Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 35 of 53

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Marinette heartily despised mornings in general. Recently, she had come to hate even more the mornings where she woke up alone. Over the course of the last few weeks, she had really grown accustomed to sleep in Adrien's arms, and whenever they would spend the night apart (which was becoming less and less often, now that she thought of it), she would inevitably wake up in a even more foul mood than usual. The events of the previous day did nothing to alleviate her sorrows, the sheer panic she had felt upon discovering his absence in her room when she had returned from the fight against Chemical still lingering in her heart. It had taken him a long time to calm her down barely enough for her to shed her transformation and walk back to her house. It had taken him even a greater time to soothe her fears enough for her to even consider going to bed. Hopefully, Tom and Sabine had accepted the lie they had crafted on their way back without questioning it, and the official version of the afternoon events was that Marinette was upset over helplessly seeing her boyfriend getting trapped in one of the bubbles the Chemical had been throwing around without having a way of knowing if he was even able to breath in there. Marinette had clung to him until the last second, repeatedly asking him to stay the night.

But Adrien had a photoshoot in the evening, and had stubbornly refused to risk waking her up upon his return. He had reluctantly left her with a promise to text her as soon as he'd get home, and Marinette had finally fell asleep out of sheer exhaustion, curled up on her comforter and hugging her Chat Noir doll tightly to her heart. And now, waking up alone and groggy left a foul taste in her mouth. The young woman dragged her body down her ladder with heavy steps, not even bothering to get dressed before heading to the kitchen. Her mother smiled at her warmly, handing her a mug of hot chocolate. "Morning, sunshine. Are you feeling better?"

She groaned in answer, earning herself a knowing smirk from the older woman.

"Missing your boyfriend already?"

"Was cold without him," answered her daughter truthfully as she took a sip of her beverage. "Missed his warmth."

Softly humming her agreement, Sabine pushed a bowl of fruit oatmeal toward her daughter. "You two do spend a lot of time together as of lately. It's nice to see how well you two get along."

"Hey, mama," asked Marinette while plunging her spoon in her breakfast, "how did you know that papa was the right guy?"

Smiling fondly at the memories, Sabine Cheng carefully eyed the young woman. "I just knew. I felt safe beside him, I felt like I had found my very own place in the universe. And I don't have to ask about it to know that's exactly how you feel about your handsome blond, it's written in bold letters all across your face, honey."

Blushing deeply, Marinette averted her mother's piercing gaze. "Do you think he feels the same way about me?"

"Oh, Marinette. I know he does. It's obvious in the way he looks at you, in the way he takes care of you. Don't ever doubt his love for you, the poor boy wears his heart on his sleeve."

Her foul mood almost gone by then, her mother's words of wisdom effectively warming her heart, Marinette nodded cheerfully and finished her meal eagerly before heading back to her room to get dressed for the day.

Maybe the day wouldn't be so bad, after all.

When Marinette made it to school that morning, she was practically vibrating with apprehension, eager that she was to go back to normality. The day before had been an intense rollercoaster of emotions for her, and she couldn't wait to see Adrien again, to wrap her arms around him in a tight hug and feel his lips brushing against her skin to greet her, like he had done every single morning ever since they had begun dating. Echoing her train of thoughts, the familiar town car pulled up in front of the school, and the blond exited it without showing any sign of discomfort, effectively comforting her lingering worries about his shoulder injury. Their eyes locked together, and Adrien smiled warmly at her, climbing the stairs toward her without looking away.

When he finally reached her, the young man pulled her into a bone-crushing hug, whispering in her ear, "Morning, my love. Did you sleep well?"

Before she could even answer, though, Alya's roaring voice pierced the quietness of the schoolyard, "HANDS OFF, AGRESTE!"

Startled, Marinette and Adrien jumped apart and they both stared in disbelief as the brunette barrelled through the courtyard, stomping her feet angrily and pointing an accusatory finger at the model. Taken aback by the uncalled for display of violence, the young man stuttered, "W-W-What?"

Positively seething, Alya unceremoniously yanked her best friend away from the young man, hissing through clenched teeth, "How DARE you even breathe the same air as her? You undeserving, lying, cheating bastard!"

Marinette tried to break free from the reporter's firm grip on her arm, to no avail. "Alya, what the hell are you talking about?"

Her friend sharply shoved her phone under her nose, still glaring menacingly at Adrien over her glasses.

And Marinette painfully gulped.

For, displayed in all its glory on the small digital screen, was a stunningly clear picture of Adrien and her tightly embracing each other in an alley. They were unmistakably kissing rather passionately, Adrien's arms holding her to his chest while her hands were balling up his overshirt as she tugged on it to bring him even closer to her. The picture was beautiful, their love for each other obvious in the way they were desperately clinging to each other as their lips were locked together.

The only problem was that the picture was of Adrien kissing Ladybug, and not Marinette.

It had obviously been taken the day before when Ladybug had crashed on Adrien from above in the aftermaths of the fight against Chemical. If she looked closely enough, Marinette could even see the streaks the tears had left on her cheeks.

Sadly missing a lot of information to correctly assess the delicate situation, Alya misread her stunned silence, and obviously thought that her best friend's heart had just been unfairly broken. Finally managing to get a glimpse of the brunette's screen, Adrien face instantly drained of its color. "Where… Where did you get that photo?"

Standing between him and Marinette, effectively turning herself into a physical barrier, Alya snarled, "It's all over the news, Agreste. Some paparazzi snapped a pic of your cheating ass."


The reporter tugged on Marinette's sleeve, trying to put further distance between the pair. "Don't you dare to take his defense, Marinette. Ladybug or not, that jerk shamelessly cheated on you."


"Mari, let me-"

Casting a menacing glare toward Adrien, the brunette said flatly, her tone icy beyond reason, "What's the matter, jerk? You're upset that your dirty little affair has been outed?"

Without waiting for an answer, Alya pulled Marinette inside the school, leaving the blond stunned on the stairs, with their classmates staring at him without bothering to try to be subtle about it. The whole encounter had left Adrien with a foul taste in his mouth. He knew he had done nothing wrong, and he knew that Marinette was well aware of that too. But they couldn't ignore the blatant proof that had been leaked to the media. All of their classmates thought (understandably) that he had cheated on his lovely girlfriend, and for all he knew, all of Paris was under the impression that Ladybug was two-timing Chat Noir, mere weeks after declaring her undying love for him after the fight against Dreamweaver. And if her parents had seen the news, they would undoubtedly revoke their open invitation in their home, which would break his heart.

His heart painfully pounding in his chest, he climbed the stairs with heavy steps, carefully avoiding the judgmental glares of their classmates. How in the world were they going to get out of that sticky situation?

Back in the classroom, Marinette's mind was desperately reeling. There was no way she could lie her way out of this delicate situation, Alya was far too perceptive and pissed at Adrien for her to listen to any explanation they might be able to come up with. She was choking on her guilt, her poor boyfriend's reputation having been shattered by her own recklessness. Had she dropped her transformation before hurling herself in his arms, the situation would have been entirely different. Had she restrained herself instead of crashing her lips onto his, the intruding paparazzi would only have stumbled upon a seemingly normal rescue. Nothing out of the ordinary.

A string of improbable lies came to her stressed out mind as Marinette carefully avoided her best friend's piercing gaze. Adrien entered the classroom at that moment, his head bowed down and his shoulders slumped, obviously hurt and ashamed by the whole ordeal. The young woman's heart painfully clenched in her chest, and she wanted nothing more than to reach for him, to comfort him. Alya's menacing glare deadly set on the blond dissuaded her from so much as looking at him, and she instead absorbed herself in the contemplation of her joined hands resting in her lap.

Would Alya possibly believe that a side effect of the akuma had made them both temporarily lose their minds? Maybe they could get away with claiming Adrien had been abducted by aliens and brainwashed, therefore prompting him to mistake Ladybug with his very own girlfriend? They could always make up an evil doppelganger set up on destroying Adrien's life, that would be a believable cover up story, right? Her first reflex upon seeing the offending picture had been to blame the lighting, but even she could admit it was too far fetched. A trick of the light would never explain the intimate way Adrien's arms were laced around her waist, nor the way she was obviously clinging to his jacket like her very life depended on it.

She had nothing. No plausible explanation to alleviate the unfair accusations from Adrien's innocent shoulders. No lie that could justify the pair remaining together in the eyes of their classmates.

Repressing a grunt, Marinette let her head fall on her desk, prompting her best friend to misinterpret the desperate gesture and gently draw reassuring circles on her back, trying her best to comfort a nonexistent heartbreak.

She felt her phone vibrate in her pocket, and for a second was grateful that she had yet to change Adrien's contact info:

[8:16] CN ='.'=: What do we do now?

Glancing briefly to her bespectacled friend, Marinette was relieved to see she was too busy sulking to mind her SMS conversation.

[8:17] Mari 3: I don't know kitty. I'm really sorry, this is all my fault. I should have known better than to let emotions cloud my judgment.

[8:20] CN ='.'=: We already went over that, princess.

[8:21] CN ='.'=: Maybe we could go for a run tonight, as CN and LB? If people see us together as our other selves, maybe they'll stop glaring at me?

The young woman felt the guilt crippling under her skin once again. It was her mistake, and yet Adrien was the one to pay the hefty price of having his carefully polished reputation tarnished.

[8:23] Mari 3: It's worth a try. What did Nino say?

[8:24] CN ='.'=: Not much. I think he's kinda mad to be honest.

[8:25] CN ='.'=: I can see you typing, and don't you dare apologize again.

[8:26] Mari 3: … ok

[8:27] CN ='.'=: We'll go through this together. We can overcome anything if we work as a team, and this is no different.

Marinette suppressed a wistful sigh, and quickly typed before tucking her phone away:

[8:28] Mari 3: I love you.

She didn't need to pull out her phone when it vibrated again a few seconds later to know what would be displayed on the small screen:

[8:29] CN ='.'=: I love you too princess

Both of You

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

Part 35 of 53

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