posted: 04.26.20
word count: 740
prompt: movie night

If there was one thing that would never get old, it was watching Marinette wait for popcorn on movie nights. Marinette was an adorable, strange little woman, but there was very little more amusing than watching her pace and scowl for three minutes, three whole minutes while she waited for the popcorn to pop in the microwave. She wouldn't stay still, and before forty-five seconds was up, she was usually tapping her foot impatiently.

Then there was the time Adrien thought that popping the popcorn over the stove was a good idea. It was traditional, he had told her, and the flavor was supposed to be better. That's what online said, and that's what their classmates claimed, and Chloe never ate instant popcorn, so Adrien thought that it had to be something worth trying. That, plus maybe actually cooking the popcorn themselves could keep Marinette occupied enough to not throw a fit.

He was wrong.

Adrien was left heating kernels over the stove by himself while Marinette worked on starting a pillow fort for them and their friends as she fussed and grumbled about not having popcorn already prepared and why was it taking so long? Sure, in the end, Marinette admitted that she liked the flavor of home-cooked popcorn better, but she was just too impatient. Not even the subtle art of heating the kernels just right and seasoning it all evenly and not getting the butter too soggy or concentrated in one place could distract her from the fact that she was waiting more than one minute for the buttery deliciousness.

Really, it was the highlight of movie nights at the Dupain-Cheng house.

"Adrien, dude, what are you over there grinning about?" Called Nino. He stood outside of the linen closet while Marinette piled blankets and sheets into his arms.

"Yeah, Sunshine, you got something to share with the class?" said Alya. She stood beside him, camera angled just so that Adrien knew she probably had photographic evidence.

"Nothing, just… this is fun."

"What's fun?"

"Adrien, is that popcorn done yet?" Marinette's voice was muffled from within the closet, but the impatience still came across. A single kernel popped in the otherwise unpopped pan.

"Not quite yet," he told her, not feeling an ounce of guilt. Ever since that first time, Adrien had become quite fond of cooking the popcorn himself, even at the expense of Marinette's temper. Sometimes he was certain that it was because of Marinette's temper.

"You know it is awfully strange that a brand new box of microwave popcorn just so happened to disappear," said Alya.

"Yeah," agreed Adrien, "That was really strange." He very conspicuously avoided Alya's eyes, and he knew that she knew that he may or may not have had anything to do with it. Not like Adrien enjoyed a puerile, petulant, pouting, Marinette or anything. Please. Still, a small smile graced his lips.

"From now on, I'm buying pre-popped popcorn," Marinette growled.

"No, you won't," the other three chorused.

"Watch me."

No one argued because there just wasn't a point. Pre-popped popcorn wasn't the same, and Marinette was the one who complained loudest out of the four of them.

"Please," Alya rolled her eyes. "You like when Sunshine spends an hour heating oil on the stove just for your popcorn fix." Marinette shoved Nino out of the way long enough to fix her best friend with a look. "Don't look at me like that! The rest of us only get one handful each. You're the one who hoards the bowl."

"I do not!"

"You do too." Alya and Nino argued. Adrien just hid his smile as he continued to keep the heat even on his pan. Slowly, the rest of the popcorn began to burst.

"And don't think I won't call you out, Pretty Boy. You like going out of your way to actually cook popcorn for Princess over here."

"I won't deny that," Adrien admitted with a shrug. And now the kernels were popping steadily. Marinette and Nino were making quick work of the blanket… whatever they decided to build tonight, and Alya will find something decent online.

"You do?" Marinette squeaked.

"Of course."

"Oh. Okay."

Alya blinked her surprise.

Nino rolled his eyes at them all. "As long as we're on the same page, then."