty, you may."
Plagg covered his eyes with his paws already having had his fill of all that icky gross lovey-dovey stuff. However, tiny high pitched giggle made him peek and he saw Tikki watching with such a bright smile. He grinned back before poking his tongue out at her. She giggled again and by now Adrien and Marinette had pulled out of their kiss, both looking like the lovesick fools that they were.
"You're welcome," Plagg interrupted smugly. "Now you both owe me ten rounds of camembert which you can give me when you go on your date tomorrow. See you then, Pigtails! Don't forget to bring snacks for me and Tikki!" He ducked back into Adrien's pocket.
"Plagg! Why you-"
"We're nearly at my place," Marinette interrupted her new boyfriend's outburst.
Adrien refocused on her, still a little tentative even after their first kiss. "So, I'll see you tomorrow?"
She smiled. "See you tomorrow."
"I'll pick you up after five for our date?"
"Yep, I'll be waiting."
A Cat Noir smirk pulled at his lips, "Another kiss for the road."
She rolled her eyes, "Only for you, Kitty."
They shared another kiss before the car rolled to a stop and Marinette hopped out. After a round of goodbyes and more promises of seeing each other tomorrow, Marinette was left outside her parents' bakery and the Gorilla took Adrien home. Plagg settled in for the short trip, pleased with his efforts that day.
At Adrien's lovesick sigh, he smirked. After so long hearing the longing in that sigh, he was glad it was finally happy. The kid deserved some good in his life.
In the confines of Marinette's purse, hidden well under the couple's secluded table in the homey restaurant, Plagg and Tikki shared a meal of their own.
"Did you get spotted on purpose?"
Plagg grinned, taking a huge bite from his camembert. "Of course not. But I can't help it if my bad luck did a little good for once."
Tikki giggled, cookie in her paws. "We're lucky it turned out so well, Stinkysock."
"And now we get to hang out more, Sugarcube." He leaned closer wiggling his eyebrows, "Won't that be nice."
She rolled her eyes fondly, pushing him away, "Only as long as you keep your cheese breath away from me."
"You love it."
"I love you."
Tikki didn't reply except to kiss his cheek. Yep, Plagg could definitely say things were looking up.
Extra Cheesecake, just because. ;P And I hope you enjoyed this shot as much as I did! Had good fun laughing over some bits, especially Marinette tossing Adrien over her shoulder.
The three parter I mentioned last time is still coming. I'm on the third part and the whole thing is currently over 20,000 words, so a bit longer than I expected. Not sure if I'll need another part to wrap things up, or just make the last part longer than the others.
Unfortunately, it means I have no idea when it might come out, sorry. It doesn't help that I've started working on another Miraculous Ladybug story, this time a full one, and it's taking up my attention. If you guys really want, I can post the first scene here. Fair warning, it's super angsty compared to most of the stuff I write, especially without context. I'm hoping once they story gets rolling it won't be so bad. I probably won't post the story until it's finished though because I like going back and being able to change things if something comes up further down the track as I get into the story.
Anyway, thanks for reading!