Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 3 of 53

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Adrien let out a long sigh before propping himself on his bed, still fully dressed in his day's clothes. Plagg flew in front of him with a teasing smirk, casually munching on a camembert piece. "What's the matter, Adrien?"

The blond turned on his back, staring intently at his bedroom's ceiling as he spoke. "I don't know how to actually help her, Plagg. I mean, I would like to treat her to some retreat, some vacation of some sort so she could rest a little. She is obviously in dire need of some long overdue sleep. But I don't want to make matters worse by putting her behind in school work and other stuff."

Plagg snorted a little, rolling his eyes in disbelief at his charge. "So basically, you have no clue how to keep the promise you made her."

The young man sighed again. "Yeah, I guess. I mean, it's not like Chat Noir could bring her to a nice bed-and-breakfast or a spa without sparking crazy rumors, and that wouldn't help her the slightest. Why won't she let me help as Adrien? If only she was comfortable enough around me to actually talk to me. It'd be so easy. I'd bring her to the country house for a weekend, and she could rest a little and gather her thoughts."

Plagg shot him a funny look. "It seems like a great idea. I mean, the girl's your friend and you obviously care for her. What's holding you back?"

Adrien looked at his kwami just like he had just grown a second head. "Don't you think she'll find it odd, me suddenly wanting to spend time with her?"

The black little god shook his head as he helped himself to another piece of cheese. "It's anything but sudden. You've been spending a lot of time with her and your other friends ever since you started going to that school. Who knows, maybe she's as dying to get to know you better as you are?"

The young blond groaned in disbelief, making the small kwami chuckle with mischief. "Alright, alright. Just tell her Chat Noir came to you and asked you to help her on his behalf, then."

Adrien smiled broadly as he jerked upright in his bed. "You know what, Plagg? Maybe you got it right this time."

"Do I get camembert out of it?" The pillow Adrien threw him to shut him up missed by merely a hair, prompting the kwami to fly out of view while cackling.

Marinette plopped herself down in her computer chair, burying her head in her arms with a loud groan. She was on the verge of tears, considering in despair her still-growing pile of undone assignments, her unfinished portfolio, the overwhelming clutter that had taken over her room and her current level of exhaustion. She only had a few hours left before her patrol, and it was clear that she wouldn't have enough time to do everything she had planned to do that evening. "Tikki, how will I manage to get through this year alive?" she whimpered softly.

The small kwami flew in front of Marinette, clearly worried about her charge. "You're this exhausted, Mari?"

The young woman sighed in defeat. Exhausted didn't begin to cut how she was truly feeling. She hated to admit it out loud, but her complicated life was overwhelming her, and she was growing tired of the constant sadness and worries, the nagging feeling of being inadequate in every single sphere of her life.

"I'm way beyond exhausted. I... I think I'm feeling a bit down honestly, Tikki. I don't think I was cut for leading a double life, after all. This is becoming too much to bear on my own."

The red kwami seemed truly alarmed at that comment, dropping the cookie she had been eating and rushing to tightly hug the young woman's cheek. "Oh oh. Are you feeling depressed, Marinette?"

She eyed her kwami curiously. "Maybe a little, why? Surely it will pass."

Tikki had a panicked look that made the young woman feel uneasy. "You are overworking yourself, Marinette, and it's really, really not good. You really have to rest or else it could very well end badly."

The young designer looked at her magical friend skeptically. Her littlest companion was obviously hiding something rather important from her, but she was feeling way too tired to try and coax it out of her knowing just how much Tikki could be stubborn about secrecy when she put her ancestral mind to it. She shrugged, deciding that she'd get back to it at another time. "O-Okay, Tikki. I'll try to rest a little. Will you wake me up for patrol?"

"Don't worry about it, I'll do. I guess a nap is better than nothing," sighed the little red deity, way beyond worried for her chosen.

The next day at school Adrien managed without any real effort to talk to Marinette alone as she was doodling random patterns on her sketchbook with a guarded expression instead of eating her lunch like she was supposed to. She was sitting a few tables away from Alya and Nino, something that was unlike the usual Marinette he knew, but isolating herself was definitely becoming an unsettling habit of hers. What else had he overlooked over the course of the past few weeks? Knowing what she had confided in his alter-ego, it was now obvious just how much his pigtailed friend had closed up on herself.

He walked over to her, swallowing the lump in his throat, and gently placed a hand on her shoulder as he glanced at her sketchbook. "That's really pretty, you should incorporate it into an outfit. It'd look great."

The young girl jumped in her seat, knocking her pad on the ground. "A-Adrien! You-You s-scared me!"

He chuckled a little as he bent down to retrieve the precious sketchbook. "Sorry, I really didn't mean to. I was actually searching for you when I spotted you doodling all by yourself out here."

Marinette's cheeks now sported a brilliant shade of red, but the young man didn't comment on it as she stuttered. "W-Why were y-you looking for me?"

He smiled warmly, trying to put her at ease. "Well... it seems we have a friend in common... Princess?"

She blushed even deeper if it was even possible, her eyes intently riveted on the ground. "D-Don't tell me he t-told you about his f-foolish nickname for me?"

Adrien smiled sweetly. "Yeah, sorry. He dropped by the mansion yesterday evening to talk to me. He actually seemed very keen on letting me know that you were HIS princess. Is he fooling himself?"

Adrien leaned in closer to her curiously, not wanting to miss a single bit of her answer.

Marinette, however, was stunned for a second. Chat Noir wanted her? For himself? Well, that definitely was news to her. She managed to regain enough composure to offer a shy smile to Adrien and assure him. "Well, he sure hasn't discussed it with me beforehand."

"Sounds like him," he laughed, widening her tentative smile.

"What could he possibly want with you that could involve me?"

Adrien snapped back to reality at those words, not even realizing she had managed an entire sentence without stuttering. "Oh, right. He wants me to take you on a vacation."

"A-A what now?"

Marinette was truly speechless this time. Sure she felt like a huge mess, but for Chat Noir out of all the people she knew to feel the need to take care of her, she must've looked like a true mess.

Adrien didn't seem to notice the shadow in her eyes or chose to brush it off as he went on without a hitch. "However, I was already planning on spending the weekend at my dad's farmhouse. There's plenty of room, and Chat and I were thinking, if you need some time alone, it would be perfect..."

She shook her head, trying to process what was currently happening. Too much was going on right now for her to handle the information correctly. "A whole weekend? Alone with a boy? Never in a million years my parents would approve of that."

Adrien smiled at her. God, why did his smile have to be so intoxicating? It sure wasn't helping her brain functioning normally. When he answered her, his tone was a little smug, and it was obvious he was proud of himself, "A two day trip to my FATHER's countryside estate, under the direct SUPERVISION of Natalie. Plus, the house is big enough for you to not never even cross my path through the whole weekend if it's your wish."

Her head was spinning as she tried to come up with a plausible objection. "But... my parents..."

His grin widened again. "As a matter of fact, they already agreed when Natalie contacted them about it this morning. They said a break with a friend would be good for you. The only thing left was your own consent, princess."

She shuddered, admitting defeat. "Please stop calling me that, you remind me of him. And they really agreed? Without a fight?"

Adrien chuckled lightly, nervously scratching the back of his neck as she got up and gathered her things, "I guess when things are asked by Paris' most famous designer's assistant, answers are most likely to be positive. Besides, they apparently said something about me being a good boy and trusting me to look after you, so I guess that helped."

She took a step back, his scent messing with her common sense and making her unable to think clearly.

Her self-preservation instinct was telling her to decline, that everything was going way too fast for her to follow and that forty-eight hours on her own with her crush in her current state of mind couldn't possibly end well.

But her heart was yelling 'why not? Time alone with Adrien and after all YOU REALLY ARE EXHAUSTED'. Remembering the promise she had made to Tikki the previous day, along with her kwami's obvious concern at her depressed state, Marinette reached her decision.

So it's with a fiery blush on her cheeks and a stuttering so fierce Adrien had trouble figuring out what she was saying that she painfully answered him, "O-Okay t-t-t-hen. T-t-t-thanks. I-i-i-I'll b-b-b-e t-t-there."

Adrien smirked in victory. "Sweet. I'll pick you up at 7 tomorrow night. Good afternoon Mari!"

At this he gave her a quick hug and walked away, leaving a stunned Marinette in his trail. He couldn't manage to erase the triumphant smile dancing on his lips.

Alya came shortly after Adrien's abrupt departure, and instantly noticed the way her best friend was staring into nothing, hugging herself and not moving a toe, asked "Hey, you alright, girl?"

Marinette snapped out of her thoughts. "Yeah... Yeah sorry. Adrien... OH MY GOD ALYA!" she shrieked, utterly upset now, worrying her closest friend.

"What? Marinette, what happened?"

"Adrien just told me I'm gonna spend the whole weekend with him at his dad's estate. He had everything planned ahead, even my parents' agreement!"

Alya burst out laughing. "You do understand you're turning eighteen next month, right?"

"What does that have to do with anything?"

Her friend laughed even louder. "What kind of young ADULT lady worries about her parent's agreement when she got her ALMOST-FOUR-YEARS-LONG crush ask her to spend the WHOLE weekend with him?"

At that Marinette almost broke in hives."Oh my god, Alya, I'm gonna be alone with him! I can't do this, he'll think I'm just a stuttering and clumsy mess, he'll never want to speak to me again, oh my god, you have to help me, I think I'm gonna faint or something."

The brunette smiled warmly at her black-haired mess of a friend. "Come on, Marinette. We're going to class, and after that, we're going to pack your bag for a weekend of torrid time with the love of your life."

"ALYA!" shrieked the pigtailed girl, which only earned herself a playful nudge in the ribs from her best friend.

Both of You

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

Part 3 of 53

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