Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 29 of 53

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Marinette shrugged as she handed a cookie to Tikki with one hand, gathering her books with the other. "We could always wear protective gear to help deflect the shooting stars?"

Adrien snorted as he tucked Plagg safely into his jacket pocket, wrinkling his nose a little when he caught a whiff of camembert. "Yeah, right, Mari. And nobody will question why we both go around wearing protective pads all of a sudden. Besides, we don't even know if we'd still have it on once transformed."

"You won't!" piped up the small voice of Tikki as she ducked into her usual spot in the purse. Marinette rolled her eyes, sighing deeply.

"Fine, I'll think of something else. At least I'm trying!"

Adrien took her schoolbag from her hands and ignored the exasperated glare he earned himself in the process. "I don't think it'll do us any good to dwell on it too much, Mari. I mean, nothing could have prepared us for what happened with DreamWeaver. There's no way either of us could have predicted he'd move on from whispering shitty things to full blown horrific visions."

"I know," weakly countered the young lady as she tried to no avail to retrieve her bag from her boyfriend. "But sitting here doing nothing just kills me."

"For now, let's head to school, alright? We're gonna be late again otherwise, and I can't possibly think of any plausible excuse to justify why we're both late."

"Adrien, I'm a superheroine, I can carry my own bag!" she hissed through clenched teeth, only to have her boyfriend hurry down the stairs laughing at her antics.

Still sulking about her Adrien's misplaced gallantry, Marinette had to reluctantly admit he was right, and she followed him downstairs, taking the hand he offered her when she caught up with him. She kissed her parents on their way out, promising to come back for lunch (and of course, Adrien would tag along, no need to worry) and they walked to school hand in hand, making it just in time for the bell to ring.

The first half of their classes of the day was nice and quiet for a change. They both had a few assignments to turn in, and an interesting experiment to conduct in their chemistry class, which proved to be trying on Adrien's nerves. Not that he had any problem with the class itself, if anything his homeschooling had put him a year or two ahead of his classmates if he was to be perfectly honest. No, what really riled him up and made him almost shatter a beaker, barely saved from utter and endless shame by Alya's lightning fast reflexes, was the fact that Marinette had been paired up with Nathanael as lab partners. The still functional part of his brain kept telling him that himself was paired with another girl and Marinette obviously wasn't making a fuss about it, but the other part of him, the one that was currently fantasizing about trying out Cataclysm on a certain redhead's sketchbook kept arguing back that neither him nor Alya ever had a crush on each other. Beyond that, Alya's was his girlfriend's best friend, so Marinette didn't have any reason to worry the slightest.

He, however, was rendered a total and unproductive mess of jealousy for the time being. The blond simply couldn't concentrate on the task at hand, entirely relying on poor Alya to keep up, instead shamelessly eavesdropping on the quiet chatter occurring a few workstations behind him. After a while, though, his lab partner nudged him playfully in the ribs, smiling mischievously at him. "What has gotten into you today, Agreste? You almost blew up the school twice already, and we aren't even halfway through the class."

Adrien shook his head vehemently, trying to reel his thoughts back into functioning gear. "I'm sorry, Alya, I just…"

The brunette didn't let him finish his empty apology, instead grabbing him by the shoulders and forcing him to look into her eyes. "Listen up, Agreste, Marinette's desperately head over heels for you. You know that, right? You don't have to worry about her being paired up with some other boy. Believe me, there's absolutely no way in this life or the next you have any competition in her heart."

Up until then, Adrien hadn't noticed the weight unpleasantly pressuring his shoulders. Alya's kind words made it suddenly disappear altogether, and he felt genuinely soothed. "Thanks, Alya. That's actually exactly what I needed to hear right now. You seem pretty sure about Mari's feelings, though?"

The grin that spread on the aspirant reporter's face was well worth admitting out loud his insecurities. "Hey, if you don't believe me, blondie, just ask your totally smitten girlfriend what names she has picked for your future children… and the hamster!"

At that Adrien chuckled lightly, intently setting his mind back on the class and the experiment they had to do, pushing his groundless worries at the back of his mind. Baby names was truly a talk for another time, though he couldn't help but wonder if Marinette liked Emma as much as he did for a girl.

Completely oblivious to her boyfriend's current inner turmoil, Marinette eyed Nathanael warily before making her move. She knew first hand the artist had had a crush on her at some point during their high school years, but she dearly hoped those days were over by then. What she needed was just an opening to put her plan into motion. Nathanael ultimately handed her the occasion she was waiting for on a silver platter as she was hunched over their workstation, trying to weight some borax powder while intently watching her lab partner's reactions from the corner of her eye.

"So. Adrien and you are a thing right now?" he offered weakly.

"Yeah. We're dating, if that's what you're trying to imply," she answered truthfully. The redhead blushed as he jolted down the measurements she just provided him with on their worksheet.

"What does he have to offer you that I don't?"

Marinette sighed, not wanting to break her kind friend's heart, although the discussion wasn't headed in the direction she wanted it to. "Actually, nothing. I think it's all about the chemistry between two persons, to be perfectly honest. Being with him feels right, like it's where I belong, where I always was meant to be."

Nathanael frowned. "But what if I wanted to be with you?"

Marinette took it as her cue to go through with her idea. "I'm sorry, but I'm not your soulmate, Nate. Never has been. But someone else may be."

"The redhead frowned. "What are you talking about?"

"Give Chloe a chance. A real one. She truly cares about you. She's in love with the real Nathanael, the one that doodles meaningless things in his textbooks and soothes people with his art."


Marinette smiled softly. "No buts. I genuinely think you both could bring a lot to each other."

"I never realized you two were such close friends."

The young woman shrugged. "We're not. But I still think you should give this a shot."

Nathanael flinched as he took another measurement. "Marinette, we're talking about Chloe. Evil spoiled brat? Does it ring a bell?"

Marinette sighed as she poured some blue liquid into a beaker. She had anticipated this reaction but had dearly hoped it wouldn't come to this. "Nate, do you even remember the last time Chloe said anything even remotely mean to anyone?"

Her shy classmate fell silent for a minute, and Marinette knew he was having the same reality check she had in the bathroom a few days prior when she had comforted a crying blonde. Pulling her last card, she whispered maliciously, "Actually, Nate, if I recall correctly you still owe me for helping Chat Noir save you when you got akumatized."

His eyes widened in horror. "Marinette, I meant it when I said I was in your debt, but choose anything but that, please!"

She grinned. "Nuh-uh. I'm calling my favor right now. Nathanael, please take Chloe out for a coffee or something. All I'm asking from you is trying. Get to know her."

The redhead nodded reluctantly and focused back on their experiment in silence, scared of what else Marinette would manage to coax out of him if they kept talking.

When the bell rang, Adrien gathered his things back and waited for Marinette outside the classroom, chatting casually with Nino to kill time. Nathanael suddenly burst out of the room with a panicked look on his face, making a beeline toward them and grabbing the blond's arm without further ceremony. "Agreste, your girlfriend is crazy."

Yanking his arm out of the redhead's grasp, Adrien retorted venomously, "What the heck are you talking about, Kurtzberg?"

"She just talked me into agreeing to get to know Chloe better."

The laughter that took hold of Nino at that precise moment was so unexpected and violent that it left him gasping for breath and clutching at his aching stomach. "Mari… is… rea-really… something… else… huh?"

Adrien smiled sympathetically at Nathanael, all anger forgotten. He didn't know why in the world his princess had done this, but he couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor lad.

"Guys, you have to help me. I can't stay alone with her, nothing good will come out of it," Nathanael whined weakly.

Nino piped in, "Don't worry man, we have your back."

"We do?" asked a stunned Adrien.

"Come on dude, your girlfriend put him into this mess. The least we can do is help him get out of it, right?"

A very relieved Nathanael thanked Nino over and over again. Adrien sighed, mildly annoyed with Marinette and her strange antics.

"We just have to make this a triple date. That way Chloe won't get suspicious, and you'll still hold your end of whatever bargain you have been dumb enough to make with Mari," explained Nino as he scanned the crowd of students looking for the girls. Sure enough, Marinette and Alya were painstakingly making their way toward them among the sea of moving people, the former looking utterly sheepish.

"Hey, ladies, what held you up?"

Alya chuckled loudly. "Miss Klutz-of-the-year here took it upon herself to knock down an entire workstation on her way out. I helped her clean up the mess."

Looking at Marinette's blushing face, eyes carefully avoiding his own, Adrien felt the remnants of whatever he held against her melt. Sure, she was sometimes careless and often acted before thinking, but it was always out of the best intentions. It was hard to stay mad at her knowing just how much of a good person she truly was at heart. He leaned in, planting a tender peck on her temple, chuckling softly in her ear, "You're adorable when you're blushing."

The blush deepened even more, making Alya and Nino snicker loudly beside them. Marinette playfully slapped him on the chest, clutching her books to her heart. "Let's head home instead, okay? Mom and Dad are waiting for us."

"Alright then. See you after lunch guys!"

They parted ways, Marinette and Adrien off to the bakery, Nino and Alya heading to the courtyard, Nathanael reluctantly seeking Chloe to ask her on the dreaded triple date.

Neither of them brought up the possessive arm Adrien had snaked around Marinette's waist the second she had been by his side, nor the murderous glances he kept casting Nathanael for the whole encounter.

Marinette and Adrien barely made it outside the school grounds when high-pitched screams startled them. They both groaned in unison, ducking into a nearby alley to transform.

"It's unfair, I was really looking forward to lunch," whined Chat Noir as soon as they exited the alley.

His partner nudged him playfully in the ribs, retrieving her yo-yo from her waist. "I'm famished too, Kitty. Let's get this akuma down in record time so we can actually eat something before going back to school."

He flashed her a toothy grin, clenching his baton in one hand and extending her the other. "Sound like a plan, m'lady."

Both of You

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

Part 29 of 53

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