Continuing Tales

Truthful Scars

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

Part 20 of 21

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The next week brought sunshine.

Gorgeous rays of golden light streamed in through large bedroom windows and left a sheen along the balloons that floated lazily in the corner, warming Adrien's spacious room with a pleasant yellow hue. The flowers that decorated the coffee table relished in the sunshine and soaked it up gladly, while the little Chat Noir plushie that had once taken shelter within the marigolds now sat nestled safely atop the pillow the real superhero rested his head upon.

Whether it was morning or evening, Adrien wasn't sure.

His eyes felt heavy—like he hadn't slept for days. Which was odd, considering all he'd really been doing as of late was sleeping. Sleeping all week long since the day he'd been discharged from the hospital.

Sleeping at night, napping during the day, only leaving his bed for food or to bathe.

He had to take baths now. A broken leg wasn't the easiest injury to stand in a shower with. He'd tried—which only resulted in him slipping and painfully knocking his cast on the floor.

Marinette had warned him.

"Take baths," She'd told him. "I've broken my ankle before. Baths are a lot easier."

Why hadn't he listened again?

Oh, that's right. Ever since his near-drowning incident a few months back, Adrien felt quite uncomfortable being submerged in water.

At least Marinette had been there to assist him into the tub, even if it'd been a difficult task with her eyes closed.

He chuckled at the memory. She'd practically squawked when her hand accidentally brushed his bare chest.

Now, Adrien lay in bed, fiddling with the bell sewed onto the neck of his precious Chat plushie. It jingled and danced with each flick of his finger, and when he shook the miniature plush it sang in protest. If anyone was watching him, they'd think he was silly.

Still, after having nothing to do for the majority of the day (it was evening, he remembered—sunset), shaking his Chat Noir plushie until the bell rang constantly was the only form of entertainment he could find.

There's only so much anime a guy could watch.

"Don't you think that's a cruel way to entertain yourself?" A voice came from the window. "Really, I'd appreciate if you didn't torture my partner like that."

A smirk grew across Adrien's face before his eyes even met those of his scarlet Lady. "Why? Do you care about him or something?"

"As a matter of fact," Marinette giggled, hopping into his room with a graceful leap and making her way to his bed before placing herself on his mattress in a criss-cross position. Her gloved hand reached out to press a finger against his nose, drawing his gaze up to those familiar loving blues. "I do."

Adrien's smirk only widened as he sat up. Seeing Ladybug in his room, knowing she was Marinette, still sent a wave of excitement to course through his veins. It'd only been a week since they'd discovered each other's identities and the newness had yet to wear off. "Why, Ladybug, to whom do I owe the pleasure? What brings you here on this beautiful- …"

He'd forgotten what day it was, his eyes shooting up in a silent plea for help.

"Friday," Marinette whispered, a grin stretching across her face.

Clearing his throat, Adrien continued, setting the Chat Noir plushie to the side. "What brings you here on this beautiful Friday evening?"

"Just checking up on the poor civilian who can't stay out of danger," She replied with a smirk of her own, crossing her arms over her chest. "The one who apparently tripped over a root sticking up from the ground and fell into a flaming tree."

For a second, Adrien's mind went blank before he remembered the lie he'd made up to ease the suspicious of friends and family. Part of him was surprised they'd all actually bought it. "Hey, that's a clever story. Believable."

Marinette offered a shrug. "I suppose it's better than 'superhero gets punted across the Seine by a ball of fire.'"

"I dunno," Adrien said, giving his best shit-eating grin. "I kind of like that version better. Makes me sound more heroic."

The roll of his Lady's eyes was all he could ever need.

A small gasp from Adrien's left caused them both to turn to the sight of Plagg whizzing into the air, his tail twitching in glee. His ears perked up as he burrowed himself into the crook of Marinette's neck, purring and practically vibrating with the joy of seeing her again. It was still so new to Adrien, seeing his kwami so enamored by Marinette and enjoying her presence more than he enjoyed cheese.

(Well, almost.)

It was odd—Plagg and Marinette had just clicked. Whether it was from the constant scratches she enjoyed giving the tiny cat or how much cheese she spoiled him with, Adrien didn't know. All he could say for sure was that they certainly got along a lot better than he ever thought they would. He didn't know Plagg could be so nice.

Sure, there were times when Plagg was there for him in bad emotional states, but it was still a different sight to see his kwami purring and rubbing up affectionately against Marinette's cheek.

"Hi, Plagg," Marinette giggled, scratching under his chin. "I missed you too."

Adrien groaned, placing a hand over his heart as he feigned offense. "Traitor."

"Who?" Asked Marinette, a grin spreading across her freckled cheeks. She must've been out in the sun all day—her face was coated with adorable little brown flecks. Even with the spotted mask, Adrien could see them dotting every inch of her smooth skin. "Me or Plagg?"

"Both of you," He replied. "I'm deeply hurt."

"Oh, please," Plagg said with a roll of his eyes. "It's not like Marinette cooes over me like you do Tikki."

"It's not like Marinette cooes over you like you do Tikki," Adrien corrected, snickering as Plagg hissed in response.

He knew Plagg had a soft spot for Ladybug's kwami—he'd said so himself. They were made together as one piece, not meant to be separated. Better as one. Though the little god would never admit to saying such things, Adrien knew it was true. Both he and Marinette had seen how the two acted together when they thought their Chosens were asleep.

If he was honest, Adrien thought the cuddling was kind of cute.

"Yeah, well," Plagg said with a wave of his paw. "Tikki and I will go off and raid the fridge while you two do whatever. Food is much more important than snogging."

Adrien scoffed. "We do not snog-"

"I guess that's cue for me to stop being Ladybug," Marinette laughed, signalling for her transformation to release. Red light and sparkles of pink filled her form before the mask and ribbons faded, leaving her practically glowing in her civilian clothing. With the setting sun streaming in through the windows and bouncing off of her skin in an orange gleam, Marinette looked ethereal, like a goddess blessing his room with her presence.

It was still a mesmerizing sight, Ladybug transforming into Marinette or vice-versa; Adrien wasn't quite used to the whole "I'm dating Ladybug and I know her identity" concept yet.

He would be someday, he knew.

Even so, the magical beauty of her transformation would never cease to amaze him.

"Hi, Adrien," Tikki said as she materialized from red light, flying over to nuzzle his cheek. "I see you're doing better."

With a nod, Adrien smiled. "It's only been a week, but I'm on my way."

"You're recovering fast. How's your-"

"Tikki, let's go get some food," Plagg butt in, smiling at his fellow kwami with an impatient yet somehow affectionate gaze. "I'm hungry."

Tikki shrugged her little shoulders before shooting the two humans an apologetic grin. "We'll talk again later."

In a red blur, Tikki flitted up into the air and, with a kiss to Marinette's cheek, zipped off with Plagg to the kitchen below.

Adrien had grown to like Tikki a lot. Maybe not to the point he was "cooing" over her like Plagg suggested, but enough to where he enjoyed her company and their little conversations. They didn't usually talk much, seeing as most of the time the two kwamis were off with each other, but Adrien could understand their excitement. If he hadn't seen his partner in nearly a hundred years, he'd be pretty inseparable from her, too.

He couldn't imagine not seeing Mari for that long.

She'd practically visited him every day that week, bringing little snacks or games to keep him occupied. They'd talk and joke until Adrien grew tired, and she wouldn't leave until she was sure he was asleep. She'd even stayed over one night, and once or twice they'd sat upon his couch to watch a movie, although they were more interested in each other's lips rather than what was playing on the screen.

Could anyone blame them?

After all, they'd only just discovered that their significant other was the same person as their partner—their most trusted friend and the one they'd each fallen in love with. If they were alone in his room, they would certainly take advantage of the situation and spend the night kissing each other a little bit.

...Okay, maybe more than a little bit.

But kissing was nice! And fun! And… Nice!

There wasn't anything wrong with that.

"You've been bored, huh?"

Adrien looked up as Marinette spoke—he hadn't realized he'd been staring at her lips—and nodded. "There's not much I can do around here without the use of my leg."

"Have any more movies?"

He shook his head. "I've watched most of them."

"Video games?"

"You've beat me in all of them."

Marinette tapped at her chin thoughtfully. "Any books you haven't read?"

"Probably. But most of them are uninteresting, anyways."

In response, Marinette only sighed, flopping down onto her back and settling into the mattress next to him. That was the really the only thing they'd been doing as of late, and if Adrien was being honest, he was beginning to get just a little bored.

Not of Mari, no, he could never—but of his current state.

If only there was something he could do besides watch movies, eat, or read.

The only form of entertainment he could find that didn't rest in those three categories was think. Think, think, think about his state of health and how long it would take his leg to heal, or how soon he could go back to being Chat Noir. Plagg had explained to him that transforming while his leg was broken would do more harm than good, so fighting akuma was out of the question for the next few weeks.

Which, both he and Marinette had been undoubtedly concerned with. So concerned to the point where they'd began formulating plans for them to work together even with his damaged appendage if an attack so happened to occur. They were prepared.

That is, until an attack still hadn't happened a week later.

Usually Hawk Moth would've struck by now.

It was odd, not seeing any sort of danger within Paris. Not a scream, a cry for help, or even a simple disturbance. Besides usual big city crimes, of course, but that wasn't their field of work.

Everything was so calm.

It filled Adrien with a twinge of fear and a strange feeling of relaxation.

"What do you think Hawk Moth is up to?" He found himself asking as he laid back, hand trailing down his bedsheets to grasp Mari's out of habit. "You'd think he would take advantage of having one of us down. There's no doubt he knows I'm hurt because of him."

Marinette sighed, pushing her bangs out of her face as she fumbled for an answer. Adrien could tell the whole idea of Hawk Moth attacking while they were weak made her nervous. "I don't know. It's scary. The longer he waits to send something out, the more concerned I get. I'm afraid he's planning something big."

"Maybe he feels bad," Adrien laughed, clearly joking. "Maybe he realizes he hurt a teenager and is giving up for a little while."

Shaking her head, Mari frowned. "I doubt that. If he's been going after us for such a long time, I don't exactly think he'd feel remorse for hurting you."

"I'm offended. Who wouldn't feel bad for ruining my perfect model walk?"

"Hawk Moth, apparently."

"He's broken me, Mari," Adrien whined, a grin twitching at the corner of his lips as he placed a hand dramatically over his forehead. "I can never show my face in the modelling world again!"

Something in Marinette's expression changed—her eyes softened and gaze lowered, shifting uncomfortably away from his own. When she spoke, her voice was quiet, almost as if she'd barely said a word at all. "Yeah, well, maybe that's a good thing."

Adrien scratched at his head awkwardly. Okay, so maybe joking about modelling was in poor taste. Finding out from a doctor at the hospital that he was anemic from malnutrition wasn't the best news ever, and it'd definitely upset both Marinette and her parents.

He knew he couldn't ask her not to tell them—he'd figured it was best if she did. He needed help, and he very well couldn't get better on his own.

At least they'd invited him to come over for dinner once or twice a week; maybe more.

Even so, the memory of the sadness in Marinette's eyes when she'd found out still haunted him. That's what he deserved from trying to become a perfectly ghostly model, Adrien supposed.

"Sorry," He sighed, "I shouldn't have mentioned it. I know it bothers you."

"It just scares me, is all," Marinette said. "I worry about you."

A sentiment that brought a warm smile upon Adrien's face. Of course Marinette cared. She worried about him, just like her parents did—they all held him within their hearts in their own special way.

Marinette's family was beginning to feel more like home than any place ever had.

With them was where he belonged. In a warm, happy family. That's all he wanted. That's all Adrien ever desired.

He could have that with Marinette.

"I'm alright, Mari," He told her, reaching out to brush his knuckles down her cheek. "I'm eating better now. I'm doing better."

"I know." Turning to her side, she buried her face in his neck. Adrien could feel the warmth of her breath against his skin, soft and slow, almost as if she was falling asleep. Yet the way her hands fiddled with his blanket in a restless behavior said otherwise. "You're already looking better and it's only been a week. I bet you're sick of eating all that nutritious food though, huh?"

Adrien nodded, a small chuckle rising in his throat. "Like you wouldn't believe. I'd kill for something sweet right now."

"Like what?" Her eyes met his. "Do you want me to get you something from the bakery?"

Instead of answering her question, Adrien's arm found its way around her waist, holding her in a hug that was loose yet loving. "Stay. I'm so bored."

"And I'm the only way you can stay entertained?" There was a hint of laughter in her voice—faint, but there. Adrien was going to do whatever it took to get it out of her. She needed to smile. She deserved to!

"Yes," He chuckled, pressing his fingers into her waist. Which caused her to squeak, narrowing her eyes into thin daggers and glaring at him as if he'd just placed himself into a life-or-death situation.

Marinette was extremely ticklish in that spot, he remembered.

Which he would definitely use to his advantage.

"Don't," She warned in a whisper as his fingers ghosted the side of her waist, stilling on a spot where her shirt had ridden up just slightly.

Adrien smirked, applying the tiniest bit of pressure to her skin. "Don't what?"


"Don't…?" He could tell by the look of disgust upon Mari's face that at the moment, Adrien Agreste was no longer in the room and Chat Noir was sitting in his place. "Don't what? This?"

From the moment his fingers began to tickle that sensitive spot on her waist, Marinette squealed, squirming out of his grasp until she rolled off of his bed and to the floor in a giggling mess. "Adrien!" She whined, shooting him a glare that was quickly replaced by a smile. "No!"

"Yeah, well," He laughed, "at least I can't chase after you. You're cute when you squeal like that."

"Oh, shut up." Her tone was forcefully agitated, the expression on her face revealing that she felt nothing but joy.

"You love me," Adrien said. He knew that for a fact.

Marinette huffed, unable to deny his statement. "I do."

And that was just how things were.

For the rest of the night, they spent their time becoming lost within each other, just like they had been for the past week. They tended to each other's wounds, found a comfortable spot on the couch to watch a few cartoons, and let sunset turn to night as they felt content simply being together. Being happy.

Once they got hungry, Marinette decided on ordering a pizza, much to Adrien's excitement—he'd never had a real pizza before. Even if he was supposed to be eating nutritious foods, one pizza couldn't hurt, could it?

Besides… After the week he'd had, he deserved a little treat.

Okay, maybe a pizza was more than a "little," but his point still stood.

Marinette had been watching the window for their meal and, as stealthy as ever, retrieved it from the delivery man at the gate before the doorbell even had chance to ring. One of the good things about nobody ever being around the Agreste mansion was that ordering food Adrien wasn'tsupposed to be eating was easier than it should have been.

Although his father had been acting quite caring lately (strangely enough), Adrien still doubted that he would allow his son to indulge on such greasy food. Even if he hadn't seemed to have a problem with him visiting the Dupain-Cheng's for dinner the other night.

Adrien didn't know what it was, but his father had been acting differently since the incident. Spoke with a softer voice, hadn't reprimanded him all week. And although he still kept his distance, Adrien couldn't help but notice that something in his father's eyes had changed. They weren't as cold or disappointed as before; they were… Regretful? Dare he say, loving?

Maybe he was just imagining it.

By the time the whole pizza had been eaten by Marinette and him, Adrien had accepted defeat from his full stomach and decided to wash away the impending sickness by taking a nice, long bath.

Which Marinette helped him into, of course. He couldn't very well step into his humongous tub and keep his cast out of the water on his own.

Lately Mari had been sitting in the bathroom with him and providing some company. She never looked at him, of course—both of them being much too shy for that just yet—but she did sit with her back facing him so they could at least talk.

He'd discovered that although bathing alone was relaxing enough, having someone sitting just out of the tub with a cheek he can kiss and hair he can braid was ten times better.

Maybe even a hundred times better.

It was all too soon when Marinette needed to go home.

Yes, they'd spent the majority of their week together, but it still saddened Adrien to see her leave. He relished in their time with each other and enjoyed every second he was blessed to spend by her side. Knowing she was Ladybug, knowing that they were closer than either of them had ever expected to be, knowing they kept no secrets from each other made her one of the most important people in his life, and watching her leap from his window in her scarlet suit after giving him a goodnight kiss only made his heart long for her to return.

His bed felt too empty.

Perhaps he was being a little clingy, but he couldn't help it—his partner, his Lady, his amazing Marinette had been there through everything. She knew him better than anyone else did. All Adrien desired was to have her by his side.

Maybe they were the same as Plagg and Tikki—meant to be one. Meant to spend their lives together as a pair. Inseparable.

The thought brought a sleepy smile to Adrien's face as he lay in bed, coated in midnight shadows. From his windows, the lights of the city twinkled, illuminating the edge of his bedroom in a soft yellow glow. Where he lay, however, was nearly pitch black.

It was quiet.

Too quiet.

But that's just how things always were at home.


Sighing into his pillow, Adrien buried his face within the cozy fabric, the Chat Noir plush held captive within his arms. He'd barely done anything all day and was already exhausted.

By now he was used to that.

It could have been the head wound or the various burns on his chest, both of which were healing, but the cause of his sleepiness didn't matter. All that was important was that Adrien was ready to sleep.

Yet the person knocking on his bedroom door said otherwise.

Muffling a groan with his pillow, Adrien sat up and stretched, mentally preparing himself to walk across the room on his crutches. He'd been mostly avoiding walking lately due to how uncomfortable he found them, but there were times when it was necessary. Still, it didn't mean he had to enjoy it.

"Who is it?" Adrien grumbled, not at all awake enough for one of his father's assistants or housekeepers to meander around his room. "It's past eleven."


Adrien's eyes snapped open.

Oh, he knew that voice.

"Father?" He asked, quickly standing (and nearly falling over) before he made his way to the bedroom door. It was tough to turn the knob in his stance, but he managed. As he opened the door, Adrien was greeted with the sight of icy blue eyes and stiff shoulders, his father's expression stagnant yet… soft. "F-father, what are you-"

"I'd like a word with you," Gabriel said, voice sounding very, very tired. "It won't take long."

Nodding, Adrien made his way back to his bed, where he sat in waiting. From the way his father entered his room and stood like an icicle in front of him, Adrien could tell that he was tense and having difficulty finding the right words to say. It was almost sad, knowing his father had absolutely no idea how to start a simple conversation with his son.

After a silence that dragged on unpleasantly, Gabriel cleared his throat, shifting his gaze away before it met his son's. "I've come to inform you that your summer trip has been cancelled, due to your…" He paused for a moment, something like regret flashing in his eyes. "Your injuries. You're not in a state well enough to travel."

That didn't come as much of a shock to Adrien. By the way there hadn't been any sort of mention of his trip to America in the past week, his understanding was that it meant he wasn't going.

Which he was grateful for, of course. He was plenty content to stay in France with Mari and his friends whether he was hurt or not.

"Thank you," was all Adrien said.

His father nodded once in response. For a moment he stood still, gaze soft and lips in the tiniest, almost unnoticeable frown.

It was weird. What could he thinking? What could he be feeling?

"Father?" Adrien asked, unsure if he was done speaking or preparing a few more words.

Gabriel cleared his throat once more, regaining his composure. "I'd also like to offer my apologies."

Now that was surprising.

Gabriel Agreste, apologizing?

What, had they gone back in time ten years to when Adrien was six years old and his mother was still around? Did his father's heart suddenly return from the fashion war? Had he been akumatized? This wasn't normal!

His father never apologized!

"Apologize?" Adrien cocked his head to the side. "For what, exactly?"

A suppressed sigh. "I realize I haven't been the kindest towards you and your friends these past few years. I am trying to do better as your father. And while I don't expect forgiveness, my apology still stands."

God, so much sweetness. Adrien was lucky he didn't puke from the sheer shock of it all.

"Oh," Adrien breathed, surprised by his words. Really, what else could he say? "Thank you."

Gabriel nodded and, before turning, bid him goodnight.

The door shut with a click behind him.

Settling back into bed and finding a comfortable position, Adrien lay awake, gaze glued to the ceiling as he contemplated what his father had said. There'd been an apology, yes, but something else was hidden underneath it; had he really been apologizing for his behavior, or… something entirely different?

Adrien scoffed. What else could he apologize before? Besides, there had been a reason for him to be sorry. He hadn't exactly treated his son right for the past three or so years, just like he'd said. An apology was definitely necessary.

If anything, Adrien was going to take whatever apology he could get and just leave it at that.

It was something.

Odd, unexpected—but something.

Even so, Adrien found himself unable to sleep.

It was officially summer vacation now, and although he'd missed the last week of school due to his injuries, all of his classmates were free. Once his leg was better they could go back to their usual hangouts, but until then, simply having his friends over would suffice.

Maybe Mari could start staying nights more often.

If her parents would be okay with that, of course.

(He'd heard about her little "talk" with her mother—it'd made him laugh harder than it should have, and the way Marinette's face heated up into the pinkest he'd ever seen it only made it harder to stop.)

Still, it would be nice.

Not for them to do anything inappropriate—neither of them were ready for that, Adrien knew. It was one thing for them to bathe together, but to actually do something was entirely another.

A thought that made his cheeks hot and his stomach twist with a mixture of both nerves and excitement.

Not yet.

Really, all Adrien wanted was to spend time with her. To cuddle, talk, to patrol together.

Gosh, what would patrols be like, now? Now that they knew each other's identities?

Endless fun, he imagined.

His leg needed to heal faster.

"Stop thinking about her and go to sleep," Plagg yawned from his side, having dozed off as soon as Marinette left. No doubt he'd been woken by Adrien's father and had zipped off to hide, but now he was curled up into a tiny black ball on his Chosen's pillow, tail wrapped around his paws and eyes drooping closed. "I'm tired."

Adrien nodded. Although he knew he wouldn't be able to stop thinking about Mari for much longer than a few minutes, Plagg was right. He did need to get some sleep.

Even if the left side of his bed felt too cold.

Eh, Adrien thought to himself. It'll be warm again soon.

As soon as Adrien closed his eyes, it was with a smile that he realized Plagg was right.

Better days had come.

Truthful Scars

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

Part 20 of 21

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