Continuing Tales

How to Bond With a Cat

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

Part 6 of 19

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Come Easter Hawk Moth was back on schedule. The average was back up to one akuma a week, and Chat and Ladybug were hired to hide the Easter eggs around the park for the mayor's charity event. Most children went at least once while growing up, and most children were excited by it. It was a very important event for children, and therefore it was a very important responsibility.
They were up at dawn. So early the sun hadn't even arisen by the time they got to the park. Chat beamed. Seeing Ladybug this early, still sleepy and bleary eyed, gave him a chance to pretend they had just woken up together.

"Good morning bugaboo," he cooed.

Ladybug groaned. Marinette didn't like waking up. Ever. And waking up early was the worst. Chat being cheery didn't make that any better. Her mood was not improved by carrying armfuls of baskets, filled with brightly coloured plastic eggs, roughly the size of her palm, with smaller chocolate eggs wrapped in the same colour tinfoil inside.

"Do you want me to fetch you a coffee?" He offered.

There was a pun about cats and dogs and fetching, but Marinette, and therefore Ladybug, was not in the mood.

"Let's just get this over with so I can go back to bed," she muttered.

"Aw don't think of it like that, think of it like-"

"Chat, I'm tired. If I wanna be moody, I'll be moody."

"Fine. I'll be cheerful for the both of us!"

Ladybug rolled her eyes. She already had Tikki for the relentless cheerfulness, she didn't need Chat for it. Instead of arguing, she went to the other end of the park to hide them up there, away from Chat. Disappointed, but understanding she needed space, Chat didn't follow her.
After a while, when she'd had the chance to wake up a bit, Ladybug headed back over to where Chat was. He felt her gravitate towards him, and he felt his chest warm. She was drawn back.

"I feel like I should be dressed as a bunny," Chat announced

He settled a pink egg under a particularly leafy weed as she balanced a blue egg in the crook of a tree trunk.

"Well you've got the ears for it," she said.

Chat grinned. "They'd call you Spot if you were a bunny."

"They'd call you Jet," she countered.

"You and I would make adorable bunnies," he said.

She chuckled. She felt an urge to make a joke about breeding like bunnies, but then she remembered she was being Ladybug and not Marinette. He would take it differently from her.

"I remember coming to this when I was little. Back then they had proper rules for the golden egg. Back then they had a different mayor," Ladybug said, pointedly.

The charity that this came to help was anti-bullying. It highlighted acta of kindness, and this was a chance to install that in young children. The golden egg was the egg that went to whichever child was seen to be kind-hearted. A real "good egg". Once Rose and won it, because Nathanael dropped his egg and it broke, so Rose gave him one of hers because she had found two. Ivan won it for giving Max a boost, so he could reach an egg that was too high up for either of them to get. Alix very nearly won one when she stole an egg from Kim after he stole it from Rose in the first place, but they didn't give it to her because Kim and Alix got into a fight and Alix broke Kim's finger. That was the day they became friends. Then Chloe's father became the mayor, and he was in charge of deciding which child got the golden egg at the end. Now Chloe got it every year, and less and less children bothered to go. There was no point. Chloe was a teenager with a keen eye and a selfish attitude who was going to win the golden egg even if she did nothing nice to anyone.

"I only ever got to come once. It was fun. The children were kind. I enjoyed it," Chat explained.

And he had. Once. The year Chloe's father was elected. The last year before Chole won them all. The year Rose and Nathanael become friends. He had met Nino that year, not that he knew it. Nino hadn't been allowed in, because he didn't have enough pocket money to get in, and his parents weren't willing to pay either. He was standing in the street, with his hands on the bars, watching the other kids play. When Adrien came close enough, Nino pointed out an egg hidden under a bench. Adrien didn't feel right about eating it himself, so he broke it open and gave it to Nino, but kept the plastic egg for himself. Proof that he'd found it. He should have won the golden egg that year, but more people saw Rose's good deed.

"Are you going this year?" Ladybug asked.

"Well... maybe," he said uncertainly.

His father did not like him coming back with a basket of chocolate as a child, and his mother had defended him. Now his mother wouldn't defend him, and his father would be even more annoyed. He had an eating program he was supposed to stick to, and eating with Marinette on Thursdays wasn't helping that.

"I'm going. Not this me, obviously, but a friend of mine didn't grow up here. She never got to come to this so we're going this year. Maybe we'll find an egg or two, what'd you think?" Ladybug smirked.

Chat glanced at the egg she had just placed between the paws of a rabbit statue. He cracked a grin.

"Nah, I bet you won't find one," he winked.

She laughed. The sound was music to his ears. Sunlight dawned like a golden halo falling down over the pair of them. It made his hair glow. It looked lush and soft. Marinette remembered the way her hands ran through his hair as she picked out bits of straw and stick from where he hit a tree on the way there. She giggled at the memory. Chat glanced up.

"What?" He asked.

Ladybug shrugged, and yawned. "Weird things are funny at four in the morning."

"Is that the time!" Chat gasped.

He had a photoshoot at five. It'd take him ten minutes to get home, maybe he'd get twenty minutes sleep before he'd have to get dressed and get out the door to head to the studio. Twenty minutes was better than nothing. Ladybug could tell there was something urgent that needed his attention. She ran her hand across his.

"Hey, go. It's ok. I can finish up here. I'll just sleep early tonight or something," she shrugged.

His heart melted. She was so nice to him. "You sure?"

"Yeah. Maybe I'll see you here when the event starts," she smiled.

Chat took her hand and bowed to kiss it. One day, he vowed, he would kiss her lips too. For now, he would take what he was allowed.

"My lady you deserve the golden egg this year. Thank you," he said.

Her ears went pink and she scoffed. "Just go!"

Chat nodded. He grabbed his staff and flicked the button. There was just one stop he had to do before he went home.
Ladybug landed on her balcony, and transformed into Marinette. She chuckled at the Easter egg sat in a decorated box on the garden table. It was different to the one she had left there. Chat had come, taken the one left for him, and left one for her in its place. And there was a note on top. She picked it up curiously. Tikki sat on her shoulder and read the note with her. It was all hidden in an envelope, so she opened that first.
Inside was a map and a note, both of which had been written by hand. The map was of the park and there were red circles here and there, where he had hidden eggs. He had clearly remembered she said she was going to that Easter egg hunt with Alya, and wanted to give her a chance to win. (Adrien had been invited to go with Nino and Alya and Marinette so it wasn't difficult to remember) The note simply said: "Have fun my little pirate princess!"

On her shoulder Tikki gave her a confused look. "Pirate princess?"

"I guess we know who the ship cat is," Marinette chuckled.

"What does that make me?" Tikki asked, folding her arms.

"If you keep sitting on my shoulder like that, you'll be the parrot!" Marinette grinned.

Tikki giggled. Marinette scratched her cheek affectionately. "Come on let's get you fed."

Tikki didn't really need feeding, since she hadn't had to use the lucky charm, but they had fallen into a routine where Tikki would have breakfast at the same time as Marinette, just in case, and Marinette was starving.

Marinette and Alya waited in line with all the other children at the gate to the park. Manon was around, somewhere near the front. It was Alya's idea to bring her, so they didn't feel so foolish searching for eggs as teenagers surrounded by children. Nino was standing nearby, acting like a meerkat. He was supposed to be keeping an eye on Manon, but Adrien still wasn't here yet.

"Will you stop Nino?! If he comes he comes, otherwise don't worry. You've still got us," Alya huffed.

Nino threw an arm around her shoulders, "and I'd never give that up."

Alya tried to stay mad but Nino gave her one of those cheeky grins and her heart beat her anger away.

"Who'd you reckon will get the most eggs?" Alya asked playfully.

Marinette smirked to herself. She had a pretty good idea of where to find most of the eggs, and if she hadn't, she had a map to lead her to them.

"I think you will if you use this," Marinette said, pulling the map from her pocket.

Her eyes sparkled mischievously, which made Alya raise an eyebrow, and smirk. She took the paper from Marinette and unfolded it, curiously. She frowned in confusion at the little red circles over the eggs that Chat had hidden.

"Are these the eggs? Who gave you this?" Alya asked suspiciously.

Marinette shrugged. "Chat Noir."

Alya and Nino shared a knowing look that made Marinette frown in confusion.


"You two are becoming very close recently... should I be concerned?" Alya asked.

Marinette scoffed. "Of course not. You'll always be my best friend!"

"Not about me! About Adri-" Alya cut herself off with a glance at Nino.

"What?" Nino asked, obliviously.

Alya turned her head back to look at Marinette. "Girl, don't forget there's only one boy we've gotta focus on," Alya warned.

"I know," Marinette stressed.

"Who's that then?"

Adrien wandered up to the group, and flashed a killer smile that took Marinette's breath away. Nino lit up when he saw Adrien. He was worried he wouldn't turn up. Nino threw an arm around Adrien, so he ended up with Adrien under one arm and Alya under the other.

"ADRIEN!" He cheered.

"A-a-Adrien, HI! Hi, Adrien, Adrien, hi..." Marinette stammered.

"Smooth," Alya smirked.

To be fair to Marinette, her playful flirting with Chat Noir was helping her confidence around Adrien. She still stammered and jumbled her words, but she didn't blush as easily anymore.

"I didn't think you'd turn up," Nino said.

"I finished working early so I could come. I wouldn't miss Alya's first trip to the Easter park!" Adrien grinned.

"Aww, I feel so loved," Alya cooed.

Adrien grinned. It was just coincidence that this was the first time he could know with absolutely certainty that Ladybug was in this confined space with him. He didn't know who, he didn't know where, but she was here.
When the gate opened and the rush of children went racing inside. Marinette hurried to get in so she could make sure she kept an eye on Manon. Adrien latched onto her wrist and hurried to keep up so Marinette didn't get lost. He latched only Nino behind him, who latched onto Alya, and they ended up in a chain wriggling in through the gate.

"Be careful Manon!" Marinette called as she raced straight for the bushes.

Manon was far too far away to hear her. Marinette made a distressed sound as she watched Manon vanish. Adrien stepped forward so he was standing beside Marinette. Plagg peaked out from Adrien's pocket, to wave at Tikki, who peaked out of the bag, just to wave at Plagg.

"Don't worry Mari, this place is completely shut apart from that gate, so she won't get out without us noticing," he said.

"I know, but whenever she's around I feel like I need to be on high alert... sorry" Marinette sighed.

"Don't be. You're an excellent babysitter," he winked.

Her chest tightened but she didn't turn as pink as she usually did. Alya elbowed Nino and gestured to Adrien and Marinette chatting while watching Manon play.

"They look just like real parents!" She grinned.

"I thought you said she was getting close to Chat Noir," Nino said.

Alya scoffed, "do you see the cat anywhere? Anyway, he's a passing fling. Those two are the real deal."

"What are we?" Nino asked.

Alya turned her head in surprise at the question. Then she flashed a grin and winked. He didn't know what it meant, but it made him feel fuzzy inside, so it had to be good. She grabbed his hand and dragged him over to the others.

"Find any eggs yet?" Alya asked.

Adrien glanced around. He had been worried that the shiny and colourful eggs would be too blatant in the green of the park, but it had been decorated with cardboard rabbits, rainbow bunting, and painted blue and pink arrows pointing towards black circles that read "The bunny went this way". It was hard to see any of the little eggs through the crowd anyway. As if to highlight that point, a tide of children slammed past them. One of them hit Adrien's leg, tripping him up. Automatically, Marinette caught him under his armpits. Adrien looked up at her from where she had caught him. Both looked shocked. Alya elbowed Nino again, so hard he grunted. Adrien flashed Marinette a lopsided smirk.

"I guess I'm falling for you," came the automatic pun.

Although this was Adrien and not Chat Noir. Had it been Chat she would have come up with a flirty pun in return ("well you swept me off my feet, I thought I'd return the favour") and she'd help him back up. But it wasn't Chat. It was Adrien. Flirting with Marinette. Even Alya gasped. Marinette turned bright pink and snatched her hands back so he went crashing the rest of the way to the floor. Nino gasped.

"Are you ok dude?" Nino asked as he helped Adrien climb to hit feet.

"I'm fine. That was my fault I guess," he shrugged.

"Girl can you breathe?" Alya whispered.

Marinette nodded frantically, a little too frantically to be true. Her heart was beating so hard Alya could hear it. Adrien sheepishly apologised, and moved on. He had to remember he wasn't being Chat right now.

"It's an easy mistake. You're a fool out of uniform too," Plagg said, helpfully.

"Eat your cheese," Adrien said, bitterly.

Plagg sank back down into the pocket, cackling. Adrien huffed. That kwami didn't know how good he had it!

"Dude, seriously, are you ok?" Nino asked, quieter so the girls wouldn't hear.

Adrien nodded. "Yeah, yeah."


"Yeah. I was just thinking last time I was here, I gave some kid an egg he pointed out at through the bars," Adrien forced a smile.

His legs were slightly shaky and his head was whirling. He couldn't understand how he'd forgotten he wasn't Chat. It had never happened before. Not quite this bluntly anyway. Adrien's mind was so busy in the clouds he didn't notice the suspiciously hopeful look in Nino's eyes.

"Wait... how old were you?" Nino asked urgently.

Adrien shrugged. "Seven-ish."

Nino gasped and grabbed Adrien by both shoulders, shaking him urgently and over excitedly. "DUDE! THAT WAS ME!"

Adrien pushed him back to stop the shaking. "What?"


Adrien's voice grew in excitement as he realised what that meant. "REALLY?!"


"THAT MEANS WE MET OVER THERE!" Adrien pointed at the railings excitedly.

Nino was practically vibrating with delight. "LET'S GO GET A SELFIE!"

The boys went racing over to the fence, phones in hand, faster than any of the sugar-fuelled children searching for eggs. Alya and Marinette shared a peculiar look, and looked back at the boys. Now they were on their knees, angling the phone to fit them both and the railings in.

"What just happened?" Alya asked, bewildered.

Marinette shrugged. "Your boyfriend stole my crush."

Alya wasn't exactly excited to be in the hunt for Easter eggs. She happened to mentioned she'd never been to one like this and Nino had lost his mind. He told Marinette and it became a little outing with Manon to avoid awkward questions. Now though, she was beginning to see the upside.

"Higher!" Manon called, "higher!"

Adrien hopped onto his tip toes. Manon was sat on his shoulders, trying to see into the very top of the tree. The worst part for Adrien was that he knew fully well there was no egg in this three, but he couldn't tell her that without an argument.

"I think we need to use Chats map," Alya whispered.

"I agree," Marinette nodded.

Manon had only found three eggs in the last hour, despite all four of them pointing out where they were to her. She didn't want to see, because it wound them up. Hence climbing on Adrien's shoulders. Marinette had to go up on her tiptoes to be a similar height to Manon, now she was on his shoulders.

"Manon, we have a present for you, but you mustn't let the other children see," she said.

"What is it?! What is it?! What is it?!" Manon bounced excitedly.

Adrien winced as she moved. She was heavier than she looked, and she was right on the. top of his spine

"Come here and let me show you," Alya said.

She put her hands under Manon's armpits and eased her backwards off Adrien's shoulders. Now they ached, but he smiled through the pain. He was used to that. Marinette stepped back and let Alya explain to Manon what the map was, and how to use it. Manon went speeding off down the park again. Adrien felt a tug of smugness.

"What was that?" He asked.

Marinette looked sheepish. She bowed her head a little and cleared her throat. "It's err... A map of where some eggs are hidden. I know it's not entirely fair, but Chat Noir gave it to me, and it was a joke, but Manon was searching trees and-"

Adrien cut her off before she could work herself into a panic over the excuses she had worked out. "It's nice of you to help her find them. You should win the golden egg this year."

He had expected her to giggle and turn pink like she usually did when Adrien complimented her. Instead she scoffed.

"Ha, yeah right, Chloe will get that," she said.

"Chloe isn't here," Adrien pointed out.

That didn't change Marinette's mind in any way. "Just you wait."

"MARINETTE I FOUND ONE, MARINETTE LOOK!" Manon held a bright orange egg high above her head, beaming so brightly she out shone the egg.

"Well done Manon, keep looking!" Marinette called.

Adrien smiled at Marinette without thinking. She handled Manon like an older sister sometimes, and it made him see a different side of her. One he saw more often than he thought he did. Marinette turned to look at him, and reeled back to find him staring.

"What?" She asked.

"You're going to be a great mother someday."

She turned her face away and tried not to blush again. Adrien grinned. That was the reaction he had been waiting for.

"Adrien! I found one!" Nino called.

His voice was excited, even though he left it for the actual children to claim. Adrien laughed.

"Way to go Nino!" Adrien called.

Marinette glanced up at him. There was a real pride in his face, even beside the humour. She smiled to herself.

Adrien was such a good friend.

How to Bond With a Cat

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

Part 6 of 19

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