Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 15 of 53

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After the defeat of the Bride, a few uneventful days passed, much to Marinette's relief. She honestly had fully expected Chat Noir to try and relentlessly harass her on her patrol, trying to pry out of her why the hell she had disappeared on him on the last akuma attack. Surprisingly enough, he hadn't shown up on her patrol days and didn't go out of his way to talk to her on their joint patrol. He remained painfully professional, getting the job done, but their friendship, their laughs, their playful banter had disappeared. And to her complete and sheer horror, Marinette felt relieved about it. Like the distance he had put between them would somehow protect her shameful secret.

Because she had absolutely no clue what excuse she may give him should he come to ask about it someday. 'I'm really sorry, Kitty, I thought an akuma would distract me from all that hopeless pining for you, but all I could think about all through the fight was all the sinful things I desperately wanted to do to you. I was afraid it'd show, so I took off without warning. As you're not aware of sleeping with me eight weeks ago, it would have made things really awkward between us, don't you think?' didn't hit her like a tellable explanation for her weird behavior toward him, even if it was the sheer and brutal truth.

Marinette still dreaded the day where he would finally question her about it, though, knowing very well that her silly kitty wasn't anywhere near oblivious enough to have failed to notice her inner struggling.

However, with Chat Noir luckily leaving Ladybug alone for the time being and unluckily still going strong with his plan of holding up on his late night visits to Marinette, it left her plenty of time to focus on other long-neglected aspects of her life. Like all the classes she was certainly going to fail if she didn't put a real effort in it really soon. So the young woman began spending more and more time all by herself, going through long overdue homework, studying, and reading, hopefully saving herself from the utter shame of having to retake some classes. Marinette was quick to realize focusing on school work had the bonus advantage of being true alone time, since studying somehow usually seemed a good pretext to keep Adrien at bay, leaving her plenty of room to think about anything but him and Chat Noir.

Or so she naively thought.

Sitting on her own in the back of the school library, Marinette felt herself on the verge of smacking her head on her desk, hopefully hard enough to knock her out cold until next year. What she had told Chat Noir a few weeks prior was absolutely no lie: she utterly didn't understand a single thing in physics, and was lamely failing this class faster than you could even say Ladybug. How in the world was she able to save Paris before lunch time and going back to school afterwards time and time again without ever failing, but she couldn't for the life of her even be able to wrap her mind around simple physics concepts despite how truly hard she tried?

Sure, she was very aware that Adrien was pretty good with sciences and would much likely be willing to tutor her considering all the time he had been really adamant to spend with her over the last few months, but she just couldn't bring herself to ask him out of all people for help. After all, hiding in the library had been a (so far successful) tentative to escape from his constant and confusing attentions. So instead of caving in to the most easy option, she just sighed in desperation, leaving her forehead heavily rest on the cold wooden desk, hoping with all her might that somehow that would help her textbook miraculously makes sense.

"Hey, Mari, need help on that assignment maybe?"

The familiar voice startled her so much she honestly thought her heart had suddenly stopped beating for a split-second, and she jumped back, sending her physics book flying to the floor in the process and knocking her head back on the desk behind her. "A-Adrien! You scared the life out of me! And my next two along with it, I think!"

He smiled rather sheepishly, an expression oddly familiar to her on his face, scratching the back of his head, looking very uneasy. "I'm really sorry, Mari, I didn't intend to scare you. I just came to pick up some book," he said, gesturing to the volume held in his hands. "And I spotted you all by yourself, buried under your physics textbook and looking more lost than a puppy in a bowling alley."

Marinette sighed in defeat. "Yeah, I guess I am lost... No matter how hard I try, I just don't get it. I'm going to fail this class. It's all a mystery to me, none of it even makes sense."

He chuckled lightly and sat beside her without waiting to be invited, retrieving her book from the floor and opening it in front of her to the lesson they had to work on that week, pointing to the current page gently. "It's not that complicated, you'll see. Once you understand that..."

And with that he was launched. He spent their whole lunch hour explaining the lesson, going over her notes with her and correcting small mistakes she had made while jotting them down, trying to understand the notions that escaped her, drawing graphics for her to help her visualize some more abstract concepts, giving her a few tricks to remember complex formulas. When the bell rang way too soon, the previous confusion had almost completely left her blue gaze, replaced with a very welcome comprehension. While she gathered her things, Marinette smiled warmly at him despite her inner turmoil, thankful he had offered his help after all. "Thanks Adrien, maybe I still stand a chance at this after all."

"No problem, the pleasure's all mine. I love this stuff. I would love to teach it someday actually, so see it as a good practice for me?"

He trailed off, looking at his feet. "Mari? Mind if I walk you to class? Feels like I haven't seen you around much lately."

Taken aback by his earnest voice, Marinette just reverted to stuttering. "W-w-what? N-n-no, I don't mind at all."

It had been almost three months now.

Three whole long months of sheer torture, seeing her every single day, talking to her, laughing with her without being able to touch her again, to kiss her like he was desperately aching to. Nino kept pestering him to know what was wrong with him and photographers had begun to complain about his lack of focus. But how could he explain to anyone other than Plagg what was truly going on? That he was dying to feel the warmth of her body pressed against his, to hear her voice whispering his name in his ear?

That the three months he had spent trying to push her into Adrien's eager arms, to make her forget everything about Chat Noir were driving him over the edge?

He had foolishly thought he was doing pretty okay without her, but in this very moment, at that very second, standing so close to her on the library staircase, he realized that he was completely lost. Lost, and desperate.

Marinette was looking at him eagerly, standing up beside the desk they had worked on, her hands clutching at her backpack, obviously waiting for an answer to a question he hadn't heard, busy as he was staring at her. He peered into her perfect blue gaze, trying to figure out what it was exactly that she was waiting for from him.

Marinette repeated her question softly, without sounding impatient or even remotely annoyed. "I asked if you were okay. You seemed… kinda lost in thoughts just then."

Adrien felt like his heart just had melted a little more in his chest. Always the selfless, incredibly thoughtful Marinette. Three months of longing after her beloved that just disappeared without much explanation, just to have her former crush jump on pursuing her like she was some kind of golden prize to win (which she was to him) probably had taken its toll on her if her recent withdrawal of social interactions was anything to go by. But here she was nonetheless, thinking of Adrien's well-being before her own, just in Marinette's true fashion.

Adrien sighed, unhappy with himself that she had noticed his mood change. "I'll be fine. I just have a lot on my mind actually, to be perfectly honest with you. Don't worry about it."

She just smiled at him, in that perfect smile of hers that made him want to find a way to permanently fix it on her so beautiful face. "It's perfectly fine."

The young woman readjusted the strap of her backpack on her shoulder, sending a whiff of her perfume toward him. She smelled so good. A perfect mix of sweet and spicy. She smelled like butter and cinnamon, like nutmeg and cream. She went on, oblivious to the odd way Adrien was glaring at her like she was a high-potency drug to which he was already tremendously addicted. "Actually, I understand. I'm going through a lot myself, and-"

He heard her words, but couldn't pay any attention to them. He was absorbed in the contemplation of her perfect pink lips despite his better judgment. His mind wandered with a will of its own, remembering her hands roaming on his skin in the dark, the sensation of her lips on the tender flesh of his neck, her breathy moans into his ear for him only to hear. Images of her beautiful body sprawled out on her bed flashed back at the forefront of his thoughts, memories of her labored breathing as she had reached her climax under him. Unable to think clearly, he lost it. The next thing he knew, his fingers moved on their own accord, pulling her closer to him, ignoring her soft squeal of surprise, his lips brushing against hers tentatively at first, then feverishly when she didn't push him away. Without even being able to breathe properly anymore, Adrien tangled his fingers in her silky black strands, his hands freely roaming on her hips, stroking the small of her back trying to bring her closer to him in every way he could.

Through his dazed state, he faintly registered her melting into his arms, leaning into his kiss in a way he couldn't even imagine she would respond even in his craziest fantasies about that moment. He felt her lips caressing his own, her arms safely locked around his neck.

Marinette's brain had stopped working. This was the only plausible explanation for what was happening right now.

She was kissing him back fiercely, pulling him as close to her as she could, tugging on his shoulders to bring him closer to her, to breathe the same oxygen he did, her train of thoughts reduced to a mere foggy blur.

That's only when she felt his tongue shyly brushing her bottom lip, asking for entrance, that she brutally snapped back to reality.

This was wrong. It felt good alright but it was very wrong. He wasn't Chat Noir. Even if he felt oddly familiar, even if the kiss was bringing back pleasant memories of other kisses in the darkness of her bedroom, the man currently holding her tight against his chest wasn't her beloved missing kitty.

She broke free from the kiss abruptly, jerking away from Adrien like he was a burning flame. "I-I'm sorry, I-"

She didn't even know what to say, where to begin.

So instead, she ran, hot tears streaming down her cheeks.

Adrien stood behind completely stunned, lips a little swollen from the kiss, hair messed up, his stare utterly blank. He saw it. When she had broken away from his embrace, he had seen the pain in her eyes, the guilt painfully clenching her gut, how her lips trembled.

Unable to refrain from kissing her, he had done exactly what he had been trying to avoid for the past three months: he had hurt her.

A very pleased with himself Plagg flew into view, snickering out loud. "Congratulations, Adrien, you broke the poor thing."

For once, the young man didn't argue back or shush his kwami.

For Plagg was very likely right.

Both of You

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

Part 15 of 53

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