Marinette thought it must have been the floorboards creaking that woke her, but she couldn’t be sure in the first three seconds after coming to consciousness. She stayed still, knowing how light Adrien slept, and that if she moved she would wake him. Emma was quiet for the moment, but Marinette had a new mother’s radar that knew when her child was awake and was just waiting for Emma to realize that she was hungry before Marinette herself moved.
She shifted silently onto her back and looked towards the crib where, to her relief, Adrien stood smiling down at his “other girl”, his golden head shining in the moonlight from the window. A second or two later and the cooing baby was in his arms, being shifted onto his shoulder as she liked.
‘ Barely over two weeks old and she already prefers being tall. ’ Marinette thought wryly in her sleepy state. Whenever she wasn’t being fed, Marinette’s fussy infant enjoyed being held, the higher the better, and so when Grandpa Tom wasn’t around preferred her Dad’s arms over her mother's.
Adrien started humming as he walked around, nothing set at first, just something to send vibrations through his chest and so keep Emma calm. He brought her over to the window and stood looking out over Paris, a little golden spot above the blankets where his daughter’s head rested on his chest. Gradually his humming gathered strength and rhythm until she recognized it as an old Dean Martin song they’d translated into French for a project in high school. They’d both preferred the original version in the end though, and it was a staple for a little while when they dated. What was it called again? She listened.
What started out as humming changed to singing when the little one had gotten fussy again, Adrien shifting over with a quiet “Oh, you want to hear the words to it too, huh? Well okay, if you promise to go to sleep.”
“ The naughty lady, of shady lane, has hit the town like a bomb; ” Adrien began,
Marinette thought back to when she found out she was pregnant, and how she had told Adrien, her parents, Alya and Nino, Tikki, Plagg. Adrien had been thrilled beyond measure to learn he was gonna be a Dad, his “positive waves” as Nino called them easing any fear Marinette had that she was gonna be a good Mom.
Tom and Sabine had been equally supportive, and ecstatic they were finally gonna have a grandchild. Alya and Nino practically put Marinette under house arrest when they had found out, not letting her do anything until she had finally blown up (hormones, everyone agreed) and said if they didn’t stop smothering her she would transform and climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Everyone stopped smothering her.
Tikki and Plagg had been happy too, though worried for Marinette and Adrien’s safety as was everyone else. But in the end, they pacified themselves and set about making themselves useful. From Tikki, that meant a lot of practical advice and rationalizing with Marinette, and from Plagg that meant, well, he tried not to bring Camembert too close to Marinette while she had morning sickness.
“ The back fence gossips ain’t been this good, since Mabel ran off with Tom; ” Adrien went on, his voice soothing in the otherwise quiet of the room.
Marinette remembered the gossip that went around when Ladybug didn’t show up as usual to fights. She was there, of course, but hidden, cautious, generally hiding and dodging and telling Cat Noir what to do. Eventually, She stopped coming out at all when she started to show, and she had her loyal partners (Thank you, Master Fu) handle it and only call on her when she was needed. The Press had had a field day until Ladybug’s partners had shown up to a press conference with some hints being thrown out about a secret mission that required Ladybug’s attention for a matter of some months and she wasn’t likely to be back in circulation for a while yet. Marinette sighed in her mind. She wasn’t ready to go back into the fights that came their way. Did Superheroes take Maternity leave?
“ The town was peaceful and quiet, until she came on the scene. The lady has started a riot, disturbin’ the suburban routine… ”
She certainly had. Marinette thought to the early days of having her Miraculous and how everything grew since then, and yet stayed the same. And then suddenly being a superhero wasn’t the most important factor in her life anymore with a little plus sign on a plastic stick and the doctor’s words: “Congratulations Mrs. Agreste! You’re a mother!” Then it was a flurry of excitement and planning, talking with her mother and getting advice, being teased by Alya and Nino, setting up the nursery… actually, that one had evaded them for a while, which is why for the first month or so until the finishing touches could be done and the air purified of the residue of carpentry and painting, the baby was sleeping in their own bedroom.
“ Oh, the naughty lady of shady lane, has the town in a whirl!” Adrien went into the chorus, petting his daughter’s head against his chest, “ The naughty lady of shady lane: me-oh, my-oh, what a girl!”
Marinette smiled. Adrien had fallen head-over-heels with their little angel the moment she had been placed in their arms, and looking at him now, he hadn’t fallen one jot out of love. Of course, it had been easier for two people who were used to only sleeping half the night each anyway to adjust to having to wake up every hour to feed a little cooing bundle, so maybe that helped to dull the usually sharp disenchantment pains that most new parents felt. Marinette was grateful for that. In fact, she’d found it a little bit of a cushy assignment, and now she knew why.
As Adrien hummed the interlude between verses, he moved away from the window and to the new mini-fridge still awkwardly installed by the crib, pulling out a pre-made bottle and sticking it under his arm. ‘Sneaky little cat...’ , Marinette thought, with a smile as he began singing again.
“ You should see how she carries on, with her admirer’s galore. She must be giving them quite a thrill, the way they flock to her door.”
Marinette giggled softly, thinking of the near-constant flow of their many friends in the hospital and when they had gotten home. Even Chloe and Sabrina had stopped by once or twice to hold Emma, and Sabrina had gotten a little kick out of feeding her. Aunt Alya and Uncle Nino had almost moved in, and Tom and Sabine weren’t much better. But Adrien and Marinette liked the company, and it was well known that the Agreste's kept an open house, to “Aunt Nathalie’s” complete unamusement. Poor Nathalie; when Gabriel went missing, Nathalie wasn’t sure that Adrien would ever want to see her or his bodyguard again. But to her surprise, Adrien had relied on her as much as his father had, and Marinette had welcomed the extra protection that his bodyguard provided.
“ She throws those come hither glances, at every Tom, Dick, and Joe! And when offered some liquid refreshment: the lady never-never says no!”
Emma Bernadette might have been born with her father’s coloring and strong head of hair, (the doctor’s first words upon seeing her had been: “Look at that hair!”) but she had inherited her mother’s eye shape, and consequently “Marinette’s look of doom™”. It was physically impossible to resist loving those eyes, and Marinette dreaded with a passionate fervor the days when she would learn how to turn on the “baby-doll eyes”. And she certainly never turned down “liquid refreshment.” Sabine said she’d never seen a baby that greedy, but Nathalie swore she got it from her father.
“ Oh the naughty lady of shady lane, has the town in a whirl! The Naughty Lady, of Shady Lane: Me-oh, my-oh, what a girl!” Adrien sang the refrain again, and deeming the milk warm enough, began feeding Emma. Marinette swore that man could heat the whole room on his own if he tried. She’d often curled up with him on the colder of their runs around Paris, saving herself from frostbite through his warmth, and after many many trials (though less errors) Nathalie had finally agreed that he didn’t need to keep too close an eye on his diet and Marinette could finally stop having to sneak her own husband his favorite foods. Marinette smiled again, drinking in the sight of her Adrien and her Emma in the light of the window, Emma sucking greedily on the now warm bottle, and Adrien grinning and continuing his song.
“ The things they’re trying to pin on her, won’t hold much water, I’m sure. Beneath the powder and fancy lace, there beats a heart sweet and pure.”
Marinette had to hold back her habitual groan as she heard the puns coming from her husband’s mouth. She had known he was Cat Noir the first time they had heard the song together, but couldn’t understand why he had cottoned onto it so fast, especially that last verse. It wasn’t until a few days later, when they were talking about the project alone in her room that Adrien had let himself go, singing the puns at the top of his voice and suddenly it made sense why he had chosen this one. She had groaned heartily at it then, and she almost groaned now; but as in the first instance, a reluctant smile had pulled itself onto her face as she listened to her dorky husband.
“ She just needs someone to change her, and she’ll be nice as can be! If you’re in the neighborhood, stranger, you’re welcome to drop in and see-”
Marinette rolled her eyes silently and grinned.
“ The Naughty Lady, of Shady Lane! So delightful to hold! The Naughty Lady, of Shady Lane! So delectable! Quite respectable!” Adrien was forcing himself not to sing it in its usual way, but to sing it as a lullaby which in this last verse was hard. But he pushed through and finished and Marinette smiled.
“ And she’s only nine days old!”
Emma was cooing contentedly now, her bottle gone a couple of seconds ago, and Adrien stayed in the window with her for a while, re-singing snatches of the song as Emma burped and calmed down from the bottle, cooing all the while. Eventually, she fell asleep, and Adrien laid her down in her bed, whispering softly to her.
“Que des vols d'anges te chantent à ton repos, ma petite dame,” he whispered, kissing his daughter on the head before heading back to bed himself, crawling in beside Marinette. (“May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest, my little lady.”)
His hand came around her waist and he curled around her (she chuckled to herself) like a cat. She was almost sure she’d gotten away with seeing the whole thing unnoticed until he spoke softly in her ear.
“You should be asleep too, my ‘bug’ lady.”
Marinette opened her eyes and spoke drowsily, a smirk on her lips. “Who are you calling ‘bug’? I’m not ‘bug’ anymore. And whose fault was it in the first place?”
Adrien snickered.“ ‘Bug’ is relative to ‘little’, mon dame. And two puns in twenty seconds? From you? That’s gotta be some kind of record.”
Marinette snorted. “Hardly. Using the same pun twice when you are half asleep doesn’t count. And anyway, I’ve done better than that.”
Silent laughter from her husband shook the bed, and his rapid breathing tickled her neck. She broke into stifled giggles.
Adrien got up on his elbow and slowly kissed her shoulder, her jawbone, her cheek, her lips, and her forehead. He leaned forward and whispered in her ear: “Je t'aime mon dame.” … Then he promptly collapsed over top of her, and cuddled into her to never let her go while saying sternly, but not harshly: “Now go to sleep.” They both fell asleep to her breathy giggles into his shoulder. (“I love you, M’lady.”)