Continuing Tales

Truthful Scars

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

Part 2 of 21

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Adrien considered Alya incredibly lucky that she caught him on the rarity that was a "free day."

Outdoor photoshoots had been cancelled due to the downpour of rain that currently flooded gutters and made the world tremble from the roar of thunder. Paris was going through a fit of bad weather lately, the skies gloomy and streets full of scattered puddles. Akuma attacks had certainly been less frequent—perhaps Hawk Moth and his villains didn’t care much for getting damp?

Fencing practice was only mildly interesting, unlike days where it was a freeing sort of entertainment. Normally it was a great opportunity to practice his sword-fighting skills, should he ever need to weld anything other than a baton, but after the headache that had developed from the weather outside... There was only so much of swinging around a foil he could take, and a mask covering his face wasn't helping much to alleviate the uncomfortable throbbing either.

Once Adrien had changed back into his regular attire, he checked his phone (much to the annoyance of a sleeping Plagg) and discovered he had received a text from Alya. His face lit up from the sight. 

Yes, he thought, friendly communication! Social interaction!

It wasn't often that anyone besides Nino or Chloe texted him, so seeing Alya's name and a new message in his inboxmade a warm smile spread across Adrien's face. Friends were something he cherished and was incredibly grateful for; it was a shame he didn't get to hang out with them as often as he wished. Busy schedule, after all...

Alya, 5:00 PM.: [hey adrien, could you do me a big favor? if you're free.]

Huh, well, okay. Alya normally didn't ask for favors, being a go-getter herself, but... Being the gentleman that Adrien knew he was, how could he refuse? Besides, Alya was his friend. They weren't as close as he and Nino were, but she was still close to him.

With a smile at the thought of friendship, Adrien quickly shot back an excited "sure!" before stuffing his phone into his pocket and heading out to the signature flashy limo, where the Gorilla patiently waited. Just as he had strapped in, his phone alerted him of another message.

Alya, 5:03PM.:  [awesome!  ur the best]

Alya, 5:04PM.: [ok sooo... marinette really needs some help and i couldn't think of anyone better than you. she's got some really cool new designs. i think you saw them? but she doesnt have measurements for chat noir and you're pretty close in height so...i think you can see where im going with this lol] 

Oh. Oh.

Adrien's eyes widened a fraction at the thought of being fitted for a Chat Noir design. He was used to being measured and having people scurry around him poking pins into his clothes, but... This was different.

This was Marinette.

Marinette was incredibly nice and pretty, but she had always struck Adrien as sort of... Awkward. Whenever she so much as tried to speak to him she would stutter or become quiet, leaving him to think that even after the gum incident months and months back, she still didn't care for him all that much. It was a little hurtful, if he had to admit, but... He couldn't force her to like him if she didn't. And although it stung and bothered him in a way that made his "I-want-to-be-friends-with-everyone" personality wilt, there wasn't much he could do to rectify his past mistakes. He'd said he was sorry, explained to her that it wasn't what it'd looked like; it wasn't what she'd thought...

But all he really wanted was to be her friend.

Marinette was a sweet girl. He knew that for a fact. She'd been nice to him plenty of times—like when they were training for the Ultimate Mecha Strike III tournament, or when her uncle had needed a translator—she couldn't really dislike him all that much, could she?

Maybe things could change, he mused, if he did help her out with her designs. Maybe she wouldn't think he was all that bad anymore.

And if she didn't think he was that awful, well... It wouldn't exactly hurt to pay her a visit, would it? Especially if she needed help.

So, with a hopeful flicker in his chest, Adrien tapped his fingers on the back of his phone as a hint of a smile grew across his face. 

Perhaps today he would make a new friend.

 As Adrien stood outside the doors of the Dupain-Cheng bakery, the scent of bread and pastries hit him in a sweetened cloud, filling his nose with a comforting aroma and making his stomach positively growl. As he stepped inside, the tinkle of a bell chimed behind him, followed by the sound of customers chatting between themselves. It was warm in the bakery, cozy; like loving arms that wrapped him in a hug. In front of him a small line of people formed, and as he walked closer to the front counter, a man carrying a bag of bread accidentally brushed his arm, exiting with an apology and a quick "excuse me."

Adrien smiled at how nicely decorated and homey the shop was. The last time he had visited all of the sweets were tempting, but he'd abstained, knowing his father wouldn't allow him to consume such unhealthy indulgences. It was even more tempting now, standing in front of a display case stocked full of buttery cookies, tons of flavors of cakes and what seemed to be some sort of flaky pastry filled with chocolate. He'd already eaten lunch, but a little snack couldn't hurt, could it?

No, his conscious told him. You're here to see Marinette, not buy out her whole bakery's goods.

Shut up, he fought back, they look yummy.

"Adrien? Is that you?"

Adrien swallowed as his eyes shifted to Marinette's mother. She smiled at him from the front counter, having finished ringing up a customer, eyes beaming at the sight of one of her daughter's classmates. She appeared to be happy, which was a good sign—she had mentioned once that Marinette talked about him while he wasn't around. Maybe there was no use worrying over whether or not Marinette didn't like him. Still, to say that he wasn’t at least a tad nervous would be a complete lie. 

He had only been in Marinette’s home once for video games. It was fun and admittedly he'd enjoyed spending time with the cute (albeit incredibly nervous) girl from class—she'd seemed to open up to him and it had been quite fun. For once they had delved in actual conversation, but the game session unfortunately only lasted a measly hour before an akuma attack drew the pair away and split them apart, cutting his visit short.

So much for getting to know his cute blue-eyed classmate that day.

Now he had a second chance; one he wouldn't have been brave enough to make on his own, but it was still a chance. Marinette had always been so nervous around him save for the first day of school when he'd been caught in an awkward situation, and then her scowl and confident confrontation had made her seem like a completely different person than who Adrien knew now.

If only Chloe hadn't put gum on her seat...

Pulling himself out of his thoughts, Adrien nodded. "Hello, Madame Cheng. Is Marinette home?"

"It's so nice to see you again, Adrien," Sabine beamed, her smile genuine. "Go right up, she's in her room."

He didn't hesitate. Excited to see his friend (at least he hoped she was), Adrien weaved through the line and found his way up to the second story of Marinette's home, knocking on the door. Although permission had been given to go up to her room, it seemed rude to just barge in without Marinette's consent. At first she didn't answer, so he rapped on the door once again, with a little more force so he would be heard if she so happened to be listening to music or something.


"Marinette?" Adrien called out, giving the door another knock. "It's Adrien. Are you-"

The door flew open, a wide-eyed Marinette standing frozen beneath him. Her expression was reminded him of the term "deer in the headlights." What did she look so frightened for?

"A-Adrien!" Her voice peeped, cracking and squeaking as her cheeks turned a light pink. "Oh, oh gosh, wh-what are you doing here?"

The poor girl was so nervous. He couldn't help but wonder what he did to make her feel as if she couldn't speak around him. Marinette wasn't one to be afraid of people; she usually stood her ground. Clearing his throat, he said, "Alya texted me saying you need help with some designs or something and, well, here I am." It took everything he had to resist the urge to bow; that was reserved for his confident alter-ego, and Adrien was sure that Marinette wouldn't appreciate Chat Noir at her door.

...Well... She did seem to be a fan. Perhaps she wouldn't mind.

"Oh...Oh. Oh!" Her face reddened deeper. "C-can you just give me a moment? I have to..." She paused. "...clean my room. It's messy. J-just wait here on the couch, okay? I'll be right back!"

He didn't even have a chance to respond before she scurried up the stairs to her room. There was the unmistakable sound of frantic rummaging coming from above him, and he could distinctly pick out Marinette scolding her friend over what he assumed was the phone. "You didn't even warn me, Alya!" She hissed, causing Adrien's shoulders to slump. "What am I going to do with all of these photos?"

His smile turned downward into a frown. Did she really not want him here? Had Alya done this as a joke? He had thought there was a possibility that Marinette was nervous around him because she didn't like him, but...

"Ah- um, okay, you can come up now, Adrien." Marinette's face was crimson as she poked her head out from the trapdoor. "Sorry about that."

"It's no problem." As he entered her room, Marinette took a step back, allowing him to glance about and take it all in. Seeing her room for the second time made Adrien's chest flare up in a cozy warmth, giving him that wonderful at-home feeling he had so long desired to feel at his own household. Nobody's home felt more comfortable and snug than Marinette's to him, and he'd only been there what, two times?

A silence stretched between them, neither sure of how to start up a conversation. As Chat Noir, Adrien was a master of charisma—why couldn't he muster up the courage to speak now?

Maybe it was those bluebells that had been staring at him since he arrived.

"I'm sorry," His awkward laugh broke the silence, hand reaching up to rub the back of his head. "I figured Alya would have told you I was coming. If you want me to go, it's okay, I promise-"

"No!" Marinette seemed surprised by her sudden outburst and cupped her palm over her mouth, shifting her gaze away and shuffling her feet. "S-sorry, I meant... No. It's okay. You can stay, I don't mind at all. The help would really be appreciated, actually."

Was she ever not anxious?

At least hadn't kicked him out yet.

Marinette seemed to be such a nice girl. All Adrien really wanted was to get closer to her, be a good friend, talk to her and make her laugh. He'd heard her laugh before—it was a truly wonderful sound. If he could get her to laugh, and to smile, then- then his entire day would be made. No- his entire week. Month?

Whatever the case, it would be great to see her smile.

With a smile of his own, Adrien stretched out his arms at his sides, trying to at least lighten up the mood with a bit of humor. "Well, here I am, mademoiselle. Certified model at your service."

And then the most wonderful thing happened—the most wonderful sound Adrien had ever heard—Marinette giggled. She blushed and she giggled and for some odd reason, Adrien felt his heartbeat quicken, followed by a fluttering of something within his chest. Something light, something warm... Something that made him feel fuzzy yet like a puddle at the same time.

Oh, man.

Oh man. 

Oh man oh man oh man oh boy oh my goodness oh wow. 

Adrien had always known Marinette was pretty, that was a fact, but the way her lips quirked up into a smile and how her eyes lit up and how her cheeks reddened, and oh- how her nose scrunched up just slightly and made the dotting of freckles all the more prominent, he knew—Adrien knew right then that she was more than just pretty.

She was super, super cute.

No, scratch that- adorable.

Marinette is adorable!

And seeing her smile, if only for a moment—made Adrien's world ten times brighter.

"O-okay," Marinette said, apparently still feeling a tad awkward if her stutter proved anything. "Yes. Okay. I can do this."

Grinning, Adrien nodded. "You can. I'm giving you permission."

"You are! I am- oh," She looked down at her hands for a moment. "I need measuring tape, don't I?"

A tiny snort found its way out of him as he watched her search for her measuring tape. Why couldn't he think of anything else other than how cute she was?

"Found it!" Exclaimed Marinette, holding it up and walking over. "S-sure did find it. Um... Okay. Just... Stand still- actually- you know what you're doing because you're a model, so, I don't really need to- agh." She slapped a palm to her forehead, covering her reddening face. "You know what, I'm- I'm just going to stop talking."

But Adrien shook his head, smiling down at her with warmth. "No, it's okay. I don't mind talking."

Even if she was having trouble forming a coherent sentence, for some reason he just... Wanted to keep listening to her voice.

They slipped into a quietude while Adrien stood with his legs straight and arms out, Marinette's measuring tape stretching across his body. He could see that her hands were trembling, but wasn't entirely sure why. Part of him almost wanted to grab them and assure her that it was okay, but that would be weird, wouldn't it? She was only gathering his measurements.

For the first time, though, he was given a real chance to look at her. He'd always had a weakness for blue eyes and black hair—his crush on Ladybug proved that—but something about Marinette was just so captivating. He couldn't place his finger on it, but the way her bangs hung in her face or how her tongue poked out of her lips when she concentrated were all too enamoring. He hadn't meant to stare, honest, but he just... Couldn't look away.

(And for some reason, couldn't slow the rate of his heart either.)

"A-Adrien? Are you alright?" Marinette's eyes were upon him, sparking with concern. "You, uh... You look like you're about to fall over."

Adrien's felt himself blush. "I'm fine, Marinette. Just a little distracted."

Marinette's smile did nothing to slow his pulse. "It's okay," She said, voice soft. "I'm a little distracted too."

He wondered what she could be distracted about.

The silence returned as Marinette continued to work, jotting down his measurements on a piece of pink paper. She opened her mouth to speak, but an embarrassingly loud growl from Adrien's stomach shushed her. Biting his lip, he looked away, a laugh rising up in his throat. "Oops."

And then Marinette giggled again—a sound that made Adrien desire to pick he up, or wrap her in a tight hug.

Confused by his own feelings of impulse, he raised an eyebrow. What is with these weird feelings today?

"Do you want something to eat?" Marinette asked, oblivious to his inner conflict.

It wasn't until his stomach voiced a second complaint did Adrien realized how hungry he felt. Lunch had been skipped so he could study for their French test, and breakfast that morning was fairly light. It didn't help that he was on specific meal plans for modelling—he did usually go throughout the day feeling hungry, since his father's knowledge of his escapades as Chat Noir was nonexistent. He was eating enough for a regular model, sure, but one that ran around the city at night? No way. A snack or two wouldn't hurt.

If Marinette was offering food, how could he refuse?

"Sure," He kept in the sigh of relief. "I'd love that, if you don't mind."

"It's no problem. Let me get you something to eat. Just... Wait here, okay?"

Adrien could tell she was opening up to him, even if it was just slightly. At least she was stuttering less... Even if he had only been at her house for a little less than an hour. 

While she was gone, Adrien took the opportunity to look around. Marinette's room had such a welcoming aura to it that he felt as if he never wanted to step foot out of it. It filled him with feelings of coziness as he glanced from her bed to her desk to her chaise lounge, relishing in the glow of pinks and black. It had a much different atmosphere from his room, which felt like a prison of white and cold, pointless devices of entertainment. What good was having a gigantic room if he had nobody to share it with?

Finding out that he would be spending the day with Marinette, well, Adrien had been grateful—being at home didn't exactly fill him with joy. It was lonesome and empty, chilling halls full of marble and golden photo frames making his entire household feel superficial; as if all of it was just for show. There was no love that occupied the Agreste mansion, only the idea of success and more.

In reality, all Adrien desired was a little home like Marinette's. A smaller room which he would look forward to relaxing in after a bad day, or the warmth of color filling each wall. The scent of freshly baked bread and vanilla was a constant at Marinette's place, while at his house you seldom smelled anything at all, besides the wax on the floors after they were freshly polished. Everything about his home—if you could even call it that—was harsh and quiet. Walking in from those gigantic doors after an exhausting day left Adrien feeling sorrowful and in dire need of attention, which was something he rarely came in contact with.

But here, standing in Marinette's room, he felt as if he had been taken in on a snowy day and wrapped up in a blanket after receiving a kiss on the cheek. It almost made him wish he could stay over for the night, just to experience what it was like to sleep in a house that made him feel like hot cocoa tastes.


Adrien turned around to face his classmate, who held out a tray of some delicious looking croissants. Just the sight of the flaky pastries made his mouth water, hands itching to grab one and chow down. The last time those pastries had been offered to him, they'd slipped out of his grasp from Marinette's dismissal. Now she was offering the freshly-baked croissants to him without qualm, croissants that she had probably asked her mother to make specifically for him. His nose tingled as the tempting aroma surrounded him, hugged him, pulled him in for a kiss. Taking one, he bit into it without hesitation, thanking his friend as she set the tray down on her desk.

His eyes closed partly as he chewed his snack, the flavor making him sigh. Even the food felt like home.

"Do you want to play some video games?" Marinette's voice broke the comfortable quiet that had rose in the room. "Maybe... Maybe you can try to beat me this time."

Ooh, was she teasing?

"Is that a challenge?" Adrien's eyebrow cocked self-assuredly and a smirk teased at his lips. Instantly he saw something spark in his friend's eyes, that same shimmer of confidence he had seen when she'd competed against Max months back. She'd beat him at games before, but maybe- maybe this time he could beat her. "I'll have you know, I've had plenty of practice since our last time playing. You could call me an Ultimate Mecha Strike III champ."

"Oh, really?" Marinette met his competitive tone, her eyes gleaming. His heart skipped a beat and his grin widened. That was the Marinette he wanted to get to know.

"Really," Adrien said, sitting in one of her rolling chairs. "I'll make a bet: five euros says you beat me twice but I win the third time. If you beat me all three times, then you win."

Marinette's laugh made his stomach tingle. Why did it do that? Usually it was only Ladybug who made him feel such a way. The feelings were odd, new; something Adrien wasn't used to associating with a classmate.

He knew she was cute, there was no way that word couldn't describe her, but... Wow. If cute could increase by one thousand, then that was Marinette. His heart thumped in his chest and his voice couldn't reach his throat, and he sort of felt a little lightheaded. Why couldn't he look away?

What is wrong with me?

"Adrien? Your controller."

He wondered if she noticed the tint in his cheeks. "Ah, yeah, sorry. Ready?"

"I was born ready. Prepare to have your butt kicked, Agreste." Marinette gave him a smirk, something she had never directed at him before, but it filled him with excitement. Friendship levels with Marinette had just gone up about seventy percent.

"Oh, bring it on, Marinette."

 Adrien sighed as he stuffed a hand into his pocket and handed over five euros. He had accepted his defeat with a few muffled curse words, which sent Marinette into a fit of those adorable giggles he'd really grown to love.

That girl was ruthless when it came to video games. Two hours of match-after-match and he hadn't claimed a single victory.

"One more round," He gave her a cocky grin. "Maybe I'll have some good luck for once. I've got a good feeling this time around." Reaching into his pocket, Adrien pulled out the one thing he never left the house without (save for Plagg, of course, who was safely nestled somewhere in Marinette's room) and displayed it on his palm.

Marinette's face instantly softened as her eyes landed on the lucky charm she'd given him a few months prior. "...You still have that?" He could sense a change in her, something deep; her confidence faded and was replaced by the same nervousness he had been trying to coax her out of since his arrival. Eyes shifting to his, Marinette flushed, holding his gaze while she awaited a reply.

Adrien held his breath in his throat. Had he scared her? Had he said something wrong?

Oh, no. If he'd ruined what was the beginning of their friendship over one comment, then- then he wouldn't know what to do.

"I do," He answered. "It brings me good luck when I need it. It's nice to carry around," His eyes glowed with affection and his tone became quiet, and he, too, felt his cheeks begin to redden. "It's a reminder that someone cares. Do you want it back?"

A reminder that someone cares.

Adrien felt his hands tighten around the lucky charm. It meant a lot to him, and now that the gravity of his words had set in, he felt his heart swell with a mix of emotions. Marinette cares. Marinette cares about you. Marinette fed you when you were hungry and Marinette gave you this charm to help win a game. Marinette never asked for it back. Marinette-

"Well," She spoke with a nervous waver to her voice, as if she wanted to say more but couldn't find the confidence to spit it out. Her blush hadn't faded. "I'm glad it helps. You can probably get better use out of it than I can. Keep it, please. I want you to have it."

His insides melted and the urge to wrap Marinette up in his arms hit him heavily, but he resisted, instead placing the charm back into his pocket with a gentle pat. "How about that other round?"

"Sure, we can-"

Marinette was cut off by her mother calling her down for dinner. Disappointment washed across her freckled face as she let out a slightly irritated sigh, and Adrien could partially agree—did they have to stop now, when they were having so much fun?

"I guess that's my cue to leave," Chuckled Adrien, giving her his signature friendly smile. "Do you want me to come back another day for those designs?"

Marinette didn't answer immediately. Her gaze stayed glued to the floor; she looked as if she was thinking hard about something, contemplating her choices or how she would ask him a question.

"Do you-" She nibbled on her bottom lip, which left Adrien's heart to skip a beat. "Do you... Do you maybe want to stay for dinner? I-I understand if you can't, of course, you're probably busy, but- but I, well, I could ask, and-"

Ah, there was the awkward jumble of sentences that Adrien thought he had gotten rid of for now. Her shyness had returned, causing his classmate to slip over her own words and nervously babble on, even though she was only attempting to ask a simple question.

How could he say no to such an adorable request?

"You know, I... I actually think I would love that, Marinette."

Nathalie might have his head later for skipping dinner, but Adrien couldn't find it in himself to care. Eating dinner at a friend's house was always something he wished he could experience, and now that he had an actual chance, there was no way he was passing up the opportunity. 

Even if it meant answering to his father.

Marinette's face beamed as she broke into a delighted smile. "I'll go ask my mom."

 It was eight-thirty by the time Adrien finally slumped into his computer chair at home. No updates on the Ladyblog today.

His father had a mouthful to say when he arrived home carrying a box of pastries from Marinette's bakery, just as he knew he would. A thirty-minute lecture about staying out too late and how eating such unhealthy food is "so bad for you, Adrien" later, and Adrien found himself unable to find any inkling of regret within him. There was simply nothing to regret. He'd spent his whole day after school with Marinette, playing video games, cracking jokes, and even eating dinner with her parents.

Her parents. They adored him.

Adrien had never felt so welcomed by anyone in his entire life. His own father never acted so kind, so warm and giving. Just the atmosphere of the Dupain-Cheng household alone gave Adrien the so heavily desired feelings of being wanted and appreciated. They talked to him, asked his opinion on different subjects, included him in conversation and hadn't scolded him when he went back for a second helping.

A family like Marinette's was a dream. A wonderful, fuzzy dream that rested within his heart and played out in his head like a movie he was the star of.

And Marinette...

Well, she was the highlight of it all. A friend (a friend!) who cared, who made him laugh and smile, truly smile. She had bid him goodbye with a timid wave after gifting him with a decent sized box of pastries that were "on the house, I insist!"

She had asked him to come back whenever he could.

He wouldn't have left if it was up to him. He almost felt as if he belonged there, with Marinette.


She wouldn't leave his head.

"Can't stop thinking about that girl?" Plagg's muffled voice rang from inside the pastry box. Adrien had promised the Kwami the cheesebread, and within seconds he had zipped inside and began chowing down. "What would Ladybug say, hmm?"

"Ladybug?" Adrien's heart hammered in his chest. Thinking of his scarlet-clad superheroine crush made him sigh—she was amazing. "Marinette's just a friend, Plagg. My heart belongs to Ladybug, you know that. Besides," He added quite bitterly, "Ladybug and I aren't a thing. She doesn't want a relationship with me. It would be difficult, anyways, with our identities and such..."

"Alrighty then," Snickered Plagg as he popped his head out from the box, tossing a large chunk of cheesebread into his mouth. "Let's go meet your lovebug for patrol so I can get home and sleep. A Kwami needs its rest too, you know."

He needn't say anymore.

"Yeah, yeah," Said Adrien as he stood, stretching his arms into the air before calling for his transformation. "Plagg, transforme-moi!"

Green light filled his form like electricity surging up from his feet to his head, coating him in black. His green eyes flashed in the dark, tail whipping out behind him and ears perked as they appeared atop his head. It might have been a school night, but Adrien didn't mind—going out into the city was what he lived for. Leaping from his window was a sensation so freeing that none other could compare.

Being Chat Noir was something Adrien relished in.

Quick on his feet, the superhero vaulted from building to building, the chilly spring air causing him to shiver with delight.

With each leap, he felt himself closer and closer to freedom. Night time was his time. When the sun went down, the cat came out and was ready to stalk the streets. Paris might have been Ladybug's city by day, but when the dark blanket of twilight washed over the Earth and coated it in blues and blacks, it belonged to him. No person knew the evening better than Chat Noir.

Some nights he swore he could touch the stars if he jumped high enough.

He thanked his cat-like stealth as he landed without a sound on the rooftop of Notre Dame, his and Ladybug's usual meeting place. Ladybug hadn't heard his arrival, as usual, which caused a smirk to tug at his lips. She sat with her back to him, legs dangling in the air and gaze captivated by the luminescence of the city. The faint yellow hues that painted her suit practically made her glow, like a goddess in the night.

He hoped she knew how beautiful she was.

Twitching his tail, Adrien sunk to all fours and began to slowly creep forward, much like a lion stalking its prey. Just as his rear wiggled in a signal that he was going to pounce, Ladybug spoke, causing him to jolt and fall backwards onto his butt.

"Trying to scare me, tomcat?"

Adrien huffed and plopped down with a thud next to his lady. "How do you always know I'm there?"

Ladybug turned her eyes to him, returning his smirk with a raise of her eyebrow. "Who's to say that I don't also have heightened senses when I'm transformed?"

A chuckled rumbled in his throat. "Ah, but you're not a cat, my lady. What kind of 'heightened senses' does a ladybug have?"

"Well, for one, I could see your shadow." She turned her gaze to him with a satisfied smile as if to say, "better luck next time, kitty."

"Ah. I guess that would be a dead giveaway." The grin that had been plastered on his face since he left Marinette's house had ceased to disappear, as well as the tint of pink on his cheeks as he thought of just how wonderful his day had been. A content sigh slipped past his lips, all of the tension he usually held in his body fading away with the breeze. For the first time in a long time, he was completely relaxed; even blissful, perhaps.

"What's gotten you in such a good mood, chaton?" Ladybug's tone was genuine and her smile friendly.

Adrien was taken a bit off-guard by her question, but felt his grin widen as he replayed the day's events in his head for the hundredth time. "Mm. I just had a fantastic day with a friend. Ate some really amazing food, too." He sighed. "It's rare I have days this good."

"A friend?" There was a teasing lilt to Ladybug's tone, but something flashed in her eyes he couldn't quite catch. "What kind of friend? You seem pretty happy about them."

"I know what you're hinting at, my Lady, and no, she is not that kind of friend," Adrien gave her a flirtatious wink. "You still hold the key to my heart. It's just nice to have a second person who cares about me."

"Who's the first?"

Turning to her, Adrien's expression softened and his eyes glowed with affection for his partner. "You."

He could have sworn Ladybug blushed, but if she did she hid it well, because the second he saw it, the red was gone. "Well, I can confirm that. Anyways," She stood, grabbing onto her yo-yo in preparation to leap across the city. "Ready for patrol?"

"With you, Buginette," Adrien gave her his signature grin as he hopped to his feet, reaching behind him to grasp his baton. "I'm always ready."

 By the time Adrien had showered, finished his homework and curled up in bed, it was past eleven. There was no guilt within him, however. Only the comfortable feeling of being absolutely content.

"You can have a crush on two girls at once, you know," Plagg yawned from his spot on Adrien's pillow. "A crush isn't exclusive to just one person."

"Plagg, shush," Adrien grumbled, letting his mouth stretch into a yawn of his own. "I don't have a crush on Marinette. I love Ladybug, and onlyLadybug. Now get some sleep."

His Kwami mumbled a reply before the dull sounds of purring and snoring could be heard, signaling that the small cat had drifted off.

Adrien wished he could do the same.

His mind ran marathons as he tossed and turned, his body exhausted but brain fully awake. Plagg did have a point, it wasn't completely wrong to have a crush on two girls at once, but- no, he didn't-

He didn't have a crush on Marinette. She was his friend. His friend who had made his day so much fun and his friend whose laugh he couldn't get out of his head.

"I don't have a crush on Marinette," He whispered to himself repeatedly. "I don't have a crush on Marinette. I don't have a crush on Marinette. I don't..."

Perhaps telling himself that over and over again would make it true.

"I don't have a crush on Marinette."

Perhaps telling himself that would rid his mind of those twinkling blue eyes.

"I don't have a crush on Marinette."

Perhaps telling himself that would make him forget about the dusting of freckles on her button nose.

"I don't have a crush on Marinette!"

Perhaps, as futile as the battle with himself may be, telling himself that would erase the thoughts of her perfectly pink lips that looked so kissable.

"Oh my god," Adrien groaned, stuffing his face into his pillow as his cheeks heated up and stomach churned with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. "I have a crush on Marinette."

Truthful Scars

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

Part 2 of 21

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