Continuing Tales

Truthful Scars

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

Part 13 of 21

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A concussion.

Marinette was at home with a mild concussion.

It was something Adrien found concerning and odd at the same time. When he'd scooped her up the day before and brought her to safety as Chat Noir, he'd definitely noticed she was acting off—swaying, unable to stand up straight, a pained expression on her face that he knew she'd been trying to hide. Somehow within the span of time it took him to find a safe spot and transform, Marinette had gotten hurt; Adrien didn't know how she'd been injured, but the thought caused a sickening feeling of guilt to reside within the pit of his stomach.

She'd hurt herself because he'd let her run off alone in a dangerous area.

It wasn't that Marinette couldn't take care of herself—no, he knew she was incredibly strong for her size—but if he'd arrived a few seconds later...

Well, she'd be lying somewhere else rather than her bed.

He didn't want to think about it.

Alya had been the one to tell him the news when he'd pointed out that Marinette's seat was vacant. Her predicament wasn't anything too serious, just a slight injury that would keep her out of school for the next day or two until she recovered. Adrien could only imagine how boring it must be for his friend stuck at home in bed without much to entertain her. From his experience with past illnesses and injuries, being bedridden certainly had its lulls; there's only so much a person can do besides sleep when stuck in a bed for an elongated period of time.

Which was why Adrien wasn't the least bit surprised to find Marinette slumbering away when he arrived on his lunch break. It was a little disappointing, but not unexpected. From below, he could see that she was wrapped up within the cozy cocoon of her blanket, held inside like a gift waiting to be unwrapped. A perfectly content princess whose only duties were sleeping and looking absolutely breathtaking, both of which she acted out with ease.

Adrien grinned as a longing sigh passed his lips. All of him wanted nothing more than to crawl into her bed and snuggle up like the affectionate cat he was.

She'd let Chat Noir do it.

But Chat Noir's not here right now.

Marinette was the epitome of comfortable, a warm bug nestled away in hiding. Just laying his eyes upon her dozing form made Adrien feel the beginnings of sleepiness coiling its way into his skin.

He hoped she wouldn't become grumpy when he woke her. Was Marinette the grumpy type?

If it'd been his choice, he would have left and returned at another time when she was awake and alert, but Sabine had kindly asked him to bring up some lunch for her daughter, telling him that Marinette had neglected to eat much at all since her injury the day before. Adrien could understand why, of course; he knew from personal experience as Chat Noir that a concussion makes a person nothing but nauseous and exhausted, so eating wasn't always the favored pastime.

It was no secret that being a superhero sometimes came with a price, and injuries were definitely on that list.

Holding a pink tray of food in his hands, Adrien ascended the stairs to her bed with a shy glance at his sleeping classmate. She looked so peaceful that he felt it would be a horrendous crime to wake her. A crime so awful that if she so much as frowned from being disturbed he would put himself in prison. A crime that was perfectly legal and needed to be done, but a crime nonetheless.

He sighed at the memory of her mother's words. "Marinette's been sleeping all day—don't be afraid to get her up for a little while."

Still, he was a tad nervous to be crawling into her bed as Adrien. Marinette may have become accustomed to Chat Noir slipping in during the late hours of the night, but Adrien sitting on her mattress during daylight would certainly come as a surprise. It wasn't as weird to him as it would be to her—unbeknownst to Marinette, Adrien was no stranger to her bed.

(No matter how awful that sounded.)

For a brief moment he wished her bed wasn't so high up above the floor. Standing next to her instead of sitting on her bed—right next to her sleeping body—would definitely make the situation much less awkward.

"Marinette," He whispered, knowing very well that his voice was far too quiet to cause her to stir. "Marinette, wakey-wakey."

Her face scrunched up and made her dusting of freckles even more prominent before relaxing back to its previously content state.

Adrien sighed. "Marinette, time to get up."

A soft murmur rose from her lips as she buried her face within her pillows.

"I've got food," He offered, "your mom made it. It's, uh," Taking a look at what her mother had prepared, he smiled fondly, remembering the days when his own mother would make him little lunches just like Sabine had for her daughter. The only difference was that his mother would cut up the sandwiches into little squares. "It looks like a turkey sandwich and some water. Oh, and painkillers. There's a cookie, too."

Marinette turned her back to him with a huff.

"Go away, Chat Noir," She grumbled, successfully pulling a smirk upon Adrien's face. It was amusing how she assumed that it was Chat's voice instead of Adrien's, when in reality they were the same. Technically, she wasn't wrong.

"It's not Chat Noir," Adrien chuckled, "it's Adrien. You should get up, or I'm going to eat this cookie before you get the chance."


Did he really have to resort to shaking her?

"Up," He told her, poking her bare shoulder with his finger and receiving a gentle swat in return. He didn't have much time to admire the way her tanktop revealed a galaxy of freckles decorating her shoulders before a second swat quieted his chuckling. "Time to get up. Alya said she's coming over after school so if you don't wake up for me, I'm sure she'll be able to convince you."

"Adrien…?" Ah, there was the recognition. He smiled at how adorable his name sounded falling from her sleepy lips.

"Yeah," He whispered, grinning as she turned and set those wide blue eyes upon his own green. "It's me. Alya told me what happened. A concussion, huh? Pretty unlucky."

"...Oh," Marinette's gaze shifted to the tray of food sitting in his lap. "I-I'm not that hungry."

Adrien frowned, disappointed at how she couldn't exactly meet his gaze. Hadn't they moved past that barrier of shyness? "Your mom said you've barely eaten since yesterday. C'mon, it's not a lot. You gotta eat."

What a hypocrite he was, telling someone else to eat when he'd purposefully neglected to that morning.

Fighting with his father always left him feeling with an empty, endless void of sadness that couldn't be filled by food alone.

Sometimes the sadness ran too deep to even spur a feeling of hunger within him. It was a good thing, most of the time.

He only wanted to make his father proud.

It took more strength than normal to hide the way his expression threatened to fall. Adrien prayed his smile didn't appear too fake.

"I… I guess." Sitting up, Marinette groaned and pressed a palm to her forehead, obviously still experiencing uncomfortable headaches. Adrien felt for her.

Taking the tray of food, Marinette sighed, picking at the crust around her sandwich before looking away from it entirely. She didn't seem to be too interested in her food.

"You okay?" He dared to ask, his eyes softening as he watched her hesitantly lift a half of her sandwich to her mouth.

She nodded in response. "Yeah, I'm… Doing better than I was yesterday, I think. I don't know. I-I've just been sleeping most of the time. I haven't even left my bed or changed my clothes, I-I- ...I probably look so gross right now."

So that's what was bothering her. Marinette was feeling a little insecure about her appearance.

Adrien suddenly felt a twinge of guilt for being a model.

Personally, he didn't give a damn whether her hair was unbrushed or that her makeup from the day before had smudged beneath her eyes; she still looked like Marinette in his opinion. Cute and freckled, just how he liked her. There wasn't anything that could change how adorable she was in his eyes.

"You don't look gross," He told her, instinctively looking down as she adjusted her position and caused the heavy blanket to fall from her arms and settle low on her thighs. He reached out a hand to help her pull it up, his fingers brushing the edge of the fabric before- oh.


Oh, no.

Adrien swallowed hard, his cheeks burning a fiery red blaze as he tore his gaze away from a certain pair of undergarments that he surely hadn't expected to see again so soon, if ever at all. "You- you uh- um… Marinette, you might wanna, uh- pull the- the blanket…"

Shame washed over him as he covered his eyes and felt the burning heat of his skin on the palms of his hands. He'd looked down by accident and had been met with the sight of Marinette not wearing any pants!

He'd never get the image of those ladybug-patterned panties actually on her out of his head.

"A-Ah! Sorry!" She squeaked, covering herself at a speed so fast Adrien swore it was inhuman. The deep shade of scarlet that rose to her face almost matched the color of her-

Stop! No, no, no! Stop it! Stop right now!

His fingers curled around the sheets of the bedding so tight that his knuckles grew pale. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to see-"

"I know," She responded, her tone shy. "I-it's okay, it was an accident…"

Adrien nodded. "R-right. Yeah."

A horribly awkward silence lapsed between them. Internally, Adrien was screaming at the top of his lungs, feeling the sizzle of his blush travel from the tips of his ears all the way down to his neck. His throat felt as dry as a desert in summer, and no matter how many times he swallowed it wouldn't relieve the nervous scratchiness that had appeared from the sight of his friend's—his crush's (what could they call each other now?)—underwear.

Marinette long since covered herself, her cheeks making it apparent that Adrien wasn't the only one extremely embarrassed by the situation. Afterall, it's not like every teenager in Paris kissed their crush over the weekend and came to see them pantless the following Tuesday.

"Sorry," He breathed out again, forcing a chuckle from his mouth as he rubbed his arm as if to ease the tension from the unpleasant situation. "I-I didn't mean to make it weird."

Marinette glanced at him, the brief contact of her eyes on him making his blush burn deeper into his already flushed skin. "It's… It's alright, Adrien. No harm done."

"Th-they're cute," He coughed out before he could stop himself. Regret filled every fiber of his body as he glanced upon Marinette's incredulous expression, her blue eyes nearly bulging out of her head at his compliment (well, what an inappropriate compliment it was.) His cheeks scorched and his lips pulled downwards into an apologetic frown that was nothing but sincere.

Well, maybe a tad panicked, too.

Marinette, shockingly, appeared to be amused by his little slip-up. "Did you just call my underwear cute?"

"S-s-sorry!" He laughed, grinning nervously and averting his gaze. "I wasn't thinking… I made it weird. I'm so sorry."

All Marinette could do was chuckle and take another bite of her sandwich. He knew he'd made the situation incredibly uncomfortable, and calling the panties he wasn't supposed to see cute had only worsened it.

Yet, they were both smiling.

Maybe it hadn't been such a bad thing.

Still, that's not to say there wouldn't be a certain thought keeping Adrien awake all night from the sheer embarrassment of it.

"Are you feeling any better?" He asked after a moment of silence that had been little too long for his liking.

"A little, but…" She paused to yawn. "My head still hurts pretty bad occasionally, and I'm kind of dizzy… I'm supposed to be avoiding thinking too much… Agh, the headaches are really bad, though."

Adrien pointed at the painkillers she'd yet to take on her tray. "That's what those are for."

Marinette stuck out her tongue and took the two pills before sliding the now empty tray back to his lap, trickles of black hair spilling over her bare (freckled!) shoulders. "Happy?"


"Good. Now let me nap."

"Haven't you slept enough?" He laughed, giving her a gentle nudge as she rolled onto her side and turned her back towards him. At her dismissal, Adrien whined, his lips pooching in a disappointed pout. Hadn't she learned already that cats hate being ignored? "Mari, no."

"Shh," She whispered, pulling the blanket over her head. "Marinette is asleep."

"Marinette needs to wake up," He shot back with grin, grabbing hold of the corner of her blanket and giving a tug. It stayed in its place. He'd forgotten for a moment how strong Marinette could be.

"Can't hear you," Came the muffled reply, "sleeping."

Adrien huffed. He'd pulled that same line on Ladybug just a few nights before, but it was a little more annoying to be on the receiving end. "You're doing an awful lot of talking for someone who's sleeping."

Silence was the reply he received.

Damn it.

Well, time for the guilt trip. Adrien hadn't lived in the Agreste household for nearly sixteen years for nothing. He'd certainly picked up a tactic or two on how to guilt a parent.

"You're so mean," He whined. "I came all this way from school to visit you. I walked and now my legs are tired. If anyone should be sleeping, it should be me."

The blankets rustled as she turned, followed by a single bright blue eye peeking out from underneath the covers.

"Even if I wanted to sleep," He continued, unable to hide the grin that split his face. "I couldn't, because someone is hogging all of the blanket."

Marinette responded with a giggle, the sound reminiscent of tinkling bells that sent a warmth to spark within his heart. One of her hands sneaked out from underneath the covers and Adrien felt a brief twinge of excitement, but was quickly disappointed as she only pulled the rest of the blanket to herself, stealing away every inch of it she could. Now she really had hogged all of it completely, snuggled up within it like a cozy pink burrito.

Adrien wanted to be wrapped inside that burrito, too.

Setting the pink tray to the side of her bed, he grinned, taking hold of of a part of the blanket that stuck up and was easiest to grab. Pulling, he chuckled as she protested, her hands scrabbling to tear the fabric from his hold.

"You come to my house," She began in a threatening tone, although the large smile across her face gave way to her being nothing but playful. "You wake me from a nap and and steal my blanket without permission, all while I'm concussed! It's cruel, honestly, Adrien."

Adrien snorted, tugging on the blanket as she slipped her head underneath the protective covering. "I'm your guest."

"A guest who woke me from my nap."

"A sad guest who maybe wants to be cuddled."

She went silent for a moment, the tone in her voice changing to apprehensive. "I… can't."

Adrien pouted, disappointed that she'd actually refused. They'd kissed and yet they weren't on cuddling terms yet? "Why not?"

"I-I'm... not wearing any pants."

Oh. Right.

"Then go put some on," He giggled, trying to keep the mood gleeful. No use making it awkward again. "I won't look."

She seemed hesitant in her answer—whether it be because she was unsure if it was okay to move around while concussed or because she'd be half-naked in the same room as him without a blanket to cover herself.

"I… I guess I could get up for a second." Hesitantly, Marinette threw the blanket off of herself, Adrien covering his eyes as soon as he'd heard the rustling of covers. Although he saw nothing, he could feel her shifting on top of the bed before the weight was completely gone. He figured she must have climbed down from the sound of a drawer being opened and bare feet tapping on hardwood flooring. After a moment, the weight returned to the bed, and the sight of Marinette settling back upon the mattress met him as he uncovered his eyes.


She gave him a tired smile in response. "N-not pantless."

"I can see that," He said with a glance to the pink pajama pants adorned with black kittens. The Chat Noir within him smirked. "Kittens, huh? Funny, I thought you didn't like cats."

Marinette shrugged, pawing at the blanket and lifting it over herself with a sigh. "It depends on the cat, I guess." Something about her gaze seemed off; almost… wistful. Following her line of sight, Adrien blinked with the realization that she was staring at her skylight for a reason he knew all too well.

"What do you mean?" He dared to ask, cocking his head to the side in a curious manner.

She sighed, letting her eyes fall to her left. "I have a complicated relationship with cats."


Marinette seemed to be growing increasingly uncomfortable with the topic for some unknown reason he didn't want to press. If she didn't want to talk about it, she didn't have to.

"I really am tired," She breathed after a moment, turning her gaze back to his. Adrien frowned.

"I didn't want to wake you," He trailed his finger along the blanket in circular motions, if only as a nervous response. "Your mom said I should get you up for a little while since you've been resting since yesterday. She thought you could use a little company."

Marinette hummed a reply, pressing the back of her hand to her forehead and pooching her lips in a slightly pained expression. "I guess it was getting a little lonely up here."

Adrien's lips broke into a wide grin. "And now you have me!" Perhaps his tone was a little too giddy, but he didn't care. With a quiet chuckle, Adrien dared to scoot closer, feeling relieved when she didn't shy away like the Marinette he was used to. She'd definitely been getting braver around him—braver than she usually was, at least. No more nervous stuttering or tripping over her own feet when she simply happened to be in the same room as him.

At least he knew she hadn't acted like that because she disliked him.

His joyous grin stretched into a smirk at the recollection of how close they'd really gotten over the past few days.

"What are you smiling at?"

Blinking, Adrien shook his head as he brought himself back down to Earth. "Hm?"

Marinette watched him with a curious smile. "You're grinning at me like you've just said an awful joke."

"Oh," He chuckled, his eyes falling to the blanket. "I was just thinking."

"About?" Her blue gaze blinked up at him in question, twinkling like little balls of starlight in a sky full of white.

Adrien didn't hesitate with his answer. "You."

(He really, truly was thinking about her. Her lips to be more exact.)

"M-me?" Those balls of starlight widened. "Oh."

He nodded. "I've been meaning to talk to you, but I…" A sigh fell from his lips. "Is now a good time? I mean, you're hurt, and I don't know if-"

The recognition in Marinette's gaze as it turned from his made it all too clear that she knew exactly what he was hinting at. "We do need to talk, but…"


"Can it wait?" She gave him a friendly smile, one that assured him that "everything is okay." Adrien felt his shoulders relax from the look alone. "I kind of want to take you up on that request to cuddle now that I have pants on."

A laugh bubbled from his lips as he nodded, feeling the pleasure of a smile working its way down to his chest in a pleasant heat. A smile caused by Marinette was a smile that always felt best. "Okay."

And so, cuddled they did.

The moment Marinette welcomed him under the covers was the moment Adrien swore his life had turned around for the better. For just an instant, he could pretend that everything was right; that his relationship with his father wasn't crumbling to pathetic dust or that in his desperation to salvage anything they had didn't come with turning himself to his father's standards of beauty; that he was happy.

He could pretend to be happy while curled up next to a girl that smelled of flowers and pastries.

Hell, he didn't even have to pretend to be happy when she buried her face within the warmth of his neck.

And there was definitely no pretending when her lips stretched into a wide smile as he pressed his own to her forehead.

No, this was all real—the realest thing that Adrien had ever felt. There was nothing more soothing than the absolutely secure feeling of having another person's arms wrapped around his torso, and not a single thing in the world could make him as comfortable as Marinette's embrace could.

Those big blue eyes which he'd hopelessly fallen into and become so, so lost stared up at him with such fondness that Adrien could barely resist the urge to kiss her again right then and there. He knew she wouldn't refuse—he hoped, at least—so there was really no harm in cupping her cheek with one of his hands, or stroking said cheek (which was so warm) with his thumb. She leaned in to his touch, coaxing a soft sigh from his lips. He avoided becoming too touchy with her head, knowing she was still experiencing headaches and not wanting to cause her any sort of discomfort.

His only desire was to make her happy.

And God, seeing her happy made everything else in his life worth it.

The frequent fights with his father weren't strong enough to deplete the joy that fluttered within his stomach at the sight of those freckles, and the gnawing feeling of hunger that kept him awake at night wouldn't cause any sort of depression while wrapped within the embrace of female arms.

Marinette was one of the two girls who he'd give up anything for.

To him, she was worth everything.

Getting out of bed after a night of no sleep just to see her face? Worth it.

Staying awake after she'd fallen asleep to listen to her contented breathing? Worth it.

Facing the disappointment of his cold and neglective father after spending the day with a girl instead of focusing on studies?

...Worth it.

Adrien would walk through hell and back before he let his father take away one of the only things that made him happy.

It seemed girls with black hair and pigtails were his own personal drug and it was an addiction he wasn't willing to give up.


He hadn't realized he'd closed his eyes. "Mari?"

She smiled once she'd recaptured his gaze. "Lunch break is almost over, but…"

"But," Marinette had no need to voice her request; he knew exactly what she wanted, and who was he to deprive a lady of her wishes? "You want me to stay."

"It's okay if you can't," She rushed to add, "I know you have classes and it's wrong of me to ask you to skip, and I know you really like physics and I know that's your next class but I-"

His laughter silenced her nervous rambling. She frowned (if only for a moment) before breaking into her own fit of giggles, the sound like heavenly chimes to Adrien's needy heart. That laugh, that adorably sweet laugh was everything he lived for and more. That laugh could cure sick puppies and bring a smile to even the saddest of faces.

Having a sad face of his own (although mostly internal), Marinette's laughter was all he needed to make everything feel right.

He wanted to stay. Honest to God, there was nothing more Adrien wanted than to say "fuck school, my girl needs me" before sinking into the mattress with Marinette next to him. It's not like he hadn't skipped classes before; as Chat Noir, skipping school was part of the job.

He wanted to. Hell, he needed to. After the rough morning he'd had, nothing could make him feel more at home than a good nap with Marinette—his Marinette—before he had to return to the cold and unforgiving catacombs of his prison-like home.

But, if he did stay…

That meant another fight with his father. Another exhausting and useless argument that would sure enough lead to Adrien running off as Chat Noir instead of facing his problems. He'd stay out until Ladybug met him for patrol, and then he'd stay out even longer after that, stalking the roofs of Paris like they were his own personal playground that he could use for his entertainment until the break of dawn. Even the starless night sky was a better roof over his head than the fancy (fake) Agreste mansion.

There'd been days when he loved being home. There'd been days where he couldn't wait to walk through the intimidating front doors to see his family.

God, how he missed his mother. His family had once been a blissful three, his parents that of which Adrien absolutely couldn't wait to come home to after spending a day away. He'd always wait with excitement over bedtime, because that was when his mother would sing to him—lullabies—songs she'd known by heart or songs she'd put together in the spur of the moment. She'd finish her song with a delicate kiss to his forehead and a soft "I love you" before switching on his nightlight and leaving the door open just a crack, only for his own personal comfort (or in case he had a nightmare and needed to run to his parents' bed.)

As a child, it had all been so much easier. He needn't worry about modelling, his body shape, his calorie intake. There hadn't been a concern for spending the day productively and there surely hadn't been any repercussions for spending the day with a girl.

(Even if the girl at the time had been his mother.)

Adrien knew he and his father had never been close, or at least as close as he and his mother were—but at one point, he had been different; less cold and unfeeling. His father smiled. He laughed. He loved.

The day his mother left and never came home, well…

It was the day Adrien had lost both of his parents.


Adrien's eyes snapped to the concerned blue that gazed upon him sadly. "Oh, um… What did you say?"

Marinette's pink lips curved downwards into a frown. "I asked if… You were okay…"

"Oh!" He forced a smile, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. How long did I zone out there? "Y-yeah, I'm fine, Marinette. Sorry about that. I just… Got distracted."

"Do you want to tell me what's been bugging you?"

The question surprised him; was it that clear he'd been depressed?

A nervous chuckle rose from his throat. "Uh… W-what do you mean, Mari? I'm okay! I'm fine."

The expression she gave him made it all too obvious that he was a terrible liar.

"Remember how I said I'm here to listen?" Her hand found his underneath the blanket, entwining their fingers in a hold so gentle, so caring. "Well, I'm ready to do some listening if you want to do some telling."

Adrien sighed, giving her hand an assuring squeeze as his thumb stroked her knuckles in slow circles. "I don't know, Marinette. I don't think I'm ready to do the telling yet. I just want to forget about it for a little while."

"Well…" She nibbled on her bottom lip in thought. "Alright… But, like I said, I'm here for you, okay? Don't forget that."

Adrien nodded, giving his friend—whatever the hell she was now—a small smile. A smile that needed no words attached to it. A smile that said "thank you" well enough on its own.

"You know," His voice took on a quiet tone as he felt her fingers threading through his hair in what he assumed was a comforting motion. If she hadn't meant it to be, it sure as heck was anyways. It was a miracle a purr didn't start rumbling up from his throat. "I think laying in bed sounds far better than going back to school, no matter how tempting physics formulas are to me. You know what else sounds good?"

Bluebells met grassy fields. "Hm?"

"Taking a nap," He sighed. "Oh, and guess what else sounds really good right now?"

Marinette giggled in response. "What?"

Adrien met her giggle with a fond smile. "Being snuggled. If only there was someone next to me, like, I dunno, a girl, that could-"

Arms around his waist and a face pressed into his chest finished his sentence for him.

"Anything else?" Marinette inquired, a shy (yet absolutely endearing) grin upon her face.

Adrien wanted to ask for some kisses.

Would that be wrong of him, he wondered? To ask the girl he'd already kissed once for another kiss? Perhaps a third?

With the way she was looking at him, he was sure it'd be perfectly okay, but…

There was always an apprehensive side to his thoughts; a good end and a bad end, both of which were equally plausible.

Well, Adrien thought with a mental fuck-it, might as well be brave and go for it. She can always just say no, right?

"There is one more thing I would like," He began with a nervous smile, "but it's not a necessity."

Marinette's blinking blue gaze prompted him to continue. "Anything."


She nodded, but not without wincing slightly; concussions don't just go away with love and affection.

"Well…" He sighed with a pause—for dramatic effect, of course. "Kisses would be nice."

The astounded blush that covered Marinette's freckled cheeks made Adrien's grin falter.

Okay, he mused as he fell into a pool of embarrassment. Maybe asking for a kiss wasn't the right thing to-

Soft was the only word to come to mind as Adrien's eyes snapped open from the contact of her lips upon his own.

Well, that was surely unexpected.

Who knew that nervous, awkward little Marinette could be the one to initiate a kiss. With him, of all people!

It didn't last as long as he would have liked; he'd not even been given a chance to wrap his arms around her frame or even kiss her back before she pulled away in a fit of excited little giggles.

"So you wanted to kiss me," She snorted through her miniature fit of laughter, "but when I kiss you, you don't even kiss back?"

"You surprised me!"

"Sorry," She breathed, pushing a loose strand of silky black hair behind her ear as her laughter refused to subside. "I thought that's what you were waiting for."

Adrien's surprised grin was replaced by a smirk. "Well, I'm waiting for it now."

And then she squeaked, covering the lower half of her face with a shield of pink blanket. The blush that never seemed to fade from her cheeks when she was in his presence grew redder while his grin only stretched.




"Marinette," He chuckled, scooting closer (if it was possible to get any closer to this girl) with an innocently longing expression. "You know very well I can't kiss you if your lips are covered."

"Howdoyouevenfeelaboutme?" She blurted out in a sentence so jumbled that it was practically incoherent.

"I- huh?"

Marinette took a deep breath before blowing it slowly from her lips. "I want to kiss you again and I know you want to kiss me but I was justwonderinghowyou-"

"Slow down, Mari," He whispered, resting a reassuring hand on her shoulder—her bare shoulder. "What did you say?"

She swallowed, pulling the blanket down from her mouth and wringing it within her hands anxiously. "What I'm trying to say, is… Is that… If we're going to continue this-"


"Us?" She offered with an awkward frown.


Adrien liked the sound of that.

No, he loved the sound of that.

"Us," He breathed, smiling fondly as the word fell from his lips. It felt so right. "Yeah, us."

His hand found her own again, the feel of her tiny fingers sliding between his own like no other. Holding hands with Ladybug had always been something, but this… This was everything.

He wasn't holding her hand because he was uselessly flirting or because they needed to haul each other out of danger; no, holding Marinette's hand was simply holding her hand, and there was nothing else in the world that could feel more perfect. Innocent, skin-on-skin handholding.

"Well…" Marinette breathed, "before us, I want… I want to know how you feel about me?"

"Is that a question or a request?"

He laughed as Marinette gave him a gentle tap.

"A request."

"Well if you're going to abuse me-"

Marinette snorted. "Is that your definition of abuse? A light tap on the shoulder?"

"Oh, but it hurts, Marinette," Adrien smirked as she looked up at him with an amused grin. If there wasn't anything in his power to rid her painful headaches, the least he could do was make her smile. "I think we need to get a divorce."

"Since when are we married?" The excited little giggle that slipped from her lips (which she tried to hide by clearing her throat) hadn't gone unnoticed.

"Since two seconds ago," He replied with a soft laugh, "I can't believe you forgot that quickly. I'm hurt, truly."

"Well, I am concussed."

"Fair point."

After a brief laugh, a silence fell between them, but not an uncomfortable one. Eyes closed, they lay in a content quietude, fingers laced together loosely if only so they could be touching one another without having their entire bodies tangled. They weren't speaking because mostly, there was nothing they could think of to say. Although there was plenty they could be talking about, they simply weren't.

Adrien wasn't sure whether or not it was a good thing.

Sure, they were happy, smiling like two idiots who had just made love for the first time—even though they'd done nothing but share a quick kiss. Yet, Adrien couldn't help but feel like they'd done more—he wanted more—more kisses, more touching, more attention.

He'd never considered himself much of an attention whore, but from Marinette, attention was all he desired. Marinette happened to be the only person right to tend to his craving for affections.

(Besides, the affection he craved could only be given by her exclusively. It's not like he would willingly accept kisses from just any girl.)

A peaceful sigh from his left and soft breath upon his face made Adrien's eyes blink open, meeting the sight of sparkling blue. He knew he could stare into those eyes for ages and still find something breathtakingly new about them; whether it be the flecks of stardust that floated near her pupils or the way when sunlight hit those blues just right, they seemed to glow as if they held galaxies, entirely new worlds within their azure flame.

And when she blinked and oh, when she smiled, it was absolutely heart-stopping.

"You know," Marinette began softly, her voice taking on a sleepy tone as she picked at the blanket mindlessly. "You never did answer my question."

Adrien grinned. "And you never let me kiss you back."

Marinette narrowed her eyes just a bit (as if to hide to blush that worked its way up her neck to her cheeks) and gave a small, shy smile. A smile that Adrien hoped she'd bid him permission to meet with his own.

Was kissing possible if both people were smiling?

Adrien figured he'd find out soon enough.

"Okay," Marinette said quietly, her hand squeezing his own larger one. "Let's make a deal, then."

"A deal? Ooh."

She giggled. "A deal. I let you kiss me-"

"I already like where this is going."

Another giggle, a little more nervous than the previous, met his response. She sighed before she continued. "I let you kiss me... And then you have to tell me how you feel about me. Deal?"

"You say that as if you don't already have a pretty good idea," Adrien chuckled, giving his friend (possible girlfriend within the next few moments) an affectionate smile.

Marinette hummed in response, her free hand curling around the end of the blanket in anticipation. "W-well… M-maybe I just want to hear you say it."

"Remember the deal?" He gave her nose a tiny boop with his finger, unable to hide the excited grin that practically cracked his face. "If you want to know, you'll have to kiss me first."



"Sooo…" Her gaze shifted away nervously, fingers squeezing the blanket and leaving little wrinkles in the fabric.

What happened to all that confidence, Marinette?

Instead of pouncing on each other and kissing the oxygen out of their bodies like part of him had regretfully expected, they lay there, wrapped up within Marinette's comforter in silence. Their eyes were wide and locked on each others, unblinking and bodies unmoving.

Until, that is, Adrien burst into laughter.

The awkwardness that had rose for a brief moment faded, leaving a pair of giggling, blushing teenagers in its place. They'd both been so ready to become lost in a world where their lips were a haven and yet, neither had moved a single muscle when the opportunity came to greet them. Instead, they laughed. They laughed and laughed and laughed until Adrien swore he'd break his ribs if he dared let another chortle escape his mouth.

If there was a definition for awkward puppy love, they'd surely take the title.

Adrien had no problem being the initiator if Marinette's lack self-assurance in the moment was hindering her. Sure, he felt a little shy, too, but it wouldn't stop him from pressing his lips against those as soft as silk. Especially when he'd been given explicit permission.

"So," He whispered once he'd caught his breath, placing his free hand upon her cheek while the other gave hers that was wrapped within his own an adoring squeeze. "I will."

Not a word came from his classmate, but her smile said enough.

Their noses bumped at first—neither of them were really used to the whole "kissing" thing—yet when their lips connected for the third time, Adrien felt himself melting into nothing but a blushing liquid within Marinette's palms. His eyes fluttered to a close and his heart danced with the butterflies that flitted up from his stomach, beating a fantastic frenzy. The feeling of pure joy that sparked from his fingertips and down to his feet was just as amazing at the first kiss they'd shared.

Magical, wonderful, outstanding was Marinette's lips. It felt so great just to merely kiss her that he couldn't imagine the possibility of doing this on a daily basis; had kisses always felt this nice?

He wouldn't know. He'd barely kissed anyone—and no, he did not want to think about Chloe's childhood kisses while he was in the middle of molding his lips against her rival's.

Kissing Marinette was the sun, bright and cheery and warm. The moment he pressed his lips against her own was when he'd been met with the same feeling that enveloped his body when he stepped outside into a heated patch of sunshine after spending the day in a cold room. His skin tingled, his head buzzed, and his veins flowed with pure affection for this girl, this amazing, perfect (amazing!) girl.

Neither wanted the moment to end.

Neither made a move for it to end.

Instead, as Marinette granted him permission to place his hands upon her waist, it deepened, their faces turning for better access to each other's lips. Their movement became less innocent, verging on needy or perhaps even desperate. Adrien felt lost for a brief moment, unsure of how else to move or where else to touch—after all, what does a guy do when a girl lets him kiss her like that and touch her waist when- okay wow her shirt is definitely riding up and I think she knows that and she isn't fixing it and she's totally got a leg wrapped around mine okay wow what the hell am I supposed to do now?!

Reluctantly, he pulled away to give her a hesitant glance, curious and even a little frightened; in no way at all had he any intentions to make her or himself uncomfortable, and if he'd done so, he'd want to stop before it went any further.

A soft whine came from her freshly-kissed lips, blue eyes blinking open. "Wh-... Why'd you stop?"

"Um," He breathed, catching his breath. "Th-that was- it- it was…"

A look of guilt flashed upon Marinette's face as her gaze shifted from his. "Too much?"

He nodded. "It's alright. It wasn't bad, just… Took me by surprise."

"Sorry. I'm not… I'm not thinking straight." Although her tone was apologetic, the smile across her face said otherwise—Adrien knew there was nothing but giddy excitement bubbling within her body at the moment because when it came down to it, he felt the same.

Even if the kiss had developed into something he hadn't initially anticipated, he couldn't help but want to kiss like that again. To feel the fiery blaze of her lips, to succumb to the flames which licked his insides and to completely fall deeper, as the kiss had, into love with this girl.

Was it love?

Adrien didn't know.

What he did know, however, was how badly his lips tingled in want for hers.

"Don't apologize," He said with a glance to her mouth. "Just because it was surprising doesn't mean I didn't like it."

"Y-you liked it," She breathed, her fingers brushing across his knuckles in a silent plea for him to take her hand. He obliged. "I-I uh, um… I did too."

"That's good."

"Y-yeah. Good."


A small laughter rose from between them once more, and although quieter, not at all any less gleeful. It was comfortable, safe, and Adrien couldn't feel any more content. He'd just kissed Marinette. Marinette had definitely kissed him back.

And holy shit, had she kissed him back!

A warmth at his side made his gaze flick downward to the petite girl who curled up against him, her head finding his arm to be a perfect pillow. Face scrunched as if her headache had returned with a vengeance, Marinette sighed, nuzzling into the black cloth of his T-shirt. Adrien frowned, a twinge of guilt passing over him in a light wave—they'd been stupid to talk so much and laugh as often as they had, especially when Marinette was dealing with a concussion.

Hopefully, with their kissing and bantering, they hadn't made it worse. Even kissing her wouldn't be worth worsening her condition.

Seeing her pained felt like a stab in his heart. Marinette was too sweet, too wonderful of a person to ever be in pain; if it was Adrien's choice, he'd switch their predicaments in a heartbeat.

...Well, the idea of Marinette starving herself wasn't exactly a comforting thought, either.

They could always suffer together.

"You should go back to sleep," Adrien whispered, wrapping his arms around her waist as she buried her head into his neck and whimpered. "You'll feel better."

He didn't know when she'd fallen asleep, or when he had, too—all Adrien knew was that one moment he was awake, and the next, he was being awoken by the sound of the trapdoor clicking shut.

He cursed himself for being a light sleeper.

"Mari?" A voice called out softly—a voice he knew belonged to none other than Alya. "Mari, hey, are you awake?"

Adrien was surprised Alya could talk that quietly.

"Shh," He whispered, not wanting her to wake the sleeping angel. "She's asleep."

A head popped up from behind the mattress, golden eyes blinking knowingly at the sight displayed before her. An excited (and seemingly proud) smile spread across Alya's face, her gaze lit up with joy. Who knew why Alya was so excited to see them lying together—maybe she'd been rooting for them to date all along?

Adrien scoffed in his mind. Are we even dating?

Unfortunately, they'd both fallen asleep before they could answer that question. Adrien knew what he wanted, perhaps even knew what Marinette wanted; but if they didn't say it out loud, could it be considered official?

He'd ask her tomorrow. Or, the next day, or whenever he was provided with time—his schedule wasn't exactly becoming lighter.

"Has she been asleep this whole time?" Alya breathed, her voice as quiet as it could be to be heard.

Adrien shook his head. "Fell asleep… Sometime during the lunch break. That's when I came over, at least. She latched onto me so I couldn't leave." A quiet chuckle passed his lips. "Not that I wanted to, anyways."

Marinette stirred, so he quickly shut his mouth.

A brief moment of waiting before he confirmed that no, she's still asleep.

"Is she okay? I brought stuff for her. I came by to visit for a little while but it looks like she's still recovering with sleep." Holding up a (rather large) pink gift bag with white polka dots and overflowing tissue paper covered in glitter, Alya sighed, gazing at her best friend with a sympathetic smile. "Do you think she'll wake up anytime soon?"

"No telling." Frowning, Adrien tucked a loose strand of her unbrushed hair behind her ear, letting his finger glide along her cheek and jaw as he did so. She looked so peaceful, so content—he knew it'd be even more unfortunate to wake her a second time.


He couldn't stay with her all night. If he didn't make an appearance at home, his father certainly wouldn't be pleased. No matter how badly he desired to avoid the mansion, to avoid fighting with his father, to avoid almost every aspect in his life altogether, he couldn't stay away forever. It was time to face those dragons and slay them, no matter how bloody of a battle it ended up becoming.

"What time is it?" He whispered to Alya, who had somehow with ninja stealth crawled onto the mattress and even placed the bag there. It was a little cramped, but Marinette was small; they all fit without disturbing the slumbering little bug.

Alya glanced at her phone. "Just past six."

Adrien sighed, feeling his heart sink with the mention of the time. He hadn't expected to sleep that long. Reluctantly, he needed to say his goodbyes, even if all he wanted to do was lay unmoving next to his (girl)friend all night.

His bed would be cold without the familiar feeling of another body pressed up against his own.

"I guess I should wake her," He spoke quietly, lips curling downward into a saddened frown. Leaving Marinette for home definitely was not the preferred option, but at the moment it really was the only option, no matter how much it pained him to know so.

"She's a heavy sleeper," Alya whispered back, setting her phone in her lap as she gazed at her napping friend. "You could probably slip out and she wouldn't even notice."

"...Yeah," He agreed, cupping Marinette's freckled cheek with his hand. Even in sleep, she was so, so warm. It nearly brought a smile to his face. "But… I want to say goodbye."

"Oh, then, by all means."

Waking Marinette hadn't been hard. A few whispers of her name (with some nicknames he'd made up on the spot that he was definitely keeping for later) was all it took, and those babyblues popped open like a shining star.

"Adrien," She whispered groggily, clearly unhappy with being awoken for the second time that afternoon.

"Shh," Adrien pressed a finger to her lips. "Rest. I'm just saying goodbye."

"What? No-"

"Alya's here," He offered, shooting the redhead a smile. "She brought feel-better gifts. Goodies for you."

"I did," Alya chimed in, messing with the tissue paper to make it rustle in teasing. "And you can't have any of it unless you let go of Adrien."

"Not that I want you to," He rushed to add, "it's just that if I don't go, my dad, he'll-"

"I know," Marinette sighed, nuzzling her face against the warmth of his neck. Her lips on his skin made his body freeze. "He'll be grumpy. It's okay."

Had she- had she just kissed his neck?

Holy shit, Marinette just kissed my neck. Had she meant to do that? Should I do it back? Wait, no, Alya's here- damn. Alya's here. I can't kiss Mari goodbye.

Marinette, however, seemed to have no qualms about kissing him in front of her best friend. She'd pressed her lips upon his in a quick goodbye peck, the pads of her fingers tracing along his cheek. It was nothing more than a mere second, less even, but still Adrien felt those wonderfully electric sparks shoot up to his brain like nothing else could allow.

Marinette Dupain-Cheng, the girl who most boys (and even girls) fell for, had chosen him of all people; Adrien Agreste, the thin, depressed model who put on a fake smile daily only to appease his father and hundreds of fans. She could have any boy she wanted, any girl if she so chose—yet she'd plucked him from a crowd of suitors and kissed him like she had never wanted anyone else.

Maybe she hadn't ever wanted anyone else.

God, how he adored her.

"I'll come back," He told her, ignoring the smug grin that stretched across Alya's face. "Feel better, okay?"

Marinette smiled, her expression tired yet touched. "I'll try."

With a final goodbye to Alya and Marinette's parents, Adrien exited the bakery, finding no comfort in the warmth of summer sunlight that streamed onto his pale skin. It would never bring as cozy of a feeling as Marinette did.

He took the scenic route home. It was dark by the time he stood in front of the gate of the mansion and rung for Nathalie.

Hands in his pockets, he entered through the large front doors with his gaze glued to the marble flooring. He didn't dare look up—who knew who would be standing there, waiting to scold him as if he was a little child who had run off in the supermarket and gotten lost.

Upon making it to the stairs, Adrien finally allowed himself to glance upwards—only to be met with the depressing portrait that hung above the first flight.

The day his father had taken down the previous portrait of their whole family was when everything had begun to fall apart. Their situation had only worsened since.

Adrien made it to the door of his bedroom before he heard the aloof voice he'd so desperately been trying to avoid, chilled and solid. His shoulders visibly tensed, teeth gritting. Almost made it.

"Adrien," His father sighed, "it's late."

"I know," Adrien responded, refusing to turn and face him. "I was- ...busy."

"Busy," His father hummed, as if actually considering his words. "Hm. What were you doing that was so important?"

As if he had to answer that. His father knew where he was; he'd made that obvious when he'd told Adrien that his phone was tracked. "Do I have to answer that?"

A second sigh. "I wish you'd pay more attention to the important things in life. I only want the best for you, Adrien, and this isn't-"

"You know," Adrien straightened, turning his head just slightly to catch the eye of his father standing below him. "I don't really care what you think is best for me. I'm going to bed."

He didn't give his father a chance to reply.

Shutting the door behind him, Adrien sighed, leaning against the wall with clenched fists. His fingernails dug into his palms from how tightly his fingers pressed into his skin. The fact that he was trembling didn't help ease the pain he felt physically nor emotionally—a human being was notsupposed to feel that much hurt, especially a teenager!

"That could have gone better," Came the flat tone of his Kwami, who flitted out from his pocket with crossed arms and twitching whiskers. "You're so tense around him. Why don't you just tell him to go to Hell and get it over with?"

"Because I have more respect than you, Plagg," Adrien retorted, walking to his bedroom window and pushing it open without even bothering to switch on the light. "Come on. We're late for patrol."

"I didn't see Ladybug out there," Plagg meowed as he sat atop his Chosen's shoulder, two pairs of green eyes gazing out the window in longing. "But if you just want to go see Marinette again-"

"Not tonight." Adrien pressed his forehead against the glass. "She needs to sleep."

Plagg sighed, his tail curling. "You just need to get your mind off of all that bad stuff and eat some food."

Shaking his head, Adrien frowned, feeling the weight of simply being underneath the roof of the Agreste mansion too heavy and practically unbearable. "Let's go patrolling."

Plagg was right. Upon arriving at Notre Dame, Ladybug was nowhere to be seen—whether she'd finished patrol early or simply hadn't come out, Adrien didn't know. A part of him felt his heart sink from the thought of patrolling alone.

"Alone" was just how things usually were. He was used to it.

He hadn't stayed out long. An hour of patrolling was spent surveying as much of the city he could without exhausting himself and that was it.

There'd been no appearance from Ladybug. Adrien recalled that she'd been injured as well. She was probably home in bed just like Marinette was.

He hoped they'd both get better soon.

Hopping back in through his bedroom window caused a cold chill to run down Adrien's spine. His room was pitch black as he'd left it, and he thanked his night vision for locating the switch on the wall that illuminated the room in white lighting. Superficial sights greeted him, all old and familiar but none in a good way. Same old trophies, same old posters, same old expensive items and games that his father thought could fix his unhappiness.

He didn't bother checking his computer or phone for messages. After a shortened patrol without so much more than a few strawberries from breakfast in his stomach, Adrien was absolutely exhausted. By the time he flopped into bed, he'd neglected to turn out the light, change, or even brush his teeth, much less destransform. He willed Plagg to leave the ring silently, watching with a dull expression as the miniature cat spun out and landed atop his pillow.

Plagg said nothing, his ears drooping as he looked to Adrien sadly.

Adrien, noticing his somber expression, reached over and scratched under his chin with his finger, smiling weakly as the Kwami leaned into his touch and nuzzled his head against his knuckle. He reminded himself that all living things need positive attention, including a Kwami who pretended to hate any sort of it.

Plagg may be a sarcastic, lazy asshole, Adrien chuckled in thought, allowing the tiny god to curl up next to his head. But he sure does have his soft spots.

It was true—Plagg was the type to tease and poke fun, but when it came down to someone (his current Chat Noir, of course) needing comfort, the Kwami would soften up and tone down the sarcasm, if only for an hour or two.

Eyes drooping, Adrien sighed, doing his best to ignore the gnawing feeling of hunger that pulled at his stomach and caused a sickly nauseous feeling to rise in his throat. At least laying down made it bearable, but it was still quite uncomfortable.

The room's lighting was a difficulty to relax in, but the weariness that weighed on his bones was stronger than any disturbance that could possibly keep him awake. As a final breath left his body, Adrien frowned, feeling the fuzzy body of Plagg pressing into his neck as the faint sound of his purring lulled him to sleep.

"Better days are coming, kid," Said the Kwami, "just you wait and see."

Truthful Scars

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

Part 13 of 21

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