Continuing Tales

How to Bond With a Cat

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

Part 12 of 19

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On their first day of school all year, Adrien yawned heavily. The night before he and Marinette had got into a super competitive game of snap, and neither realised how late it had gotten, and forgot about school in the morning. He didn't sleep until very late. He hadn't seen any of his friend as Adrien since the last akuma. His father kept him busy for the last edition of last year, and the first edition of this year.
Now he was exhausted.
Plagg was currently still sleeping in his pocket, wrapped around a block of cheese to stop him talking about running away. The way he talked about it made it sound feasible. Like running away for a while was like taking a break. Like he'd come straight back when he wanted to. if he wanted to.

"Hey Nino-"


Adrien frowned at Nino. Even in his sleepy state he realised his best friend was spying on something. His eyes were wide and curious and he was craning his neck to try and hear better. His gaze never left one spot. Adrien followed his gaze. Marinette was pink in the face and deeply embarrassed. She had her head in her hands and Alya was standing over her like a mother hen, hands on her hips, a scowl on her face. he could see them talking, but they were too far away to hear.

"All this work you and I have put into getting Adrien to notice you, and you're throwing it all away for a fling with a no-good alley cat?!" Alya huffed.

Marinette's voice was squeaky and urgent, "Alya we're not-"

"I swear if you're just banging him I'll be mad, but if you're falling in love I'll be SO PISSED OFF!"


"GOOD! He's just a stray Marinette! You've got your heart on a pedigree!"

Marinette wrinkled her nose. "Don't talk about Adrien like that… please?"

"See! You're still worrying about what Adrien thinks, and how Adrien feels, why throw that away for a man who can't even tell you who he is?" Alya's anger eased away into pain.

Not pain because she was hurt Marinette wasn't listening to her, or that she might go back and ruin all the work they'd put in with Adrien, more… worried. Worried that Marinette could get hurt.

"What if he goes into battle with some akuma, and they take his miraculous? Would you still love him if he wasn't Chat Noir? If he was just some guy? Would you still run out into the battle to save him?" Alya asked, anxiously.

Marinette had come close to being killed in that attack when she saved his life. that had stuck with Alya, given how close she was to the front line, constantly and voluntarily. Now she was worried that it hadn't stuck with Marinette.

"But he is Chat Noir," Marinette sighed.

"That's not what I'm asking," Alya huffed.

"He'd still be Chat Noir without his mask, so yes, I'd still love him," Marinette answered impatiently.

"so you DO love him?!" Alya demanded.

Marinette groaned, "About as much as I love you. He's my friend Alya! Nothing more!"

"How can you know that when you don't know who he is?!"

"The same way you know it about Ladybug even though you don't know who she is!"

"I've told you before Marinette, I trust Ladybug to save my life. I don't trust her to be there for the little things. when I need moral support or something!" Alya raised her voice.

Marinette was blushing again. "Alya-"

"To Chat Noir it will always be you or the city, and he will always choose the city. Which is difficult for me, because on the one hand, he'd better choose the city, but on the other…" Alya trailed off as she swallowed. She gave Marinette a look that Marinette had never seen from her before. Almost solemn and desperate. "I don't want to see you hurt Marinette."

Marinette had no argument for that. she stood up, and wrapped her arms around Alya. Alya hugged her back just as tightly. For a while, they just stood there, holding on to one another like they were making a secret promise to never let the other go. Nino and Adrien shared a look of confusion.

"What's going on?" Adrien asked.

"Alya saw Chat Noir leaving Marinette's balcony last night, and she's worried they're dating," Nino stated.

Adrien's eyes budged. His jaw dropped. His cheeks turned a brilliant shade of fuchsia. His voice was barely more than a strangled squeak, "Dating?!"

Nino didn't notice. He was busy eavesdropping. "yeah. Marinette's got this huge crush on someone, and Alya's been helping her to get them to love her back, so she's a bit worried Marinette will ruin all their work."

Louis. Adrien tried to sound casual as he asked, "Do you know who the crush is?"

"No. unless you mean Chat Noir, but I think a lot more people have a crush on him than you would expect," Nino smirked.

Adrien's cheeks cooled as he tried to be casual about all this. "I'm sure they're not dating."

Nino laughed. "Dude you couldn't sound more jealous if you tried!"

Again Adrien turned pink. "Jealous?! Marinette's just a friend!"

Nino smirked, as if he knew better, "Sure. anyway, Alya's worried about Marinette getting hurt."

Adrien frowned. He couldn't decide if he was confused or offended that Alya thought Chat would let anyone get hurt, especially one of his friends. Especially someone he loved enough to abandon his love of Ladybug for.

"Hurt? By Chat Noir? The hero?"

"Exactly. Chat could get hurt by an akuma, and maybe even killed, and Marinette would lose him forever. no one would even be able to go to the funeral and say, this man was… I dunno, Jean-Claude. She'd never get to know who he really is without the mask," Nino explained.

Adrien's frown deepened. "No… she wouldn't…"

"Mind you that's probably part of the appeal," Nino shrugged.

"How'd you mean?"

"Well Chat Noir is dashing and handsome and heroic, and mysterious. It's the mystery that brings the appeal. Trying to figure out who he is, and why he's become Chat Noir, that's what all of Paris loves most. Take Ladybug for example. Do you think you'd be crushing on her this hard if you knew she lived down by the florists on Rue des Pyramides?"

Adrien's heart missed a beat. "Do you know that? Do you have proof?!"

"No dude, it's an example! Man you have to sort out your love life," Nino sniggered. "What I mean is, if you knew who she was outside of the mysterious bubble of heroics and awesomeness, if you knew how normal she was, wouldn't she be a little less interesting? Maybe even boring?"

It would make the chase less fun, that's for sure. If he could just pop over to her house and serenade her in her living room, it wouldn't be as fun as waiting for an akuma and saving the world beside her. Chasing after her with a pun and a flirty line was far more interesting. Maybe he was right. Maybe it was the pursuit of his lady that made him so love struck. His gaze turned back to Marinette.

"Promise me you won't put yourself in danger for him again?" Alya whispered.

"I promise. Chat and I are just friends. I still love Adrien," Marinette promised.

"Good. because I've got a plan that will knock that cat out of your head," Alya said.

Marinette laughed as she pulled back from Alya. Alya held her at an arm's length, her grin returning with more mischievous oomph that ever. Even so it left both Marinette and Adrien thinking about things that they hadn't considered before.

How can a hero fall in love without endangering everyone?
Was it possible?
Was it worth it?

Was it?


Ladybug leapt forward in front of chat, swinging her yo-yo so fast it became a blur of red to shield them both. Chat bit his lip as bricks bounced off of the shield. Ladybug frowned at him.

"Chat where is your head?!" she snapped.

Chat's ears dropped. His head was back with Nino. Ladybug made his heart beat erratically. She made him desperate for the smallest, simplest sign of affection. Made him crazy with love. But what was the point if he could hurt her in the same way she could hurt him? what if Nino was right and there was no point for super heroes to fall in love?
But now, behind a shield, being attacked by yet another rock creature (these geologists and archaeologists at this retreat were much more cut throat than the models and fashion designers that were filling in for fashion week next week) was not the time or the place to tell Ladybug about his undying love for her, and how much it was distracting him that they could never be together because it was dangerous for both of them and Paris.

"Sorry, I guess I'm distracted," he muttered.

"Well don't be, you'll get yourself hurt!" she warned.

There was less anger in her voice now and more concern. Like she was worried about him being injured. That didn't much help get his head back in the game, but he tried. Although the harder he tried to focus, the more he wondered what the point was? The akuma blasted the rocks from the ground again, up into the air.

"we have to lure him away from the rocky ground!" Ladybug huffed.

"Watch out!" Chat pushed her aside.

A volcano blast of sharp rocks went zooming into the air, straight at Ladybug, until Chat shoved her out of the way. He narrowly avoided being hit himself. Ladybug thought back to what Alya had said. She and Chat were becoming so close it scared her to let him risk himself like that.

"Chat! You could have been hurt!" She hissed.

"I was protecting you!" He whined.

"It's not your job to protect me!"

"No, it's my honour."

Ladybug stared at him. It was her job to protect the city, and Chat was there as her partner, to protect the city and her. If she wanted him safe, she'd have to get herself safe first.

"Wait here, I have a plan," she lied.

Chat watched her fly off to save the day alone, again. All this time he'd come to show off to try and get Ladybug to love him even though it hadn't worked. Was he putting everyone in danger by trying?
Suddenly he felt a powerful slam to his head, right above his eyebrow. A white-hot pain spike of pain knocked him off of his perch, and he fell backwards into a bush, where a million thorns sliced through his clothes. They were Indestructible, sure, but his face wasn't. blood trickled down like a tear, and a throbbing ache rattled his whole head. By the time he climbed out of the brambles, the akuma was gone, as was Ladybug. He groaned painfully. There was one thing in his mind.

Marinette heard the bell jingle in the bakery, and wandered out with a smile to help her papa serve the next customer. She reached for her apron that hung beside her mothers on the hook. As she did, she put on the brightest tone that she could, saved especially for customers.

"Hello, how can I help you to-"

The apron fell from her hand. It laid on the floor, beside her jaw. Ladybug had looked around for Chat after the akuma went, but she couldn't find him. she thought he'd had to run to transform back into himself... now he was dirty, bleeding, covered in thorns, and in the middle of her parent's bakery.

"What happened?!" She gasped.

"I'm... I'm dizzy..." he stammered.

"I hope you don't have concussion," Tom said.


Chat stumbled a little. Marinette darted forward she caught him before he could fall. She had him in her arms, dizzy and injured.

"Take him upstairs honey. I'll be up in a minute," Tom said.

Marinette smiled softly. She helped him to his feet, and acted as support to help him struggle up the stairs. Automatically she led him into her bedroom. As carefully as she could she helped him to sit down. He hissed in pain.

"Sorry, sorry. Can you sit by yourself?" She asked.

"I struggled my way here, didn't I?" He gave a queasy smile.

Marinette nodded, anxiously. She lowered her voice so only Tikki could hear. "Try to make sure he doesn't fall, yeah?"

Tikki nodded. She leapt over his head and sat behind him, ready to catch him if he was about to fall. Marinette darted into the kitchen to find the cleaning alcohol and clean tissues.
When she came back she found herself worrying hard. It felt like one of those scenes in tv shows that are so serious they're acted in without music. The nerve in her stomach ached to see him in pain. She knelt down beside the sofa and sat the alcohol beside her.

"Lie down for me, ok kitty?" She said, gently.

Chat swayed slightly, but he shifted to lay down. Tikki sat on his leg watching Marinette curiously. She was as gentle as she possibly could, she tugged at his collar. He hissed again.

"I'm sorry but we need to get this off to see if you've been hurt lower down," Marinette explained, softly.

"Plagg, claws in."

"Wait - no!"

There was a flash of green and Marinette covered her face with her hands. She turned her back on him as Plagg appeared. Tikki waved at Plagg. She had to stay silent. Plagg flew to Adrien's face.

"What are you doing?! Put that back on, she can't know who you are!" He hissed.

"Hi Plagg!" Adrien said, dizzily.

Marinette whined under her breath. "He's concussed. We should take him to a doctor."

"Marinette?" Tom called.

"Papa you can't come in!" She ran to her bedroom door and slammed it shut.

"Why not?" Tom asked.

"Because Chat took off his uniform and no one can look at him!"

"Then what are you going to do?"

"I'm... I'll figure something out!"


"Call a doctor to come and check him up!"

One of their neighbours was a nurse. She was old and retired and out of practice, but she could help. Tom went to get her. Marinette and Chat were alone.

"Claws out..."

Another flash of green made Marinette heave a sigh of relief. Hesitantly, she turned to face him. He was Chat again. She could face him again. He was wincing, but he was awake.

"Don't do that kitty. Not like this," she said, softly.

"I'm sorry," he muttered.

She knelt down beside him again. "Shh, Shh, it's ok." She splashed some alcohol onto the cloth she was using. "Stay till, this is going to hurt."

Chat closed his eyes to brace himself. Marinette took a moment to take in the tears and drying blood clotting on his cheek. There was dirt on his head, and scratches all across his face. Marinette gulped. He looked so badly beaten it made her stomach ache. Her hand shook nervously as she reached out to clean his cut.
Chat cried in pain as the alcohol burned his face. She winced as his cry turned into a hiss.

"Sorry," she whispered.

"Don't be," he groaned, "I should have looked where I was going."

His voice was croaky, and he couldn't open his eyes very wide. Marinette was a lot gentler as she moved the cloth down to his smaller cuts.

"You should do that anyway. A lot of people depend on you kitty. We don't want you to be hurt," she said, softly.

"I'm tired," he sighed.

Marinette wrinkled her nose. She gulped again. The question she had couldn't go unanswered, but she feared the answer. Her voice was hardly more than a whisper.

"Tired because you want to sleep, or tired of being a hero?"

Chat opened his eyes a little. His gaze flicked between her face and her hand on his chest as she leaned towards his face again.

"I... I could never tire of being a hero."

Something in his tone was hiding something. Marinette didn't press that. She glanced over at Tikki. Before she had Tikki, before she had Alya, she wasn't very confident. She was self-conscious and nervous. She couldn't image what Chat Noir could have gone through before this. Before he was her kitty. Losing his mother for one. He always put on a brave face, always joking always smiling. Maybe he needed Plagg as much as she needed Tikki.


His voice, soft as it was, cut through the silence of the room like a hand guiding her head to look at his face.

"What is it kitten?"

"Are you ok?"

Her head fell forwards in surprise. "Me? You turn up in my house barely able to stay, bleeding from the head, and you want to know if I'm ok?"

She couldn't stop herself from smiling. He smiled back. It was small and fragile, and she bit back tears that were welling in her throat. He was her hero, and even now, beaten and bloody, he was looking out for her.

"Did you do it? Kiss Louis? You never said."

"I guess not... I didn't do it. We got distracted and I... I lost the bottle."

"If he says no he's a fool. You're a brilliant woman Mari. He's blind if he can't see it."

Chat was closing his eyes again. She laid her hand on his shoulder to shake him awake again. "Stay awake kitten."

"I'm tired," he yawned.

"I know you are. Cats always are, but I need you to stay awake."

"I'm... tired..."

"Stay awake kit kat."


Marinette took his hand in hers, and leaned on his stomach gently as she linked her fingers through his. She whispered to him again. As if rising her voice any more than that would burst some bubble keeping him awake now.

"Keep your eyes open kitty. Keep your eyes on me. If you stay awake, I promise you, I'll tell you who Louis is."

He opened one eye. "Promise?"

"Pawmise. And I pawmise you're going to be ok. You might have a scar though," she smiled.

He chuckled softly. "Maybe Ladybug can fix it."

Marinette wrinkled her nose. "She can't fix everything. She's not that good."

"She is. She's perfection." Chat said.

Marinette felt queasy at how easily he said that. At how willingly he believed it too. She didn't want to argue, so she changed the topic.

"You might have a scar, but it'll help you scare off the akumas. If your jokes don't do that first anyway."

"Meanie. You said you liked my puns," he whined.

"I do sometimes," she leaned against the sofa again. "Tell me some now."

"Can you kiss it better?"

"Is that a joke?"

Chat shook his head, a tiny, pained shake. "No... kiss it better?"


"No one ever kissed any of my wounds better. I never got any. I've been wrapped in cotton wool for all of my life... I didn't think I could get hurt..."

Marinette had no idea what to say. He sounded close to crying. She blinked back her tears again. He didn't sound so concussed now. She wasn't as terrified anymore. The relief brought a need to cry now. Instead, she took a deep breath, and carefully leaned over him. Slowly, carefully, trying not to accidentally hurt him, she kissed his forehead, just beside his freshly cleaned wound. It was a soft kiss. Barely a touch. But her hair brushed against his face so he could smell her shampoo, and he felt her warm breath against his hair. He purred softly.
It was a gentle moment that seemed to last for hours, but it was over in seconds.

How to Bond With a Cat

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

Part 12 of 19

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