Continuing Tales

How to Bond With a Cat

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

Part 19 of 19

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Marinette gazed out over the edge of the balcony, staring into the depths of Paris. Chat Noir was due any minute. Marinette was so wrapped up in her thoughts she scarcely felt the cold turning her lips blue. She was exhausted still, but it was a different kind now. Emotionally she was drained. It wasn't worth fighting it anymore. That only got her heart and her head even more tangled. Something else had to be done.
The truth had to be told.


Tikki's voice was quiet, but loud enough to pull Marinette from her daydream. Her gaze never left the spot on the Eiffel Tower where they had shared their first ice cream.


"What are you going to do?"

Marinette bowed her head and allowed her shoulders to fall as she sighed. Defeated like a deflated balloon.

"I have to know Tikki... It's not fair if he has to tell me who he is and I don't tell him who I am."

"So you'll tell him who you are? Who you really are?" Tikki asked softly.

"That's the plan..."

Marinette sighed again, and gazed down at the park, where he had hand drawn a map just, so she could find the Easter eggs he hid.



"Be gentle."

Marinette turned her head back to the little pink kwami sat in the dirt of a plant pot, where at first glance she looked nothing more suspicious than a flower blooming in February.

"Of course I will Tikki. Of course I will," Marinette said.

Adrien rested his forehead against the glass window pane, which made a cold red square draw the eye to his face. He rolled his head to the side to glance back into his bedroom, towards where his kwami lounged on the sofa, staring at the phone, hoping Tikki would reply soon.

"Plagg?" Adrien asked softly.

Plagg huffed, mildly irritated at Tikki and taking it out on Adrien. "What now?"

Adrien pulled completely away from the window and said, "I think I gotta tell her."

"Tell who what?" Plagg huffed again.

"I gotta tell Marinette I'm Chat Noir."

"Oh." Plagg sat up a little. This was more serious than he thought. "Really? Now?"

"When else?" Adrien asked.

"When Hawkmoth is defeated. That way it's safe," Plagg advised.

"I might not survive until it's safe..."

Adrien gazed back out of the window and remembered when Simon Says sent his minions to attack his father's mansion, his home. Volpina had come through the window easy as pie too, and tried to make Ladybug think he was going to die. It worked. He still felt his heart freeze when he thought about what would have happened if she had taken off her miraculous. If he was in that situation, Ladybug might not be around to save him.
Plagg swept over, weighed down by his camembert feast, to sit on Adrien's knee, deadly serious now.

"Don't think like that," he said, firmly.

Adrien felt a rush of guilt for scaring his friend like that. "Anyway, Marinette deserves to know now... if this turns out to be something we both want we should start it with complete honesty."

"You're gonna tell her you love her?"

"Yes. Yes I am."

"Good luck," Plagg said.

Adrien sighed with relief that he wasn't trying to talk him out of this. It wouldn't have been difficult. "Thanks."

"But be careful," Plagg warned.

Adrien nodded. "I know Plagg. I will be."

Marinette was on the balcony when Chat landed. Usually he'd land on the edge of the balcony and hang off, like he was in danger even though he was balancing on his staff perfectly safe. Or he'd creep down the back of her roof and land behind her to make her jump. Either way Chat ended up in Marinette's arms, because she grabbed him to stop him falling, or because she wanted to punch him, and he turned it into a hug. Then she'd say something like "there's more than one way to skin a cat" and he'd flash a smile and say, "skin me nine times, I want to spend all nine lives in your arms" and both of them would laugh.
They didn't today.
Chat Noir landed on the balcony beside her, and he felt his heart rise up into his throat. He had no idea what Alya had told her, and he was terrified she told her that Chat kissed Ladybug. If she loved him like he loved her and Alya showed her that picture, fake or not, it would break her heart. Chat didn't like that idea.

The nerve shook his voice. "Heya princess."

Marinette knew he hadn't done anything wrong. He rejected Ladybug. Not her. She didn't know that she wasn't Betty. Maybe she was. Maybe this whole time he'd been talking about her. But even looking at him reminded her of the pain, the utter, burning, aching, agony of rejection.

"Oh. Hi. What's new pussycat?" She muttered.

He gave a small smile, but it hurt a little. She was clearly upset, and masking her pain with puns. He had to talk to her about this. Carefully, like Plagg said. One slip of a claw and he could cataclysm her heart.

"Can we... can we talk?" He asked.

Marinette tightened her grip on the balcony railings. She stared down at the ground, pretending not to be as twisted up inside as she really felt.

"About what?" She asked.

Chat felt his cheeks turn red under his mask. "A-about, err..."

His eyes flicked down at her hands. She was clinging to the railings so hard her knuckles were white. His stomach twisted. Something was upsetting her. Something Alya had said to her...

"Mari, are you -"

"Let's go inside Chat."

His ears flattened against his head as she walked past him. Her fingers lingered, clinging to the railings. She couldn't even look at him as she passed. Maybe his claw had already slipped... He followed her back into her bedroom. She put a lot of distance between them, even when Chat jumped down from the bed she took a step back. He frowned.

"Are you mad at me princess?" He asked.

"Why would I be mad at you?" She sighed.

He reeled back slowly, his chest aching at the pain etched on her face, "Are you upset a-about something?"

She drummed her fingers on the back of the chair she was clinging onto. She had positioned that between the two of them too. "No. I'm just thinking."

"Thinking what?" He asked.

"Thinking..." Marinette sighed. She couldn't put it off any longer. She walked to the front of the chair and sat down. "we need to talk."

Chat gulped. He didn't know what Alya had told her. He didn't know how much she hated him. He didn't want to find out either.

"I think I said that first," he gave an uneasy smile.

"Right. Sure," she ran a hand through her hair, "What'd you wanna talk about?"

Chat Noir edged to the sofa, and sat nervously. "You can go first."

"No, no, you go," she said.

Immediately she regretted it. It meant she had to sit quietly and listen instead of trying to figure out how to tell him that she was the girl he had just rejected. Chat stood up. It was easier to think and explain when he was moving.

"I've was thinking about your room recently."

He wandered over to where her Chat Noir doll sat on the side. It sat between the plush toy he brought her, and that selfie he had taken of them when she was dressed as Chat for Halloween, framed on her shelf.

"What about it?" She asked.

"I've spent a lot of time here recently... it's like a second home," Chat said, calmly.

"Oh yeah? It's my first," She said.

"Well if you don't want me here you shouldn't have given me those biscuits at the bake off last year."

He tried to be cool about it, but he was desperate to desperate to hear her deny it. That's why it hurt that much more when she said, even as a joke, "Or any of the biscuits since."

"Exactly... You should know by now that if you feed a cat they'll never leave you alone. After all you invited in this mangy stray and now look-"

That was enough. More than enough. Marinette had enough of Alya being rude about Chat, she wasn't about to let him be mean about himself. She stood up, grabbed him by the shoulders, hard, and yanked him round to face her. He was too surprised to fight back. Each of her hands landed on his collar, and then on moved up to cup his cheek, ignoring the rising heat of his blush.

She stared him, straight in the eye, and declared, firmly, and with no room for argument, "you are not some stray Chat Noir. Mangy or otherwise. You are a hero. You are my hero. You have a home. It's right here. With me. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise, d'you hear?!"

Chat's jaw dropped at the intensity of her glare. He felt his chest warm with hope and affection.

"It's nice to know still care, even after what Alya said about me," he smiled softly.

Marinette reeled back suspiciously. "What'd you know about what Alya said?"

Chat bowed his head. "Not a lot, but enough to know it wasn't good..."

Marinette stepped back. Tikki sensed the fear in Marinette. If she wasn't convinced before, she was now. Tikki winced. Gentle was about to fly out the window. She could see it coming. Marinette licked her lip nervously. It reminded Chat of the way her tongue peeped out of the corner of her mouth when she was concentrating. Usually that would melt his heart. Right now, he could feel the rising tension just as well as Tikki, and it set him on edge.

She couldn't stop herself asking, "Are you Adrien?"

His heart hit the floor with his stomach. Stone cold in terror. "W-W-What?"

"Seriously. Underneath the mask, behind Chat Noir, are you my Adrien?"

Her voice was kind of desperate. It would be so much easier if he was Adrien. It would untangle her emotions like someone taking a pair of scissors to knotted string. She wanted him to be Adrien, but she needed to know who the real Chat Noir was.
Adrien had been ready to tell her the truth. He was certain he needed to. To be honest. It felt like it was finally time... but now he was standing in front of her, and his name had fallen from her mouth again, he felt his heart ache with terror. She hadn't seemed to like Adrien much until recently, and suddenly she was over a crush he didn't know she had on him, because she loved Chat Noir. And he loved her so much. He didn't want to see her disappointed with the boy behind the mask.

"Are you kitten me?" He asked, in a desperate attempt to move on.

Marinette's chest tightened. She wouldn't move on. She couldn't. She needed to know. "Kitty."

He winced. She knew that name in that tone broke him every time. He just couldn't bare finding out if she didn't love him anymore. She didn't love Adrien anymore, but they so had Chat... Even if he was just a friend she loved him… If he lost that, it would kill him.

"Why would you think that?" he asked, quietly.

"Just tell me!" she begged, frustrated.

"Even if it were true, I couldn't!" he insisted.

Hot, frustrated tears stung Marinette's eyes as she stormed out of the room. A ball formed in the base of Adrien's throat. She couldn't even stay in the room with him anymore. He picked up the Ladybug doll. It was limp in his hand. She wouldn't notice it was gone, and it was something to remember her by. Because she wouldn't ever talk to him again after this. He gasped when she appeared again.

"Marinette, I have to-"

Marinette stormed up to him, and threw a spatula at his feet. He leapt back so it clattered against the floor, beside his heart. Chat stared at it. He felt the ball grow harder and tears well behind his eyes. He raised his head to meet her stubborn glare. Her eyes were red and glistening as she balled her hands into fists, and tried not to cry.

Chat's voice croaked as he said, "That's not fair."

Marinette had to gasp for breath as she demanded, more like a hopeless beg than a demand, "Tell me."

Chat closed his eyes and bowed his head. A single tear ran down his cheek. She was going to be so disappointed...
A flash of green made Marinette wince, but she never looked away. The black cat fell away and in his place stood Adrien.
Beautiful Adrien.

Her first love.

Adrien bowed his head low. He couldn't bring himself to look at her. She must have been so let down that her great mysterious hero was just the boy who saw in front of her in class. He heard her breathing shake as she wiped the tears from her face. Plagg darted over to the shelf where Tikki was sitting in plain view. She didn't bother to hide. She wanted to see all of this. Plagg took her hand in his. They'd been through these a thousand times before, but this was one of the hardest so far.

"This is me..." Adrien whispered. "I'm sorry I'm such a let-down..."

Marinette shook her head desperately, but he wasn't looking so he couldn't see, and any words she tried to find died on her lips. She glanced at Tikki for support. Tikki nodded encouragingly. Plagg felt her grip tighten a little. Marinette took a deep breath and closed her eyes.

"I... I meant what I said."

Adrien bowed his head lower to hear her voice. Even as soft as it was, it shattered the tense silence.

"Which time?" He asked.

She gulped. "On the roof. When the akuma attacked. When I told you I loved you… I meant it."

Adrien frowned and raised his head. His eyes were red with tears, and he looked so utterly confused that Marinette wanted to gather him into her arms and never let him go. But she couldn't. She couldn't even move. She was frozen where she was, her heart on the line again, still bearing the scars from the last time she had to glue it back together.

"I still mean it."

Adrien's mouth fell open. His voice was barely a breath when he whispered, "My lady?"

She felt her heart tighten again. Her hand went into her hair and she tried to hide her face behind her arm, anxiously. Already her face was turning red to match her eyes. Hurriedly she tried to back track.

"I understand that you don't love me back. I spent so long in love with Adri- um, you, that I couldn't see that I was rejecting the real love you offered. I get it if you wanna go back to Betty, but I thought you should know..."

She trailed off and bowed her head again. Adrien stared at her. In all the ways he imagined this night going, this never entered his mind. Something about it made him want to laugh. A bubble in his chest stretched up into his throat, and he bit his lip. The sniggering crept out. She raised her head and scowled at him as he laughed harder.

"What's so funny?!"

"Betty and Louis."


Adrien smiled a watery smiled at her, like everything in the world was hilarious now. "Louis was Adrien, me, and Betty was Ladybug. You."

"I knew it." She muttered.

Adrien stepped forward slowly, and reached out to take her hand in his. She allowed him to, but her cheeks flushed redder. His fingers laced through hers, and he ran his hand against her cheek to rub away a tear.

"You and I have been chasing each other's tails, trying to get each other to notice us, when we already did," he smiled.

"What does that mean?" She blushed.

Adrien laid his forehead against hers, so his fringe flapped against hers. "That means I love you Princess Bugaboo."

She wrinkled her nose, beaming. "I hate that nickname!"

"I don't care," he whispered.

Nothing held him back anymore. He rolled his head down, until his lips pressed against hers. His hand raised slowly, and he held her bottom jaw gently. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and pushed herself back against him hard. The bliss of the moment spread between them. She felt his ridiculous smile through the kiss. Then came the vibrations of his purring. She giggled. He felt it. He purred harder. She broke away, giggling, and laid her face against his chest, her hand tight around his collar.

"Don't you like my purring?" He smiled.

"I love it. I love the purring and the puns and your ears and your tail and your messy hair and your dumb smile and your terrible baking, I love all of it!" She declared, breathless with joy.

He beamed. She felt his hand on her waist, pulling her closer, as if she would ever try to get away. He buried his head against her hair and kissed her head repeatedly. He kissed a trail down from her hair line, down her cheek, and back to her mouth. She pulled away for a moment.


She kissed him again until he had to pull away first.


He kissed her until she pulled away again.

"can I paint your nails now?"

Adrien laughed as she kissed him again, and broke away to lean his forehead against hers, and held her around the waist so she wouldn't let go.

"I love you," he laughed.

Tikki and Plagg beamed with delight. Tikki was practically buzzing. She threw herself into Plagg's lap, tackling him to the ground, and nuzzling her head against his. Plagg laughed brightly and wrapped his tail around her to pull her in closer.

"You were right. Honesty is the best policy," he said.

"It always has been," she agreed.

"Then I should tell you something..." Plagg sat up, and cleared his throat. Tikki still sat in his lap. "Alya knows."

Tikki smiled softly, and leaned up to kiss him between his ears, affectionately. "I know. So does Nino what can we do about that?"

"You know I've always thought Alya reminded me of Trixx," Plagg said, pointedly.

"And Nino and Wayzz are a perfect fit," Tikki agreed.

Plagg beamed at her with pure joy that he usually saved for the gooiest of camembert.

"I've missed you."

"I've missed you more," she said.

He laid his head against hers. "Happy valentine's day Tikki."

If she could turn any pinker she would have. "Happy valentine's day Plagg."

Tikki and Plagg beamed at each other, love struck and ecstatic to be reunited. They weren't out of danger yet. They weren't any more or less safe than they had been a year ago. That didn't matter. They had each other now. They might never be safe again, but nothing, nothing could ever make them regret the pure, unflitered, unwithering joy of this moment. Ever.
Hawkmoth would still be out there, and he'd still send akumas after them, and maybe they'd fight for each other, maybe they'd sacrafice for each other, maybe they would have new heros to fight along with them, maybe they would win, maybe they wouldnt. But maybe could wait. Pain could wait.
Tomorrow could wait.
They were alive today.
They were happy today.
And they were going to hold onto that for as long as they possibly could.

Tikki leapt to her feet and flew over to the speakers. She unlocked Marinette's phone, and spun through her music to find the song she was looking for. Plagg tilted his head, puzzled, as Marinette burst into laughter.


Tikki, now free from having to hide, twirled in the air, using all the space she possible could to dance away the utter delight she had. She sang too. Her pure joy was so infectious that Plagg flew into her, just to dance with her as she sang, so purely happy, that she couldn't keep her eyes open because her smile got in the way. Adrien and Marinette sang along terribly, and ballroom danced worse. It doesn't matter how bad you dance, as long as your singing has laughter in it.



"I love you!"

"I love you."

How to Bond With a Cat

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

Part 19 of 19

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