Adrien didn’t expect his day to begin with consoling a very distressed Marinette. He hadn’t even known he was walking behind her until she paused before going into the school and he bumped into her.
“I’m sorry!” He told the stranger who turned out to be her.
She looked at him over her shoulder and he did a double take. She had a hat on that hid all of her hair and he recongised her only thanks to the big blue eyes peering at him She jumped back with a squeak, suddenly looking as frightened as a little mouse. The comparison in his mind startled Adrien because he had in fact seen her dressed as a mouse and she’d been anything but frightened that day.
“What is wrong, Marinette?”
He pulled her aside, smiling apologetically to the people waiting behind them.
“I might have cut my hair on my own,” she mumbled. He thought he’d heard wrong. Of all things…
“What happened?” Suddenly her face contorted and words started pouring out of her with only occasional pauses for her to draw a breath.
“I was looking after Manon and I didn’t think anything much about her using a gum to make bubbles until she was leaving and I realised the gum was no longer in her mouth. I started looking around for it, under tables and chairs and in my bed! Only… only to find it in my hair.” His horror only grew bigger until she reached this part and he winced. “It was tangled all the way up in one of my pigtails and I tried to get it out, but to no avail. So I just took the scissors and..”
She looked like she was ready to cry so Adrien interjected.
“Ok, ok, I get it. You need to get to a hairdresser.”
“As soon as school is over,” she agreed.
He knew that no matter how big of a disaster this seemed to be, in good hands it would be alright.
“Let’s go inside then. You’ll get through today, don’t worry,” he encouraged her with a smile.
This was when an akuma alert sounded on his phone and he jumped in surprise. The day had barely started!
He saw Marinette’s face grow pale as she took her phone out.
“I better get home then,” she told him, already going down the stairs.
“I’ll call my bodyguard. See you later!”
Adrien immediately went into the bathroom so he could transform. If they were fast enough, maybe he wouldn’t miss much of school.
He hadn’t been prepared for the sight that greeted him when he met up with Ladybug. She looked the same as usual - all suited up and masked. But her hair was hidden under a hat that was terribly familiar.
“What happened, Ma-m’lady?”
He couldn’t believe his eyes. He’d been convinced he was wrong after seeing Multumouse. Marinette couldn’t be two heroes at once, right? Except she must have managed to do it because there was no doubt that the girl in front of him was none other than her!
“I had a hair disaster,” she explained. “This is not ideal but at least I don’t think many people saw me wearing the same hat this morning.”
Probably not, but he was sure that if Ladybug was spotted with a hat and then Marinette showed up at school with the same one, someone might make the connection.
“Then I was exceptionally lucky, because I did. Marinette.”
Her eyes widened.
“But how..” He could see her thinking hard and he couldn’t help feeling offended by the fact that she didn’t make the connection immediately. “Adrien, oh dear. It is you!” Finally.
“The one and only,” He grinned at her.
“This is a disaster!” Adrien tried not to take it personally. He was sure she was talking about the whole thing, not about who he had turned out to be. Or he hoped so.
“In fact, it isn’t. Let’s deal with this akuma by keeping you hidden as much as possible. Then I have an idea how to help you.”
Her eyes lit up at that, gratitude filling them.
The akuma at least was not much trouble. He managed to overwhelm it on his own and just brought the akamatised object to Marinette to purify the akuma. As he waited for her to cast her cure, he detransformed. Her gasp made him look at her.
“I will need some time to get used to that,” she explained.
She dropped her transformation and he didn’t waste time before removing the hat from her hair.
“Don’t…” She tried to say too late.
“Let me see how bad it is.”
It was as expected - unevenly cut locks in a desperate attempt to make the two sides match.
“I couldn’t leave just one pigtail,” she explained nervously.
“I know. It’s not that bad. Now, the question is, how many people are likely to make a connection if you show up with a new haircut and then Ladybug is seen sporting the same one?”
The colour drained from her face once again.
“Shoot, you’re right. What am I supposed to do?”
“Like I said, I have an idea. We will get your hair cut but will also mask the change. Let me make a call.”
He took out his phone and called his stylist.
“I need a big favour, Pierre. No, not me, a friend. A very dear friend. It’s an emergency. Can you see us in 15 minutes? You’re a star, thank you!”
“You have your stylist on speed dial?” Marinette looked at him amused.
“Look, this is not achieved without any effort, you know,” he grinned, pointing to himself.
He had expected her to roll her eyes and call him conceited or something. Not to see her blush.
“I wouldn’t have guessed, I thought it was all natural.”
“Even natural beauty needs some help,” he chuckled.
There was something about the way she was looking at him that he couldn’t place immediately but then it clicked. There was admiration in her eyes!
“M’lady, don’t tell me I was right and you can’t resist me now that you have seen me without the mask,” he teased her.
Her blush deepened. Ha!
“Even if this is true,” Oh! ”It… this has nothing to do with the way you look!” She shot back defensively. He raised an eyebrow and she looked away. “Just a little, okay?”
He wanted to ask more because this was very curious, but they had something to do first.
“We’ll talk about this later but we have a hair appointment now!”
When they arrived at the stylist’s atelier, Adrien was quick to thank him for fitting them in so quickly.
“Anything for my favourite client. Now, what is the problem?”
Marinette slowly took off the hat, looking into the mirror with a frown. Pierre shot Adrien a look and he wordlessly told him not to comment on the state of her hair.
“We need this evened out?” He suggested diplomatically.
“This first, but then we’ll need extensions to bring it down to shoulder length.”
Pierre just nodded, focused on the task at hand. Adrien sighed in relief. Marinette was in good hands.
When he saw the final result of her haircut, Adrien couldn’t help grinning. While Pierre went away to bring the extensions, he stood behind her and smiled at her in the mirror.
“You look amazing,” he gushed. It was the simple truth. He’d loved her in pigtails and he’d loved her with her hair down that one time he’d seen her like that, but the masterfully done cut also did wonders to bring out her finer points.
When she smiled, the effect was complete.
“Just telling the truth, m’lady,” he shrugged.
Once the extensions were in place, Adrien was even more certain that the plan would work. Pierre explained to Marinette how to remove them if she needed to and assured her that she could go to him if she needed help. Her hair would grow in a few months anyway.
“Thank you so much, Pierre. I knew I could trust you with this. Do I need to say that this stays between us?”
Of course, Pierre was a professional and more than used to the whims of models, which explained the rates he was charging, so he didn’t bat an eyelash at the request.
When they left, Marinette was already tying up her hair and turned to him for a final verdict.
“No noticeable difference,” he beamed at her.
“I can’t believe I can’t afford changing my hairstyle because it can out me,” she sighed.
“It doesn’t matter, you’re always beautiful to me.”
He didn’t even think before saying this but something in her eyes shifted.
“I wouldn’t have managed to deal with this situation if it wasn’t for you, kitty.” Her eyes shined with gratitude as she took a step towards him. “I’m pretty sure you deserve a kiss for this.”
“If you insist,” he somehow managed to say as he turned his side to her. Instead of feeling her lips on his cheek, though, he felt a hand on his other cheek, making him look at her.
Then she surprised him by kissing his lips. It was the softest kiss but it was over before he was ready.
“Now that I think about it, this was worth more than one kiss,” he whispered as he chased the warm touch of her lips. She smiled, her cheeks the most irresistible pink.
“Then you can tell me how you suddenly fell for me,” he added. She gasped, making him chuckle.
“I don’t mind.”
He really didn’t care about the reason for her change of heart as long as she was where he wanted her.