Continuing Tales


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

Part 17 of 35

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Marinette blushed, swivelling on her heel and walking a few more steps away from Chat Noir, hoping the lack of eye-contact would calm her racing heart. Damn him. Damn him and his winking- and his confidence- and his…just him-ness!

You hypocrite, she inwardly admonished because, honestly, she'd been teasing him not even one minute before! She had absolutely no right to feel as flustered as she did, or as annoyed. Marinette huffed, glancing out at her favourite place in all of Paris, trying to relax the sudden aching tension in her muscles.

It was impossible. No matter how much the Eiffel tower flickered its reassuring lights at her, or the low hum of traffic passing by attempted to ground her back to reality, she still felt his eyes on her. He might as well be setting her whole back on fire.

Damn smoulder.


She sighed. There was absolutely no way her heart could relax when he said her name. That, she mused, was not his fault. He didn't know he was addressing his lady by her real name, after all.

Marinette turned around to find Chat staring at her, his ears drooping again, as he shuffled awkwardly from one foot to the other. She tilted her head, perplexed at his sudden change in demeanour, and was about to question what was wrong when he lifted his chin to speak.

"Did you change your mind?" Chat asked as he scratched the back of his neck, his tone so shy and gentle that it made Marinette positively melt. Her fingers flexed instinctively, wanting to reach for him, but her arms remained squarely at her side, "It's fine if you did, it's late and I understand you might not want to go travelling across the city with a guy whose identity you don't know."

At his selflessness, Marinette went from melting to completely boneless. Honestly how could one person be so endlessly kind? So thoughtful? Unconsciously, like fingers trailing through the surface of a still lake, she floated back towards him, missing the way his eyes bulged at her approach.

For a split second she forgot that she wasn't Ladybug.

"You know I think I understand why you have that miraculous now," she hummed, fixing him with a loving gaze. It was only when he gaped at her, when she saw his face turn a brilliant shade of scarlet, that alarm bells sounded in her head, and she backed off sheepishly. Well done Mari, he probably thinks you're some insane stalker fangirl now.

After Marinette moved away Chat realised how close she'd actually been to him, and his body cried out in protest. He wanted her back. He wanted her close- something he shouldn't be desiring at all. He glanced down at his feet, guilty but unable to quell the feeling her sincere praise inspired. Her words wormed their way into his protesting heart and made themselves home there. He wouldn't be able to remove them if he tried.

Soon, both of them realised she'd yet to answer his question, and they simultaneously snapped their eyes back to each other.

Marinette attempted to wash away the awkwardness by offering an insincere chuckle. She raised a feeble hand and gently poked his shoulder. That was a mistake.

"You've been a superhero for, what, three years now? And you helped when an akuma was after me! How could I not trust you?" the 'you silly cat' was left unsaid, it was too much of a Ladybug thing to say, "We're friends, right?"

Chat tried hard not to flinch at the memory. Yet another reminder of Marinette and Nathanael's relationship. Another reminder that Nathanael had had feeling for Marinette for a long time now. Feelings which (judging from this afternoon), hadn't died down despite their relationship not working out. In fact, Chat realised, Nathanael's feelings were so strong that Hawk Moth himself had been able to sense them, take advantage of them. Yet, even after he'd been given all that power, Nathanael had been nothing but kind to Marinette- when another akuma might have just kidnapped her outright. He'd only gotten angry when Marinette revealed her betrayal.

Chat's fists clenched. How could he even begin to get in the way of feelings that ran so deep? Especially as, he reminded himself for the millionth time, SHE WASN'T LADYBUG. He'd been wrong and he had to snuff out the candle he held for Marinette before it became a wildfire.

"Yeah," he nodded, forcing a smile, "we're friends," and that's all we'll ever be.

Marinette retuned his smile, though hers at least- appeared true.

"I was actually wondering how we're going to get to this mystery place?" she inquired gesturing to the traffic below with a snicker, "it's not like we can just get a taxi with you dressed up like that. Although I suppose we could say we came from a costume party or something, but even then I don't have my purse on me."

Chat shook his head, determined to snap himself out of his depressing thoughts and live in the moment. Regardless of what he was feeling, Marinette was struggling with her art, and he wanted to help her, as her friend. In a way, it was a silent apology, for feeling things towards her which he shouldn't.

"Oh, I was just thinking I could carry you," he shrugged, before he realised what that sounded like and he blanched, "I mean on my back, like a piggy back ride, not like Spiderman and Mary Jane," though I wouldn't mind carrying you like the princess you are his rebellious mind offered, and he fought an urge to groan at his own hopelessness.

Marinette snickered, burying her lips into her palm. Spiderman and Mary Jane huh?

"Ok, that's fine," she said "although wouldn't it be more of a kitten-back ride?"

Why does that sound dirty? Why, why, WHY does that sound dirty?! I hate myself Marinette yelled internally, unaware Chat's thoughts were along the same lines.

Chat laughed nervously, before kneeling down so that Marinette could step forward and wrap her arms around his shoulders. Slowly, her hands linked across his chest and wow- even with how much she'd kissed him recently, she hadn't realised how broad his back was until she was pressed flush against it. Chat's hands slid down to her thighs, wrapping his fingers around them protectively as he stood up and her feet left the floor. Instinctively, Marinette pulled her arms tighter around him, tucking her chin into his shoulder. Even through his suit, he could feel her breath tickling the nape of his neck.

Both of them were ever-thankful the other couldn't see their expression.

Bad idea, Adrien thought, sure Marinette could feel the heat from his face, sure people in China could feel it. Heck, he wouldn't be surprised if Martians could feel the heat rising from him. If the world woke up tomorrow to discover the polar ice caps had melted, and all the polar bears were extinct, it would be his fault. This was the worst idea you've ever had in your entire life Adrien. This was a horrible, terrible idea.

Actually, another part of his brain piped up this is pretty great.

It was amazing, he mused, how he just kept finding new lows to hit.

"Are you ready?" he asked.

"Yeah," he heard Marinette reply, her voice small, her hair tickling him as she nodded. He'd half-closed his eyes before he remembered that this was supposed to be a friendly way to carry someone, not romantic, "am I holding you too tightly? Your voice sounds kind of strangled."

"I'm fine!" he choked, "I mean, don't you worry about your chat-riot. He's fine."

He heard Marinette giggle and cringed in embarrassment. Ok so maybe he'd dropped his voice a little too low, to try and convince her he was all right. But at least he was out of the woods in that regard.

"Ok," she said, wiggling against him to get more secure. The friction between his suit and her legs, wrapped around him as she moved, sent violent jolts of electricity through him. He was starting to reconsider bludgeoning himself with his own baton. It was such a simple plan, and would prevent him from self-sabotaging any further, "don't- don't drop me ok?"

Marinette's heart thundered, creating a violent drum-beat against her ribcage, the vibrations of which were felt throughout all her extremities. A part of her knew it was due to how very close they were, but another part of her couldn't help but feel a worried. After all, flying through Paris, with no Kwami powers to guard her from a fall, was more than a little daunting.

Underneath her, Chat shuffled, reaching for his baton and trying exceedingly hard to ignore the fact his heart turned into mush at her apprehension.

"I won't. I promise," he replied, unable to control the tenderness in his voice, "hold on tight."

He launched them into the sky and, for a second, Marinette's stomach seemed to flutter into the heavens. She was weightless, feather-light, and the only thing preventing her from floating into the moonlit sky was her partners hand wrapped around her- the other using his baton to propel them forwards. The air up here was colder, and she was only wearing her t-shirt. So that (she reasoned) was her reason for pressing tighter against his warm body. That- and safety of course.

Once the initial shock had died down, and Marinette became used to the occasional jostling when Chat landed on a new building, she had a chance to breathe, a chance to feel, a chance to simply be.

It was like the first time she'd truly gotten the hang of swinging through the city using her yo-yo. It was thrilling, exhilarating, wonderful. But it was also different, unlike anything she'd ever felt before. The air whipped into her eyes, making her vision blurry, and Paris' lights turned into fireflies, glowing like they were in their own enchanted world. The buildings vanished and instead they were flying, soaring through the air, twisting and turning, floating in a sea of orange starlight and silver moonlight.

A laugh bubbled up in her chest, escaping her before she could help it. For once she chose not to care. Who did she have to impress? What did it matter if she sounded like an idiot? Up here, it was only her and Chat. Uninhibited, unguarded, unrestrained, Marinette laughed and soon heard Chat laughing along with her, her mirth contagious. She didn't ever want it to stop.

Marinette knew that this is what love was like. Real, endless, love. Between the safety of Chat's hold on her, the dream-like sensation of flying through Paris, unaware of the destination, and the utter freedom she felt flowing in and out of her like ocean waves, she knew. The locks on their future had all but fallen to the wayside, and only one remained.

I hope he figures it out soon, she mused, suddenly realising they'd come to a standstill, but if waiting means more moments like this, I guess I can wait a little longer.

"Ok," Chat said, "we're almost there. Can you do something for me?"

It took the length of a heartbeat for Marinette to find her voice. Her head was spinning.

"Umm sure?" she replied with uncertainty.

"I want it to be a surprise, can you close your eyes?"

Marinette had to bite her cheek to keep herself in check. Really, how many times had they asked each other to close their eyes recently? It was quite adorable, though Marinette looked forward to the day both their eyes were open.

"Can do Alley-Cat!" she complied, closing her eyes and dipping her head, so that her nose brushed against the place where his neck and shoulder joined. She didn't miss the small gasp which escaped him, and her ego purred as a result, "eyes are closed."

The rest of the journey was silent, Chat concentrating on wherever they were heading, and Marinette calm enough to enjoy the simple feeling of being by his side. With her eyes closed, her other senses took over. She could hear Chat's breathing, steady and strong, could feel his muscles rippling as he jumped…

And allowed herself a completely, utterly shameless moment of giddiness. She couldn't help it; this amazing specimen of a human being seemed to like her as much as she liked him- at least when she was Ladybug. Considering just under a year ago, she'd been standing in the ashes of her first grand romantic failure, wondering if she would ever be loved, it was a thing to behold. It was only fair she was allowed to celebrate it, revel in it. The thought alone made her want to dance and squeal like she was once again a fifteen-year-old girl.

That being said, if she went back and told her fifteen-year-old self that she would go on to kiss Chat Noir many times, because she wanted to and not because of an akuma, fifteen-year-old Marinette would probably have laughed herself stupid.

Fifteen-year-old Marinette, she decided as she felt them landing with a crunch which sounded like gravel, was a god-damned idiot.

Chat bent down and set her back on the ground gently. Before she'd even taken a breath, she missed feeling him around her. It felt unnatural, to be apart from him now, and her arms dangled uselessly at her sides. She suddenly wished she brought the red hoodie along, her t-shirt wasn't doing much to guard her from the light chill of the night-time breeze. But then, that would have given the game away.

"Am I allowed to open my eyes yet?" she enquired, a cheeky lilt to her voice.

"That depends," Chat replied, his tone matching her own, "are you ready to be inspired?"

"Chaaaat," she whined.

"Ok, ok," he laughed and she could sense him waving his arms in surrender, "you can open them."

Marinette opened her eyes- and gasped.

He'd taken her to a place she'd been to a thousand times in her life. Sunny days lounging on the grass, autumn days sitting by the fountain with a cup of coffee, spring days making flower chains and tourist spotting, but she'd never seen it like this.

The Jardin du Luxembourg was silent, devoid of life except for the pair of them, and the Palace du Luxembourg stood silent and dark beyond. It was imposing, magnificent and mysterious as it loomed over the pair, making Marinette feel small. The moonlight, and a few spotlights, helped created an eerie contrast of light and shadows. But it felt safe somehow, secret, and hers to take and form into anything she wanted.

Marinette wandered, dream-like, down the gravel path, fingers brushing against the lavender, the poppies, and sunflowers which wrapped around the grassy lawns laden with solemn statues. She imagined what it might have been like in olden times, when it was home to Parisian royalty, before becoming a place for politics. Marinette imagined the Regent traipsing down the same path which she herself was walking, clad in nothing but the finest clothes her son- the King- could buy, before his downfall. She imagined the enchanting parties, the political intrigue, the opulence and the elegance.

She came to a standstill at the large fountain, remembering sailing toy boats across it with her father, her French-born father, and wondered if any of the former royals had done the same. Reality felt altered here, as though the things she was experiencing were half-fabricated. It seemed that, were she to reach out and disturb the stillness of the fountain water, that the whole thing might disappear in a wisp of smoke- as if it had never been there to begin with.

Chat came to stand beside her quietly, almost shoulder to shoulder, and she found herself gently nudged back into the real world. She glanced up at him, smiling a quiet thanks. He returned the gesture.

"So, do you like it? I could have taken you to one of the other historical places, but this one was the first to come to mind," he said, hopefully, shyly, and Marinette fell even more in love with him, "My mother and I used to come here all the time when I was younger. I thought maybe something historical and beautiful, like a palace, might inspire you- to remember all those pretty old fashioned clothes."

Chat picked up a stone from the ground and skimmed it across the fountain and Marinette felt a sense of empathy towards the ripples now forming against the surface of the water. He did the same thing to her soul.

"I love it, this is amazing," she whispered staring at him in awe. He'd never talked about his family before, not even when she was Ladybug, and Marinette wondered if he'd meant to do it, "I can almost feel the spark."

Chat tilted his head, a small frown of disappointment crossed his face.


Marinette nodded, turning on her heel to skip across the grounds.

"Almost!" She called softly back to him, "I think I need a closer look."

"Woah, woah!" Chat cried, rushing to catch up to her, and Marinette fought the urge to laugh at the sudden fear gripping his voice, "what do you mean a closer look?"

She reached a glass door, trying out the doorknob curiously, and it opened without much fuss. Her eyes widened as it swung back on its hinges, allowing her access into a forbidden world. Surely, it was a sign?

Just as she was about to take a step forward, a heavy hand was placed on her shoulder and she turned back to see Chat Noir staring at her, pleading.

"You can't- we can't- go in there!" he choked, the grip on her shoulder tightening in his desperate need to keep her from her sudden urge to break the rules.

Marinette, for all intense and purposes, was a good, law-abiding citizen. She always did her best to do things right, be honest (apart from fibs to guard her secret). She always endeavoured to get her homework done on time, do her chores, be nice to her elders. Outside of her civilian life, Ladybug had to be the pinnacle of justice, the physical embodiment of everything good and right, she couldn't afford to put a step wrong and prove to the world that she was a mere human, capable of making mistakes.

Maybe it was Tikki's absence, maybe it was the adrenaline still careening through her veins from their fight across the city, but tonight- just for tonight- Marinette felt an insatiable need. The need to do something reckless, the need to be mischievous, the need to rebel.

"Well you wanted me to be inspired right?" she argued with a smirk, almost feeling sympathy for the way Chat's lips trembled in disbelief, "and if they didn't want us going in, why did they leave the door unlocked hmm?"

"They probably forgot to lock it, or maybe not all the guards have left for the night! Besides that's not the point. I want you to be inspired, but I also don't want you to be arrested!" he whispered, his breath hitching as she slid out of his grip, "what if you're caught?!"

"Then I'll be with you right?" she countered, taking a step backwards into the building, "you can say you saw me breaking and entering, and will be taking me to the police station. But really, you'll just take me back home right? You wouldn't really arrest me, would you?"

She wiggled her eyebrows, giggling when Chat gaped at her.

"Marinette please," he begged, "don't go in there!"

"I'm going," she sang, taking a few steps more.


"You can't stop meeee."


"Come and get me Chat Noir," she challenged before turning tail and racing through the halls, up a small flight of stairs, not stopping to see if he followed. Tapestries and regal portraits whizzed by her as she ran, the eyes of the painted following her movements. Her blood was pounding dangerously, her body felt as though a million volts had struck her, the soles of her shoes squeaked on the shiny floors as she ran and ran, having no idea where it was she was actually going.

Eventually she came to a halt, panting for breath, in what appeared to be a huge ballroom. She burst through a golden archway and came to a stop on top of a grand swirling staircase. The room was long and narrow. Three chandeliers hung low, at her eye level from where she stood at the top of the stairs. The walls were covered in gold arches and, wherever gold was not to be found, magnificent portraits hung in their stead. The polished floor below her was dull where the light did not reach, and lustrous in the places it did. Her lips parted in amazement.

The whole place felt like a movie set, like she'd stepped back in time and was a but a shadow to witness the history carved out before her. Finally, she understood why people used the expression 'if these walls could talk'.

Her reverie was not to last, however, as a figure dropped down frown the ceiling- and Marinette bit back a yelp when she came face to face with a pair of luminescent green eyes.

"Oh my god!" she hissed, clutching her chest as she glared at Chat Noir, "are you trying to give me a heart attack?"

"Are you trying to give me one?!" he shot back, blinking, and his eyes returned to normal, "can we leave now?"

"Honestly Chat," she rolled her eyes, gently pushing past him so that she could look at ballroom again, her mind's eye painting pictures of fantastic parties, and she could see the dresses sewing themselves before her eyes, "anyone would think you've never been rebellious a day in your life."

Chat remained silent and, when she looked back, she saw him glancing at the wall with an adorable pout. She chuckled.

"It's all right, we don't have to stay long. I promise," she soothed, "I'm getting ideas already, I think the spark is well and truly alive."

His cat ears perked at that and he tilted his chin up at her, the picture of eagerness and delight.


She nodded vigorously, walking down a few steps, her hand resting against the wide bannister.

"Absolutely, gosh this is so inspiring!" she jumped a little, burying her fingers into the front of her shirt as ideas flooded into her brain, "to think we're in a place where so many parties occurred, so many tragedies- weddings, and affairs and history. Our history, my history, France's history," she sighed, turning back to Chat Noir "it's incredibly romantic, don't you think?"

Chat blinked, meeting her eyes- illuminated by inspiration- and felt his mouth go dry.

"I do," he rasped.

"You should bring Ladybug here sometime," Marinette mused and, because her back was now facing him, she missed him wince.

"I- I guess I could," he agreed, staring at her back. Suddenly Marinette felt, to him, as though she were a lifetime away. He took a step back, tearing his eyes from her, as if distance might help stem the dull ache in his chest. It only made it worse.

Suddenly, Chat was reminded of Plagg's earlier advice, about how he might have been jumping to assumptions. A small part of him dared to hope, wanted what he'd seen between Marinette and Nathanael to be something unromantic. He wanted, so badly, to be wrong, to have misread the situation somehow. But how could he begin to ask her? It's not like he could just march up to her at school and prod her for information about her romantic life. He was adamant about his earlier words, he had no right to demand that of her.

But even so…

"What…about you?"

Marinette glanced over her shoulder at him, a curious gaze flickering across her face.

"What about me?" she asked, her tone so innocent that Chat felt guilty even asking the question. He felt like he was being ripped in half, one side screaming at him to ask her- to finally know if he'd been right or wrong, the other side questioning who on earth he thought he was, sticking his nose where it didn't belong.

Before he could make a decision, he saw her eyes flutter in understanding and she turned away sharply.

"Oh," she whispered, "oh, you meant-"

"You don't have to answer, sorry, I was just curious," he hastened to add, mortified, "it's none of my business."

"No, no it's ok," she breathed, wrapping her arms around herself.

Silence fell on the pair again as Chat waited for her to answer. In the space he now hovered, visions of earlier tormented him. Nino's words, Marinette's smile as she hugged Nathanael, their hands- it always went back to their hands… how they wrapped around each other.

Marinette sighed, conflicted. She couldn't very well say that the person she would bring here was already beside her. That would open a can of worms that she wasn't quite ready to face, particularly as he was supposed to be the one finding her. Once upon a time she'd had an awkward date in the gardens with Nathanael, although she could hardly say she wanted to bring him here now.

No. Aside from Chat, there was only one other person she could possibly think of bringing here.

"There is someone," she replied, staring out at the chandeliers, imagining what it might be like to be here with Adrien by her side, how it might be to dance with him under those chandeliers. Before she knew it, her mouth was running away from her, "someone I've tried to forget. Someone I shouldn't have feelings for. At least, not anymore. Maybe he might like it here, but…he doesn't see me that way. Sometimes I think that maybe he could, that maybe what I think might be true, is. But it's not fair of me to place my silly fantasies on him. Three years," oh god why did she feel a dampness behind her eyes? What was wrong with her? "three years I've had feelings for him, and they've only gotten stronger, no matter how many times I tried to dismiss them. So you see Chat Noir," she turned around, meeting his eyes sadly, one of the victims of her crime, "I'm a bit of a hopeless case."

And there it was, Chat thought, the final nail in the coffin. It was a nail that shot straight through him, that ripped apart his insides. The reality was colder, lonelier than he could have ever fathomed, and the truth was far worse than what Nino had described. That was it then. Now he knew for certain.

Marinette was in love. With Nathanael. Chat could see it, it poured from every fibre of her being. She was in love, had been in love, for three whole years. Nathanael might have returned those feelings, but something had happened which meant they weren't together anymore, and that had caused Marinette to wonder if Nathanael had ever loved her back.

Well, from where he was standing, the answer was obvious, and it made him feel broken inside. His hand balled into fists and he stared at the ground, trying to force the lump out of his throat.

"Chat?" he heard her speaking, but it was muffled, as if there was a wall between them, but he felt her step towards him regardless, "are you-"

Chat heard her stop short, her breath suddenly intake sharply, sensed a spike of fear in her. His head snapped up just in time to see her falling backwards, and his stomach lurched.


Without thinking he darted forwards extending a hand out to grab one of her flailing arms. In his haste, he stumbled, finding himself falling towards her instead of pulling her to safety. In the space of a second, he tugged her into his chest, instinct propelling him to protect, protect, protect, as he landed first, hard, on his shoulder. His hand wrapped around the back of her head as they went tumbling, plummeting, all the way to the bottom of the stairs, where they landed in a pile of bruised and tangled limbs.

Chat groaned, having landed on his back and taken the brunt of the fall. Although he was mostly unharmed, super-powers taking credit for that small miracle, he was still disorientated. It took a while to realise the pressing against his chest was Marinette, whose head he was still cradling. She wasn't moving.

"Oh my god Marinette are you ok? Are you hurt?!" he cried, terrified to move in case she'd broken something. His hands left her head and he craned his neck, scanning for signs of injury, "talk to me, please say something!"

She didn't say anything, instead, a loud snort echoed through the ballroom. Oh god was she crying?!

Just as his panic was about to turn to mild hysteria, Marinette rolled off him, lying by his side as she clenched her eyes shut. That's when Chat realised, she wasn't crying, she was laughing.

"Oh my god, why do you put up with me Chat Noir?" she hooted, gasping for air, clapping a disbelieving hand to her forehead, "I told you I was a hopeless case!"

Chat, for the life of him, couldn't tell you why he started laughing too. But he did. He laughed with her, lying on the floor of a grand ballroom, in the middle of the night. He laughed even as it felt his world shattering around him, he laughed until he couldn't say what the tears in his eyes meant. He laughed with her, laid by her side, knowing he'd probably never get the chance to do so again.


They stopped laughing, and Chat felt the blood drain from his face. Marinette's own face turned pale, her eyes widened larger than he'd ever seen them.

"Oh shit!" she hissed, sitting up, Chat following suit. Across the other side of the room he could see little white flecks of light bouncing around. Torch light.

He agreed with Marinette.

Without saying a word, the pair took off, the same way Marinette had run before. Chat lead the way with his night vision, checking for any other guards who might try to ambush them. Somewhere behind him, he thought he heard footsteps. He was unsure if the sounds were from someone trying to catch them, or the echoes of their own footfalls as the thundered out of the palace, bursting through the small door and into the cold night air.

Marinette rushed towards him, wrapping her arms around his neck, and Chat barely had time to register that he'd ended the night carrying her Princess style anyway, before he'd catapulted them into the sky.

He didn't stop once they were away from the palace, he didn't stop when he knew they were safe from the guards, he didn't stop until he'd landed squarely on Marinette's balcony, where he promptly collapsed against the railing.

Stepping out of his grasp, Marinette tottered into the centre of her balcony, fixing him with a sheepish grin. The pair of them were breathless, heaving, neither of them quite sure that what had just transpired was real.

After a minute of silence, Marinette spoke, her lips tight.

"Well," she shrugged, "we weren't caught!"

Chat pressed a hand to his mouth, tying to stifle the laughter that was more due to shock than anything.

"No, we weren't," he agreed.

As time went on, the creeping feeling of sorrow came back, wrapping around his heart like decaying vine leaves. His smile vanished.

"We should…you should, probably be more careful. Please, don't do that again? At least if I'm not there," he said.

"I won't, I promise," she replied sincerely, "and thank you, Chat Noir, for taking me there to begin with. It really did help me."

And then she was hugging him. He felt her arms wrap around his shoulders, and his whole body stiffened. This was wrong- he couldn't- he shouldn't want to-

The last shred of willpower he had, broke within him, and Chat crumbled into her, wrapping his arms around her waist tightly, burying his neck into her shoulder. Just once, he thought, just this one time he allowed himself a moment of indulgence, a moment to embrace her like they were meant to be. Just once he'd allow himself to pretend this afternoon had never happened, that he'd instead caught up to her like he'd meant to, that they'd confessed to being Ladybug and Chat Noir, that they could really be together, that he'd not been so horribly, terrible wrong. Just once.

It was over too soon, and Marinette left his arms for good, innocent to the ways she was breaking his heart. But it wasn't her fault, he thought miserably, it would never be her fault for being so wonderful, for being so her, that he'd put the weight of his hopes and dreams on her presence. No, the blame laid entirely with him, and he was fully prepared to take the consequences. She could never know.

"Well, goodnight Chat Noir!" she called cheerfully, "I'll see you around?"

He smiled at her, felt it stretching across his face like a scar, and bowed low so that she couldn't see how false it was.

"Of course!" he replied, voice too jovial, too insincere, "goodbye Marinette."

He didn't wait to see the way she frowned at his retreating back, was unaware that she watched him until he disappeared from her skyline. He couldn't have known how close she'd come to kissing him moments before.

He couldn't bring himself to look back even if he tried.


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

Part 17 of 35

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