Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 53 of 53

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Voices were the first thing Marinette was clearly conscious of.

Familiar voices, affectionate voices, that made a pleasant feeling flutter in her stomach.

One voice was more frequent. It kept telling her stories of all sorts, and it was gentle, loving. She was quite fond of that voice, and found herself missing it when it stopped talking.

The second thing Marinette became aware of was touches.

Hands that brushed her hair gently, fingers that held hers, warm kisses on her forehead.

With time, she came to realize that the touches almost always came with her favorite voice.

At first, the conscious periods were sparse, briefs and confusing. She had trouble making out words out of the voices, and then organizing said words into sentences.

They then became longer, and she found herself looking forward to the nice voice and its stories.

With the extended periods of consciousness soon came the frustrations. Her whole body was heavy, exhausted beyond reason, and the very idea of opening her eyes was tiresome enough to send her back into sleep. Yet, she wanted to put a face on the nice voice, wanted to ask questions about its stories.

Without any awareness of days and nights, time passed unbeknownst to her. She slept, listened to the kind voices and reveled in the warm touches.

Until one day, she heard the nice voice telling a different story, a story that seemed oddly familiar.

It began speaking of a fallen Eiffel Tower, of a message recorded in a hotel room. It spoke about butterflies, about yoyos and broken ankles, about magical earrings.

She felt the familiar hand around her own, warm, comforting, and she was suddenly overcome with a desire to see whom the nice voice belonged to. Mustering all of her strength, she willed herself to regain control of her body. Tentatively, she tried to squeeze the fingers wrapped around hers. The voice stopped talking, to her utter dismay, and she desperately wanted to ask it to resume, to tell her how the story ended.

Her eyes fluttered open.


That's the first thing she saw.

Two peridot orbs peering into her eyes.

The nice voice gasped, and an entire face built itself around the green. A pale skin, a mop of sunny-blond hair, pink, thin lips.

The fingers left hers and the man sat on the bed beside her, gently stroking her cheek with the back of his hand. He sustained her gaze, smiling broadly at her. A magnificent, blinding smile that made her stomach flutter pleasantly.

"Mari! How are you feeling? Are you in pain? Thirsty?" the nice voice asked. Excruciatingly slowly, she nodded, and the handsome blond instantly picked up on her meaning. "Alya, can you get some water? And call her parents?"

Movement caught the corner of her eye, but turning her head was too much of an effort. She settled on looking at the beautiful young man who was still staring at her with that amazing smile.

He was holding her hand again, caressing her cheek gently. The other person came back, a woman with hazel eyes and red hair, and handed him a plastic cup with shaky fingers.

The man took the cup from her and pressed it to Marinette's lips, gently. She tentatively took a sip, the water easing the soreness of her throat. Marinette took a few more little sips, before closing her lips. The young man understood instantly and retracting the cup, still smiling. "Better?"

She nodded again, her fingers squeezing his faintly. She felt tired again, and keeping her eyes open was increasingly difficult. The man bent over her, his lips gently brushing against the skin of her forehead. "It's okay, Mari. You need to gather your strength. I'll be right here when you wake up, my strong little bug. I love you, Marinette."

Love? Is that pleasant flutter love? Love is nice.

Everything went black again.

The next time she woke up, her room was dark, and she was alone with the young man. He was asleep on the chair beside her, his head lying on the mattress near her hand. Wiggling her fingers tentatively, she reached for the soft blond hair, gently stroking them.


The word came to the forefront of her mind, and she grasped onto it. The nice voice and nice touches had a name, and it was Adrien.

"A … Adrien?" her voice was hoarse from lack of use, ragged, but it was enough to stir him from his slumber.

Rubbing his eyes to ease away the sleepiness, he smiled at her softly, "Hi, princess. Is everything okay?"

The concern in his voice, the obvious love in his eyes, it made her heart clench in her chest. Marinette smiled, nodding weakly. "Hold me." The words were spoken before she could even consider them, but the brilliant smile that radiated on the man's face melted her heart a little bit further.

"Sure thing, princess," he said, pulling himself onto the bed beside her, careful of not disturbing any tubes and wires. There, he pulled her lithe body into his arms, wrapping himself around her in a loving, comforting embrace. Adrien pressed a brief kiss on her shoulder, and sighed happily, "I missed you so much, Mari. I love you, I love you so, so much."

"Too…" Marinette mumbled, reveling in his warmth. She nestled against his chest and breathed his scent in, the beating of his heart lulling her back to sleep. Just as she started to relax, her earrings suddenly heated against her skin, startling her. She let out a small whimper and her eyes jerked open, frantically searching the room anything that could've caused the pain.

"What's wrong?" asked Adrien, worry dripping in every word.

Marinette opened her mouth to answer, but a loud pop resonated in the room, and a small red blob fell on her stomach. Marinette squealed weakly, and Tikki darted toward her cheek, excitedly nuzzling it, "Mari! My little warrior! I'm so sorry I couldn't protect you!"

A tear slid down Marinette's cheek, and she lifted a hand to gently pat the magical being, sobbing, "You… you… saved my life… Tikki…"

"I thought I'd lost you, Marinette," sobbed the little kwami, "all of my energy has been barely enough to keep you alive. Never pull a trick like that on me again!"

It took a few minutes to calm both of them down, but once Tikki was happily cuddling with Plagg in a corner of the room, Marinette settled back in Adrien's arms, a happy spark in her eyes that wasn't there moments prior as she drifted back to sleep.

The following weeks were little more than a foggy blur.

She woke up more often, and stayed awake for more extended periods. Her memories became clearer and she had less gaps in her waking moments, her limbs were more and more obedient.

Every single progress was cheered upon by an enthusiastic Adrien, carefully monitoring her every move.

He was a comforting constant through the entire ordeal, always there every time she succeeded in opening her eyes, his soothing voice always there whenever she failed to.

The young man encouraged her with every single little victory, celebrating the smallest of feats without shame.

The more progress she made, the more affectionate he got with her, and she didn't mind the slightest. The first time she managed to stay awake and coherent for more than a few minutes granted her a bone-crushing hug. When she succeeded in sitting through an entire afternoon, she was rewarded with her first kiss on the lips ever since the battle. Marinette barely managed to prevent him from taking champagne out when she took her first, tentative steps in the hospital corridor.

But, more than anything, it was the unwavering love surrounding her that motivated her, prompted to go past her limitations. The way her parents stopped by every single day, despite the bakery's constraints. The flowers Chloe kept sending, with generic cards signed by her hand but harboring a definite Nathanael's doodle beside her name. The playlists Nino put together for her and Adrien, the movies Alya insisted she must watch.

Adrien's steadfast affections, his dependable care day after day, without fail. His encouraging words, his absentminded kisses when he thought she was asleep, his unwavering devotion toward her. The way he selflessly took care of her, helping her bathe until she was able to do so on her own, brushing her hair almost reverently every single day, lifting her up when she was feeling down. She wouldn't have been able to make it without him, and she told him so day after day.

Day by day, with his reliable support, she was becoming herself again.

Marinette finally found the courage to ask what had been on her mind for most of her waking moments a few weeks after the first time she had opened her eyes. Adrien was sitting beside her on the bed, trying to beat some boss on his portable console. Gulping, she put her hand on his arm and spoke softly, "Adrien? What happened that day? After I…"

He casted a glance at her, and upon seeing the seriousness of her expression turned off his game, setting the console aside. "What day? In the Tower?"

"Yes," she whispered, her heart caught somewhere in her throat. "Nobody ever talks about what happened, how we ended up here. I don't even know where Hawkmoth is, or if we defeated him and—"

He deflated, his shoulders slumping. "That's… that's because Hawkmoth turned out to be my father."

She gasped, her hand flying to cover her mouth. Tears pooled in her eyes, and she almost threw herself at him, pulling him into a tight hug. "Oh my gosh, Adrien, I'm so sorry!"

He hugged her back, tears of his own falling in her hair. "It's okay, Mari. I… I'm still coming to terms with all of this, but it's getting better."

"Still… It's horrible. Did you have to hurt him?"

Adrien sighed warily, refusing to let go of her. He had known all along that this day would come, but had hoped to postpone it a little, if only to spare her the horrifying details of what had gone down in the Eiffel Tower.

Nonetheless, he shifted against the pillows, cradling her carefully in his arms, and he began talking. He told her everything, recalling that painful day in every details. Marinette listened to him intently, her eyes wide with horror as what he had been through sunk in. He went on, telling her how he himself had woken up in a hospital room with her father by his side. Telling her about how he had waited for her to wake up, how Chloe had had to coax him of her room to shower, how he had found Alya in the hospital lobby.

When he stopped talking, Marinette was pressed against his chest, sobbing quietly. "I'm so sorry, Adrien. I love you, I love you so much, and it rips my heart open to know you had to face all of this without me."

"Hey, it's okay princess," he said, "you're safe. That's the only thing that matters to me now. My father… what he did was horrible, and he lost his freedom for it. He chose power over me, his own son, and I don't think I could ever forgive him. Me, I'm choosing you, Mari."

Her sobs eventually came to a stop, as his heartbeat slowly but surely calmed her down. Her eyes closed of their own accord, and she sighed contentedly, "I never want to leave your arms, it's my favorite place in the world."

His heart swelled pleasantly in his chest, and Adrien tightened his grip on her, "Once we get out of here, I'm going to marry you and buy us a nice little house for us to live in, together, as a family. I never want to be without you again."

Marinette's world came to a stop. The implications of his words sunk in, making her brain shift in second gear, "Is… is that a proposal?"

Adrien froze, realizing what he had just said. He chuckled, then, smiling into her hair, "Oops. I'm sorry, Marinette, I promised you flowers and tears, the perfect ring… I have neither of those. I'm really sorry, princess, this is the lamest proposal of all times, but I don't wanna take it back."

"There's flowers on the bedside table and tears in my eyes. Close enough," she stammered, still taking comfort in the proximity of his body.

"Well, then," Adrien answered, "Marinette, will you marry me, even if this stray has no ring to offer you?"

He laughed, the low rumble of his chest lulling her to a half-asleep state. She somehow remembered that he had asked her a question, and she sighed, her fingers finding his near her waist, "Any day."

His lips crashed on hers, hard, and Marinette found herself melting into his arms. The kiss was brief, yet searing and somehow sweetly passionate. It conveyed a lot of unspoken words, of pent-up emotions, and it was incredibly fulfilling. It was the first kiss beyond a simple peck ever since she woke up, and they both realized how much they missed it.

His arms closed further around her. Emotions of the day took their toll on her, and Marinette let the beating of his heart coax her toward sleep.

She almost missed the kiss pressed on her temple, and his soft whisper, "I love you, Marinette."

For the first time ever since that cursed day where everything had gone wrong, Adrien found himself looking forward to the future.

The elegant white-golden band with a single, princess cut diamond that had made a sudden apparition on her left ring finger a few days later had thrown Alya into a loud fit of squeals to Nino's ears utter dismay, and had Sabine gushing endlessly over it. Tom didn't say anything on the matter, but the energetic pats that left Adrien's shoulder sore for a few days were telling enough on their own.

For the time being, though, Marinette's brain was light-years away from wedding preparation. She was pouting while Adrien prepared a spoonful of food for her, which only made Tom chuckle. "Why are you so intent on draining yourself, cupcake? Adrien enjoys taking care of you."

She took the bite that was presented to her lips before grimacing. "I can't wait to be on my feet again. I'm just a dead weight."

"You're not a dead weight. You cheated death, princess. That's something," Adrien said softly as he prepared another spoonful.

She scoffed, watching his every move. "Adrien, I can eat on my own, you know."

"Don't care," he said, raising the spoon to her lips again. "Keep your energy for getting better, that's all I ask of you."

A knock on the door startled them all, and Sabine rose to her feet to open it. "Oh. Evening, grandfather."

Marinette almost choked on her bite when none other than Master Fu entered the room, smiling softly. "Grandfather?"

Her mother looked at her sheepishly, "I guess we left that part out?"

Adrien groaned, moving to sit beside his girlfriend on the bed. "You kinda did."

"The magic has a thing for following the blood bonds when it comes to electing its next chosens. You both have a long list of ancestors who were magic wielders," said Master Fu, softly.

The young man's eyes widened, "then my father…"

"Stole the brooch from your mother when she passed away, Adrien. He was never meant to be a holder, and he let the grief consume him," Sabine answered, her eyes still full of love and understanding. "Amelya would be incredibly proud of you, my boy. Her early departure was tragic, but she loved you dearly."

"I'm sure you have many questions regarding your mother, Adrien, and I will gladly answer them in time. But for now, word is that Ladybug has finally woken up from her beauty sleep," the old man said, smirking. "So I came to see how my great-grand-daughter was doing."

Marinette looked down, staring at her hands in her lap. "Better. But…" her voice broke, but Adrien knew where she was headed. They had talked about this issue many times before, as this was a worry they shared.

So he resumed her train of thoughts, squeezing her fingers into his comfortingly, "I guess you're here to take our miraculouses away? Now that Hawkmoth's isn't a threat anymore?"

Fu shook his head, an enigmatic smile on his face. "I should. Every rule in the book of the Guardian states that I should collect the black cat and the ladybug's miraculouses and take them back to safety."

"But…?" Marinette asked, tentatively, hopefully.

"In this particular case, I think this would do more harm than good. I'm trusting you both to take good care of them."

Sabine, shocked, stood up, "Seriously? It's unheard for any miraculous holder to keep his kwami once it isn't needed anymore."

Master Fu nodded, leaning on his cane. "Those two are special, Sabine, you must see it as well as I do, if not better. I think I can afford to overlook the rules this time, no one will blame me."

"But what about their identities? All of Paris knows who they are now, is that really wise?" she stammered, bewildered by the unexpected turn of events.

The old man nodded again, the enigmatic smile still dancing on his lips. "Even if their identities have been exposed this just means that the current Ladybug and Chat Noir will have to retire. Without an immediate menace looming over their head, I honestly think Tikki and Plagg can figure out something."

The rest of the conversation was lost on Marinette and Adrien, both busy hugging the kwamis they had been so sure would be taken away from them. Tikki and Plagg (surprisingly) were giggling happily, cuddling with their respective charges and grinning.

They'd figure out the rest in due time.

They'd still have each other to rely on, and that was the only thing that mattered.

It took another two weeks for Marinette to be discharged from the hospital.

The doctors gave her the green light to go home on a cold morning of fall, and she all but excitedly jumped into Adrien's arms. They packed their things with an easy banter, and if Marinette noticed that he kept looking at his phone, she didn't mention it.

Still the epitome of efficiency, the Gorilla pulled up in front of the hospital twenty minutes later and help them load their belongings in the trunk of the car. Almost six months within the white walls had hoarded a lot of books, games and gifts in Marinette's room. Adrien helped her in the car, cautiously, like he was worried she would break at the weakest wind blow.

His phone chimed in his pocket, and he pressed a kiss on her temple, "I have a surprise for you, Mari."

Marinette looked at him, curious, "A surprise? What have you done, silly kitty?"

The grin he flashed her melted her heart like an ice cube on a beach.

Minutes later, the Gorilla pulled up in front of a two-story building with a modern facade. The front yard was tastefully decorated with huge flower beds and a field stone alley leading to a cute porch where a swing was installed by the front door. The property was surrounded by a wrought-iron fence, and from the streets you could see vapory white curtains hanging at the windows.

"Adrien, what…?"

Wordlessly, the young man exited the car and held his hand out for her, "Follow me, please."

Marinette slid her hand into his and complied as he led her up the alley. Reaching the door, he opened it with a smirk, and gently tugged his fiancée inside.


Tears pooled in Marinette's eyes as she took in the uncanny sight in front of her. Her parents, Natalie, Nino and Alya as well as most of their old classes including, not so shockingly, Chloe and Nathanael were all packed into a small but cozy living room. A large streamer had been hung above their heads, sporting in neon-colored letters "Welcome home to our heroes!"

Turning to face Adrien, her hand still tucked into his, she stammered, "But… But what—what is this?"

"If you want it, our home." There was hope shining in the green eyes, along with all the love in the world.

"How did you even pull this off? You never left the hospital, even for a few minutes!" she asked, bewildered. "When you said you'd buy us a house, I didn't expect it to be straight away! But, knowing you, I should've guessed."

Nino smirked, "Yeah, meet Adrien 'Extra' Agreste. You should see the sewing room, he kinda went overboard."

Natalie spoke, interrupting Marinette's train of thoughts concerning said sewing room, "Upon Adrien's request, I found and bought this property on his behalf for both of you."

"We all helped moving the furniture in and decorate it," Alya stated, grinning through the happy tears sliding down her face, "and your parents already filled up the fridge and pantry."

Sabine and Tom took a step forward, the former gently grabbing her daughter by the shoulders, smiling at her fondly. "We all wanted you both to have a place of your own to make new memories, to put what happened behind you and get a new beginning. While you're both still quite young, what you went through undoubtedly aged you both before your time."

"So, what do you say, princess? Move in with me?" Adrien asked, his voice slightly faltering. His hand was clammy in hers, and he was little more than a nervous wreck.

Smiling, Marinette stretched herself to plant a peck on his lips, before saying softly, "Any day, kitty."

For the first time in many months, Adrien purred.

Both of You

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

Part 53 of 53

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