Continuing Tales

Truthful Scars

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

Part 17 of 21

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"That was so embarrassing," Marinette sighed as she slumped into her desk chair, gazing mindlessly at the ceiling with cheeks as red as rose. "I can't believe I just had to sit through that."

Tikki's tinkly laugh came from above her, her little scarlet body floating around Marinette's head. "I'm so sorry, Marinette. But, you must know that all parents have to talk about those kind of things with their children."

"I know," Groaned the red-faced teen, slapping a palm to her forehead. "But sitting next to my mom at the dinner table while she talked to me about condoms and birth control made it a little hard to swallow my food."

"At least your dad was downstairs," The kwami said, patting her chosen's head comfortingly.

"I think I would have keeled over if he'd been sitting up there while we had that conversation."

Another laugh slipped from Tikki as she sat upon Marinette's shoulder, her voice soft and kind. "This wouldn't of happened if you and Adrien hadn't-"

"I know." Grabbing her backpack from where she'd left it on the floor, Marinette pulled out her make-up assignments and tablet, figuring that getting some progress on schoolwork done would help ease her mind a little. "I don't think I'm ever going to not be embarrassed when that kind of stuff comes up."

"Stuff" being a conversation with her mother about whether or not she and Adrien were being safe—as if they were actually doing more than just kissing. The discussion of different types of birth control and when it's appropriate or not to have sex wasn't what Marinette signed up for! She didn't want to talk about that!

Having to assure her mother that she was a virgin (no matter how many times Sabine insisted that it was okay if she was doing that with Adrien) became number one on her list of "Most Embarrassing Things That Have Ever Happened to Marinette Dupain-Cheng."

She hadn't even thought of Adrien in that way yet—and the images in her mind now that she was thinking about the possibility of them being that way someday were all the more blush-inducing.

"I feel like I want to crawl into a hole and hide forever," She said to her kwami as she plucked a pencil from her drawer of art supplies.

"It's okay, Marinette." With a warm smile, Tikki grabbed one of the cookies Marinette had smuggled from downstairs and began to nibble on it. "Your mom is only trying to be a good parent."

"I guess." Her bangs blew from her forehead as she exhaled in frustration. "Now I have too much on my mind."

"Like Chat Noir?"

Marinette nodded, letting her head thump to her desk. "Yeeees," She groaned in a muffled voice, stomach flipping and flopping in an uncomfortably nervous fashion. "I haven't been able to stop thinking about that, either."

Tikki's blue eyes blinked thoughtfully as she took another bite of her cookie. "Are you certain it's him?"

"Almost positive," Marinette sighed. "I don't know, I can just… Feel it. Like it's instinct telling me, or something."

"Well," Said Tikki, "what makes you so sure?"

With a hopeless shrug, Marinette sat up and scribbled her name onto her paper, feeling motivated to at least get some work done. Moping around in a cloud of confusion and mixed feelings would do nothing good for her grades.

"The nickname, for one," She said as she accidentally pressed too hard on her paper and broke the lead of her pencil. "And the hair."

"That's all?"

Marinette shook her head, wiping the broken piece of lead to the floor like a responsible artist. "Chat Noir also began calling me Mari the same time Adrien did."

Tikki opened her mouth to speak, but her chosen hadn't finished.

"And," Marinette continued, "Chat knew that I had hit my head without me even telling him, and I doubt he actually saw it happen."

Just as she'd sharpened her pencil, the lead snapped once more.

She grunted in agitation, letting a few curses stew in her thoughts. "Also, Chat Noir leaned in to kiss me as if he was comfortable with it, like we'd done it before, or something-" Her hand reached for the pencil sharpener. "-like we'd just been kissing the day before and he'd come back for more."

"Marinette," Tikki warned. "You're stressing."

"And," She continued without pause. "Adrien seemed like he was hiding something when he was telling me about his summer trip earlier today." Were the words on her paper moving? "And, Chat Noir said he had bad news for Ladybug. Bad news being a summer trip!"


"I don't know!" Whined Marinette, throwing her hands into the air. "I'm probably just overthinking. It was just a hair and a nickname!"

"It's okay, Marinette," The spotted kwami said in a sweet tone, flitting up to sit on the worksheet. "You're okay."

"Yeah, I'm fine." A long, exasperated sigh fell from Marinette's lips as she leaned back in her chair, pressing the back of her hand to her forehead. "God, I have a headache."

"Do you want me to leave you alone for a little while to work on your homework?" Tikki asked, her voice full of care.

Marinette smiled appreciatively at her kwami, knowing very well the real reason the tiny goddess offered to leave her alone was so that she could clear her mind and not think about Adrien—Chat Noir—whoever he was. "Thank you, Tikki."

With a tiny nod, Tikki planted a friendly kiss atop Marinette's forehead before zipping up to her loft, settling on the bed with a cookie in her mouth.

At least Marinette could have some quiet time to attempt to think of something else; something less confusing to her heart.

Resting her head on her arms, she sighed, closing her eyes for just a moment to ease her pounding headache—but all she could see was green.

Green, green eyes that burned into her very soul.

Pressing her hands to her face in frustration, Marinette sat up, annoyed with herself for being unable to think of anything else besides him.

Stupid boys, distracting her from her schoolwork!

She needed to work, not become consumed by images of green eyes or the thought of Adrien being her Chat Noir, her best friend, her partner, the boy she'd refused to acknowledge her feelings for and been in love with at the same time.

Yet, consumed she was.

She thought of him as she read through literature passages on her tablet.

She thought of him as she watched her clock turn from six to six-thirty.

She thought of him as she wiped the pencil shavings into the trash.

Even as she answered physics questions on her paper, her mind wandered elsewhere, swimming with green eyes, blond hair, white teeth and soft lips.

Was this particle physics or a foreign language?

Adrien would know the answers to these problems.

"Damn it," Marinette hissed as the lead of her pencil snapped in half for the third time that evening. "Focus."

Her make-up work sat unfinished, a ghostly white sheet atop her cluttered desk. Between her fingers she held her wooden pencil, chewed and much smaller in length than it had been when she'd first began the assignments. Too many things on her mind kept her hands heavy with stress and caused her to press harder on the paper than needed, leaving her pencil in a pathetic state and her worksheet spotted with dark smudges.

Heaving a heavy sigh, Marinette grabbed the tiny metal sharpener from its place by her art supplies and aggressively spun her pencil inside, watching as the shavings fell to her paper in a miniature pile of ringlets. A dusting of graphite coated a spot of white, which she blew into the air after pushing the wooden shavings to the side.

No matter how many times her eyes scanned the words written on her paper or how often she attempted to read over the assigned passages on her tablet, Marinette's mind was a spinning mess that could barely concentrate on anything else besides the certain nickname that Adrien happened to call her that afternoon.

She couldn't focus. It was impossible.

Her schoolwork would never get done.

If she hadn't been concussed by that stupid furry beast then she wouldn't have missed school and therefore wouldn't have any work to make up at the moment. Yet, life happens, and being a superhero isn't all fun and games. She and Chat couldn't go their entire lives protecting Paris without suffering and injury or two.

Marinette vowed she would sit at her desk until dawn if need be. Schoolwork required more attention than the fact that she may or may not be interested in dating Chat Noir.

Stop it, she scolded herself, letting a groan of frustration pass her lips. It was a simple coincidence! Lots of guys call their girlfriends "princess."

Yet lots of guys didn't have eyes as green as summer pastures or a butt that would look great in black spandex.

...I'm awful.

She flinched as a loud snap caught her attention. Looking down, Marinette sighed at the remnants of a pencil between her fingertips, sharpened down to a nub and the lead broken beyond repair.

She'd need something else to write with.

Voicing a complaint that was more of a muffled curse, Marinette tossed the pathetic utensil in the trash and instead went for a pen, scribbling on the corner of her paper to test out the ink. It still worked—at least something was going right that day.

Still, it was a little difficult to write with trembling fingers.

"Marinette?" Tikki's concerned voice floated down from the loft. "Are you doing okay?"

Marinette nodded, but quickly replaced it with a shake of her head as she continued to draw thin blue lines on her paper. "I don't know, Tikki. I'm really confused."

"About Adrien still?"

She nodded once more.

A tiny sigh could be heard as her kwami flitted down to her desk, perched next to the shavings of pencil her chosen had yet to dump into the trashcan. Marinette glanced up for a brief moment before going back to her mindless scribbling, soaking the little corner of her worksheet with blue ink and nearly tearing through the paper. It was all she could focus on at the moment.

"Talk to me, Marinette," Tikki began, her voice encouragingly soft. "Forget the homework for a moment. What are you thinking?"

"Um…" Truth be told, Marinette wasn't entirely sure what she was thinking. Ever since she and Adrien returned to school from their lunch break, her mind had been nothing but a mess of incoherent thoughts.

Some were simple commands, like "breathe" and "focus," but others were more insistent, urging her to call up her stupid blond not-boyfriend and get him to admit to her himself that yes, he's Chat Noir, he's the one that's been visiting her room for the past few weeks and he's the one who tried to kiss her right after she'd told him she was in love with somebody else.

(That person being him.)

She nibbled on the back of her pen nervously, unable to conjure up an appropriate response to her kwami's question. The more she worried, the harder her teeth bit at the plastic.

"How do you feel?" Tikki asked as she blinked up at her with a deep blue gaze, her expression calm and caring.

"I feel…" Marinette sighed, setting her pen atop her desk and pinching the bridge of her nose to rid the cloud of thoughts that buzzed within her brain. "I feel weird. I feel like I know the secret to the universe yet I can't tell anyone I know that. I feel heavy, yet… happy? Is that possible?"

The kwami nodded, antenna bouncing with the moment of her head. "It's understandable. You discovered something you never thought you would."

"I think I have, at least." Marinette resumed to chewing her pen, letting her worries slip into the grooves that now decorated the plastic. "I don't know if I have or not. I mean, it was just a hairstyle and a nickname, it could be just pure coincidence. Right?"

Tikki shrugged. "What about the other similarities?'

"I don't know," Groaned Marinette, letting her forehead plummet to the surface of her desk. Ouch.

What about the other similarities?

Surely, if the only signs that pointed to Adrien being Chat Noir were messy hair and a nickname, then it was merely a coincidence.

But those weren't the only signs. There had been more, plenty more that flooded her brain with memories she'd once thought nothing of and brushed off like a piece of fuzz on a blanket. They weren't just insignificant little details that she recalled in passing, they were everything she should have kept track of since she and Adrien first became close. Once forgotten, they'd now returned—with a vengeance.

Marinette's heart was beginning to beat like a caged bird within her chest. "Oh, fuck," She hissed, slapping a palm to her forehead. "I've been so stupid!"

Tikki blinked up at her chosen, rising into the air with a chirp. "What do you mean, Marinette?"

It was so obvious! All the little signs, the things he'd said—it all made sense now! How had she not noticed before?

Chat Noir and Adrien had so much in common that there was no way they weren't the same person!

Marinette's throat suddenly became very dry.

She and Chat Noir went to the same school. Chat Noir was the same age as her. Chat Noir's birthday just happened to be in September, the same month as Adrien's.

That couldn't be a coincidence, could it?

Neither could the fact that during their first date, the only other blond boy in the ice cream parlor that was Chat Noir's age had been Adrien. Which made sense, considering that Chat had mentioned being on a date with a girl—that girl being her.

No wonder Adrien had been outside of the parlor after the akuma attack! He'd just gotten done fighting the akuma with her!

"Holy shit!" Marinette exclaimed, pulling at her pigtails in realization. "How have I been so dumb?"

It was almost like Adrien had drawn it out on a piece of paper for her, or written it in a stupid note that he most definitely was-

She froze up as a thought passed her mind.

Oh my god.

The note!

Standing abruptly, Marinette walked to the pink drawers on her desk and thrust one open, pulling out the note Chat Noir had left her on the first morning he'd slipped out at dawn. Her eyes scanned the paper, inspecting the way his perfectly neat handwriting decorated the page in black ink, the Y's looped in a fashion all too familiar. Her heart stopped just from the sight alone.

This is Adrien's handwriting.

Her teeth bit down so hard on the pen from surprise that a gush of blue ink exploded into her mouth.

"Augh!" She spat, throwing the broken utensil to the floor and wiping the bitter dribble from her lips. A horrible taste pooled onto her tongue and it wasn't long before she'd rushed to the bathroom to rinse her mouth with as much tap water as humanly possible. Upon looking in the mirror, she found that the pink tank top she wore now had a few dark spots on the fabric that would seemingly be impossible to get out.

So much for that shirt.

With a final sputter (and a thorough scrubbing of her inked skin), Marinette let out a frustrated sigh before returning to her room to slip off the soiled clothing and replace it with a simple black t-shirt. Comfortable, but too big for her petite frame; perfect for pajamas.

If only it was bedtime so she could lay down and forget about the whole situation entirely.

Or even just forget about her whole day.

The embarrassing conversation with her mother, the nagging reminder that she may as well be in love with Chat Noir—all of it!

Yet her mind wouldn't let up.

Hello! It called. Have you forgotten that Adrien, the boy you love with all of your heart and soul is also Chat Noir, the guy you've been pretending to not have at least a little bit of a crush on since the day you first met?

Fuck off, she hissed back at the intrusive thoughts. I haven't forgotten.

At this point in their relationship, Marinette felt it was safe to say that she and Chat Noir—Adrien—were very well going to become Paris' hottest new couple once the end of summer rolled around.

But… Would that be so bad?

If she was being honest with herself, Marinette didn't mind that much at all.

Sure, Chat Noir was impulsive, silly, and even annoying at times… But under all of that was her Adrien, the respectable and reserved model she'd grown to appreciate as more of a person than a celebrity crush in their months of friendship.

Maybe that respectfulness was the reason Chat acted so impetuously at times. As Adrien, he needed to be absolutely perfect; it was a necessity that he have a perfect smile, perfect posture, perfect hair and perfect attitude to appease his perfect father's wants for his perfect business. He couldn't joke or curse or laugh; he couldn't voice his mind the way Chat was able to; he couldn't be himself, and that pained Marinette more than any thought had ever before.

Adrien wasn't how Adrien wanted to be.

Adrien wasn't loud or flirty, nor was he boisterous, simply because he couldn't be—but Chat Noir was all those things and more. Chat Noir was everything Adrien wasn't allowed to be, everything Adrien wanted to be.

And Marinette had done nothing but reject his true self all this time.

A heavy stone of guilt settled within the pit of her stomach and made her feel sick.

For nearly a year she'd pushed away Chat Noir (Adrien) because of his flirtatious demeanor. She'd figured he was nothing but a playful kitten with too many puns stashed in his brain, but as she stripped that black mask from his face, she was left with a shy and skittish fifteen-year-old grasping at the world with delicate hands.

A fifteen-year-old whose only desire was to live his life the way he wanted to. A fifteen-year-old who just wanted to be himself.

Why had she preferred the boy under the mask when she loved both halves just the same?

Yet still, something deep inside of her nagged, screamed that she was wrong—that she was making a simple mistake and Adrien truly wasn't the one underneath her partner's disguise.

How could he not be? She fought back. He has to be!

Perhaps she was just telling herself that so she could think her crush was on one boy instead of two.

But there was no way Adrien couldn't be Chat Noir! All of the signs pointed to them being the same person!

Adrien and Chat were both a model, that couldn't be coincidence. Adrien and Chat had both lost their mother. Adrien had a bad home life—Chat had a bad home life.

Adrien and Chat Noir were both quite thin.

Adrien and Chat Noir… Well, they were just too damn similar.

She knew, she knew for a fact that Chat was Adrien and that Adrien was Chat and oh mon dieu, she knew she was so deep in love with the same wonderful, amazing boy that had stolen her heart and hidden the key in a place so insignificant that she didn't care whether or not she'd ever find it. There was no concealing how much loved him. She loved him so dearly and nothing in the world could stop her from loving him the way she did.

Not even a stupid mask—his or hers.

As Marinette paced around her room lost in her musings, she couldn't help the way her heart fluttered and chest grew warm from the thought of her and Adrien spending their nights patrolling Paris together.

It was comforting, really.

Her lips stretched into a wide smile as the image of Chat Noir sneaking through her skylight just past midnight before detransforming into Adrien came to mind.

Chat Noir was good at cuddling—same as Adrien. Soft and cozy and snug.

Chat Noir had called her Mari.

Chat Noir had leaned in to kiss her as if the movement had been so natural to him, like they'd kissed plenty of times before and he had no reason to be shy about it.

Chat Noir gazed upon her with eyes so light and soft, capturing her own blue with an expression that said nothing but a silent "I love you." An unspoken promise that he'd love her no matter what they faced.

(Even a dumb vow to keep their identities safe.)

Just hours ago, Adrien had looked at her in the same way. He'd held her and kissed her and spilled his love for her in the form of affectionate touches and sweet breath against her skin. He loved her, truly and honestly, and Marinette was still having a hard time coming to terms with that fact—the fact that she was loved.

Chat Noir loved Ladybug.

Chat Noir loved Marinette.

Adrien loved Marinette.

Marinette… Well, Marinette loved them each. She loved the boy in his entirety. Adrien, Chat Noir, both of them combined; her one and only.

And just like she'd fallen for both sides of her partner, he'd fallen for every little piece of Marinette—of Ladybug.

He'd fallen for Ladybug first and then found himself falling for Marinette.

A warmth began to spread from within her chest to her cheeks as her smile grew, pink lips curled upwards into the most gleeful of grins.

Why had they ever insisted on not revealing their identities?

Marinette let out a sigh, settling herself onto the chaise she and Adrien had been caught kissing on that afternoon and pulling at the ties in her hair simply because he liked it when she wore it down. It was because of her they'd kept their secrets for so long. She was the one who vowed to keep her civilian life separate from her Ladybug life, and she was the one who'd fled every time they'd had a chance to tell each other the truth.

It was her fault, to put it simply, and she truly felt awful.

"Marinette," Tikki spoke, her voice breaking the silence. "Are you upset?"

Marinette shook her head in response. "At myself, not Chat. Not Adrien."

"Why are you mad at yourself?"

"Because," She began, a sigh of agitation blowing past her lips. "I've been an idiot. All this time I've been pushing Chat Noir away because of Adrien when they're the same person, and for what? The sake of an identity?"

A light weight on her shoulder caused Marinette to look up from the floor, gaze settling on her kwami as she gave her chosen a reassuring pat. "You were scared, Marinette. It's okay. Besides," Tikki's red cheek pressed into her own in a small gesture of comfort as she continued. "The identity was keeping you two safe. What would happen if you were fighting a villain and one of you shouted your civilian names?"

Marinette paused, gaze falling downcast as she pondered on Tikki's statement. "I… I guess I'd never thought of that. So, you're saying we should continue to keep it a secret?"

Her kwami shook her head. "No, I'm not. If you feel that it would be best for you and Chat Noir to know each other's identities, then I won't stop you. It might even help you in the long run. You two just have to be very careful with how you act and what you say around other people."

Marinette nodded, mindlessly pushing her hair behind her ears as it hung in her face. "I know, Tikki. I just don't know if I'm ready yet. He might think of me differently."

Tikki cocked her head, voice curious as she spoke. "Do you think of Adrien differently?"

It was a question Marinette hadn't been prepared for.

Did she think of him differently?

Yes, learning Adrien's secret had come as quite the surprise, but it wasn't like she was mad that she knew this information. It was shocking, of course, and maybe even a little stunning, but the news had no effect on the way she felt towards him.

In fact, discovering Chat Noir's identity only made her affections grow stronger. The boy she'd been head over heels with since the second day of school just so happened to be her partner, her most trusted friend, her-

Her everything.

At the moment, she couldn't feel any lower than cloud nine.

Throwing her back against the cushion of her lounge, Marinette closed her eyes and let out a long, satiated breath. She did feel differently, yes—but in an entirely new and positive way. She felt happy, calm, and even a little satisfied.

The boy she'd been in love with all this time was just her closest friend in disguise.

"You know," She breathed, letting her eyes slide open for just a moment. "I do, but in a good way. I think of him in a new light. And honestly," A soft chuckle blew from her lips as she grinned up at her kwami. "I can't wait to see him tonight."

A warm smile stretched across Tikki's face as she sat on the chaise, next to her chosen's head. "Well, I'm glad you're not freaking out anymore. Every Ladybug and Chat Noir has discovered each other's identities—it was going to happen eventually."

"Really?" Marinette asked, curiosity in her tone.

Tikki nodded. "I'm happy you figured it out on your own. Things get messy when Chat Noir's kwami and I have to intervene."

Well, that didn't sound too good. "You've had to intervene before?"

"Only when our holders don't figure out their feelings soon enough," Tikki answered. "All Ladybugs and Chat Noirs are made for each other, Marinette. They're a pair."

"So, like… Soulmates?"

"You could say that."

"Oh." Marinette's heartbeat sped up and a pleasant tingle ran down her spine. "So, Adrien and I, we're…?"

Tikki only smiled.

"Wow," Marinette breathed, blinking up at the ceiling as she processed all of the new information. "...Wow."

Her and Adrien, soulmates from the start?

Did that mean they were going to get married someday?

Sure, she'd fantasized about it, but… She'd never thought it would actually happen.

Ladybug and Chat Noir, a pair. A set that couldn't function without its other half. Balancing each other and loving their flaws and differences and working through hard times together.

Like ying and yang.

Chat Noir had always been there—Adrien had always been there. Since the beginning, this amazing boy had been her first real crush and her first love. She and Chat had been through so many firsts together, and Marinette couldn't help but wonder about all the other firsts they'd share.

Adrien had been her first kiss.

No- Chat Noir had. Which, actually, meant that Adrien had been her first kiss.

Holy fuck, she'd kissed Adrien on Valentine's day! Adrien had tried to kill her and then she'd kissed him because true love's kiss always breaks the spell. Right?

All of the things she and Chat Noir had done together she'd done with Adrien. They'd fought akuma, saved the city, fist-bumped and kissed and landed in awkward positions and slept together (in the most innocent of ways.)

It was with crimson cheeks that Marinette realized she'd admitted her crush on Adrien to Chat Noir—to Adrien.

So that's how Adrien began to notice her…

Was that bad? Being interested once he'd found out she had a crush on him?

Or had he been interested even before that?

The night Chat had come to her sopping wet from the rain returned in a flash of sad green eyes and delicate claws.

Her skin sparked aflame from the memory of his hand cupping her cheek and her head spun as the words he'd spoken in such a gentle voice rang through her ears.

"I'm sure he loves you too."

"Ahhh," Marinette squealed, turning so that she lay flat on her stomach and burying her head within the tiny brown pillow. A short scream left her lips, muffled from the cushion yet still audible to those in the room.

Tikki laughed, a light and airy sound that only made Marinette's cheeks feel hotter. Embarrassment and love were two emotions that felt incredibly odd when mixed.

"Tikkiiiii," Marinette whined, lifting her face from the pillow. "Don't tease."

"Sorry," Tikki apologized, patting her cheek and giving her a reassuring grin. "It's just so wonderful to see my Ladybugs falling in love with their Chat Noir. I'm happy for you, Marinette. I really am."

"I am in love with him, aren't I?" There was no questioning; it was the simple truth. Marinette was in love with Adrien Agreste. Marinette was in love with Chat Noir.

Marinette was in love with an entirely amazing and adorable and amazing boy that loved her so deeply in return.

Maybe her day hadn't been so bad.

"I want to see him," She said as she sat up, throwing her legs over her lounge and standing abruptly. "I have to see him."

"It's still early," Tikki spoke, floating next to her and pointing at the late daylight that streamed in through her window. "And you've got homework to finish."

Sometimes Marinette hated how responsible Tikki could be.

Still, her kwami kept her in check, and without argument Marinette sat back at her desk, a new pen in hand. "Yes maman," She giggled, earning a tiny titter from the spotted goddess behind her. "But after that, we go."

 Wisps of golden sunlight peaked through the thin coverage of clouds that floated lazily among the setting sky, painting the city of Paris in a radiant glow. The sun had nearly finished its descent behind the horizon by this time of day, leaving the streets in a dim violet and buildings an inky black silhouette. Below the rooftops, which dulled in color as day turned to night, street lights flickered on and shopkeepers turned window signs to signal that their time of selling was over and that the day had come to an end.

Not for Marinette, however.

While some preferred to spend their nights indoors, Marinette busied herself by zipping across the city at the mercy of her yo-yo, a warm summer breeze blowing through her bangs and kissing her freckled skin. From the sinking sun, a light pink washed against her scarlet form as she hopped from roof to roof, feet slapping against metal panels for a skip or two before she took flight once more, leaping over the glittering streets and soaring over trees.

Civilians gasped and pointed whenever she happened to dash over a cluster of them, the sound of their voices calling for others to look up usually followed by the faint snap of a phone camera.

Marinette wondered in passing if Alya ever happened to be out and about when she left the house for patrol.

Judging by the photos that usually ended up on the Ladyblog, sometimes her friend was lucky enough to be out on the streets the same time Ladybug made her to way to her and Chat's meeting place.

Which was where she was headed now, albeit a bit early.

Notre Dame wasn't more than a few leaps from her balcony, yet sometimes she couldn't help but taking the scenic route—especially when she'd left to meet Chat sooner than necessary. She took pride in her city, enjoyed seeing it safe and sound. If it wasn't for her and Chat Noir, Paris might not have been the beautiful destination of lovers that it was so famously known as.

Once at her destination, she waited patiently on a stone balcony, surveying the city from a view she'd grown accustomed to yet could never fathom becoming bored of. Paris at sunset was always a sight to behold, with its wake of twinkling lights and purple hues adorning the busy roads. The clouds had darkened, taking on a much deeper blue color rather than the striking pink they had been minutes prior.

A gentle breeze blew through the air, cooling the stone structures of the church that the sun had warmed in the earlier hours of the day. As Marinette let her gaze travel upwards, she grinned at the sight of the moon, finding comfort in its dazzling wash of white and faint glow that settled over the city of lights.

Night had almost taken over.

From her position high above the ground, she could see a small boat making its way down the Seine, its soft lights casting a yellow gleam on the water. In the distance, the Eiffel Tower shone brightly, reminding Marinette that yes, this is her home, her city, the place she kept safe and sound and loved so dearly.

It was a magnificent sight.

No—a miraculous sight.

Breathing fresh air into her lungs, Marinette sighed, tracing a gloved finger along the rough stone of the balcony railing. It was truly a wonderful night, perfect for just sitting and watching the clouds turn to stars, but she had other things to worry about—more important matters than stargazing.

Besides, they couldn't see stars in this part of Paris, anyways. Too much light pollution.

Chat Noir should arrive any minute, now. He would land next to her with a click of his boots and shoot a flirtatious line before things grew serious. Before he confessed that he was leaving for the summer and confirmed the exact thought that'd been bugging Marinette since she'd settled back into her seat at school that afternoon.

It wasn't as much of a worry as it was nervousness. Knowing Chat Noir's identity wasn't a horrible thing—Tikki had spent the (much less embarrassing) half of the afternoon convincing her of that—but it was still a new and pressing feeling, gnawing at the pit of stomach and making her uncomfortable in an unpleasant way.

If she knew Chat's identity, did that mean he had to know hers?

Should she tell him?

Marinette didn't have much time to delve in that.

The sight of a black figure vaulting towards the balcony rid the troublesome thoughts from her mind, reminding her that there was no need to become so worked up about it. This was Chat Noir, her partner, her best friend and potential boyfriend.

She needn't worry about who he is or isn't. At least, not at the moment. After the day she'd had, it felt amazing just to relax and take in the glimmering lights of her beloved Paris with her most trusted person by her side.

No more embarrassment. No more stress. No more worries.

Tonight was the night she let all of those negative emotions fade into nothing but a relaxed state of content. Whether or not Chat Noir's news had anything to do with Adrien wouldn't stop her from staying positive.

(No matter how difficult it was not to worry over it—but she'd been doing that all day! It was time to relax.)

"Good evening, my Lady," Chat said as he landed next to her, flashing her a smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. "You look like you've been here for a while. Bored at home?"

Marinette nodded, glancing at him for a moment before letting her gaze rest upon the breathtaking view. "I wanted to watch the sunset."

"No sunset now," He chuckled. "It's dark."

"It was nice while it lasted." As are most things.

"Was it a pretty sunset?"

God, she could even hear Adrien in his voice now.

"Beautiful," She replied, resting her chin upon her palms. It truly was a wonderful sight, but now that Chat—Adrien—had arrived, she found herself unable to focus on anything else besides him.

Chat Noir hummed in response, placing his staff back upon his belt. "I bet it was. I should watch sunsets more often."

You did with me that night you broke down in tears on my balcony, she thought with a hint of a grin, letting her eyes settle upon his lithe form. "Maybe we should make time for that."

"You and me, watching a sunset together?" He laughed, green eyes glowing. "How romantic! Remind me to bring a picnic basket and a plaid blanket."

Marinette giggled, his laughter contagious. It felt good to joke with him again. "Sounds perfect."

"I think you mean purrrfect," Chat said with a roll of his tongue and a stupidly familiar grin—one that made her annoyed yet giddy at the same time.

Marinette wanted to kiss it off of his stupid face.

Her stupid, silly Adrien.

"I most certainly do not," She snorted, giving him a light shove. "Your puns are awful."

"Pawful," He corrected, a smirk splitting his face.

Marinette gasped, pulling a dramatically saddened expression to her face as she feigned offense. "Chat Noir! How dare you!"

As he laughed, he received another shove in the shoulder before the two burst into a much needed fit of giggles. It'd been weeks since they'd last had a good time like this, fooling around and playing like a young couple in love.

If this was Adrien, then Marinette had just fallen a thousand times harder.

After a brief session of poking Chat in the ribs until he squealed from laughter and begged for mercy, they were off, beginning their patrol as usual. They tossed a few jokes back and forth as they rounded buildings and leaped from chimneys, but eventually settled into a comfortable silence while they scoped the city.

No danger, per the norm. Akuma attacks seldom ever happened once the sun had set.

Still, it was nice to get out of the house for a bit and to spend some quality time with her partner when they weren't fighting for the lives of Parisians.

It was a time to forget about their worries as civilians. They could roam the city in a comfortable quiet or, on nights when they were in more cheerful moods, chase each other along the rooftops in a childish game of tag. To the citizens of Paris, it might seem a tad immature or even odd, but to Ladybug and Chat Noir it was nothing but harmless fun between two friends who knew everything and nothing about each other. Those nights were the ones Marinette lived for.

Tonight was a good night. Maybe her partner wouldn't mind a little game of chase.

"Hey," Chat's voice rang from behind her as they stopped atop a particular roof, lined with worn white panels and a striped pink awning jutting out from the wall just below. "I remember this place."

Unlike Chat Noir, Marinette lacked night vision. She couldn't see perfectly clear, even with the street lights lighting the road below. "What place?"

Before she could say another word, her feline colleague hopped off the building and out of sight without any warning whatsoever.


Why would he- what could be so important that it distracted Chat Noir from patrol? Why would Chat just straight-up jump off a building?

Granted, it wasn't exactly that high up, but… Still! What ever could have grasped his attention?

Surely it was either sweets or kittens, she had no doubts.

Peeking over the edge, Marinette's eyes widened with confusion as Chat motioned with his hand for her to follow him down to the ground.

Why would she-

He was pointing to something, his eyes lit up like the brightest of emeralds. A wide smile split his face and she swore she could see the faintest sparkle of excitement glittering within his gaze. His tail rose high, the end curling just slightly with interest. Marinette cocked her head at the sight.

Ugh, she couldn't resist that face.

Slinging down the roof and sliding from the awning, Marinette's feet collided with the pavement of the sidewalk in a silent landing. Her eyes scanned upward as she placed her yo-yo back upon her hip, a warm memory filling her head from the sight of the letters on the window that read Crème Glacée in a yellow, swirly font.

Yep, she was right. Sweets.

It was the same ice cream shop where she and Adrien's date had been rudely interrupted by one of Hawk Moth's villains.

Smiling fondly, Marinette pressed a gloved hand against the glass and peered inside, recalling how nice it had been just to sit with Adrien and talk—to be themselves, as if they were the only ones inside the little shop full of people.

The more she looked, the more she picked up on little details she hadn't gotten a chance to appreciate before. She could see the pastel pinks of the walls, as well as the quaint little tables coated in black. Some were occupied by a family or two but most sat vacant, waiting for customers with a sweet tooth to come wandering in and fill them with an ice cream cone in hand.

A few decorative plants hung from the ceilings and sat in corners on the black-and-white tiled floor, making the interior look outdated but welcoming. At the front counter, the same blond teen whom Marinette had seen the day of the "Shusher" stood with his hand on his chin, seemingly indecisive about the flavor he wanted to order. Next to him was a girl in a pretty white sundress, deep brown hair trailing all the way down to her hips.

As Marinette' gaze traveled lower, she could see that they stood hand-in-hand.

She couldn't help the grin that spread across her face.

Had she and Adrien looked like that? Like a cute young couple who'd been together for years? Helplessly in love?

At least she knew that blond boy really wasn't Chat Noir—he was right there, gazing into the shop just as well as she was.

But why was she concerned, anyways? Ninety-percent of her was already convinced that the boy standing next to her was Adrien Agreste.

"Why are we here?" She found herself asking, voice sounding faint as she became lost in the thought of her most favorite boy.

"I like this place," Chat responded with a shrug of his shoulders. "And I want ice cream."

Marinette snorted out a laugh, responding with a shake of her head. "I don't have any money on me, and I'm not taking food for free from another family-owned business."

"I have money on me." Zipping open one of his front pockets, Chat Noir proceeded to pull out a handful of crumpled euros in his fist. "Let's get ice cream."

"What?" Another giggled slipped from her lips. "You're serious? You want us to walk in there as Ladybug and Chat Noir?"

Chat shrugged once more, shooting her a stupidly lovable grin. "Why not? It's not like we can walk in there without our suits. If you saw me, you'd swoon too hard at my face and never wake up."

I'm pretty sure I'd be just fine, Marinette thought with a laugh. It was crazy how clearly she could see it now—Adrien's face and Chat Noir's face were structured just the same, from the chin to the cheek bones to the beautiful green eyes.

This was Adrien Agreste standing next to her, without a doubt.

"Okay," She giggled. "Let's get some ice cream."

 "Did you see his face?" Chat roared, nearly falling off the roof they sat on as he lost himself in laughter. "I've never seen anyone look so surprised before!"

Marinette shared his giggles, her lips split into a smile so wide that it was almost painful. "Well, how would you react if two superheroes walked into your job and asked for ice cream? I'd probably drop the change all over the floor, too!"

Taking a lick of his ice cream (which was strawberry flavored—the same kind she'd ordered their first time there as civilians), Chat chuckled and shook his head, his laughter subsiding. "Well, for one, I don't work in an ice cream shop."

Marinette tasted her own mint chocolate chip, humming softly. Ah, right. He's a model.

He was probably really happy to be sitting on a rooftop at nine P.M. eating ice cream with Ladybug.

"You said you were a model?" She said with a quirk of her eyebrow, curious about how he'd respond.

Chat didn't answer immediately. Instead, he gave his strawberry cone a few licks before nodding, gaze averting to the city which twinkled in the distance. "Yeah."

The mood suddenly went from playful to awkwardly silent.

In a desperate attempt to bring back his laughter and smiles, Marinette's head churned with ideas on how to make him grin, snicker or even blush—but what could she say now that she'd reminded him of something he didn't like to think about?

Was she a fucking idiot?

"What kind of model?" She asked with a slight waver to her voice, which she blamed on the chill of the ice cream. "Knowing you, you probably model underwear."

Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the faintest hint of a smirk begin to play on her partner's features. "Oh, you wish, bugaboo. The only reason I'm not is because everyone in Paris would faint from the sight."

"You're probably right," She laughed, thankful that fueling his ego had sufficed to fix the mood of their conversation. "You are pretty cute."

Silence was his response.

Oh- oh shit.

She'd just called him cute.

Which, as Marinette to Adrien was a normal occurrence—she'd just called him cute that afternoon.

But from Ladybug to Chat Noir, it was something entirely and alarmingly new.

Ladybug did not call her partner cute.

"What was that?" Chat said, the smirk audible within his voice. "I don't think I heard you correctly."

"Nothing," Marinette murmured as she took another taste of her ice cream, busying herself by eating her treat instead of speaking.

"No, no," He laughed, sounding almost too excited as he dared to scoot closer. "I could have sworn you just called me cute, my Lady."

"I did nothing of the sort." Turning her back to him, Marinette huddled into herself, if only to try to disappear into thin air. She didn't need Chat Noir to see her blush, she'd never hear the end of it!

But Chat wouldn't let up. "Was that a slip of the tongue or am I hearing things, because I swear Ladybug just called me cute!"

"I didn't!"

"You did."

"No, you're hearing things."

"I am not."

Marinette squawked as a hand touched her shoulder. "You're not cute! No!"

"You can't take it back now," Her partner chuckled, sitting next to her with a stupid, stupid grin. "You think I'm cute. Just admit it."

Huffing, Marinette used her legs to drag her butt closer to the edge of the building and farther away from her stupid cat. "Maybe you're a little cute. But you didn't hear that from me."

"Of course not," Chat said as he stood to follow her. "I didn't hear it from-"


The sound of something wet dropping to a hard surface caused Marinette to turn, her eyes settling on the pink blob of strawberry ice cream that dribbled along the roof. In Chat's clawed fingers he held a waffle cone, a small part bitten off but otherwise empty.

His scoop of ice cream had plummeted from the cone in his attempts to catch her.

Marinette almost pitied him.

"Aw, no," Chat sighed, his smirk fading to a disappointed frown. "It was really good, too."

Had his voice cracked?

Why did he look so miserable over ice cream?

Jeez, if it was that big of a deal she'd go and buy him another one.

Unless… There was something else bothering him…

Oh, she reminded herself, the news. He's got bad news. He's probably been feeling super sad about it all night.

"Chat?" She said in a gentle tone, standing to meet him. "You okay?"

He nodded, forcing a smile to his face as he tore his gaze away from the melting frozen treat. "Yeah, I'm alright."

Marinette let out a small frustrated breath, placing a hand upon his shoulder. She didn't buy it. Why did he always insist that he was fine when he wasn't? "You look really sad. You can have my cone, if you want it."

"No, no." As he shook his head, his tousled hair bounced in a way that made her want to run her fingers through it. Adrien's hair was so soft and him being Chat Noir was no exception to that fact. "That's yours. I'm okay, I've just..." He cleared his throat, walking away from her comforting touch and settling himself on the edge of the roof, his feet dangling in open air. "I've kind of had a bad week. There's a lot on my mind."

Here it goes, Marinette thought as she approached him, sitting next to him and letting her spotted legs swing over the edge just like he had. Here comes that "bad news."

"Let's share, then. Here." She held out the cone to him, smiling as his green eyes flickered with gratitude and his lips curled upwards into the tiniest of smiles. "Try it."

The fact that they'd both be eating from the same ice cream didn't bother her. She'd shared food with her friends plenty of times. Hell, she'd been kissing this boy just hours ago—letting him lick from the same cone wasn't a problem.

She hoped he liked mint.

As he tasted the flavor she'd ordered, he grinned, running his tongue over his lips. "It's good. Thank you."

"Are you okay?" Marinette asked once more, concerned for his well-being. This was Adrien, after all. Of course she'd be worried about him if he looked like was about to cry after he'd dropped an ice cream cone. "You can talk to me, you know."

He didn't flinch when she placed her free hand on his shoulder. "I don't want to ruin the mood."

"Kitty, it's okay." She offered him the cone again, which he gladly took a taste of. "If something is bothering you, let me be a good friend and help you out. We're partners, remember? Through thick and thin. I'm here for you if you need me. I- ..."

I love you.

But she couldn't say that out loud.

Chat's shoulders slumped as he let a heavy sigh blow from his nose, placing his feet back on the roof and hugging his knees to his chest. "I've been meaning to talk to you."


She knew very well what this was about.

"I'm leaving Paris," He began, and Marinette could tell exactly where this was going. She'd heard the same story from Adrien earlier that day. "For three months. I can't get out of it—I've tried. I know it's not that long, but, for us… It is. I'm worried for the city, for the people living in it, for-" He paused, acid green eyes meeting her own blue. "-for you."

Marinette felt touched by his sentiment. She could understand his worries; when the rare occurrence came that she or Chat needed to fight a villain alone, it was extremely strenuous. More often than not they'd come home with bruises and injury, usually nothing too bad, but it was still a difficulty to hide and deal with. They'd only ever had to go up against an akuma on their own once or twice, and even then it was a hell of a job.

She couldn't imagine being left without a partner by her side for three whole months.

No wonder Adrien was so worried!

If Hawk Moth knew Chat Noir was gone and started sending daily akuma, Marinette wouldn't be able to handle it. She'd be exhausted, beaten, defeated—she would fail in protecting the city.

She needed Chat. She needed him more than he knew.

Without him, it wouldn't be easy.

Paris would be in distress.

She would be in distress.

With both Adrien and Chat gone, she'd spend most of her summer either bored out of her mind or resting after a painful fight with another citizen-turned-evil.

At least she'd have Alya.

Nino, too.


"Huh?" Her eyes snapped up as Chat spoke.

"You went quiet."

"Oh." Looking down to the road below, Marinette sighed, taking in the feel of the summer air and the faint sound of cars passing. It was a peaceful night, perfect for that game of chase she'd been thinking about—but Chat was too distraught for that. She'd comfort him instead.

How exactly, she didn't know. She couldn't lie to him and tell him that she'd be fine on her own, that'd only hurt his feelings. Chat Noir was insecure when it came to importance in their partnership; while the fanbase seemed to think he was nothing but her sidekick, Marinette did her best to assure him that he was just as important to Paris as she was.

They were a team. They depended on each other.

They needed each other.

She needed him. She needed Chat Noir.

She needed Adrien.

"I need you," She blurted out before she could think of a proper response. Stupid!

Mentally slapping a palm to her face, she laid her hand over his own and gave him a reassuring smile, her voice soft and touch comforting. "What I meant to say was that- well, I-" She sighed. "Yes, I do need you, but… You don't have to worry about me. I'm sure I'll be okay. It'll be hard to take care of the city, and I'll probably need to keep a good watch, but… I don't want you to worry about me, okay?"

Chat nodded, but Marinette could tell he wasn't agreeing. "Okay."

"Ad-" She froze, clamping her teeth down on her bottom lip to silence herself before the rest of his civilian name fell from her mouth. "Chat," She said gently, hoping that he hadn't caught her little slip-up as she squeezed his hand. "I know you're worried about me and the city, but… I promise you, I'll be safe. I'll be in one piece when you come back." She ran her thumb over his knuckles, hoping to at least ease some of his anxieties. "Do you believe me?"

No reply came.


"...Yes," He said in a voice so soft that it was barely audible. "I… I think I do, my Lady."

If he'd noticed the slip of his name, he hadn't mentioned it.

A silence rose between them, neither comfortable or unpleasant. It was a simple quiet, filled with the ambience of cars rolling down the road and faint music playing in the distance, most likely from a restaurant or bar. Every now and then they could pick up a conversation as a group or two of people wandered down the street, but for the most part it was relatively quiet. Not completely, but almost.

The city sang, playing a familiar tune Marinette had grown to adore on her nights as Ladybug. The sweet smell of the ice cream parlor rose in the air every time the door opened and lingered for just a split second before it was gone again, sucked into the night air and replaced by the scent of rain.

Summer always brought rain showers, and no doubt it'd be raining again tomorrow.

Chat's voice broke the silence, causing Marinette to turn her gaze from the glimmering lights to her partner—her best friend.


"Can I have another bite of that before it melts any further?"

It took her a moment to realize that he was talking about her ice cream.

"Oh!" She said with a small giggle, holding out the cone for him. "Oh, yeah, you can have the rest of it. I'm done."

With a small "thank you, my Lady" and a few final licks of the ice cream, Chat bit off some of the waffle cone before handing it to her to share. Marinette finished it in a single bite, frowning as the remains of liquid mint chocolate chip slid down her chin.

As Chat's sad eyes met the dripping ice cream, his lips twitched upwards into a small grin before he broke out into a full-fledged laugh, his hand cupping his stomach and his shoulders shaking.

Had it really been that funny?

Maybe he just needed a laugh.

Chat Noir's laughter had always been contagious, so once he started, Marinette found herself unable to stop herself from following suit as she wiped the mess from her mouth. They giggled and squealed until it hurt, but it was such a wonderful pain that neither could cease their sounds of glee. It felt so great just to laugh, to see him smile and make those silly little noises he made when he laughed too hard—noises she didn't hear nearly often enough.

Chat Noir-

No, Adrien was laughing so hard that he couldn't even sit up straight. Somehow he'd ended up with his back on the roof, one hand on his stomach and the other in the air as he pressed his forearm to his forehead.

God, he looked so cute.


She wanted to kiss him.

She loved that laugh!

Marinette wasn't sure how both of them had ended up on their backs. She also wasn't sure what had possessed her to grab his hand and hold it tightly within her own.

And she really wasn't sure how they'd ended up laying there in silence for twenty minutes after their laughter had faded.

It was a content quiet, peaceful and appreciated. They'd needed this—just some time to themselves to simply lay.

Perhaps a hug had been needed, too, but she'd give him that later.

"What are we doing?" Marinette chuckled, her voice deafening compared to the previous silence.

"Stargazing," Chat replied, his gaze unwavering from the sky.

A snort came from Marinette before she could stifle it. Stars in the center of Paris, what a dream! "With what stars?"

"There." Pointing to the sky, Chat grinned, shooting her a friendly gaze before settling his green, green eyes back on the inky black world above. "There's three of them, right there."

It was true; three little dots of white peeked out from the cloak of night, looking very odd in their placement above the city of lights. Those couldn't possibly be stars—not in this part of the city.

She'd let Chat have this, though.

"They're pretty," She breathed, positioning her free arm so that it acted as a pillow for her head.

With a nod, her partner let his hand rest on his chest as he gazed fondly at the sky. "They're probably just space stations or planets or something, but it's nice to lay out and look at the sky every now and then. It's not as impressive as it would be in the forest, I'm sure, but… It's still nice."

"You like stars?" She asked with genuine curiosity.

"Mhm," Chat replied in a hum. "I think they're beautiful."

From the look on his face, Marinette could tell he wasn't thinking about the stars.

"Ladybug?" Chat whispered after a moment, catching her attention.

Marinette's heart skipped a beat. Why did she feel a little disappointed that he hadn't called her by her civilian name?

He only knew her as Ladybug.

For now, at least.

"Hm?" She whispered back, turning her head so that she was looking him straight into those dazzling summer eyes.

He didn't hesitate with his response. "You're my best friend."

Touched, a loving smile spread across her face as she moved his bangs away from his mask so that she was able to look at his gorgeous features without hindrance. "And you're mine, chaton."

And that was it. No more words, no confessions, nothing else to say. They'd slipped into the most tranquil quiet Marinette had ever had the pleasure of experiencing, just them and their beating hearts. No disturbances.

They were perfectly content to just lay and feel.

The urge to snuggle up next to him was almost too strong to resist.

Still, she lay unmoving, suppressing the desire for cuddles and replacing it with the thought that she needed to be heading home soon. There was no doubt that she'd be woken early the next morning to help with the large order a customer had placed that afternoon.

She had to get up.

She didn't want to, though.

But she had to.

Get up, Marinette told herself as she scooted closer.

Go home, Marinette's mind demanded as she squeezed her partner's hand within her own.

Get off the roof! Her thoughts screamed as she lay her head on his chest.

She didn't listen.

Thankfully, Chat Noir was responsible, taking the opportunity to claim that he had to be up at six for work the next morning and couldn't stay out much later. Marinette understood that. There had been many a day when she'd gotten up at five in the morning to help out in the bakery, and no doubt tomorrow would be any different.

They hadn't really done much of a patrol, but it was mostly unnecessary anyways. Akumas were usually a day-time only thing.

It had been nice to get a snack and "stargaze" with her best friend, though.

After they bid their goodbyes, Marinette stood on the edge of the roof and grasped her yo-yo, preparing to zip off into the night and return home for a shower and some well-needed sleep. It'd been a long day full of embarrassment and new discoveries, but now it was time to rest her head and forget about it all, at least for a little while.

"Goodnight, Chat Noir," She said with a final glance his way. "I'll see you Sunday."

"Provided we don't get an attack tomorrow," Her partner added.

Marinette chuckled, lifting her arm to sling her yo-yo across the street, but a hand on her wrist stopped her before she could leap. Confused, she turned, letting her arm fall to her side as the hand released its grasp.

With an apologetic look, Chat's ears hung low on his head. "Wait," He pleaded. "I didn't get to say thank you."

Thanking her for simply letting him talk?

Her poor Adrien.

"No need to thank me, kitty," She replied with a smile, turning so that she was facing him. "I'll always be there for you."

"I meant what I said," He continued. "You really are my best friend, you know."

The thought touched her in a way that nothing else ever had before.

Ladybug was Chat Noir's best friend.

Marinette was Adrien's best friend.

She didn't know which sentiment made her feel more giddy.

"And I meant what I said," She told him. "You're my best friend, too."

His arms around her frame cut off any other musings besides the thought that he was so incredibly warm. He held her in a way so familiar, so loving, that if Chat had happened to hug her a day sooner she would have discovered his identity purely from the embrace alone.

Marinette would know this hug anywhere.

Hesitant yet tight, his arms squeezed her tiny body in a way that let her know she was home. This was her Chat Noir, her Adrien, her wonderful, amazing, sweet, talented, amazing boy, and she loved him so deeply.

She loved him.

She hugged him back with a hold so tight that he had to ask her to loosen it just so he could breathe.

They stood there in the evening breeze for what seemed like hours, clutching onto each other as if they wouldn't see one another for the next three years.

It would feel that way, at least.

"When are you leaving?" Marinette asked, although she knew the answer.

"Two weeks," Chat responded, his chin resting atop her head. "Maybe sooner. It's undecided."

"I'll miss you." She would, so dearly.

She could feel his chuckle vibrate from where her head pressed against his chest. "And I'll miss you, bugaboo. Keep Paris safe for me, okay?"

"I will." It was promise. A promise she would keep no matter what measures she had to take.

She'd do it for him.

It was Adrien who broke the hug, his arms falling from her form in a movement so slow that it was obvious he didn't want it to ever end. Of course he didn't; Adrien wasn't one to receive an adequate amount of hugs.

She'd fix that.

She'd always, always fix that.

"Thanks again, Bug. Goodnight." Then with a nod, he was off, vaulting into the city and to the direction of the Agreste mansion.

"Goodnight, Adrien," She breathed as she watched him hop from roof to roof, knowing very well he couldn't hear her.

She watched him go until he'd disappeared from sight.

Her heart longed for him to return and take her to bed just like he'd used to—before she'd told him he couldn't visit anymore.

She yearned for it.

The journey home was lonely, the only sounds that greeted her being the whir of the wind blowing past her ears as she soared or the brief song of various restaurants playing music. As she zipped past one particularly classy eatery, the gentle keys of a piano caught her attention—and she may or may not have stopped for a few minutes to simply listen.

She'd always loved the music of a piano.

Once home, Marinette took a long, relaxing bath before running a brush through her hair and changing into her most comfortable pajamas. After a day like she'd had, she deserved to treat herself.

And yes, that meant she'd used the floral bath bombs she'd been saving for a "special occasion."

This was special enough.

Although, as she turned out the lights and slipped into bed, she wasn't exactly content.

Her bed was too, too empty.

Truthful Scars

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

Part 17 of 21

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