Continuing Tales

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A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by DarkReyna16

Part 17 of 37

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Plagg’s whiskers were twitching as he flitted around through the vents, frowning to himself.

His annoyance with his Chosen had obscured everything else for a good, long while, but now that his temper had run its course…he was getting a very strange feeling. Like, somewhere, in this accursed human dwelling…his other half was waiting for him.

Plagg scoffed at that. It was probably a false alarm borne from wishful thinking; he’d been getting a lot of those lately. After all, the odds that Tikki would be here at his Chosen’s girlfriend’s dwelling would just be too convenient—

Something red suddenly zipped by Plagg, bringing him to a screeching halt. He blinked perplexed green eyes, stunned for a brief moment.

…But on the other hand…stranger things have happened…

“Tikki!” Plagg hissed, rounding the corner to chase after the kwami. He suddenly found himself in a large cluttered bedroom as he exited the vents. He didn’t have time to take in any other details, however; a pair of big, indigo eyes was suddenly obscuring his vision.

“Plagg!” Tikki chirped, and she air tackled him, Plagg grumbling under his breath as she happily nuzzled her cheek against his. “I knew I sensed you around! I’ve been looking all over for you!”

“Then how come it took you so long to find me?” Plagg sassed, regarding Tikki with an appraising glance. She seemed healthy…that was good.

Tikki smiled at him.

“Well, if you were moving around, too, naturally we’d keep missing each other,” she teased him. Plagg pouted at her foolproof logic.

“What are you doing here, anyway?” He wanted to know, following her as she flew across the room, to the bed, where a large, luxurious red pillow sat a few centimeters away from the rest of the pillows. Tikki tugged on the cord of a bedside lamp, bringing a little light into the room, before she flopped down onto the pillow, settling into what was clearly a familiar setting. Plagg joined her, noting how comfy the plush pillow was beneath him. He pawed at the pillow, getting comfortable as he eyed Tikki. “Wait, don’t tell me: your Chosen is my Chosen’s girlfriend.”

Tikki giggled.

“While it’s true that’s been the case more often than not, I don’t think so this time around. After all, Marinette and Adrien aren’t dating.”

Plagg deadpanned his other half a look.

“What do you mean? Of course they’re dating,” he huffed with a wave of his miniscule paw. “With the amount of time they spend staring slack-jawed at each other, how could they not be?”

Tikki frowned at this.

“Marinette doesn’t gawk at Adrien. Those days are long over. She’s a mature adult now…which is more than I can say for your Chosen.”

“And what is that supposed to mean?”

“Do I really have to spell it out for you? All the attempts on the akumatized victims’ lives? Leaving Ladybug in the lurch by suddenly withdrawing from his superhero duties?”

“None of that is my fault.”

“I’m not saying it is.” Tikki tilted her head to the side with a frown. “…Is Adrien okay?”

Thunder rumbled overhead as Plagg considered the question, taking in Tikki’s concerned expression by the glow of the lamp beside them.

“He is…” he paused, “…under construction.”

Tikki blinked, apparently confused by the odd phrasing. Before she could ask, however, an earth-shattering boom crashed outside, and abruptly, the light fizzled out from the room. Both kwamis turned to stare at the dead light, and then glanced at each other.

“Oh dear…I hope Marinette’ll be okay. She hates thunderstorms…”

Plagg gave a shrug, sinking into the pillow.

“Adrien’s with her. He won’t let anything happen to her. Despite him being…difficult…about his feelings for her, he still cares a great deal for her.” Plagg sniffed. Silly humans and their ridiculous emotions…

Tikki crept closer to him, settling into the pillow next to him.

“Are you sure it’s okay to just let them be?”

“Why not? It’s not like we can just zoom in and check on them anyway. They still don’t know each other’s superhero identities, do they?”

“That’s true…” When Tikki still continued to look worried, Plagg sighed and scooted closer to her, resting his head against hers.

“Don’t fuss so much, Tikki. They’re adults. They’ll figure it out on their own.”

Tikki hummed, nuzzling her head against Plagg’s.

“I guess they will. Eventually…but in any case, I’m happy I get to spend time with you tonight, Plagg.”

Plagg closed his eyes, lacking the energy to suppress the purr that escaped him.

“Me, too, Tikki.”



Marinette didn’t mean to do it.

She didn’t mean to follow through with the wild, half-formed thoughts bouncing around in her brain all evening. She didn’t even mean to entertainsuch thoughts, but her mind was unmanageable, only able to dwell on the feel of Adrien’s arms around her, the way he looked at her when he said he trusted her, the overconfident smirks he threw her way before being thrashed at their favorite video game, the blush that filled his face more than once tonight, his body heat…and now this. She blamed her sudden boldness on two things: the darkness that flooded the living room, hiding her and Adrien’s faces from view, and the desire to prove to herself that she wasn’t going crazy.

After all, she wasn’t actually feeling things for Adrien again, after all this time. She couldn’t be. Sure, she could say with confidence that she actually knew him now: he was a hot modeling dork who was sweet and kind, with a cheesy dad-pun-like sense of humor, and he was going through a rough time, but he was working to get better. But just because she knew him better now didn’t mean anything. Really, such notions were ridiculous: she wasn’t a hormonal teenager anymore, crushing on the pretty boy model she sat behind in class. She and Adrien were friends, good friends, and Adrien himself was no doubt in a very vulnerable state right now. The last thing that should’ve been on her mind when she hid herself in the laundry room in an attempt to regain her composure—after noting the relative ease with which Adrien could pick her up and hold her—was how soft his lips might be if she dared to just try them for herself…

And yet, here she was.

Marinette’s inward cursing increased two-fold when Adrien froze. Oh god, she was making him uncomfortable. What was she thinking, pulling a stunt like this? This was a terrible way to prove that she didn’t have feelings for him! She should be ashamed!

Despite her inner dialogue berating her, Marinette was still slow to pull away. Her body rebelled, wanting to savor the heat and the closeness, but Marinette made herself lean back, her teeth pressing into her lip immediately. She opened her eyes, wanting to search his expression, but thanks to the storm outside, there was no light to penetrate the darkness of the living room. Still, his motionlessness was a bad sign.

Marinette inhaled quietly, preparing to apologize—

Her air was abruptly cut off when Adrien leaned down, mashing his lips to hers.

Marinette let out a muffled squeak of surprise, and Adrien drew back immediately. He hovered over her, close enough that she could feel his trembling breath on her lips. Though she couldn’t see him, the weight of his stare made goosebumps chill her skin. But that was ridiculous, he couldn’t see her…

She waited for him to say something. He didn’t. And Marinette had no idea what to do.

He had kissed her back. It took him a moment, like his brain had lagged in between when she pulled back and his decision to reciprocate…but he still kissed her back.

Did that mean…was this okay?

Did Adrien…want to kiss her?

Marinette couldn’t breathe.

This is a bad idea,’ Alya’s voice whispered to her, scolding and worried all at the same time. ‘If you’re trying to prove that you’re over Adrien, this clearly isn’t the way to do it.

But why not? When she kissed Adrien, all she felt was awkwardness, especially because he hadn’t bothered to kiss her back until she had pulled away. Didn’t that prove her right? Or had Adrien’s non-response obscured how she actually felt about the whole matter?

…Well, she wouldn’t know until she tried again, would she…?

You’re terrible.

She really was. Adrien didn’t deserve this; by all accounts, she was playing with his feelings right now. And considering his vulnerable state, this was super not okay. Friends did not do this to one another.

Just as she was trying to decide how to beg for forgiveness, her lips were once again occupied. This kiss was a little less awkward, but more hesitant, soft. And it was unbearably sweet. In the kiss, Marinette could feel Adrien’s care for her; ever the gentleman, he didn’t seem to want to scare her with such affection. Indeed, when Marinette froze in surprise, he drew back immediately. Clearly, he was reluctant to cross some sort of line with her, and his concern added to the wild pounding that was currently occurring in Marinette’s chest—

Unthinkingly, she leaned up again, brushing her lips against his. She felt the small intake of breath from him before he kissed her again, his movements slow and gentle. Marinette hardly dared to breathe as she returned the tender kisses with her own, the warning bells in her head stubbornly ignored as she melted into him, her hands creeping up from his neck to bury themselves in his soft, strawberry-scented hair. She was probably mussing his carefully tied bun, but she didn’t care; the only thing that registered was that she suddenly needed him closer, needed more of him. The need echoed through her fingers as they dragged through his hair, her nails grazing his scalp.

Adrien whimpered in the back of his throat. Beginning to surface from her haze, Marinette began to loosen her fingers, afraid she was hurting him—

But suddenly, there was something new as Adrien pressed his lips more firmly to hers, his hands moving to cup her cheeks. The way his lips traced hers was different, and he whimpered again, the tail end of the noise coming out in a growl. Marinette felt sudden heat spike through her as he pulled on her lower lip with his teeth, drawing a breathless gasp from her. Again, she felt him begin to pull back, as if he was worried he was frightening her. This annoyed her; didn’t he know the difference between fear and arousal?

Marinette buried her fingers in his hair, preventing him from going anywhere as she deepened the kiss, her tongue darting out to run across his bottom lip. She distinctly felt the shiver that trembled down his spine, and she had to suppress the grin that threatened to give her away when he mashed his lips to hers, gentleness fading rapidly and giving way to heat and hunger.

Wanting to hear him whine more, Marinette pulled at the golden strands, dislodging the bun as her fingers tangled in his hair, setting it free. As she dragged her fingers through his loose locks, she felt Adrien shudder again, his body tightening against hers, the planes of his muscles clearly felt through their very thin layers of clothing—

Mari,” he whimpered against her lips, and a thrill shot through Marinette at the sheer need in his voice—

Count on me, like one, two, three, I’ll be there!

Marinette and Adrien both jumped so violently at the sudden noise that their heads knocked together. As Adrien hissed, cursing as he sat up, Marinette felt the warmth of their bodies leave her, a chill invading the space between them. Pushing herself up onto her elbows, she glanced over at the coffee table, where her phone vibrated, its cheerful ringtone still blaring through the living room:

I can count on you, like four, three, two, and you’ll be there.

‘Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do, aw yeah~

Marinette felt her heart drop into the pit of her stomach at the familiar ringtone.

“Alya,” she muttered. The name was like a word of power; it broke the spell that had muted Marinette’s responsibility and common sense, casting what she had just been doing with Adrien into a harsh, unforgiving light.

Adrien’s reaction was startling; he abruptly scrambled away from Marinette, to the other side of the couch, as if he was unwilling to be caught in wrong-doing with her. Marinette cast him a curious glance, but she couldn’t focus on him right now; she knew Alya was probably calling to check up on her, and if she didn’t answer, Alya would worry needlessly.

Working to clear her throat in an attempt to sound as normal as possible, Marinette reached for her phone, sliding the bar at the bottom to answer the call.


“Marinette, thank god,” Alya sighed from the other end of the line. “Are you okay? I lost power over here—did you?”

“Yeah,” Marinette answered, trying to subtly clear her throat again, self-conscious because she could feel Adrien’s eyes on her, his gaze like a physical touch, ghosting across her face and down her body. She bit her lip and kept her gaze sternly away from him.

“Shit. Well, do you have all your blankets out and ready? I don’t know how long the power’s gonna be out, but it’s gonna get really cold tonight.”

“Don’t worry, I have a battery-powered electric blanket. I’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure? Do you want me to come over?”

“No, Alya, don’t do that,” Marinette said in a rush, and then cringed at the haste of her response. Could she be any more obvious? “It’s still pouring outside; I don’t want you driving in such dangerous conditions.”

“Psh. No storm can keep me away if my Marinette needs me.”

Marinette let out a giggle that was a tiny bit strained.

“I’m fine, Alya, I promise. Just stay put, okay? I’ll feel better knowing you’re safe and dry.”

“All right, all right. Well, make sure you keep warm, okay? Bundle yourself in the thousands of blankets you have at your place if you need to. Just don’t freeze, all right?”

“I’ll do my best.”

The line went quiet for a moment, which caused Marinette some concern. Had Alya hung up without saying goodbye? That wasn’t like her…

Just as Marinette began to pull her phone away from her ear to check her screen, Alya suddenly spoke again.

“You sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah, of course,” Marinette answered as naturally as she could, while inwardly cringing at the lie. “Why do you ask?”

“…I don’t know. You just sound kind of off.”

“The power suddenly going out startled me, that’s all.”

“Aw. My poor Marinette,” Alya sighed, and Marinette bit her lip. She absolutely hated lying to Alya, so much that she almost blurted out the truth…but how could she explain herself with Adrien was sitting literally meters from her…? “You can call me if you have trouble falling asleep, okay? I know how you are about thunderstorms.”

Marinette smiled as guilt wrung at her insides.

“Thanks, Alya.”

“You know it, girl. I’m gonna go, but remember, if you need me, call me.”

“I will. Thanks, Alya.”

“G’night, girl.”

Alya hung up. Marinette lowered her phone from her ear, staring down at the screen, where she and Alya posed in a picture, holding up peace signs. Bit by bit, Marinette let what had just happened settle onto her shoulders.

Adrien had made her doubt her feelings for him all night…so to prove how very over him she was, she had kissed him.

And then he had kissed her back.

And then they kept kissing, without any inclination of stopping—

And then Alya had called, interrupting whatever might have happened if she hadn’t wanted to check up on Marinette.

If that wasn’t divine intervention…

Marinette stood up, clutching her phone in her grasp. Quickly, she pulled up the flashlight app, narrowing her eyes against the sudden bright beam that burst from her phone. She cupped a hand around it, limiting the glow, before she inhaled deeply, squared her shoulders, and turned to face Adrien.

He leaned forward on the couch, a hand running through his hair, as if he was paranoid it wasn’t lying flat. His cheeks were flushed, shoulders hunched, eyes cast downward before they flicked over to Marinette, almost as if he felt her staring. The clear embarrassment on his face robbed her of the knowledge of how words worked; for a minute, they could only stare at each other.

You started this mess, Dupain-Cheng! Say something already!

Marinette swallowed, and then forced the first words that came to mind out of her mouth.

“The power’s out,” she said stupidly. Alya’s voice sighed in her head.

Okay, it’s a start…but let’s try for something a little smarter next time.

Adrien blinked at her.

“Yeah…” he replied slowly. His voice was husky, and he seemed to realize it, for he cleared his throat, glancing away from her. “Not much to do in the dark…”

Was she imagining the suggestion in his tone? She had to be. There was no way he was actually…

“Why don’t we go to bed?”

Adrien stared at her for a full five seconds before Marinette realized how her words sounded, and she felt mortified heat flush through her neck and all the way up to the roots of her hair.

“I-I mean! To sleep! Just sleeping! It’s, uh, only nine o’ clock, but I’ve had a long day and I bet you’re tired, too, hahaha, so maybe we should just…call it a night?”

It was way too hot in this room, despite the fact that the heater wasn’t currently working. Adrien seemed to be feeling the heat, too, if his flushed face was any indication.

“Um…okay,” he agreed after a moment, glancing away from Marinette as he rubbed the back of his neck. The lack of eye contact eased some of Marinette’s nerves, and she nodded, turning her back to him.

“Okay. Just, uh, wait there a second. I’m gonna go set up some stuff, and then I’ll be back.”


Fleeing to the laundry room once more, Marinette made herself breathe. Okay…the situation had gotten a little out of control…but she could salvage this. All she needed to do was act cool, and pretend the kissing thing never happened.

Seriously, Marinette? How old are you, again?

Marinette banished Alya’s voice to the back of her mind as she went to the dryer, carefully withdrawing Adrien’s still wet clothes and hanging them up to air dry by the light of her flashlight app. She forced down the blush on her face at the sight of his underwear—black boxer briefs, incidentally—and resolved to be professional. It wasn’t like she, as a fashion designer, didn’t have to handle men’s underwear from time to time. It was just underwear.

Adrien’s underwear…which meant he currently wasn’t wearing any…

Blood went zooming into Marinette’s face. Shit, she didn’t even think about that until now! Why did she have to have this realization right now?!

“Pull yourself together!” She grumbled to herself, slapping her cheeks. The stinging pain helped clear her head, and she refocused on her task, hanging up the rest of Adrien’s clothes before she moved to the linen closet, drawing out extra blankets. If the power was going to stay off for the rest of the night, she was going to have to do all she could to avoid freezing, per Alya’s request…and she had to keep her impromptu overnight guest warm as well…

Adrien hadn’t moved when Marinette returned from the laundry room. He abruptly sat up straight when he heard her coming, and Marinette did her best to ignore him as she settled the blankets on the other end of the couch, making sure to keep the fluffiest blanket on top of the pile as she withdrew another blanket and folded it over her arm. If she was going to be spending the night on the couch, she wanted to be comfortable…and her electric blanket was upstairs, so Adrien would be warm, too, at least.

“Be right back,” she mumbled to Adrien once more before she headed for the stairs. Tikki wasn’t on her usual pillow when Marinette entered the room, and she flicked the light from her phone around, searching for the suddenly elusive kwami.

“Tikki?” Marinette hissed, closing the door so her voice wouldn’t carry downstairs. “Where are you?”

The kwami’s head popped out of one of Marinette’s desk drawers, and Marinette beckoned to her as she crossed to the bed, laying down the extra blanket.

“Listen, I need you to hide for tonight, okay? Adrien’s gonna take my bed, since he obviously can’t go home in this weather. You know the drill: unless I call you, please don’t come out, okay?”

Tikki blinked her indigo eyes at Marinette.

“But where are you going to sleep, Marinette?”

“On the couch,” Marinette answered, leaning over and squinting in the semi-darkness as she searched for the switch to her electric blanket. Her phone rested on her nightstand, casting a pool of light on the ceiling that Marinette was just able to see by, but she still had to hunt with touch alone for the switch. Once she found it, she snapped it on, and the blanket hummed to life, spreading warmth immediately. Marinette almost whimpered in longing…but it was one night. She could live one night without her precious heated blanket…even if tonight was supposed to become unbearably cold…

She glanced over in time to spot the worried look on Tikki’s face. Smiling, Marinette reached over and stroked her kwami between her antennae.

“It’s only for one night, Tikki. I’ll be fine. I’m sorry you have to hide out for a while, but I think the storm’ll pass in the morning. I’ll make it up to you later, okay?”

“I’m fine, Marinette, don’t worry about me,” Tikki reassured her Chosen, nuzzling into Marinette’s hand. “Just do whatever makes you feel comfortable.”

Marinette smiled in relief. Tikki made everything so easy. Marinette was always so grateful for her mild-mannered kwami.

“Thanks, Tikki. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Assured by Tikki, Marinette headed back downstairs, gathering whatever courage she had left to face Adrien a third time—

He was lying down on the couch, the blankets spread over him, his feet hanging off the end by a good few centimeters. Marinette blinked, brought up short by this unexpected development.

“What are you doing?” She asked him, lifting her phone higher to shine light on him. Adrien winced and covered his eyes with a hand, and Marinette lowered the phone, murmuring an apology.

“Going to bed,” Adrien replied, squinting at her over his hand. “That was the plan, wasn’t it?”

“Well, yeah…but you don’t have to sleep down here, Adrien. You can take my bed.”

Adrien blinked at her. Slowly, he sat up, tucking loose blonde hair behind his ears as his golden brow began to crease.

“I can’t do that,” he protested, to Marinette’s surprise. “I’m not gonna make you sleep on the couch in your own apartment, Mari.”

Ohhhh, he was being polite. To this, Marinette snorted.

“You clearly don’t fit on the couch, Mr. Model,” she pointed out, flicking one of his toes as she drew closer to the couch. Adrien made a face and pulled his feet under the blanket. “My bed’s bigger, so it makes more sense for you to take it.”

“But you’ll be cold down here,” Adrien pointed out. Marinette frowned.

“I’ll survive,” she insisted, her gaze growing stubborn in reaction to Adrien’s locked jaw. “Now move. You’re in my makeshift bed.”

Adrien met her gaze head-on, green eyes glittering in the dark.

“No,” he said. And, as Marinette watched in open-mouthed shock, he pulled the blankets over his head and buried himself under them. “You go sleep upstairs. I’m just fine down here.”

Marinette gaped at him.

“Seriously?” She questioned, setting her phone down on the coffee table as she moved forward, hands gripping her hips as she scowled down at the blanketed ball that was Adrien Agreste. “What are you, twelve?”

“Maybe,” came Adrien’s muffled voice from underneath the blankets. There was a smile in his voice that irritated Marinette. “My age aside, you’re not gonna get me to move, so you might as well just give up.”

The last two words stoked the fire that was Marinette’s competitive streak.

“Is that a challenge?” She asked, and Adrien must have realized his mistake, for he groaned and scrunched himself into a tighter ball.

“Go to bed, Marinette.”

“I will as soon as you get out of it!” Marinette protested, and she grabbed the blanket, giving a tug. Adrien had a pretty strong grip, however, so Marinette had to stop when she heard an ominous ripping sound, and she let go with a huff. “Adrien! Get out of there!”

“No,” Adrien answered, stubborn. Growling under her breath, Marinette tried for a new tactic—she climbed onto the couch, fingers jabbing into the sides of the Adrien blanket ball. He gave a yelp, and she grinned, sensing weakness.

“A-ha! Someone’s ticklish, huh?”

“Marinette, no!” Adrien protested, but it was too late: Marinette attacked his sides without mercy, and soon, Adrien was a ball of giggles, Marinette unwittingly grinning at the cute sounds of him snorting with laughter. The attack only lasted a few seconds before he was crying for mercy, and Marinette ceased her tickling, leaning over him as he finally pulled himself free of the blanket, his hair disheveled, save for that hair clip that kept his bangs miraculously in place. Marinette smirked, tempted to snap a photo…but then she remembered her promise not to blackmail him.

“So? Since I got you to surrender, this means I get the couch now, right?” She asked him, lifting an eyebrow at him. Adrien inhaled deeply, clearly attempting to catch his breath after the sudden tickle fight. A hand was resting against his face, and he opened one eye, appearing to inspect her.

“Question,” he said after a moment, “how big is your bed?”

Marinette smirked.

“It’s big enough to fit you, Mr. Model, don’t worry.”

“While that is comforting, that’s not what I mean.” Adrien propped himself up on an elbow, prompting Marinette to sit back once she recognized their close proximity, a blush flooding her face once again, though she tried to remain casual. “I mean, is it big enough to fit two people?”

Marinette tilted her head to the side.

“Well, yeah. When Alya comes over, we share it, and there’s no problem with space, until she starts having that kickboxing dream…why do you…”

Adrien blushed as Marinette watched him; the involuntary reaction gave him away, and Marinette felt her face heat up as well.

“Oh,” she mumbled.

Adrien lifted his hands immediately, his expression pained.

“It’s just a thought. If it’s supposed to get really cold tonight, more body heat seems like a good idea…but I don’t want you to do anything you’re not comfortable with, so if you don’t want to—”

“No,” Marinette blurted without thinking, and then rushed to correct her mistake. “I mean, no, you have a point: that does make sense. And it’d solve the problem of who sleeps where…”

As she fell silent, Adrien watched her, anxiousness rolling off him in waves. Marinette wondered if he, like her, was dwelling on how potentially dangerous this decision might be, if they weren’t careful…

“So…it’s okay?” He asked quietly. Marinette swallowed her own misgivings and nodded.

“Yeah. It’s okay.”



She was wide awake. He knew she was. After settling down into her bed and bidding goodnight to one another, she had rolled over and given him her back as she went into the fetal position to sleep. That was an hour and a half ago, according to her phone, and she hadn’t relaxed her position yet.

Adrien couldn’t honestly say that he was anywhere near sleep, either, but he fidgeted, at least, shifting his legs under the blankets, drumming his fingers on his stomach, the sound of the pounding rain on the roof making him restless. He had no idea what to make of her stillness.

At least it was warm—this heated blanket was amazing, and Adrien had to keep himself from purring in pleasure. That wouldn’t go over well at all.

Her breathing wasn’t as even as she was pretending it was. Every time he shifted, he heard her breath catch, only to stutter back into the even rhythm she was forcing onto herself. Adrien frowned. She was clearly uncomfortable with him here…and yet she wouldn’t say anything. Why? He knew all too well by now how fully she could speak her mind when it came to him…so why didn’t she just cancel the arrangement and make him sleep on the couch? Was she trying to be polite because she’d feel bad about making him sleep downstairs? But then she would just go downstairs herself, wouldn’t she? Or was she waiting until he fell asleep before she left him up here?

Adrien muffled his sigh. Most likely, he was overthinking this whole situation, and he was feeling guilty, because he had been the one to suggest the arrangement in the first place. It wasn’t like he had any ill intentions—he just wanted to be close to her—but he still felt bad about putting her in this position. Clearly, Marinette hadn’t known what she was getting into when she allowed him to share her bed with her, and was now regretting it.

Especially considering what had occurred between them just an hour and a half ago…an incident that Adrien was still struggling to convince himself was real, simply because it seemed too good to be true…

Adrien turned his head a little, staring at the back of Marinette’s head. She had taken out her pigtails before bed, and loose raven hair spilled across her pillow, contrasting with her pink pillow case…but only because Adrien had seen the pillow case was pink before she turned off her flashlight app. He squinted, just able to make out a flush that was spreading across what he could see of the back of Marinette’s neck. Was she too hot? Or…could she feel him staring at her…?


Marinette jumped, and Adrien suppressed the urge to chuckle at the squeak that escaped her. God, she was cute.

“Y-yeah?” She stammered, turning her head a little, though Adrien knew she couldn’t see him. That made it a little easier for him to breathe and finally speak the words that he’d been mulling over for the past ninety minutes:

“Are we not gonna talk about what happened downstairs?”

He felt Marinette stiffen. He watched as her teeth bit down on her lower lip and sighed through his nose. He had a very strong feeling that he wasn’t going to like what she was about to say…if she even chose to indulge him, that is…

Marinette’s voice was surprisingly small when she answered him.

“Do we have to…?”

Oh god. Forget it, forget the whole thing, Agreste, he couldn’t pursue it, not with her sounding like that—

Get a grip,’ Adrien sternly ordered himself as he cleared his throat. They were adults, damn it. They had to talk about these things. Or he did, at least, if he didn’t want the memory of tonight to torment him into insanity.

“I don’t want to make you uncomfortable,” he said apologetically before his voice turned firm. “…But I think we need to.”

Silence settled between them, tense and uncomfortable. The longer Marinette remained quiet, the more anxious Adrien grew. He was on the brink of blurting out never mind, that it wasn’t important after all, inwardly resolving to work it out in therapy the first chance he got, when Marinette let loose a sigh that seemed to remove all the tension in her body. And then she rolled over to face him.

Adrien was startled by the move; he had apparently moved unconsciously closer to her, so when she rolled over, they were almost nose to nose. He froze, staring at her, assuming that she would move back first with a hushed apology.

She didn’t.

“Adrien,” she murmured to him, blue eyes wide and pleading as she searched in vain for his gaze in the darkness. “I’m so sorry.”

Something about this apology tickled something in the back of Adrien’s brain. He couldn’t focus on it, however, not with her so close to him. He swallowed and frantically scrambled to remember how the hell words worked.

“F-for what?” He questioned stupidly. Marinette sighed again, her breath hitting his face, smelling of the toothpaste she’d used before bed. Such a small thing threatened to undo Adrien, and he sternly locked his muscles in place. He would not jump Marinette for something as silly as toothpaste. God, he needed to get a grip.

“You know,” she huffed, and her expression twisted in embarrassment. “For…for kissing you.”

Adrien blinked, processing the apology.

Oh…so she regretted it after all, huh…

“It’s okay,” he was quick to assure her, thankful that she couldn’t see him right now, for he was certain she’d be able to see the way his heart was threatening to split apart just from the look on his face. “We were just caught up in the moment, I guess—”

“It’s not okay,” Marinette insisted, her sudden scolding tone ceasing further words from Adrien. “I shouldn’t have…god, that was an awful thing to do to you!”

Adrien blinked, nonplussed. What was she talking about?

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that I shouldn’t go around kissing my friends like that! I never meant to play with your feelings, Adrien, honestly. I was just trying to prove something to myself, and it ended up backfiring on me, and now I feel so stupid, and you didn’t deserve to be dragged into such a complicated situation, and—”

Adrien had to put a finger to Marinette’s lips to get her to quiet down; she ignored all his other attempts to cut in, and just kept barreling on, rambling out a long stream of confusing and intriguing words that he didn’t want her to move on from until he had a chance to address them. He was relieved when she silenced herself at his touch, and he took a deep breath to steady himself. Yes, this conversation was several shades of awkward, but ignoring it wasn’t going to solve anything. It was time to pull up his big boy pants—well, Marinette’s pink pajama pants, actually—and face it.

The ‘playing with his feelings’ issue he left alone, simply because he wasn’t sure just how much Marinette knew about his feelings…and until he could verify that he wasn’t that obvious when he was around her, that was a thread he was choosing not to tug, for the time being. Instead, he jumped to the next interesting thing that Marinette had spouted in her long-winded spiel of apology and self-abuse:

“What do you mean, you wanted to prove something to yourself?”

Adrien’s finger drifted away from her lips to let her speak freely…but he felt the heat that rushed to her face before he drew away, and it intrigued him further. Just what did she need to go about proving by kissing him…?

“I…I…” Marinette sighed, muffling a whine. “Oh god, it’s so embarrassing, please don’t laugh, okay?”

Adrien smiled.

“I won’t. You can tell me.”

Marinette groaned under her breath, and Adrien scooted a little closer, their noses brushing against each other, foreheads touching.

“Please?” He asked softly.

Marinette swallowed, letting out a breath.

“I just…well…tonight, with us playing around and all…I don’t know,” she grumbled, turning her head away to avoid Adrien’s gaze, though she couldn’t see him. “When you held me in the kitchen…you were so close…and then I started thinking…things.”

Adrien forced himself not to laugh.

“Things?” He prompted. Marinette grumbled a little under her breath.

“You’re really going to make me spell it out?”

“I won’t know what you’re talking about any other way, Mari. It’s not like I can read minds,” he reminded her.

“Thank god,” Marinette huffed, and Adrien couldn’t help but chuckle a little at that.

“What? You already tell me what’s on your mind most of the time, anyway. What d’you have to hide from me?”

Marinette’s expression abruptly became inscrutable, her face still turned from him. Adrien squinted, trying to identify the mystery in her gaze, but as soon as he dared to look closer, it vanished, and she turned back to him, a slight smile on her lips.

“Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to, Adrien,” she said lightly…but there was an undercurrent of warning to her words that Adrien was just able to pick up on. He stared at her, marveling. He thought he knew her pretty well by now…but then again, who was he to assume that not everyone had another side to them, never seen before…?

“All right,” he agreed, choosing to let the matter drop—for now—in favor of their previous topic. “So, back to these things you were thinking…”

Marinette sighed, as if she had been hoping he’d forget or something.

“Right…well, I won’t give you the gritty details, but…it’s been a while since I’ve been…held…by a guy.”

“…Among other things?” Adrien suggested, just barely able to get the words out through the sudden dryness in his throat. Marinette smiled a little, her freckled cheeks flushing.

“Exactly. So, when you held me close like that…I kind of started wondering…what it would be like to…”


Here, Marinette half-buried her face into the pillow underneath them. But she still forced out the words that confirmed Adrien’s sudden suspicion:

“…To kiss you,” she mumbled, and by all accounts, her face ought to have been on fire, with how red it was.

Oh. Ohhh. She had just been curious. Well, Adrien didn’t dare to hope for anything else, so this reasoning made sense to him. And he would have left it at that…were it not for the other intriguing thing she had said…

“But it backfired on you?”

Marinette groaned again, the sound muffled as she pressed her face fully into the pillow. Adrien wished she would stop making such provocative noises in such close quarters with him; if she kept that up, he’d have to deal with a rather urgent situation in between his legs before long…

“Yes,” she grumbled begrudgingly, turning once again to face him head-on. “I didn’t expect you to be so good at it.”

That forced a laugh from Adrien, and Marinette scowled at him.

“You said you wouldn’t laugh,” she reminded him sternly. Adrien struggled to reign himself in.

“Sorry, just…I’m happy you enjoyed the seconds of kissing we had before Alya interrupted,” he teased while he inwardly screamed. He was a good kisser, she thought he was a good kisser…Alya was going to murder him, sure, but still, Marinette thought he was a good kisser. At this point, he almost welcomed the Cesaire threat, because at least he would die happy.

Through his glee, he witnessed Marinette blinking at him, looking surprised.

“…You’re not mad?” She asked, in a voice so afraid that he would be furious with her that Adrien paused, frowning down at her.

“Should I be?”

Marinette shifted and bit her lip, her surprise warping into awkwardness.

“Well, I did kind of spring it on you…”

“I would’ve been more surprised if you had asked permission, honestly.”

That seemed to draw Marinette up short, and she stared without seeing at him, blue eyes wide.

“How come?”

Adrien lifted and dropped a shoulder, hoping to sound as casual as that gesture she couldn’t see, even if he currently was anything but.

“Because you’re you,” he answered, “and I’m me. So I didn’t really think you’d ever want to kiss me.”

Marinette deadpanned him a look, and Adrien was entertained by the fact that she still made those faces at him, despite the fact that she couldn’t possibly know that he could see her.

“You do remember me admitting that I had a teenage crush on you that was so big that I couldn’t function like a normal human being around you?” She pointed out dryly. Adrien chuckled, the sound hollow. Oh, what he wouldn’t give for such simple days again…

“That was then, though,” he pointed out, watching her eyes. “This is now, and I’m me…and you’re you.”

Marinette smiled a little.

“You’ve said that twice, now. What is it supposed to mean?”

“That I’m a mess. And you’re wonderful.”

Marinette’s face turned red once again.

“You aren’t a mess,” she contradicted him, and Adrien smirked at how she chose to ignore the compliment.

“I’m a work in progress, then,” he corrected himself, closing his eyes. Unconsciously, he nuzzled Marinette’s nose. “Under construction, as Ivan would say.”

There was a soft, almost hesitant touch to his cheek. Marinette’s fingertips traced across his skin, her palm resting against his face after a moment. Adrien moved towards the warmth, humming in content at the contact.

“That might be true,” Marinette said softly, her breath tickling his face, “but just because you’re not, uh, finished yet, it doesn’t make you a mess.”

Adrien snorted softly.

“You’re so nice, Mari,” he mumbled, a hand sliding up to cover hers, keeping her hand to his face.

“Not really,” Marinette whispered, and now she scooted so close that there was barely any space between them, and he could feel her body heat radiating from her, her lips gently brushing his as she spoke. “I’m just being honest.”

“Can I be honest, too?”

“S-sure,” Marinette muttered, her breath hitching as Adrien dared to press a light kiss to her palm. “Uh, go ahead.”

“I’m trying really, really hard not to kiss you again,” he confessed, keeping his eyes closed and feeling his pulse race, his blood sparking at her proximity, at the fact that she chose to be this close to him on her own. Did she really not know the effect she had on him?

Marinette freed her hand from his. He swallowed his whimper of protest—he had no right to hold her there if she didn’t want to stay—

Her hand slid around him, massaging the back of his neck. Adrien shuddered, and Marinette pressed closer to him still, her free hand gripping the front of his shirt.

“Is it okay that I want you to?” She asked him, her tone doing devastating things to him. Adrien opened his eyes, briefly surprised at the look on her face, her eyes half-lidded, cheeks flushed, her tongue running over her top lip…like she was going to eat him. It was a look he’d never seen on her before, and he suddenly found that he couldn’t breathe, a stirring deep in the pit of his stomach telling him that he was in trouble, big trouble—

He must’ve made some sort of noise that resembled a ‘yes’: Marinette moved forward, removing the sliver of space that still remained between their faces, her lips pressing firmly to his. And Adrien happily lost himself in the kiss, shoving aside all the other unanswered questions he wanted to ask, though he was half-afraid of the answers they might evoke. He wanted nothing else but this moment with this woman, with whom he wasn’t in love with yet, but could certainly feel himself tumbling in that direction, straight off the cliff until he was free-falling, the plunge terrifying and exciting all at the same time—

“Adrien,” Marinette mumbled after a moment, her fingers creeping up into his hair again as she kissed him, “touch me.”

The order sent a jolt up Adrien’s spine; he had been trying not to get carried away, and must have unwittingly froze up. Now, he carried out Marinette’s order with pleasure, his touch feather light as his hands slid down her abdomen, settling for a moment on her hips before his arms circled her, crushing her to him, because the proximity still wasn’t enough, she still wasn’t close enough. Marinette gasped, and Adrien feared for a moment that he was hurting her, but she only kissed him more fiercely as a result, nibbling on his lip, evoking a moan of longing from him.

Marinette broke from him to giggle at him. Embarrassed, Adrien kissed her again to silence her laughter, and she melted into him, rolling them so that he was once again on his back as she kissed him. He didn’t mind in the slightest; it left his hands free, and his fingers dragged down her back as he relished every little noise she made at the contact.

The temperature in the room spiked, jumping about ten degrees higher, but Adrien could be on fire and he wouldn’t care. In fact, he wasn’t so sure that he wasn’t, given the things that Marinette’s touch did to his bare skin. Her fingers licked up his arms and over his chest as his shirt rode up, like flames, leaving a blazing trail that left him tingling, her kisses scorching as she pressed her lips to his neck, his jaw line, anywhere she could reach. She was like a supernova, slowly turning him to cinders, and he was enjoying the incineration far too much to save himself. He let his fingers sift through her dark hair, content to let them char as long as he never had to stop touching her, even if it would end up destroying him—

Her teeth found his earlobe, and Adrien jolted when she bit down.

“Ah!” The involuntary noise left him before it was too late, and though he slapped a hand over his mouth, he knew Marinette had heard him. She let loose a giggle that was downright sinful before she began to suckle on his earlobe, and Adrien whimpered, his grip tightening on her hips, because that was not fair, he was sensitive there, she was playing dirty, and he couldn’t take it—

“S-stop,” he forced out, his hands somehow finding her shoulders to gently but firmly pull her back. It wasn’t necessary; Marinette drew back immediately when he asked her to, her eyes wide in her face.

“Adrien? Are you okay? Oh god, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to—”

She shifted in his lap and Adrien bit his lip to muffle a grunt. But Marinette had finally realized the problem as well, now that she was sitting directly over it. Panting, Adrien watched blood fill her face, and he let out a mortified groan, a hand over his eyes.

“I’m sorry,” he grumbled. Marinette giggled again, the sound a little strained.

“It’s okay. It’s a natural reaction, of course…” Carefully, she climbed off him. “…But maybe we should cool down.”

The lower half of his body rioted, but Adrien gave a nod. One line had already been crossed tonight; he didn’t need to go sprinting over several more.

“…Um,” Marinette began, and Adrien turned to read her expression. It was embarrassed. “Do you, uh…need a minute?”

Adrien flushed at the implication.

“No, no,” he assured her with a cough, shifting around so that it was less noticeable. “It’s not bad…it’ll go away as soon as I calm down…hopefully…”

“Really?” Marinette’s tone was doubtful. “Because you can use my bathroom if you need to—”

“I’m fine, Marinette,” Adrien told her firmly, his face growing even redder at the thought of masturbating in Marinette’s bathroom. God, just kill him now. “I think we’d better just go to sleep now.”

“Okay…” She seemed to hesitate for a moment, and then she settled down next to him, closer than he was anticipating; he half-expected her to turn her back on him again, but supposed there was no need now, since they had finally addressed the issue…and expounded upon it…

So…what now?

Adrien scowled at himself. What the hell did that mean, ‘what now’? He shouldn’t be expecting anything, let alone more from Marinette. Just because she admitted he was a good kisser didn’t mean she wanted to be with him or anything. Didn’t he know better than to expect anything by now?

“…Adrien? Are you…okay?”

Adrien glanced over at her. She was biting her lip again.

“…How do you mean?” He asked cautiously, simply because he felt there was more to her question than she let on. Marinette shifted a little closer, appearing worried.

“I mean…are you okay with…what happened between us…?”

“You mean the kissing?” He wanted to verify, nearly smiling at how Marinette appeared to want to dance around the issue in her wording. Indeed, her face blazed, but her gaze was quite steady, even if she couldn’t see him.

“Yes, that.”

“I’m fine, Mari.”

“Really? ‘Cause I kind of feel like I…used you, or something…”

Use me,’ Adrien’s thoughts crooned, though he kept his lips tightly shut to avoid speaking them out loud. ‘Use me however you want, Mari. Bend me, break me, whatever, I’m yours.

Adrien suppressed a sigh. He really was in too deep at this point, wasn’t he?

Turning, Adrien reached for her, tucking her dark hair behind her ear before he let his hand settle against her cheek, feeling the heat in her face increase at his touch. That made him smile a little. Maybe he wasn’t the only one who reacted strongly to simple touches…

“If you’re okay with it, Mari, then I’m okay with it,” he assured her. Marinette appeared to take a moment to chew over that, but once she seemed satisfied, she nodded.


“Okay,” Adrien parroted, smiling at her, though she couldn’t see it. He removed his hand from her; though he didn’t want to, he didn’t want to make her uncomfortable by letting his touch linger for too long. Rolling back onto his back, he folded his hands behind his head, settling in for the night. “G’night, Mari.”


Adrien let out a slow breath, closing his eyes. He willed himself not to replay the hot kisses from just a couple minutes ago, because they wouldn’t help his state in the slightest. In fact, he was kind of impressed that there was a state to worry about—with his previous girlfriends, he had a hard time (in the metaphorical sense) getting intimate, simply because a certain spotted heroine wouldn’t leave his mind, and he felt so guilty for what he saw as treason to his feelings for his Lady that anything past second base became impossible. Not many of his exes were very understanding about it, and it was what caused several of his breakups. But now he was here with another woman, and there was no trace of Ladybug in his brain until now.

Wow. Progress.

A sudden touch startled him. Adrien glanced over, finding Marinette scooting closer to him again, her head resting on his shoulder, her hand on his chest. Though he couldn’t see her face at this angle, he could tell she was blushing just from the warmth that radiated from her.

“…Um, sorry,” she mumbled, and Adrien briefly wondered why her first reaction always seemed to be an apology. “I should’ve asked before I moved, but, uh…i-is this okay…?”

Oh, she was so endearing. Adrien smiled, lifting his arms out from behind his head, one circling her to rest on her side, the other covering her hand as it lay flat against his chest.

“It’s okay,” he assured her, leaning over to plant a kiss to the crown of her head. The warmth exuding from her increased, but she nuzzled closer to him.

“Okay,” she mumbled. “Night, Adrien.”

“G’night, Mari.”



Marinette awoke, as usual, to the sound of her early alarm, waking her an hour before she had to get ready for class, just in case she wanted to go for a run. Marinette groaned, reaching over to smack her nightstand, picking up the phone once she located it by touch alone. Peeking a bleary eye out from her pillow, she turned the alarm off. Fuck running, she wasn’t going out when it was so cold. She really should deactivate that alarm…

Her phone was low on power. Marinette frowned at that. She normally let it charge overnight to avoid this problem…did she just forget last night? Yawning, she reached over, feeling for the cord on the floor that would charge her phone, plugging it in and laying her charging phone back on her nightstand. She flopped forward again, ready to go back to sleep—she had been having a dream that was rather interesting, and hoped to return immediately to it—but something distracted her. She frowned, keeping her eyes closed as she raised her head once again, sniffing.

She smelled pancakes.

Why did she smell pancakes?

Did Alya stay over…?’ Her muddled mind wondered as she yawned, reluctantly leaving her bed to go investigate. Let’s see…what was today, again…? If she wasn’t mistaken, it was still the middle of the week…so why would Alya have stayed over…?

Marinette reached the kitchen…and sleep abruptly fled from her.

Because CEO/supermodel Adrien Agreste was fully dressed, at her stove, and making pancakes like he did this every day.

Marinette gawked at him, unable to react in any other way, even as Adrien turned at the sound of her approach and smiled.

“Morning,” he greeted her, looking wickedly amused about something. “Nice bed head.”

Swiftly, Marinette’s hands jumped to her hair, smoothing down the raven locks as she scowled at Adrien’s perfectly coiffed hair. Stupid model man…

“Breakfast is almost ready,” he told her, turning back to the stove. “Why don’t you have a seat?”

Marinette blinked rapidly as she slowly sat down, bullying her brain into working order so she could process what was happening. Adrien Agreste was making pancakes in her kitchen. Why?

Because he stayed over,’ her mind eventually reminded her. Immediately, it all came flooding back to her: finding him wandering out in the rain, bringing him back to her place, dinner, messing around, Mecha Strike, cookies, wrestling, the power outage…kissing…lots of kissing…

Marinette’s face exploded in heat, and she immediately covered her face with her hands, suppressing the mortified shrieking that so desperately wanted to escape her. Oh god, what the hell was last night?!

“Here you go,” chirped Adrien’s voice, and Marinette looked up, finding a stack of pancakes in front of her, accompanied with sausages, a bowl of chopped fruit, and a glass of orange juice. Marinette blinked at the mouth-watering display…and then stared up at Adrien, mystified.

“None of this was in my apartment last night,” she said, and Adrien chuckled.

“No, it wasn’t, which was why I stopped by a twenty-four hour grocery store this morning,” he told her, appearing quite proud of himself. He returned to the stove to load up a breakfast plate for himself as he said, “I picked up everything on your grocery list, and added a few things of my own, hence, pancakes.” He sat down across from her with his plate and a grin at her astounded look. “What? Just because I grew up a rich kid doesn’t mean I don’t know how to grocery shop.”

Marinette narrowed her eyes at him.

“You got everything on my list?” She asked, doubtful. After all, she clearly remembered writing down “tampons” on the list, since she was running low. Adrien seemed to catch her meaning, and he flushed, rubbing the back of his neck. Marinette began to smirk—

“A very nice salesclerk helped me out when it came to the feminine hygiene products,” he admitted, and Marinette’s jaw dropped. “I didn’t know what brand you used, so she just recommended the standard kind. I tried, but I’m sorry if it’s the wrong kind or something. The receipt’s in the bag with it on the counter if you wanna make a return.” He jabbed his thumb at the counter. “Otherwise, your fridge and most of your cabinets are full. I kind of just stuck things wherever they’d fit, so sorry if I messed up a system you had or something.”

Marinette sputtered in disbelief. Seriously?

“What are you, a housewife?” She questioned, shock causing her mouth to run unchecked. Adrien, instead of being offended, merely grinned.

“Why? You picturing me in one of those frilly pink aprons?” He teased, and Marinette snorted at the mental picture.

“It’d suit you,” she teased him, picking up her fork to attack her pancakes, suddenly ravenous. “I think we’ve discovered that you look good in pink.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Adrien huffed, and Marinette muffled her giggling with a bite of her breakfast. She was surprised to find that pancakes a la Adrien Agreste were delicious.

“You can cook?” She questioned him, looking up only briefly to see Adrien shrug before she returned to her plate.

“Sure. I learned while in Italy. You can’t live there without developing a love of food.”

“Mmm,” Marinette hummed, nodding her approval. Growing self-conscious as Adrien watched her, she swallowed, dropping her eyes to her plate. “You didn’t have to do this,” she pointed out, glancing up from her plate at him.

Adrien merely smiled.

“I know,” he replied, and Marinette smiled in return.

Breakfast was a casual affair, the banter light and easy, as if they did this every day. Well, the breakfast thing was common when they went running in the morning, but normally it was at her parents’. The otherwise quick bites of pastries or fruit in the morning made Marinette really appreciate how nice it was to sit down and eat with someone else. It was so nice, in fact, that it was easy to push aside the memories of last night, and the questions they raised. Marinette was able to avoid the whole issue until their plates were clean, and she was finishing off the last of her orange juice. Adrien was watching her, and she flushed, lowering her glass to the table as she looked at him. His expression was hard to read: while it was open, he was also giving nothing away. Had he gotten better at hiding his emotions from her? Or was there simply nothing for him to hide at the moment?

Marinette bit her lip. He was going to ask that they talk about it, wasn’t he? Was this why he made breakfast? To ambush her?

His lips parted, and she held her breath. This was it—

“I should go,” Adrien said unexpectedly. Marinette blinked at him as he stood up, grabbing his Ladybug jacket from off the back of the chair. “I need to get home before I head to the office…though something tells me I’m in a lot of trouble after going MIA yesterday…”

His cringe put Marinette’s other concerns on the backburner, and she got to her feet.

“I’ll walk you out,” she offered, and Adrien smiled at her as they moved the short distance from the kitchen to the front door together.

Though it was still cold, it was bright outside, the sun shining merrily, as if to make up for lost time during the storm yesterday. Marinette blinked in the brightness, smiling at the sky. It was a lovely shade of blue, and the itch to fly through it began to tug at her. But, she could do Ladybug things later. Right now, it was time to be Marinette.

“Thanks for breakfast,” Marinette told him, leaning against her door frame as Adrien stepped out onto the stairs, tugging his scarf into place around his neck. “And the groceries. Remind me to pay you back later.”

Adrien chuckled.

“Don’t worry about it,” he assured her, turning a smile so dazzling on her that Marinette could only blink at him for a moment, her mind and heart stuttering to a halt. She took a second to restart both and sternly reminded herself to get a grip.

“Are you sure?”

“Absolutely.” A glint of mischief began to gleam in Adrien’s eyes. “And don’t worry about the new dryer that should be delivered to you sometime tonight; it’s all on me.”

Marinette felt her eyes bug out of her skull.

“What?! Adrien, you did not buy me a new dryer!” She protested, horrified at the thought of how much money that must’ve cost. She didn’t care if he was loaded; she would not have such extravagant things bought for her for no reason!

Her blood pressure threatened to skyrocket, but Adrien laughed, practically guffawing at her expression.

“Actually I didn’t,” he admitted, and Marinette let out a relieved breath. “I knew how you’d react if I did something like that without consulting you first…so I just picked up a home appliance magazine and left it on your coffee table instead.”

Blinking, Marinette glanced over, spotting that there was indeed an unfamiliar magazine waiting for her on her coffee table. Her eyes went back to Adrien, and he winked at her as she stared at him again.

“Just let me know which model, and I’ll make the call.”

“I’m not doing that,” she protested with a shake of her head. “My dryer works just fine.”

Adrien raised an eyebrow, and Marinette huffed, pouting at his nonverbal point.

“Yeah, it takes forever, but it still works. It’d have to be completely broken for me to think about investing in a new one,” she explained. Adrien gave a shrug.

“All right, then. Note to self: break Mari’s dryer the next time I come over.”

“Then you’re never allowed over again,” she decided with a stubborn look. Adrien pouted at her.

“Aw, come on, Mari. I thought you enjoyed my company last night.”

Marinette tried to come up with a witty comeback…but found that she had none. And so she stupidly shut her mouth, her face warming. Adrien blushed as well, but he played it off much better than her, clearing his throat and turning.

“Well, I better go. The fashion industry calls,” he joked, hopping down a step. Marinette watched as he paused, hands stuffed in the pockets of his Ladybug jacket. After a moment, he turned back around, climbing the step again and approaching her. There was an intense look in his eyes, one that threatened to turn Marinette’s knees to jelly the longer she looked at him. He stopped mere centimeters from her, gazing down at her, a war waging in his expression. Marinette held her breath, staring back up at him, waiting…

“…Mari,” he began, his voice low as he stared at her, his face warming, “I want to ask—I mean, you can say no if you want to—but I just want to…can I kiss—”

Before he could finish asking the question, Marinette had stretched onto her toes, her arms encircling his neck as she pressed her lips to his. Her boldness embarrassed her a bit, but hell, after last night, what did she have to be timid about?

Her actions were rewarded by Adrien’s arms slipping around her, holding her close as they enjoyed the kiss. He tasted like strawberries and syrup, and it was with great reluctance that Marinette pulled back, letting out a slow breath as she opened her eyes. Adrien was watching her, his gaze half-lidded, a lazy grin spreading across his face.

“Well, that answers my question,” he teased, and Marinette giggled, a little self-conscious. She let him go, sinking back down to her normal height, and Adrien released her as well, tucking the left side of her hair behind her ear. “I’ll…see you later?”

“Yeah,” Marinette confirmed, answering Adrien’s smile with one of her own. She waited at the door, watching as he headed down the street, wondering if she was imagining the extra pep in his step before she finally closed the door, sighing in contentment. Marinette allowed herself this one, lingering, perfect moment, before she straightened up and made herself face reality again.

So…there was…something…between her and Adrien now.

They never established what this ‘something’ was, nor did Marinette think it would be defined in the very near future. But she didn’t much care.

The only thing she was certain of at this point, in regards to this ‘thing’, was that she definitely didn’t want it to end.

And that put her in a rather difficult position.

Her phone began to ring upstairs. Marinette recognized it as her second alarm, and she cursed, darting into the kitchen quickly for a pack of cookies before she sprinted back up the stairs, tripping on the last one and falling into the room. Grunting, she shook off the commonplace fall, calling for Tikki, who immediately zoomed into view.

“Morning, Marinette!” Tikki chirped, accepting the cookie packet Marinette offered to her for breakfast. “You look happy this morning.”

“Do I?” Marinette asked idly, grabbing her phone to turn off her alarm. Behind her, Tikki giggled.

“I suppose Adrien staying the night helped with that a little, hmm?”

Marinette felt herself go red. Shit. She had completely forgotten that Tikki was hidden somewhere in her room all last night…

To avoid her kwami’s gloating look, Marinette focused on her phone. She knew what she had to do now, and she didn’t like it…but there was no other choice. A bet was a bet.

Sighing to herself, Marinette pulled up the texting app on her phone, slowly typing in the words of defeat:

Marinette: Alya, you are the all-knowing queen of my life, and I am in serious trouble. I need your guidance.

For a brief moment, Marinette allowed herself to hope that Alya wasn’t awake yet, that this was one of those rare days she allowed herself to sleep in—

No such luck: within seconds, three dots appeared on the screen.

Alya: FUCK.

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A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by DarkReyna16

Part 17 of 37

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