They exited the bakery hand in hand, making their way to a little café three blocks away. They walked in silence, enjoying each other's company. It wasn't long before the pale pink shopfront came into view. "This place reminds me of you," Adrien remarked.
Marinette looked at him, bewildered. "What? Why?" she giggled.
He shrugged. "Probably because its pink. And I dunno, the chill boho aesthetic vibe makes me think of how calm and collected you are in battle. Plus you have all those plants on your balcony," he said with a smirk, as if that all made perfect sense.
"Hm. Yeah I guess I can see the pink and the plants, but can you honestly say I am cool and collected knowing now that its me under the mask?" she laughed.
"Well, sure. You're still you behind the mask, it just helps the best parts of you shine," he said with a wink, causing her to blush once again. That was quickly becoming one of his favorite things to do. He tilted his head towards the door. "Shall we?"
As if on cue, Adrien's stomach rumbled loudly. Marinette let out a loud laugh. No, that was actually his new favorite thing to make her do. He could listen to that all day. "Why yes, I think we shall!" she said with mock airs. Adrien rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly as he reached for the door, holding it open for her. "After you, m'lady."
Marinette booped him on the nose as she walked past into the little café.
A cute little server at the host stand with thick glasses and a few green streaks in her hair greeted them cheerily without looking up. "Good morning! Welcome to the Bon Bouquet Café! Is it just - ohmigosh you're Adrien Agreste!" she had finally glanced up with the menus in her hand, and promptly dropped them on the floor. She hastily stooped to pick them up and brushed them off. "I'm so sorry! I'm sure you get sick of hearing that everywhere you go! Is it just the two of you this morning?" she asked glancing between the two of them, clearly trying to mask her burning curiosity.
"Yep, just us!" Adrien replied, slinging an arm casually over Marinette's shoulder, causing the poor girl's cheeks to flame up once again. The server quickly showed them to their seats, a small natural pine table for two with a tiny, tasteful pink bouquet in a vase placed purposefully in the center. It was near the back of the restaurant and tucked under some hanging foliage and basket lamps. Adrien held her seat out for her before seating himself. He glanced around the establishment, taking everything in before finally declaring "Yup. This place is definitely you."
Marinette giggled. "Well, I'm flattered. My parents and I have been coming here for as long as I can remember and I love their food! Have you been here before?"
"Just once. We were nearby on a photoshoot about a year ago and the crew and I popped in afterwards with my bodyguard. The tropical french toast and eggs benedict I had were pretty much to die for. It's not often I get to eat like that, so it was basically like I had died and gone to heaven," Adrien grinned a very Cat-like grin as he let out a long contented sigh. "What about you? What's your favorite thing to get here?"
"While both of those are definitely very good, I really love to get the fluffy pancakes with a chocolat chaud. I guess you could say I have a bit of a sweet tooth." Marinette leaned forward and whispered with a snicker, "I think I get it from my kwami."
She gave Adrien a conspiratorial wink and he chuckled. "I am SO glad that the taste preferences of mine have yet to rub off on me!" Both teens broke out in cackles, earning them a few glares from nearby patrons.
Marinette rubbed a tear from the corner of her eye and spoke in a softer tone. "I guess we had better try and keep it down a little bit. I would hate to attract unwanted attention to you."
"Eh, its no big deal. Not like its anything I'm not used to." Adrien sighed. "So. What now?" he asked, looking directly at her.
"Well, I'm pretty sure we should choose what we want to eat and then place our order with the server," Marinette indicated, holding up her menu. "I know you're sheltered Agreste, but I thought everyone knew how to order in a restaurant!" she replied with a teasing twinkle in her eye.
"Har har. Very funny Bug. I meant 'us'." He motioned between the two of them with his hands. "Like where do we stand? What is next for us?"
Marinette's brow furrowed. "Honestly I don't know. I've kind of been living in a dream since this all happened. It's all been so sudden and I feel like if I stop and think about it at all, I'll become completely overwhelmed. I feel like I am spinning out of control in this whole situation and to tell you the truth, feeling that way makes me incredibly anxious."
He could see she was on the verge of spiraling and he reached out and grasped her hand in his. "Hey. That's okay! We can take this as slow as you need to. Baby steps. One second at a time if we must. I'll always be here to help you through everything. You and me against the world, remember?" He smiled at her as he gave her hand a gentle, reassuring squeeze. She smiled sweetly back. "I really don't deserve you."
"Nonsense. It is I who does not deserve you. How could anyone as cool and calm and collected be my amazing friend Marinette who I just so happen to be madly and deeply in love with?"
Her face turned beet red at all his praise and she quickly hid her eyes behind her hands. "Oh my goodness Chaton, you are too much! You can't just say things like that to me!"
He grabbed her hands and slowly pulled them down. "Why not? That's genuinely how I feel. I don't ever want another day to go by where you doubt yourself and how amazing and special you are." Adrien stared deep into her eyes and she could see the love and sincerity there. It would scare her if it weren't for her feeling the exact same way.
Marinette took a deep breath to compose her thoughts before finally speaking. "Okay. First we need to establish what we are."
"Well if it wasn't obvious enough, I'd like you to be my girlfriend, if that's something you would want," Adrien looked deep into her soul, eyes filled with hope.
Her breath hitched as her eyes filled with tears. "You have no idea how much I've dreamed about this day kitty. I would like that very much. If you'll have me, that is."
He surged forward and planted a hungry kiss on her lips, grasping her face in his hands. Still holding her face, he pulled back and stared in her eyes. "I'm pretty certain my hoodie strings are now coated in your pancake toppings," he deadpanned.
After a beat her brain finally registered what he said and she looked down. Sure enough, whipped cream and syrup were globbed all over his hoodie strings. Her eyes widened and she let out what could only be described as a giggle-snort. Her hand shot to her mouth and her eyes blew wide in mortification. "Oh gosh, I am SO sorry! Not only is that unfortunate about your shirt but that was SO very unattractive!"
"Actually I thought it was adorable," Adrien stated, leaning in and plopping a dollop of frosting on the tip of her nose.
"Hey!" she retorted, crossing her eyes and trying to lick it off. "Allow me," Adrien grinned, licking the cream off her nose. "Seriously Hot Stuff, are you trying to kill me?!"
"Hot Stuff, eh? I could get used to that," he grinned a wide Cheshire grin as she sank further into her seat, groaning.
"O-kay! If we can't find a happy medium here between falling deeper in love with you and utterly dying of embarrassment, then I am going to have to start limiting my time spent with you and I don't think either of us wants that!" she groaned.
"Okay okay, I surrender! You're right, I should stop teasing you so much. I just think its the cutest thing when you get all riled up," he admitted, looking at her with that soft look he reserved just for her.
"Well lover-boy, what do you say we finish up here so that we can make some plans?" she asked.
"Sounds purrfect," he replied, earning himself an eyeroll.
They settled up the bill and headed out at a leisurely pace. He reached out, once again grasping her hand in his. It was quickly becoming apparent that physical touch was his love language. It struck her how deprived this poor boy had been by his father. All the times he had confided in her as Cat Noir about his horrible home life, and knowing what she knew about him as Adrien, her heart suddenly broke for the boy. For whatever reason he had chosen her, and she made a silent vow then and there that she was never, ever going to let another day go by where he felt lonely, sad or unwanted. Her personal goal in life was now to make sure that Adrien Agreste realized just how special and loved he was. How much she wanted, no, needed her kitty in her life.
I'm baaaaaack! Sort of, hopefully. I am sure anyone who started reading this when I first released it has all but forgotten this story and me, but I owe it to myself and all of you to finish what I started! I'm a bit rusty and its unlikely I will have regular updates, but I promise you this story will get finished! To those of you that have miraculously stuck with me, thank you, from the bottom of my heart! Your support means everything to me, and maybe a little review here and there will help motivate me to finish this thing sooner! More soon!