Continuing Tales

Truthful Scars

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

Part 10 of 21

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Untitled Document


It was the only word to come to Adrien's mind as his vision swam to focus amongst the billowing clouds that blotted out the city of lights.

The world was an ominous gray blur as a hot streak of white light sliced through the charcoal sky, followed by a deafening roar of thunder. An icy stillness had fallen over Paris. Chilly air buffeted street signs and tore unsuspecting leaves from their branches on trees, sending them flying through the deserted roads in tiny twisters. In the silence, a mighty crash of thunder shook the world with its powerful rumble.

The scent of rain filled Adrien's enhanced nostrils as he drank in the air, instinctively following his sense of smell and hearing while his eyes were out of commission. Save for a black ear twitching, he otherwise stood frozen in the middle of the street, his mind racing to make sense of the situation.

Pointing one ear towards his rear and the other forward, Adrien listened, listened for any sign of life; perhaps a stray voice or hurried footsteps as a civilian dashed to the nearest building when they'd caught sight of the brewing storm that raged above the city. Anything besides the crack of thunder would reassure his burning nerves.



Not a peep except for the devilish melody of a summer storm.

Adrien hissed in frustration, whipping his body around as he attempted to pick up any noise, any sound, any wail or cry or scream. He'd prefer shrieks of terror over eerie silence any day, and the chilling quiet that had settled over the normally bustling Paris did nothing to still his trembling hands.

The world was monochromatic black and white blurs that made Adrien's eyes sore from being so unfocused. Any attempt at bringing his sight back to its normal crystal clear was futile. No amount of blinking, rubbing his eyes or squinting could ease his predicament. Irritation settled within his stomach and boiled its way to his hands, which clenched and unclenched impatiently, claws pricking his palms. He needed to see. He relied mostly on sight. What was he to do if he couldn't use his eyes?

Shivering from the wind, Adrien sighed, extending his baton in preparation to vault off in another direction. No use standing around and doing nothing. Something was off, a problem he couldn't see (obviously), and Ladybug as well as all civilians were both out of sight and earshot.

Which is why he flinched when a voice rang in his ears.

"It must be thrilling to be a superhero," The voice whispered within the air, "but wouldn't you be better suited for a villain?"

Adrien spun, pupils thinning to tiny slits as his gaze frantically searched the vacant streets. "Who's there?" He called, voice hostile and ears flattened back against his head in a subtle warning. "Show yourself."

"Claws, fangs, the natural instinct to hunt," The voice hissed in his ear and laughed; something about it was so incredibly familiar yet Adrien couldn't place its origins. "Don't you think that you're a danger to the people of Paris? To Ladybug? To your friends and family?"

Adrien's eyebrows furrowed in frustration. "Who are you?"

A devilish laugh cut through the dusty air as a harsh wind picked up around him, sending dirt and debris to scatter along the road. Adrien huffed. Where the hell is Ladybug?

"You know me better than you think."

Even in the roar of howling winds, Adrien's magnificent ears could pick up the smallest tapping of feet against asphalt. A low growl rose within his throat as he turned, his vision filling with shades of red and somehow becoming blurrier. Nothing was in focus and the smell of dirt and dust was so strong that he couldn't pick up any other scent. Although his eyes were unfocused, he could see a single blob approaching him; the closer it stepped, the fuzzier and redder his world became.

"Don't you see? You're useless without Ladybug. You're not fit for a hero. Why don't you try embracing what you really are? A mangy stray."

"Shut up!" Adrien hissed as he pounced at the figure, landing a smack against its stomach with his baton and pushing it to the ground. A feminine gasp came from its blurry form as he pinned it to the street, black claws digging into flesh to assure that whoever this person—this thing wasstayed with its back flat against the rough floor.

"The epitome of bad luck."

Adrien's ears flattened against his golden hair in an attempt to shut out the vicious whispers that rang in his head. Growl deepening, he blinked furiously, desperately trying to see the face of the evil that taunted him. "Why can't I see?" He demanded, pressing his claws into the skin of his mental attacker. The metallic smell of fresh blood hit the air. "Why can't I see you?"

"You animal."

Strong hands pressed into his chest and sent him tumbling along the street. Adrien let out a soft yelp as his chin scraped against the gravelly texture of the road—no doubt it'd leave a mark from how badly it stung. Wiping his chin with the back of his hand, he hissed at the sight of crimson smudged along his knuckles and growled, lifting himself from the ground with a huff. Obviously the blur was another civilian taken victim by Hawk Moth, but that did little to explain the eerie voice or his inability to see clearly.

Letting out a heavy breath, Adrien stalked towards the unmoving figure, the growl in his throat rumbling all the way down into his chest and giving off a clear warning that he was about to strike. Surprisingly, the figure backed up a step before reaching for its side, pulling out an unidentifiable object that spun and glowed scarlet. Or, perhaps a different color; Adrien didn't know. Everything he saw was red.

The two stood straight, Adrien's tail lashing and the mystery person's red-glowing-thingy...Whatever, spinning in the air. Hackles raised, his claws flexed against his baton, tapping the cool metal impatiently as he awaited the blob's next move. A full-on attack? Smacking him with the spinning glowing thing? Who knew what this thing would try!

Perhaps if he waited long enough, Ladybug would show up and they could take down this akuma together.

Adrien held his breath as the fuzzy image of the person before his eyes lowered its weapon and placed it back upon its hip. What were they up to?

"Who are you?" Adrien growled, "What do you want?"

Its voice sounded so garbled Adrien swore he was underwater. It had spoken to him, but… He didn't understand a single word. Unintelligible babble was the only thing that fell off of its invisible lips.

"Now's your chance, nasty cat."

Adrien's eyes narrowed as the voice swam through his every thought. His muscles tensed and his shoulders prickled with the desire to sink his claws into this evil creature just to show Hawk Moth that he wasn't afraid of one of his akumas. One more word. One more word out of this asshole and I'll-

"You're pathetic."

"That's it."

Pouncing, Adrien landed atop the fuzzy blur and grunted as they fell to the floor, his weight holding the person pinned to the ground. With his teeth bared in a snarl, he lifted a hand in preparation to strike, midnight claws glistening from the rain that had began to shower down upon them. They rolled in puddles as they battled for dominance; whoever was on top had the upper hand (claw in Adrien's case) and could land a blow, provided they were given more than a second to hover above the other. He managed to land a scratch somewhere on this person, presumably the cheek, but he couldn't be sure—barely having sight was certainly a hindrance in battle. A single squeak of both pain and surprise made him flinch; although Adrien couldn't see, realization hit him the moment he felt muscles ripple underneath sleek fabric as they resisted his weight: this person wasn't fighting back, they were trying to stop him from harming them.

They were only trying to protect themself. In fact, the more Adrien thought about it, he recalled that they hadn't even made an advance on him. He'd been the one to attack first.

A breath slipped past Adrien's lips as he scampered off of the blurry black blob and shut his eyes tight, his heart thumping in his chest. Had he attacked an innocent? Had the fuzzy person not been the owner of the sinister voice?

"Chat Noir…"

Adrien swallowed painfully at the familiar voice. A voice he'd never heard so hurt. A voice he'd grown to know by heart since he'd first met her that day when she'd fallen right on top of him as he walked across his baton from building to building. A voice he'd fallen in love with and a voice he'd been trying so desperately to get over. A voice that belonged to his partner.

A voice that belonged to his injured partner.

Adrien's eyes stung with tears as realization hit him like a freight train. He could practically feel the impact against his chest, shattering his heart like feeble glass.

"Ladybug?" He whispered, blinking open his dampened eyes. The entire world filled with color and became crystal clear once again, but Adrien wasn't sure if he wanted to be able to see at the moment; he didn't know if he could face the sight of his partner, his best friend, injured because of his own stupidity.

"Chat Noir, you… You didn't know it was me, did you?"

He turned and immediately felt regret settle within the pit of his stomach as his eyes landed on the bloody scratches upon Ladybug's cheek. Tearing his gaze away from the dripping claw marks, he looked to her eyes instead, which sparkled with fresh tears. Tears that he'd caused.

"I'm sorry, Ladybug, I didn't… I wasn't in control-"

No response came as she pressed a hand to the thin lacerations, flinching from the touch. Adrien knew that had to sting; he'd learned from personal experience that his claws weren't exactly the dullest things in the world. As she pulled her bare hand away, blood painted her fingertips and dripped from the wound onto her black jacket. Tears pooled in her bright blue eyes and she let one or two slide down her stinging cheeks, leaving wet droplets upon her pink skinny jeans.

Adrien's breath hitched as he let his gaze travel from her legs up to her white floral T-shirt, following the curve of her neck until it finally landed upon the part where her mask should have been. A galaxy of freckles replaced the black spots he'd become accustomed to and instead of red ribbons within her silky black hair there were simple hair ties. The sickly feeling that resided within his stomach became so strong it almost made him heave.

"Marinette," Adrien choked out, "Marinette, you… It was you?"

"Adrien," His classmate whispered, wiping her cheek with her sleeve. "You're shaking."

"I-I," He gasped, surprised that she'd somehow known his real name. With a quick scan of himself, Adrien knew he hadn't destransformed, so why was she calling him by his civilian name? "N-no, it's Chat Noir, Marinette. Listen, I didn't mean to-"

"Adrien," Marinette's voice took on a slightly panicked tone. "Wake up, you're having a nightmare."

"What?" With a quick glance around, he felt sure that it was all real—it all looked real. "No, I'm-"

As his classmate approached him and placed her hands upon his shoulders, one bloody and the other clean, she gave him a shake, her eyes rid of tears and full of nothing but concern and fear. "Adrien, please-"

 "-wake up!"

Adrien's eyes snapped open as a startled gasp ripped from his sweating body. He shot up straight, sucking in breath through his open mouth and panting as he gripped the tangled sheets of his bed. Pressing a trembling hand to his chest, Adrien's eyes clamped closed as he felt how incredibly fast his heart was beating; he swore if it didn't slow he'd be rushed to the hospital for a heart attack. The intense panic that had initially jolted his body upon awakening began to fade as his sweaty palms released their grasp on the sheets he'd been sleeping under just a few minutes prior, fingers stroking over the familiar pink pattern.

A relieved sigh slipped past his parted lips. Marinette's bed, not his.

He was still in Marinette's room. As his panicked gaze shifted from their unfocused spot on the wall, he met the bluebells of his startled classmate, who stared at him with utmost concern across her features that were thankfully completely free of any harm. No scratches, no blood, no tears. The only thing that bothered him was that the poor girl looked worried beyond belief.

"Adrien?" Her quiet voice asked timidly. "A-are you… Okay?"

He nodded, swallowing to rid the dryness in his throat. "Y-yeah, I'm… I'm okay now."

"You were having a really bad dream," Whispered Marinette, her hand hesitantly reaching out before pulling back. Adrien frowned. Don't be afraid to touch me. "You were shaking and mumbling stuff in your sleep. You almost woke Nino and Alya. Do… D-Do you want to talk about it?"

Taking her hand in a gentle grasp, Adrien sighed, his breath finally catching up with the rest of his exhausted body. "No," He said with a shake of his head, "no."

"You're sure?" Marinette's bright blue eyes held nothing but care and kindness. She didn't deserve to be startled by him.

She didn't deserve to be hurt, even if it had only been a horrific dream.

Adrien wasn't sure what force compelled his arms to wrap around her thin frame and pull her body against his own. Hands secured on her back and his face in her neck, Adrien sighed, breathing in the familiarity of her comforting scent. Lavender and vanilla, a calming tranquility. The salty stench of blood had washed from his mind as soon as his face pressed into the milky smooth skin of her neck. Marinette tensed and he'd nearly pulled away, but before he could break their contact she coiled her own arms around his waist and nuzzled her nose into his tousled blond hair. Adrien felt the tension he held within his muscles dissipate to a relaxed, content state. Green eyes drooped until the lids shut.

"It's alright," Marinette's sweet voice brought him back to reality, a pleasant prickle running up his spine as her hand absentmindedly stroked his bony back. "I have nightmares too. Sometimes it helps to talk to someone about it so they can help you realize it wasn't real. Whenever I have a really bad one, I either call Alya or go to one of my parents." A light sigh blew from her nose. "Do you want to tell me?"

Adrien's lips tugged downward into a guilty frown. How would he explain that he saw himself, as Chat Noir, harming her as if she'd been Ladybug? "I-I don't know. It was weird."

"Aren't most dreams?"

"This one was different," His voice was barely above a whisper. "Can I use your bathroom first?"

Marinette nodded and released their embrace, her hands clasped together patiently. Adrien felt grateful for her consolation yet guilty for waking her. She might've been sleeping so peacefully…

As he stripped the blankets from his shaking body, Adrien descended down the ladder and carefully stepped around the room as to not wake the slumbering couple who cuddled on the chaise. Marinette's blue eyes burned into his back as he left the room, the stairsteps chilling his bare feet. A small butterfly night light cast a dim yellow glow along the living space below. It was a comforting silence and the low light made his bubbling nerves relax further.

The bathroom smelled of Marinette's soaps and the scented candles from earlier, sending a wave of exhaustion to crash upon Adrien's shoulders. A heavy sigh fell from his lips as he ran the tap, watching the water flow into the drain like a miniature waterfall before he reached his hands under the faucet and splashed the cold liquid onto his face. It sent chills down his spine and immediately woke him from his post-nightmare state. With a shiver, he wiped his eyes with his knuckles, running his fingers through messy blond hair.

That'd been quite the dream.

Two incredibly vivid dreams in one night that both left him feeling guilty. At least one had been more enjoyable than the other.


He flinched at the sudden movement out of the corner of his eye. Marinette stood in the doorway of the bathroom, her hand running up and down her left arm nervously as her gaze shifted from the floor to his own. Adrien's tired eyes stilled on her worried blues, which were as dull with exhaustion as his happened to be. Of course she'd be tired, he'd woken her up from his twitching and groaning.

"Sorry," He breathed, running a hand through his hair. "I'm just not feeling too great."

"Do you want to go home?" The tiny frown that her lips curled into squeezed his heart.

"No," He told her, "the last place I'd want to be right now is home. It'd be so much bigger there. Nobody to talk to."

Marinette nodded in understanding, her ebony hair brushing her shoulders as she did so. "Stay here," She said in a quiet tone as she went back for the stairs, slipping through her trapdoor without a sound.

Adrien blinked. Had she gone back to bed?

Just as he placed a foot upon the first step of the stairs, Marinette came back down, her pink comforter bundled up within her arms. A grin spread across Adrien's face as she walked past him with a tired smile, cocking her head in a motion for him to follow. He obeyed without a word, watching as his classmate threw the blanket onto the cozy couch in front of the TV.

"What's that for?" He asked through a yawn, stretching out his arms to relieve some of the tension still held within his muscles. The way Marinette pretended she hadn't just glanced at his stomach as his shirt rode up was adorable: her eyes had been on his skin for less than a second before she tore them away and switched on the television, her cheeks burning red.

He had to suppress the chuckle that threatened to rise in his throat.

"Well," Marinette began as she walked to the kitchen and opened the fridge, allowing the light to shine just enough for her to see into the pantry. "When I was little, I used to be prone to nightmares. We never really figured out why, but… They've stopped now. Anyways," He could hear the sound of rustling in the pantry as she pulled out a blue package and two clear glasses from the cupboard. "Whenever I had a really bad one, my Papa would grab the warmest blanket he could find and take me to sleep with him on the couch. He'd turn on the TV and get me some cookies to help me calm down. So," The sound of milk pouring into a glass came before Marinette put it away and shut the fridge with her foot, walking over with two glasses in her hand and a package of oreos in the crook of her arm. "That's what I'm going to do for you."

A warm smile of appreciation tugged at Adrien's lips. "You're sweet, Marinette."

Her cheeks practically glowed scarlet as she sat on the pastel pink couch, placing the milk and package of cookies on the square coffee table. "Well, I know how scary nightmares can be, and you looked really shaken, so… It's the least I can do."

"I mean it," He continued, sitting down next to her with an affectionate grin. "You're really sweet and kind. It's one of the best things about you."

A tiny giggle came from her, blue eyes sparkling. "You are, too, Adrien. Thank you."

Well, now he was the one blushing. Cheeks tinted pink and lips curled upwards in a smile, Adrien sighed, reaching out for an oreo. He studied it for a moment, his eyes scanning over the bumps of pattern on the cookie and the cream in the middle. It reminded him of his ice cream the day before (or rather, technically two days ago, since it was considered Sunday at three in the morning) when their date had been interrupted by another akumatized victim. As he dunked the cookie in his milk and bit into it, his smile only grew. Somehow, simply eating oreos next to a sleepy Marinette past decent hours was better than the date could have ever been. There was just something so personal about pajamas and early hours. The silence that settled between them was completely comfortable as old news events played on the television.

Adrien grinned as he ate a second cookie. And a third, and a fourth. Just as he grabbed a fifth and went to dunk it, he dropped the whole cookie into his glass, letting out a little frustrated whine that only made his friend giggle in response.

"Oh no," She chuckled, "looks like you've drowned it."

"We've got dirt on each other now," Adrien laughed as he fished the oreo out of his glass with his fingers. "You killed cupcakes, I drowned an oreo. We could be accomplices in food assassination."

"Sure," He didn't even have to look up to know that she had rolled her eyes. It was the tone she'd usually use on Chat when he'd said an awful joke and her only response was to groan and roll those gorgeous bluebells. "Why not."

They'd both nearly eaten the whole package of oreos before the feeling of sleepiness began to take over Adrien's body once again. He yawned, his eyelids shutting tightly together for a brief moment before they slowly rose, exhaustion clear in his face. If it wasn't for the fact that Marinette was still awake and munching away on oreos, he'd of already been passed out in a wonderfully sweet sleep with his head nestled on her lap.

But she was awake, and his instinct of kneading claws upon a comforting surface might just give him away if he started doing that on her thighs.

As he turned his gaze to the television, the sight startled him for a moment before he realized it was just a recap of the news story from Friday. Ladybug and Chat Noir, saving Paris and defeating the villain that had muted the streets. Adrien sighed, tearing his gaze away from the sight of Chat Noir on camera, running along the road with a police hat upon his head and a blue whistle in his mouth.

He couldn't look at himself.

A grimace appeared on Adrien's face as his eyes shifted to the corner of the room, glaring intently at a spotted pillow that sat on the other end of the couch. A small huff slipped out of him before he could stop it.

"Adrien?" Marinette's voice couldn't even convince him to glance up. "Did that pillow insult you?"

"Can you change the channel?" He whispered, his voice cracking with the memory of his classmate's cheek covered in her own blood. "Please."

Confused yet not arguing, Marinette flipped to children's cartoons, her gaze never leaving his uncomfortable expression. "Something wrong?"

"They were in my dream," He murmured feebly, raising his dull green eyes to meet her own curious blue. It hurt him just to think about it. "Well, I think, at least. Chat Noir was."

"Oh," Came the reply. Marinette glanced away for a brief second before looking back. "Do you want to talk about it now?"

Adrien avoided the question. "Do you think that Chat Noir is a bad person?"

By the way Marinette's eyes widened, he could tell the question had taken her by surprise. "I… No, Adrien. Why would you ask that?"

Adrien shrugged.

"Adrien," She sighed, "if you had a bad dream about Chat Noir, I can assure you that he…" She paused, worrying at her bottom lip as she fumbled for an answer. "He's one of the best people in the world, probably. He cares about Paris and everyone in it. He's a good guy, I promise."

"You think so?" His voice gave away the feeling of glass shards in his heart that he'd been trying so hard to hide.

Marinette nodded, placing a hand upon his shoulder and giving it a gentle squeeze. "I know so."

"You don't think-" Adrien turned his attention back to the television, which displayed an animated character apologizing to its friend for accidentally hurting their feelings. "You don't think he'll ever hurt anyone?"

"Of course not."

"What if he can't control himself? What if he-" His throat became extremely dry as vivid images of blurry blobs and the scent of blood filled his nose. "What if he hurts you?"

"Adrien…" Marinette's voice was calm and sympathetic as she gave his shoulder another comforting squeeze. For the first time, it didn't cause sparks to ignite within him. "Did your nightmare have to do with Chat Noir hurting me?"

All he could do was nod, his eyes squeezing shut in an attempt to block out the sound of her startled gasp when his inky claws had connected with freckled skin. A shuttering breath left his body.


He couldn't look at her.


A gentle hand on his cheek made him flinch.

"Adrien, please look at me…"

His sad green eyes met fiery blue as he turned his head. Delicate thumbs stroked his heated cheeks as their gaze locked, speaking words through nothing but their mental connection alone. Marinette is okay, Adrien told himself as he leaned in to her hand, enjoying the soothing sensation of her fingers against his skin. Marinette is safe. Marinette is unharmed. Marinette... has really soft hands. A chill ran down his spine from her electric touch. As one of his larger hands rose and enveloped hers completely, she smiled, and he returned the gesture with a tiny smile of his own.

"I'm alright," Marinette whispered, her voice like honey and vanilla as she assured him of her safety. "Nothing broken. All of me is here."

Adrien resisted the urge to press her hand to his heart and tell her that all of her was there.

"See?" She breathed, continuing to stroke the thumb that wasn't covered against his cheek, which was becoming increasingly warmer. "I'm okay."

With a feeble nod, Adrien sighed, his eyelids drooping shut from the innocent pleasure derived from her touches. "You're okay," He repeated, his voice barely a whisper.

Marinette nodded. "I'm okay."

"You're safe," He breathed. Their faces inched closer together without either of them taking much notice.

"I'm safe."

"You're unharmed." There had never been a better warmth than Marinette's forehead pressed against his own.

Another small nod. "I'm unharmed."

A soft breath fell from Adrien's lips as he gave her hand a gentle squeeze, his eyes fluttering open for just a moment to drink in the breathtaking sight of his beloved Marinette. Half-lidded baby blues gazed deeply into his own, filling him with such a scorching fire that he almost caught flame from the sight.


"I care about you," He told her, his voice barely audible.

He stole a glance at her lips, pink and seemingly soft to the touch. He wondered if she was wearing lipgloss.

He wondered how it'd taste.

"I know," Marinette whispered, "and I care about you. Don't forget that."

Marinette's shallow breath was pleasantly hot against his skin. The feel of her thumb absentmindedly running along his flushed cheeks in a comfortingly soft motion drew a sigh out of Adrien, his eyelids as heavy as weights. Even with sleepiness sneaking into his body and making a nest within his head, he couldn't stop staring; Marinette was the moon and her freckles decorated the night in a sea of stars. The flicker of the TV against her sparkling diamonds of eyes made them shine brightly with every flash of colorful light. Pale skin, so smooth upon his fingers as he raised his other hand to cup her cheek within his palm. He could feel the heat radiating off of her skin and onto his hand, warming it instantly as if she was nothing but scarlet coals nestled in the middle of sunset flames.

He'd never noticed how long her eyelashes were and how they fluttered against her pink cheeks with every blink.

A silent plea came from his eyes as his gaze lingered on her velvety lips, which stretched into a shy smile that granted him permission to the part of her face he'd been desiring to press against his own for weeks.

His nose brushed her cheek as he closed the distance between them.

Sparks, lights, flashes of red and pink and blue filled his head as his eyes slid closed, the feeling of being kissed and kissing sending electricity to bolt throughout his entire body. A shockwave of excitement shot through his veins, from his fingertips which buzzed as he traced Marinette's skin, to his bare toes which twitched and curled from the thought alone. Adrien let a breath slip past his nose as he tilted his head further to achieve better contact, deepening their kiss into an innocent yet needy movement of lips. His eyes opened for just a moment to steal a glance at the beautiful girl, to see how her expression softened with blushing cheeks in the middle of a first kiss between two friends.

Friends, Adrien chuckled to himself in thought, I don't think we can use that word anymore.

It was awkward at first and neither were really sure where to place their hands, but after a brief moment of slight panic, Adrien found his fingers wrapping around Marinette's petite waist and in turn, her arms had connected around his neck. The closer their bodies melded, the larger the dosage of her sweet scent of lavender and vanilla filled his nose. It sent happy little bubbles to his brain and buzzed his hands like some fizzy drug he couldn't ever get enough of. Addicted was the only word to describe how he felt.

Her lips were a brand and he was burnt.

A crack of thunder from outside startled Adrien enough to pull away. Wide-eyed and a little out of breath, he stared out the window for a second or two before turning his gaze back to the flushed girl sitting on front of him. Their eyes met as they caught their breath, chests rising and falling slowly in a comfortable silence. His fingers, so warm from her skin, stroked along her knuckles in an innocent touch of affection. The lips that had previously been covered by Marinette's broke into a stupidly lovestruck smile that only she could match.

A soft laugh escaped out of Adrien's mouth as his red cheeks burned from a combination of both shyness and embarrassment. Was it bad to admit that this had been his first real kiss?

Sure, he'd had a girl's lips upon his own before, but none had been enjoyable or by his choice, nor were they any more than a quick (and rather uncomfortable) peck. Besides, Chloe forcing kisses on him below the age of ten didn't mean anything to him.

Marinette's kiss, however…

Well, that was just a whole another story.

A kiss from Marinette had been like a grassy field during spring. It was rays of sunlight that warmed him to his core and played along his skin, tingling every fiber in his body with a giddy buzz. It was beautiful flowers full of thousands of vibrant shades dancing in the wind and swaying with the grass, their mixture of aromas rising into the air to fill his nose with wonders of sweet scents. It was a gentle breeze that kissed his skin with a relaxing chill and sent a pleasant shiver down his spine.

Marinette's kiss had been the magic that finally blessed his dull world with a rainbow of color.

Her voice broke the silence as she giggled, delicate fingertips brushing along her freshly kissed lips. "Y-you kissed… You kissed me. You kissed me."

Adrien laughed, giving a simple yet satisfied nod in response. "You kissed me back."

"I did," Her voice was a breathy whisper, as if she couldn't believe she actually had returned the kiss. "Oh my god. I kissed you."

"You kissed me," He confirmed with a chuckle.

"And you kissed me."

"I did."

And then she laughed, a beautiful bubbly laugh that shot right through his heart and pumped it full of sparkling rays of sunny days and the taste of strawberry ice cream, because that was her favorite flavor. All of her favorites suddenly became his own.

The color pink filled his every thought. Pink lips that had been so soft pressed against his needy mouth, sizzling pink cheeks that he had caused, a cozy pink blanket ready and waiting to be wrapped around two blushing teens who sat upon a pink couch.

Adrien decided that he could live in pink for the rest of his life.

"Was it a good kiss?" He asked with a grin, one of his hands reaching up to play with the silky strands of hair she held within a pigtail. Although seeing Marinette with her hair up was an adorable sight, he preferred it when she let it down to fan out along her shoulders like a gorgeous black wave.

Marinette nodded, her cheeks scarlet as she giggled shyly. "M-mhm. Amazing."

"Want to know a secret?" He whispered, leaning in as she blinked curiously. A positively red blush crept along his cheeks as his lips brushed her ear, lightly touching the cool material of her earrings that he'd never taken the time to notice before. "It was kind of my first kiss."

"Wh-What?" Marinette's cracked voice as she drew back in surprise made Adrien laugh. Of course she'd be shocked; few people knew that Adrien Agreste, famous Parisian teen model admired and adored by thousands of girls, had never been really kissed. "Y-you mean I was your first kiss? Me? I was- I was your first kiss? Me. I was. I was?"

He nodded, a small snort coming out from his laughter. She'd be even more surprised if she knew it had been Chat Noir's first kiss as well (as far as he knew.) "Uh, I mean, yeah… For a real kiss, anyways. I've had Chloe force me into kisses as a kid before, but that was such a long time ago and kisses when you're a child afraid of cooties don't really count, do they?"

Marinette's rosy cheeks became darker in her realization. "I-I guess? Oh, wow. I can't believe I…"

He'd never heard her voice squeak like that before. She's a little more surprised than I thought she'd be.

Still, even with a nervously cracked and high pitched voice, Marinette was completely and utterly enchanting. A beautifully captivating flicker of light that had stolen his heart and hidden the key.

He didn't care where that key had gone so long as it was in her possession.

Words faded to a peaceful silence as they mindlessly eyed the cartoons on the TV, their bodies disconnected yet arms brushing together just slightly. Adrien caught himself nearly slipping into sleep a few times, his head lolling to the side every now and then before he had to furiously blink his eyes to stop himself from falling over completely. With a sleepy glance at Marinette, he could tell that she, too, was fighting desperately to stay awake.

Neither of them wanted this night to end.

With an affectionate smile, Adrien reached for her without hesitation, lightly running his fingers across her knuckles before enveloping her hand in his own. As their fingers entwined, he gave her hand a delicate squeeze, his thumb running over her smooth skin in a slow circular motion. A sigh relaxed his body and rid any sort of lingering nervousness that might have been hidden away within the depths of his core. He had kissed Marinette. Marinette had kissed him back.

The desire to ask for a goodnight kiss was almost too strong to resist.

As Marinette's head slumped onto his shoulder, his cheeks positively blazed. The poor designer had been too tired to keep her head up any longer. With a drowsy smile, he allowed his mouth to brush the top of her soft hair before planting a final kiss upon her head. His heart swelled with love for his adorable friend who had managed to enamor him and completely capture his heart.

Sleep came easily that time around.

They'd both drifted off sitting up with their backs against the couch, hands wrapped around each others in lovingly connected fingers. The position hadn't been very comfortable, however, so Adrien found himself blinking open heavy eyelids before the sun had even peeked over the horizon.

Fumbling for the remote, he switched off the television before tossing the control to the other side of the couch. Sitting up with Marinette's head on his shoulder was nice, but… It wasn't what he wanted.

Slowly, carefully, he leaned back into the plush cushions of the couch and sighed with relief as Marinette followed undisturbed, her head finding his chest to be a pillow for her sleeping face to press against. The new position was wonderfully snug. On his back, Adrien grinned at the sight of Marinette's sleeping form: with her cheek against his chest and her arm wrapped around his torso, she couldn't look more endearing. Even in the dark of the room he could see the starscape of freckles that dusted her flushed cheeks and tiny nose.

Running a hand along the small of Marinette's back in soothing circles, Adrien sighed, relishing in the warmth that radiated from her body and filled his to the point where it nearly became too hot underneath the thick blanket. She was like a little space heater, generating warm rays to fill the empty holes in his heart he'd saved just for a girl like her.

Adrien knew he was hers. Completely, absolutely, entirely hers. Whether she wanted him as Chat Noir or Adrien Agreste, he didn't care; so long as she loved him through and through, he'd be by her side always, and nothing could ever change that.

The ticking of a clock somewhere in the room alleviated his aching eyes as it brought a relaxing wave of darkness to crash upon him and wash away any consciousness lingering in his body.

And he slept wonderfully, a major improvement from the last two attempts at slumber. It was a pure, rejuvenating sleep that filled his bones with positive energy and ebbed away all sorts of anxiety he'd felt prior. An amazing, perfect, lovely sleep that he could only thank Marinette for. The tickle of her lips against his skin sometime during the night only reminded him of how truly content he felt.

The sound of quiet giggles and faint shuffling of bare feet against hardwood flooring caused Adrien's face to scrunch up in annoyance. Don't people know it's rude to make noise when someone is trying to sleep?

Marinette's legs stirring against his own drew a blissful sigh from his lips. Her warm breath blew against the back of his neck as her nose brushed his skin, small hands on his stomach and muscular arms wrapped around his body. She made a quiet grunt in his ear, irritated from being awakened he assumed—what was that silly giggling, anyways?

The sound of a phone camera capturing a photo caused Adrien's eyes to snap open like blindfolds.

"Shit," Alya's unmistakeable voice whispered, followed by the patter of hurried feet tapping against the floor as she fled.

"Shit" is right, Adrien scowled in thought, his eyes narrowing as he trailed the scampering teenager. You've been caught.

"Alya," Marinette groaned as she buried her face into his shoulder, most likely to hide from the sunlight that streamed in through the windows. "What are you doing?"

A quiet laugh from Nino made Adrien sigh. He was far too tired to break the contact from Marinette and honestly, nothing in the world could make him desire to untangle their legs or remove Marinette's arms from their embrace. At first he wasn't exactly sure what position they were in, but as he felt his crush adjust against his rear, the realization that they were spooning hit him with a fiery blush.

He'd never expected to be the little spoon, of all things.

"I'm just taking pics before you guys realize that you're totally cuddling up a storm and freak out about it," Alya replied with another snap of her camera.

"You're taking pictures!?" Marinette squawked, arms and legs flailing as she attempted to squirm out from behind him. Adrien whined. The warmth that had built up along the back of his body faded into a vacant cold once Marinette removed herself from the couch.

Come back, he internally begged, his expression the epitome of a kitten in desperate need of some attention.

"Alya, who did you send that to?" Marinette's demanded, her hands placed firmly upon her hips.

The redhead snorted. "Nino, of course."

Marinette was unsatisfied with her answer. "Is that all?"

"I might have sent it to some other people, too."


"Like…" Alya's voice took on a nervous yet unapologetic tone. "Most of our class besides Chloe and Sabrina. Come on, Mari, everyone has been rooting for you and Adrien to-"

"To what?" He broke in, raising a curious eyebrow as he sat up and adjusted his black sweatpants, which had ridden down a bit far during the night. Marinette glanced at his abdomen.

"Nothing," Marinette squeaked, her face flaring up in the adorable shade of pink Adrien had grown to adore.

"Yeah, yeah." Alya rolled her eyes. "Anyways, lovebirds, get up. I'm super hungry and I've been waiting for your lazy butts to make me breakfast."

"Breakfast?" Now Adrien was interested! If food was being mentioned and said food was being prepared by Marinette or her family, he was immediately excited. "Can I help?"

"Sure." As Marinette stretched her arms into the air (and made an adorable noise that Adrien didn't miss), her white pajama shirt rose above her bellybutton for just a brief moment to reveal a pale and rather muscularly toned stomach. Adrien's heart skipped a beat as she pulled up her pajama pants and wandered to the kitchen, his eyes burning into the floor so that he avoided gazing at her rear.

Oh, His mind squeaked like a pubescent thirteen-year-old boy. She's hot!

"I think Adrien needs a drink," Alya snickered, causing him to turn his gaze away from Marinette with an embarrassed red upon his cheeks. Now he was the one who'd been caught!

"I can tell," Nino responded with a chuckle, raising his eyebrows at his friend. "Someone get him a glass of water."

"Ha ha," Adrien replied flatly. "Very funny."

At least Marinette had been shuffling through the fridge during the exchange.

The group decided on crepes, so while Marinette prepared the batter, Adrien carried out the task she'd assigned him of gathering fruits and fillings from the pantry and fridge. He chopped bananas and pulled out chocolate chips, strawberries, whipped cream and nutella, the array making his mouth water. He wanted all of it composed in one giant, heaping crepe.

Learning how to make crepes was quite the experience for Adrien. Mixing the batter was more fun than pouring it into a pan—he'd learned the hard way that the thin pancakes break rather easily. After several failed attempts, he stepped back to allow Marinette to take over, instead deciding to entertain himself by tossing chocolate chips into the air and catching them in his mouth. As he chewed them, a wide grin spread across his face from the wonderful chocolaty flavor.

Once the food had been prepared, Adrien's growling stomach bid him to fill his crepe with an excessive amount of fruit and whipped cream, added with a layer of nutella and chocolate chips resting atop like a messy bow to a present he couldn't wait to dig into. Just the smell alone was making his stomach whine and beg.

Breakfast was spent at the kitchen table, the four teens more interested in their food than each other at first. A few words were said here and there, but the delicious breakfast tasted far too amazing to put it down even for a moment to exchange conversation. Adrien cleaned his plate before anyone else had, earning a smile from the freckled girl sitting next to him.

He reached over and squeezed her hand underneath the table.

"Somebody was hungry," Nino chuckled, barely halfway finished with his own crepe. "Did you inhale that?"

Adrien let out a small laugh. "Practically. I don't get to eat like that at home, give me a break."

"You don't eat crepes at home?" Alya's eyebrows raised in surprise as she swallowed a strawberry she had been chewing. "How is that even possible? We live in Paris."

"I eat crepes," He responded, "just not like this. Did you see how much chocolate I put into that thing?"

Alya shrugged, giving a soft hum in response as she stabbed a slice of banana that had been poking out. "Fair point. Model diet, right?"

"...Yeah," Adrien's eyes fell downcast from the subject. It wasn't exactly something he enjoyed talking about, nor a topic he would be able to answer all the questions to without souring his mood. An uncomfortable feeling began to rise within his chest as he gave Marinette's hand a tight squeeze as a silent plea for help.

Marinette seemed to understand his unease. "Hey, Alya, weren't you telling me the other day that you think you're getting close to figuring out Ladybug's real identity?"

"Oh!" A visible spark lit in the blogger's eyes as she twitched excitedly, having to shut her mouth and swallow before she continued to avoid spitting food. "Yeah! I'm so close this time, Mari, I can taste it. I'm starting to see the patterns, and I…"

As Alya babbled on about her crazy Ladybug theories, Adrien shot his friend a thankful smile. Marinette returned it with a hint of pink upon her cheeks, her thumb lightly running across the skin of his hand. He gave a slow blink in appreciation, unable to wash the lovestruck smile from his blushing face.

They hadn't talked about the kiss. The time never came.

After breakfast, he'd helped Marinette with the dishes (his first time doing an actual chore) and dressed himself in yesterday's clothes—save for the white overshirt, of course. He didn't know where it had gone, yet he couldn't find it in himself to care. Marinette had washed it and she could keep it if she wanted; he wouldn't mind a single bit. Part of him wanted her to keep it.

He wouldn't ask for it back.

The four hadn't had much more time to spend together that morning after their meal. Adrien let out a soft whine of disappointment as he received a text from Nathalie informing him that his ride was on its way to Nino's. He'd quickly thought up a quick lie, telling his father's assistant that he and Nino had walked to the bakery for some breakfast and were still inside. At least it would rid the suspicion of why he was at a girl's house, of all places.

By the time the car had arrived outside, Adrien felt his heart tugging and pulling towards Marinette, who seemed a little let down as well from the news that it was time for him to go. Adrien sighed as he lifted himself to his feet, shooting a longing glance back at his crush before bidding his friends a goodbye.

"Let me walk you out," Marinette nearly tripped over the rug on the floor as she scrambled towards him, earning a laugh and a smile in return. How can one person be so clumsy and adorable at the same time?

After a quick farewell to her parents and thanking them for letting him stay, Marinette led him to the stairwell, her bare feet brushing against the blue carpet that stretched along the hallway. It was a shame that the only time they'd been alone that morning was when Marinette was walking him down the stairs as he prepared to leave. The color of the walls in the room reminded Adrien of her eyes.

In fact, everything the color blue reminded him of those sparkling gems.

His hand hesitated on the handle of the door. Fingers wrapped around cool metal, Adrien sighed, the decision between wanting to give her a simple goodbye battling with his desire to pull her in for a second kiss before he left for the rest of the weekend. He wet his lips in memory of the taste of strawberry lip gloss.

"Marinette," His voice cut through the silence like a knife. "Before I go, I… I have to ask. Did that kiss mean anything to you?"

Marinette's cheeks burned red as her eyes fell from his own and gazed at her hands, which clasped together in a nervous shuffle of fingers. "Did it mean anything to you?"

There was no hesitation as he spoke.

"Yes," He told her, his green eyes silently begging for her blues to be back upon him.

Marinette's lips (which he so badly wanted to kiss again) curled upward into a tiny, pleased smile of affection. "Yes."

Adrien felt his cheeks grow hotter as her eyes met his own. God, this girl. "Can I take you out for lunch Monday? Just you and I?"

He received a shy giggle and a nod in response. "I-I'd love that, Adrien."

The smile that graced his face was one that he'd be feeling the entire week. A smile like that didn't happen often in the Agreste family, and Adrien wanted to savor it for as long as he could.

With Marinette around, it wouldn't be a problem.

"I'll see you Monday, then," He told her as his hand brushed her knuckles.

"Y-yeah," She breathed, letting her fingers run along his before they parted. "See you Monday."

With a final wave, Adrien turned the cool handle of the door and stepped out, disappointment flowing from his body like a sad wave. He'd been too shy to kiss those lips one last time before he left. Regret weaved its way into his stomach as he opened the door to the car, yet when Marinette called his name, his heart skipped a beat before dashing wildly in his chest.

"Adrien!" Her voice rang from the bakery. "You forgot your shirt!"

Adrien grinned, letting out a quiet chuckle as he called back, "Keep it!"

Even from his distance he could see the fiery blush that scorched Marinette's cheeks. She didn't argue nor refuse his offer, which only made the thought more exciting. Something about Marinette keeping his clothes lit a flame within him that burned his body from the inside out.

As soon as he'd buckled himself in the back of the car, Adrien felt his phone vibrate against his thigh.

One new message from:  Nino

As Adrien opened up the text, he'd expected his friend's usual conversation, yet when it became clear that he had sent a photo, well…

Adrien's face flushed such a deep scarlet that he had to glance away the second he'd opened the file. He didn't. He didn't just send me that picture.

A quick look back at the image confirmed that Nino indeed had.

He did send me that picture, Adrien screamed internally, his green eyes nearly bulging out of his head. He really did just send me that.

The photo was something you'd see on the cover of a cheesy romance novel. A perfect picture displaying two teens completely in love, cuddled up on the couch as if they'd been dating for years. His photographers would have killed to get such an adorably tender shot.

The early yellow rays that had washed upon them like golden ribbons danced along their skin and somehow made Marinette's freckles even more endearing. Little speckles of sundrops that fanned across her cheeks like beautifully decorative spots. Her lips, so pink and freshly kissed, brushed the back of his neck as she slept with her face pressed against the warmth of his skin. Those hands which fit so perfectly within his own disappeared beneath the blanket, but he could fondly remember the way her fingertips grazed along his stomach when his shirt had slid up ever so slightly. It didn't take Adrien long to come to the realization that he favored being the little spoon.

We're adorable, He thought with a giddy chuckle, his lips twitching upward into lovestruck smile. He couldn't stop staring at the photo.

And to think, this picture had been sent to more than half of their class. Adrien wasn't sure why he felt glad. He wanted his classmates to know he'd slept next to Marinette all night. He wanted his classmates to be in on the little secret their lips had shared the night before. He wanted all of his classmates, including Chloe, to know how he longed to do nothing more than wrap Marinette up in his arms and kiss her like he needed her lips to breathe.

Adrien's smile only grew as he set the photo as his phone's wallpaper.

As the car pulled up to his home (a loose term), Adrien's eyes were so glued to his phone that he'd nearly tripped walking up the front steps. He wasn't sure what to do: text Marinette about the kiss or wait to talk until Monday when they were alone, text Marinette the photo, text Chloe the photo, or simply not text anyone about it at all. Perhaps it was best to wait for Marinette to text him so he didn't seem needy or desperate.

Perhaps he was after that kiss.

He hadn't glanced up as he entered the intimidating front doors. Without watching where he was going, he grinned stupidly as Nino sent him several thumbs-up emojis and began typing up a reply full of blushing cats, yet his phone fell from his hands and clattered to the marble flooring as he bumped into another body.

Adrien froze, his eyes following the line of perfectly tailored red pants all the way up to a striped tie. He swallowed heavily, gaze locked on the buttons of his father's jacket. It took him an extra amount of courage to look his father in the eye.

"Adrien," His father's voice spoke, calm and guarded. "Is there a reason that you lied about your location last night?"

Truthful Scars

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

Part 10 of 21

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