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Wedding Bells

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Marinette woke up on the day of the wedding feeling equal parts excited and nervous. After all, she still had so much to do- any last-minute alterations to the wedding dress, making sure the cake from her parents’ bakery was perfect, organizing the wedding party, and, of course, calming down the groom. Plus any other problems that may pop up, she thought, rolling out of bed and eyeing the fluffy white wedding gown draped over the couch in the tiny apartment she shared with Alya. Who would’ve thought that organizing a wedding would be so stressful?

Alya called out groggily from the other bedroom, sounding as though she had just woken up. “Are you heading over to the chapel already? The wedding’s not for hours yet!”

“I know,” Marinette replied, picking up the wedding dress and eyeing a loose thread on the side with disdain. “There’s just still so much to do. But don’t worry, I won’t be going to the chapel yet- I still have to stop by the groom’s, and my office to pick up the veil, and the bakery to grab the cake.”

Alya appeared in the doorway, pushing the messy brown-and-orange hair from her face. “Seriously? Marinette, you’re carrying this entire wedding on your back!”

Marinette smiled at her. “That’s kind of my job, Alya.”

A third voice, unexpected but not unfamiliar, echoed through the small living room. “If I didn’t know you were once Ladybug, dude, I wouldn’t believe you could do all of that.” Nino showed up behind Alya, wrapping his arms around his girlfriend and softly kissing the top of her head. “But you are, so I know it’s possible.”

Marinette nodded to her teammate. “Thanks, Nino.” Though Hawkmoth had been defeated years ago, and though her team of five superheroes had consequently revealed their identities to each other shortly thereafter, she still thought of the five of them- Chloe, Nino, Alya, Adrien, and herself- as a team. After all, they did get together for brunch once a month. She rolled her eyes at Nino. “Did you sleep over again?

Alya moved to grab the wedding gown’s velvety green garment bag off of the table, and together the three of them managed to wrangle the dress into its bag. When that was done, Marinette hooked the garment bag over her shoulder like a Santa sack and grabbed her own purse off of the hooks by the front door. “Thank you both,” she called over her shoulder as she left the apartment.

The first stop on her to-do list was her office at Agreste Industries. After Hawkmoth’s- or, should she say, Gabriel Agreste’s- capture and arrest, his son Adrien had taken over as sole proprietor of the fashion design company. He’d then hired her as some of his “new talent” the previous year as soon as they graduated lycée, and she’d quickly risen to one of his top designers after the past fall’s Paris Fashion Week. There were rumors that she’d risen through the ranks so quickly because of the fact that she had been dating Adrien since Hawkmoth’s defeat in their second-to-last year of lycée, but no, it was because the fashion critics of the world loved her. Everyone wanted to be wearing a “Nette” original, like the wedding dress she was loading into a Paris taxi at this very moment.

“Where to, mademoiselle?” the taxi driver asked in a gruff voice.

“Agreste Industries,” Marinette said hurriedly, slipping into the taxi and buckling her seat belt. “And hurry, please.”

It was a Saturday, but the office was far from empty- as it was the chilly days of early February, fall and winter fashion week was only a few weeks away. The place was bustling with assistants running errands, designers making adjustments, and models holding still for their measurements being taken by bustling seamstresses. Marinette knew many of them, and she waved cheerfully to them as she headed for the elevator that would take her up to her fourth-floor office.

“Mademoiselle Dupain-Cheng!” A harried-looking intern with flaming red curls caught up to her in the elevator. “Why are you here? Isn’t the wedding in-” The assistant checked her watch- “less than four hours?”

Marinette smiled down at the girl, who was only a few years younger than her and probably still in lycée. “I’m just here to pick up my veil, Violette,” she assured the girl. “A bride can’t walk without her veil.”

Ten minutes later and carrying the short, fluffy veil in her arms, she loaded herself back into the taxi and gave them the address of her next destination. It was time to check on the cake. Of course, her parents would bring the actual cake to the reception, but she just wanted to make sure it was perfect… and maybe get a sample.

Tom and Sabine welcomed her with open arms into the patisserie, enveloping her in a huge bear hug. Sabine looked her up and down. “Marinette, honey, is that what you’re wearing to the wedding?”

Marinette looked down at her cream-colored pantsuit. “Absolutely not,” she said with a laugh. “You know that I’ll be wearing something a bit fancier.”

“A Marinette original, no doubt,” Tom said proudly, throwing a beefy arm around her shoulders. “And will the rest of the wedding party be wearing your designs, too?”

Marinette smiled, nestling comfortably into his embrace. “No, but they are all wearing Agreste originals. A few of my designer friends chipped in with the bridesmaid dresses and tuxes for the groomsmen, Rose did the flowers, and Luka and Nino are providing music.”

“Are you here to pick up the cake?” Sabine asked, frowning. “I thought Tom was supposed to be taking it to the venue.”

“If he still can, that would be wonderful,” Marinette said, glancing toward the back of the bakery, where a huge four-tier white cake with intricate beaded frosting sat on top of the counter. “I’m just here to make sure it didn’t disappoint… which it doesn’t. Maman, Papa, this is beautiful.”

Tom led Marinette and Sabine to the back of the bakery, where the cake was displayed in all its glory. With the names of the soon-to-be newlyweds frosted on the front and a beautifully detailed cake topper depicting their two smiling faces, it was clear that Marinette’s parents had put hours of work into the confection. Marinette turned to her mother. “Is it-”

“Half chocolate and half vanilla with a vanilla buttercream,” Sabine confirmed. “Just like you said.”

“Then it’s perfect,” Marinette assured them. “Papa, you’ll bring it to the reception at three?”

“Of course,” Tom agreed. “We enjoyed making it. Maybe someday-”

Sabine elbowed her husband in the side. “We’ll see you there, Marinette. Make us proud.”

“Always,” Marinette said before ducking out the door.

The final stop before the chapel was the most important of all- the groom’s house. Marinette generously tipped the taxi driver before toting the dress and veil out of the cab and into the apartment building in which the groom lived. A short trip up the elevator later, she was knocking on Apartment #414, and a familiar blond man opened the door.

“Hi, Bugaboo,” said Adrien, swooping in with a kiss to her cheek and relieving her of the veil and dress bag. “They’re waiting for you. Something about pre-wedding jitters and needing the gown? I’ll get this to our bride right away.”

He swept away into the depths of the apartment with the wedding gown and veil, leaving Marinette to walk into the living room, where she found the groom and two of his groomsmen on the couch… playing video games. She cleared her throat. “Big day, huh?”

Ivan looked up from the game, then leapt to his feet and crushed Marinette in a hug. Beside him, Max paused the game and Nathaniel put down his controller.

“Marinette!” the groom said, holding Marinette at arm’s length. “Did you bring the gown and veil for Mylène?”

Max pushed his glasses up on the bridge of his nose. “The doorbell rang approximately forty-four seconds ago,” he said in his nasally voice. “Thirty-one seconds ago, Adrien answered the door and then went back into the bedroom carrying two bags he had not been carrying before, and nineteen seconds ago, Marinette entered the room. Reason concludes that Marinette did, indeed, bring Mylène’s wedding garments.”

Ivan hugged Marinette again. “I can’t thank you enough for making it all from scratch. You have no idea how much that meant to her, to have her old lycée friend making her dress.”

“Ivan, we graduated from lycée just over a year ago,” Nathaniel pointed out. “It hasn’t been that long.”

Ivan finally let Marinette go. “Did you check on the cake, too?”

“It’s perfect,” she promised. “Exactly what you two asked for, and absolutely gorgeous. Mylène’s going to love it, and so will you.”

“Marinette’s parents never disappoint,” agreed Nathaniel. “Remember when they always used to make macarons for the first day of school every year in collège?”

Max harrumphed. “How could we forget?”

Ivan’s smile was the widest Marinette had ever seen it. “We couldn’t have picked a more perfect wedding planner, Marinette. Thank you so much for agreeing to help us out.”

Marinette waved him off. “No problem! It was fun. Now, I hear somebody’s suffering from some wedding-day jitters.” She reached into her purse and pulled out a bag of chocolate chip cookies. “I think I have the perfect solution.”

Three and a half hours later, she was standing in the bride’s room of the chapel with Alya, Rose, Juleka, and Alix, all huddling around Mylène in her beautiful Nette wedding dress. Marinette had truly done Mylène’s wishes justice- the dress was sleeveless with a flared mermaid skirt, in layers of white tulle and lace, and the veil matched, hiding some of her multicolored hair. Juleka had done the bride’s makeup in pale shades of pink to compliment her tan complexion, and Rose had brought a crown of white flowers for her hair as well as little blue bundles for the hair of the five bridesmaids. Each of them had dressed in a flowy short dress of sapphire blue thanks to Marinette’s connections, complete with matching flats (or, in Rose’s case, heels- they’d tried to force maid of honor Alix into heels too, but that was a lost cause). The groomsmen- Adrien, Max, Kim, Nino, and best man Nathaniel- all had matching blue flowers, courtesy of Rose as well.

Mylène smiled up at her bridesmaids. “I can’t believe it’s finally here,” she said, tears welling up in her big golden-brown eyes. “I’ve been waiting for this day for so long.”

Alya elbowed her gently. “And you’ve got about three minutes until the first of us is supposed to start walking, so let’s go, future Madame Bruel.

Mylène sniffled and giggled as Marinette helped her to her feet and guided her out of the ready room, handing her off to a proud-looking Fred in the chapel lobby. Juleka and Kim would walk the aisle first, then Alya and Nino, Marinette and Adrien, Rose and Max, and finally the maid of honor and best man before Fred would escort his daughter to her groom. They had organized it by height order, but it had ended up working out perfectly for the two couples in the wedding party, because they’d been assigned to walk together.

Marinette found her place by Adrien, looking sharp and handsome in a dark blue tuxedo with his blond hair artfully pinned back. Like they had practiced two nights before at the rehearsal dinner, she stood to his left and took his offered arm, standing on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek. “Don’t you look handsome,” she whispered to her kitty.

“You look beautiful,” he whispered back. “Also, I think Agreste Industries needs to release an entirely Nette wedding line. Mylène’s dress is stunning and would sell, I just know it. You’re amazing.”

Suddenly Marinette was fifteen again, blushing like a schoolgirl after Adrien Agreste told her she was amazing. She tried her best to calm the hot red flush of her cheeks. “You’re going to make me look like a tomato when we walk the aisle,” she hissed playfully.

Adrien kept a very straight face. “You know, I happen to love tomatoes.”

Then the usher at the door was waving for Juleka and Kim to begin their walk, and the entire wedding party hushed as the doors opened and soft organ music spilled into the lobby from the church organist. Marinette spotted, just past Nino and Alya, the entire congregation turn to look at them. Her best friend and her boyfriend’s best friend stepped off in front of them, arm in arm, and Marinette counted to ten before tugging Adrien into a slow glide down the middle aisle.

Many of their old schoolmates and friends had turned out for the wedding- Chloe and Sabrina in the fourth row, Aurore and Mireille holding hands in the second row, Jean in the back, Marc in the second row proudly watching his fiancé Nathaniel walk the aisle with Alix. Marinette spotted Kim’s girlfriend Ondine in the third row, making lovestruck sheep’s eyes at her boyfriend in his tuxedo; even Lila had made an appearance, clad in a light brown dress and slouching in the very back row. Most of Ivan’s old bandmates from Kitty Section, which had disbanded almost three years prior, were in the wedding party, but Luka sat in the fourth row as he and his new band had been hired to play at the reception later.

After walking the length of the aisle, Marinette and Adrien split at the front and went to stand in their places to wait out the ceremony. It was a beautiful ceremony, with the church wreathed in flowers, and Marinette found herself smiling throughout. The vows almost made her cry, with Ivan reciting a poem he’d written for Mylène way back in collège, and Mylene becoming overwhelmed with emotion when it was her turn, nearly unable to get out how much she loved Ivan. When the minister pronounced them husband and wife, and Ivan picked up his new bride to kiss her deeply, Marinette turned to Rose only to find her crying. It truly was a beautiful wedding.

The reception lived up to its prior ceremony, too. The cake was the star of the show, and everyone had at least a piece if not more- Marinette spotted Adrien finishing off a few of their friends’ unattended slices, claiming he could just work it off later with a run. Mylène and Ivan barely noticed the reception as they were too busy gazing lovestruck into each other’s eyes and hogging the dance floor every time Luka’s band started playing a slow song. As wedding planner, Marinette found herself running around almost the whole time, making sure that the vegetarian at table three had the pasta with pesto instead of meat sauce, ensuring that the croquembouche on the dessert table weren’t solely being devoured by sugar-hungry children and were instead available for all guests, and checking on everybody to make sure they were having a good time. It was only when Alix and Nathaniel stood and tapped on champagne glasses with their spoons, asking everyone to quiet down for their maid of honor and best man speeches, that Marinette managed to grab a slice of cake and sit down at one of the back tables to rest.

Alix was halfway through her highly embarrassing speech about Mylène, and Marinette was nearly finished with her dessert, when a blond flash swooped in out of nowhere and stole the last bite off of her fork.

Marinette turned and frowned up at her kitty. “I was so looking forward to that, too.”

“You can have another slice later,” Adrien assured her, grasping her hand and quietly pulling her up out of her seat. “I saw that Alya hadn’t eaten all of hers yet, and anyway, I wanted to steal a moment alone with you. Can we go outside?”

It turned out that “going outside” did not mean stepping out the front door onto the sidewalk, as Marinette had expected, but instead sneaking up a stairway that Adrien had found. Marinette followed her boyfriend up the stairs and out onto the roof, where the wind whipped her carefully coiled hair out of its bun and loose around her face. Adrien had cleared off a small part of the ledge at the edge of the rooftop, and he led Marinette to it, sitting with her with their legs dangling over the side. It was nearly five-thirty and the sun was setting, just an orange blip on the golden horizon at that point, washing over their windy and cold scene with pale gold light. Marinette shivered, and Adrien wrapped a protective arm around her to block out the cold from her prickly skin.

“Reminds me of patrols, back when we were in school,” her boyfriend murmured, breath hot against her cold ear. “When we would meet early enough to watch the sun set before we left to make sure our city was safe.”

Our city,” Marinette sighed happily.

“Our city,” Adrien agreed, shrugging out of his suit jacket and draping it around her shoulders. “Do you remember when you considered going to London last year for your design degree? I was supportive, of course, but I would have been devastated if you’d left.”

Marinette nuzzled her face into his warm neck. “I know, chaton. But I stayed, and I’ve been all the better for it.”

Agreste Industries has been all the better for it,” he corrected. “The best decision I ever made was offering you a job right out of lycée.” Adrien paused. “Well, second-best. Right after asking you on a date the moment I found out your identity.”

Marinette shivered from the cold once again. “I’m so glad you did, k-kitty,” she chattered.

Adrien looked down at her, concerned, and then sighed. “You know, I had this huge speech planned, but I didn’t really think about it being in the middle of February… oh, you know what, I’ll just do it.”

He reached into the pocket of the jacket around Marinette’s shoulders and withdrew a tiny black velvet box. Turning to face her, ever so slightly, he opened it.

Inside was a golden ring, its jewel really two jewels in a yin and yang symbol- one black, one red, perfectly intertwined. It shone in the golden rays of the dying sun, so beautiful that Marinette could hardly process what it meant for a moment.

“Marinette Dupain-Cheng,” Adrien Agreste said, looking her straight in the eyes. “You are the light of my life, the sun to my moon, the Ladybug to my Chat Noir- literally. All of the best decisions of my life involve loving you, and I’d like to make one more. Will you marry me?”

Marinette didn’t even speak. She just kissed him, and all of her stress about her friends’ wedding, the cold from the biting wind, and her worries about whatever else simply melted away.

Adrien was the one to break off the kiss first. “Let’s go inside, Bugaboo.”

Marinette practically leapt to her feet. “Yes! Inside. Warmth,” she cooed, following her boyfriend- no, fiancé- back down the staircase. When they had climbed down all of the stairs, Adrien turned to her and slipped the ring onto her left ring finger, sealing the deal with yet another kiss. Marinette would never grow tired of kissing him as long as she lived.

Inside, the toasts were finished and Luka’s band was playing one last slow dance to end out the night. All of the couples had flooded the dance floor- Alya and Nino, Juleka and Rose, Kim and Ondine, Aurore and Mireille, Marc and Nathaniel, and of course the newlyweds among them. Adrien turned to Marinette, green eyes sparkling with a mischievous smile she recognized as his Chat Noir grin. “May I have this dance, future Madame Agreste?” he asked, extending his hand.

Marinette smiled, shedding his suit jacket on a nearby chair and slipping her hand into his. “You may, mon chaton.

And when she danced with her new fiancé on the night of their friends’ happily ever after, it indeed felt like she had found her fairytale ending herself.