Continuing Tales


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

Part 11 of 35

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Marinette slammed her phone onto the table, startling Nathaneal.

"Mari, everything ok?"

Her lips thinned until they almost disappeared, her brain had completely flat-lined. After a few seconds of stone-faced silence, she face-planted onto the desk, a high-pitched whine escaping her lips. Nathanael leaned over to peer at her screen. He chuckled.

"Huh. Looks like I get to say told-you-so to Alix," he smiled to himself, returning to his work as Marinette sat bolt-upright. She hadn't heard a word he'd said. A million questions flooded her mind, swirling like a vortex until she felt lightheaded. Her hands gripped the table, skin digging deep into the worn pine edges.

Why was Adrien sending her a direct message? He'd done it before, and it always threw her into panic-mode, but all he'd ever asked were questions about homework or school. He also had a habit of sending memes to people in a mass text. It was as endearing as it was annoying. She'd lost count of the amount of times she'd had a heart attack over what turned out to be nothing but a silly joke.

It's probably another meme, it's probably one of his mass texts, it's nothing major…it's definitely not because Adrien is secretly Chat Noir and he's figured out I'm Ladybug. That would be totally insane. That's never going to happen. Adrien isn't Chat Noir. He isn't.

Marinette repeated the mantra over and over in her head, aware that she was losing her mind, but unable to help the shiver that went straight through her. Trembling fingers reached for her phone. However, she left Adrien's text unopened, deciding to consult the one person who she knew would help set her head right.

Marinette: Alya

No response. Marinette typed out another text. This time more forcibly, as if the added pressure of her fingers would increase the speed at which Alya replied.

Marinette: ALYA

After thirty seconds, Alya still hadn't text her back, and Marinette was ready to hurl her phone into the sun.

Marinette: ALYA, either wake up or stop sexting your boyfriend for ONE SECOND! THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!

At last, Alya responded.

Alya: I am doing neither of those things. I am a good and upstanding student
Alya: ;) ;) ;) what's up?

Marinette: ALYA ADRIEN IS TEXTING ME! HE SENT ME A DM! I haven't opened it yet I'm too scared to. What do I do?!

Alya: ;) eyyy


Alya: Ok ok calm down. We've been through this before xx
Alya: Just open the damn text. It's Adrien. It's not like he's sent you a dick pic or anything. It's probably just another meme.

Marinette let out a low whistling noise from the back of her throat, which sounded rather like a puppy being denied his favourite chew toy. Honestly, she was having trouble deciding who was more likely to kill her first. Would it be Adrien, Chat, Alya, or Hawkmoth?

She made a note to give Nino extra cookies from the bakery. He never put her through this. Nino was like her cuddly, supportive brother. But she couldn't text him about this. Adrien was his best friend. It was bad enough Nino knew about her crush to begin with. She didn't want to put him in the middle of things, or risk Adrien finding out how much she was freaking out over him.

Deciding to ignore the dick pic comment (and the mental images it entailed- the very bad but also very good, but also VERY BAD mental images), she instead focused on summoning her courage enough to open the text.

Fixing the phone with a stare so intense it could have melted the protective case, Marinette inhaled through her nose. So much for being a good, focused student (she made a vow to make the time up later, boys be damned she was NOT going to screw up her final grade).

Well, here goes nothing-

She opened the text from Adrien, her breath baited, arms pinned to her sides.

He'd sent her a photo of cute little otter. That was all. Just an otter. A very sweet otter, but an otter nonetheless. Its tiny paws covered its eyes and its head was dipped low, as if it were shy about something. Marinette breathed a sigh of relief tempered with disappointment, and typed out a text to Alya.

Marinette: You were right. It was just a meme. I take it you got it too?

Alya: Nope. Guess it was a meme made specially for you ;) awwwww he likes you! See? I knew it! About time too cause I have SO many double date ideas planned you have no idea.

Marinette blushed, her heart racing as she went back to the image. In her haste to open the message, she'd missed the text at the bottom of the photo. A meme just for her? It was disgusting how happy that made her. Not for the first time did she consider seeking professional help. She was clearly out of her mind.

The text underneath the cute otter read: 'Sorry I'm so otterly silly!'

Marinette puffed out her cheeks with the effort of trying not to laugh. At least now she knew why he'd sent her a direct message. To apologise again for the iced coffee on her shirt (which wasn't going to stain thanks to her father who, after years of working in a bakery, was a master of removing various stains from clothes). It really wasn't fair. He was too cute, making goofy puns, being gentlemanly and silly. She'd long ago decided to stop putting Adrien on a pedestal, during the first time she'd tried to forget her crush on him, and moments like this helped.

After all, she'd told him she liked dorks. She hadn't been lying.

Humming to herself, pink tongue poking out in concentration, Marinette responded to Adrien's text.

Five minutes.

It had been at least five minutes since Adrien had sent that text to her and she hadn't responded yet.

Idiot, idiot, idiot! He cursed himself, you should have been sincere and offered up a proper apology instead of a joke- she probably doesn't think you're seriously sorry about ruining her shirt. Good one Agreste. Really top notch thinking there.

He tried concentrating on the tricky maths sum his teacher had given him, as an extension for finishing his other work, but it was impossible. The numbers and symbols switched places as he blinked heavily, focusing and unfocusing. He ran an irritated hand through his hair in frustration.

Truth be told he'd just wanted any excuse to talk to her. Marinette.

It could be her.

Marinette and Ladybug both went to his school. Both wanted to work in fashion. Both liked pink. Both were beautiful, smart, funny. Both had dark hair and blue eyes. There were a few other girls it could be, but his mind kept going back to her, and promptly melting into a puddle of goo when he recalled all of the kisses he'd shared with Ladybug.

…The idea that he could have been kissing Marinette.

Adrien felt heat rise in his cheeks and pressed his palms into them, squishing his face. He was thankful he'd had the foresight to hide in the back corner row of the class. At least there nobody could see the utter fool he was making of himself. No, only Marinette currently held that luxury.

Just as he was about to snap, and send a text apologising for his apology, his phone buzzed.

It was Marinette. She'd replied.

Adrien opened the text, bracing himself for the angry, the incredulous, the disappointed response. Really he deserved it.

Instead, she'd sent a photo of what looked like an adorable dolphin, but with a squishy face. A different type of dolphin-like animal maybe? It looked like it was smiling. Adrien frowned. This wasn't what he'd been expecting at all. What did she mean by it?

His phone buzzed once more, another text from Marinette.

Marinette: That's ok! I know you didn't do it on porpoise ^_^

Adrien read the text. And re-read it. And read it again.

He slumped back in his seat, his face redder than ever. The phrase 'soulmate' popped into his mind.

Woah, calm down Agreste. You don't know for certain that she's Ladybug yet.

Adrien thought for a moment. He didn't want to seem stupid. These texts mattered. Putting a road block on any fantasies of Marinette being Ladybug aside, he considered his next words carefully.

Adrien: Really? Well I'm turtley in debt to you anyway! I'll buy you another iced coffee on the way to Nino's, and Alya too!

The reply was almost instant.

Marinette: Really? Thank you! You don't have to though. But owl be very grateful if you do!


Adrien: Wow Mari, I didn't know you were such a punster. I'm pheasantly surprised!

He hoped he sounded casual in his responses, considering all he wanted to do was roll around on the floor and scream. Much like one of the fangirls who'd tried to mug him that summer he spent in Italy. Adrien's cheeks were beginning to ache from how hard he was smiling, but he couldn't rid himself of it if he tried.

He wasn't accounting for Marinette's response.

Marinette: Maybe there's a lot of things you don't know about me.

The smile vanished from his face in an instant. His heart stopped. It felt as though he'd been rammed head-first into a wall (and he knew exactly what that felt like, as he'd experienced the feeling numerous times as Chat Noir). His breath whistled past his teeth as he sucked in oxygen, desperate for the air which seemed to get stuck halfway down his throat.

What could he say to that? Was he reading too much into it? He was probably reading too much into it. After all, it was true. There were lots of things he didn't know about her, despite being friends for years.

Like if she was Ladybug, if she preferred coffee dates or movie dates, how she liked to be kissed…

Stop that brain, stop it right now. You're jumping to conclusions. What if she isn't Ladybug? How are you going to feel then?

Adrien spent a good three minutes typing, deleting, and re-typing a text before he eventually pressed send, debating the whole time. Should he send it with a smile emoji, or a winking emoji? Or no emoji at all? No- no emoji was too strange. Kisses? No. No way. Not until he knew for sure that she was his Lady. As much as his heart was currently beating for Marinette, his kisses were still reserved for Ladybug and Ladybug alone.

A shiver of anticipation shot through him like a bolt of lightning, jolting his senses.

Adrien: Well if it's as good as finding out how well you pun then I'm looking forward to discovering more about you :)

She took five minutes to reply again. It felt like five thousand years.

Marinette: Haha! Well you'll have to discover it after class! My teacher's giving me a disapproving eyebrow raise right now, he's seen me texting and not doing work. Don't want to let him down, especially cause he hates confiscating phones but he will. He's one of the cool ones! Sorry… :(

Adrien: Hey no worries! I should really be getting on with my work too. But my brain is all fried -_-

Marinette: Wow fried? I thought you were a model! You're not supposed to have anything fried right? ;)

Adrien snickered, causing a few heads to turn in his direction. He dipped his own head low, sheepishly avoiding eye contact with everyone and ever-grateful his teacher was so laid back.

Marinette: Anyways, ttyl! Looking forward to Nino's! ^_^

Adrien: Ttyl! :D

Thus concluded the greatest text conversation he'd ever had.

The sun blazed down on the beaten pavements, not a cloud in sight. Marinette's iced coffee was severely watered down by the rapidly melting ice cubes, but it still tasted like the greatest thing in the world. Especially when it was so hot. She tried to savour every last bit of it, playing with the straw between her teeth and tongue, as the four made their way towards Nino's house.

It was the kind of lazy summer afternoon that seemed to be a sweet dream; a haze of dappled light from the tree-lined streets, the sounds of tyres driving along hot roads, the screams of children playing nearby. Marinette smiled to herself, content, as she adjusted the straps of her newly replaced vest top.

Adrien, however, was going to have a mental breakdown if she didn't stop doing that thing with her mouth and tongue soon.

"Ugh walking was a mistake," Nino grumbled, wiping his brow with a huff, "we should've just taken the metro."

"Oh come on hun, cheer up! It's such a beautiful day!" Alya replied, stepping ahead of the group so she could twirl dramatically. The ice in her own coffee rattled against the plastic. Nino watched her, fondness softening his features as he chuckled. Marinette, too, began to laugh at her solar-powered friend. It was one of Alya's most endearing qualities, how happy sunny weather made her. Even if it was just a glimpse of sunlight peeking behind clouds, she'd suddenly gain double the amount of energy, "besides we're almost there!"

Nino hurried to catch up with her, slipping his hand into Alya's and leaving the other two alone. When Adrien wasn't watching, Alya turned back and quickly winked at Marinette.

Marinette rolled her eyes even as Adrien stepped closer to her, their arms brushing. She slurped on her coffee, trying desperately to ignore the sensation of his warm skin against her own.

It could not be ignored.

"Hey, I have a question for you," Adrien said, his tone perfectly neutral. At least his question did the job of making her lips leave the straw alone for a moment. His heart could only take so much.

"Yes?" She replied with a curious gaze in his direction. Adrien coughed and turned away, remembering Ladybug's words from the night before. He'd jumped straight from playing with fire to pretty much leaping into it headfirst.

"You seemed really defensive of Chat Noir the other day," He began, despairing as he spotted her sucking on her straw again. He continued to speak, his voice a lot more strangled than before, "I was just wondering…are you a Chat Noir fangirl?"

Marinette nearly choked to death on said straw. She turned to Adrien with wild, shocked eyes. He tried to keep his face as blank and model-like as possible.

"A fangirl? Of Chat? NO!" And then she laughed, the kind of surprised, uproarious laughter that can only happen when you've been asked a ridiculous question. It wasn't the delicate, ladylike laughter he heard at the events his father forced him to go to. It wasn't soft, like a little tinkling bell. Marinette's laughter shook her shoulders, had her wrapping her free hand around her stomach in-between snorts. Her eyes crinkled and her dimples deepened. Adrien felt like he should be embarrassed by his question, but he was too busy falling fast and falling hard.


Oh god he was. He was falling for her. He was falling for Marinette.

And he didn't even know for certain that she was Ladybug yet.

It's just a crush, she's cute, it's just a crush, she's cute, IT'S JUST A CRUSH, SHE'S CUTE.

"Ah s-sorry," Marinette apologised, oblivious to Adrien's inner freak-out as she wiped a wayward tear from her eye, "that probably sounded rude. No, I just really admire him that's all."

Adrien stopped panicking for a moment, his thoughts silenced themselves for once, and he tilted his head at her curiously. It was really strange, to hear her talk about him (Chat) like this. It was strange to hear himself talk about himself like this. His head was beginning to feel like he'd downed Marinette's iced coffee himself in one big gulp.

"Admire him?"

"Well of course! You know we worked together one time right? When Nathanael was akumatised," Marinette recalled, watching Alya kiss Nino's cheek, the pair of them chuckling over some secret couple joke. Her heart flipped, yearning for something like that for herself. She sighed.

"Yeah, but you never really told me about it," Adrien countered fairly.

"Lots of people tried to ask me about it, Alya even wanted to interview me when she found out, but I didn't really want the attention," She shrugged, swirling the remnants of her iced coffee absent-mindedly, before throwing it in a nearby bin, "I just told everyone what Chat was like, and left it at that. They seemed happy."

Adrien swallowed, his tongue suddenly dry. He'd wished he'd bought himself something at the coffee shop.

"And…what did you tell them?"

A small, mischievous smile fought to control Marinette's mouth. She tempered it before Adrien noticed the twinkle in her eyes.

"Oh you know, that he was a total flirt. Utterly shameless," she started, elongating her syllables. Counting on her fingers, she listed all of Chat's qualities, "playful, silly, kind of a goof you know."

Adrien's heart sank.

"I see."

"But, and this part was really important to me," Adrien's ears quirked when Marinette continued, he watched her gaze at him softly, "he was also a perfect gentleman- he never went too far or pushed any boundaries you know- and he was a complete badass too, with that baton thingy of his. He was also brave, smart, and completely focused on making sure I was safe first and foremost. Basically he was the epitome of a what you'd expect a superhero to be. I wouldn't admire him if he wasn't."

"I see," Adrien said again, suddenly feeling as though his feet were treading on clouds rather than hard concrete. They rounded the corner and finally made it to Nino's apartment complex. Nino unlocked to wrought iron doors, leaving them open for Adrien and Marinette to pass through once they caught up with him. The pair had lagged behind considerably. Adrien found himself wishing they could just keep walking, that this conversation, this perfect summer afternoon, would never end.

Nino's apartment was spread over the top two floors of a large townhouse. His room was on the top floor, in the attic which his parents had converted once his little brother was born. He'd saved up enough to soundproof it, so his family could be spared from his constant music making. The room itself was an organised mess, a jumble of various instruments and comic books strewn about. His deck was in the corner and the off-white walls were adorned with posters from various concerts he'd attended.

Alya flopped down onto the large bed, arms spread wide as she peered up at the skylight, sighing with relief. Marinette kicked off her shoes and settled into one of the two bean bag chairs, crossing her legs as she did so. Adrien sat in the other one. The bean bag chairs were a gift from one of Nino's cousins, after said cousin graduated from university. For some strange reason, they always smelled like cheese pizza, no matter how many times Nino had cleaned them.

"Anyone want any snacks speak now or forever hold your peace," Nino said, leaning against the door frame, "because once my ass is on that bed, I'm not getting up again unless the ice cream truck rolls by."

"I'm ok Nino, thanks!" Marinette replied with a gentle wave.

"Nah, the coffee did the job- thanks again Adrien."

"No problem Alya, and bro you got any more of them biscuits from your uncle? Those were awesome," Adrien asked Nino, rolling his shoulder back with a frown. Nino stared at him.

"Nah Julien ate them all, the pig that he is. What's up with your shoulder?" Nino asked as Marinette stood up, padding across the room towards something which caught her eye.

"Hurt it at a shoot the other day from standing funny. Don't worry, not the underwear shoot," Adrien hastened to say, as a guilty look crossed Nino's face. He knew Nino felt bad over the extra harassment he'd gotten since the underwear photos hit the public, and didn't want him to feel worse. After all, he'd been the one to agree to the bet in the first place and it was his fault alone that he'd lost it.

"You want me to massage them for you?" Nino asked and Adrien instantly perked up, Nino's shoulder massages were legendary. He'd heard that Kim had bought Nino lunches for a month, after the former had pulled a muscle during a hard-core gym session.

"Hey I'm the girlfriend!" Alya teased, sitting up with a playful pout, "I should get first dibs on shoulder rubs!"

Nino traipsed over to her shooting back a wolfish grin, in response to Adrien's look of betrayal.

"Sorry dude. You don't make out with me, she does," He laughed, kneeling on the bed and gently brushing Alya's thick hair from her shoulders. She smiled triumphantly.

"You never asked," Adrien grumbled, standing up to stretch instead. He'd forgotten how weird it was to sit in a bean bag chair, especially with achy model muscles.

"Bro, just say the word," Nino countered waggling his eyebrows. Alya giggled.

Marinette, on the other hand, chose to keep her mouth shut, wondering if kissing Adrien was really as easy as just asking. Like I could ask without getting tongue tied anyway.

"Maybe someday you'll love me like that," Alya said rolling her eyes as she peered up at Nino. He responded by leaning over to kiss her forehead.

"Nino," Marinette called curiously, "what's this?"

In her arms she carried a large, taped-together contraption. Several smaller nerf guns attached to a large one with a cross-bow nerf gun balanced on the top. It was so large Marinette could barely hold it.

Nino's eyes widened.

"Mari, put that down. Seriously. I confiscated that from Julien, that thing almost took out mum's vase. You have no idea what it can do," He rasped, his hands stalling on Alya's shoulders. Adrien eyed the giant nerf monstrosity. It looked like it could fall apart at any moment.

"Ok, ok," Marinette giggled, clearly not taking his threats seriously, "fine I'll put it down, just let me-"

It happened in slow motion. The guns slipped from her grasp and tumbled to the floor, bursting from their sticky-taped restraints. This set off the crossbow and one of the small pistols. Both nerf pellets went straight for Nino and Alya, who couldn't duck out of the way quick enough. Marinette's mouth widened in horror as one of the bullets hit Alya in the eye, the other landed squarely in the centre of Nino's forehead.

The pair leapt backwards, clutching their faces with separate cries of shock and anger.

"Guys I'm so sorry I didn't mean it!" Marinette yelped waving her hands in surrender. Her apologies fell on deaf ears. Alya scowled at her.

"Oh IT. IS. ON NOW!" She yelled, leaping forward to grab two guns, passing one of them to Nino. Both of them aimed straight for Marinette. She squeaked and stumbled backwards, bracing her arms to shield herself from the onslaught of bullets.

A strong hand wrapped around her bicep, tugging her off to the side. She looked up and saw Adrien standing between herself, and Alya and Nino, shieling her. Her breath caught as he looked over his shoulder at her.

"Run! I'll get the guns! Find us some cover!"

She didn't need to be told twice. Marinette ducked her head and dashed for the door, racing down the narrow staircase and searching around for suitable cover for herself and Adrien. From upstairs, she heard some playful shouts, which sounded like Nino and Adrien wrestling for the crossbow. Finally, she settled on leaping behind the living room sofa, holding her breath in wait.

The nerf war had officially begun.


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

Part 11 of 35

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