Continuing Tales

Truthful Scars

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

Part 4 of 21

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Friday morning was easier on Marinette than Thursday had been. When she slid into her seat before the first bell rang, her eyes sparkled and the bags that had previously hung below them long since faded. She'd been lucky enough to sleep throughout the whole night undisturbed, and now as she sat in class watching other students pile in, she no longer felt the desperate need to lay her head on her desk and nod off into slumber (a major improvement from yesterday.)

Adrien looked much better as well, his golden hair shining and green eyes returned to their usual brightness. The sight of her classmate looking so handsome (as always) nearly brought a blush to Marinette's freckled cheeks, but she fought it back by shifting her gaze to the blank notebook paper that sat in front of her. Today she would be productive. Today she wouldn't miss classes. Today, she wouldn't be distracted.

Hopefully, at least.

"Hey, Marinette," Adrien's voice startled her, blue eyes meeting green. His tone was soft and friendly and it almost made Marinette's heart melt right there. "You look better today. Get enough sleep last night?"

She laughed, giving her friend a shy nod. Of course she did, he'd been there when she'd passed out on the chaise in her room. Hell, he'd even fallen asleep there for a good hour or two. Most of yesterday's exciting schedule had been filled with nothing but sleeping for the both of them, she assumed.

"Mhm," Marinette hummed in response, "th-that's really all I did. You look better, too. Not that you looked bad before! It's- it's just, you still look nice when you're tired- oh, I mean, you look well rested. You look like you had a good n-night's sleep!"

She mentally cursed herself for stuttering. Hadn't they already passed that stage?

Adrien laughed, raising a curious eyebrow and flashing her a wide grin that made her knees weak. It's a good thing she was sitting down.

"I did, yeah." A soft chuckle slipped passed those perfectly kissable lips. Was it considered inappropriate to grab him by his cheeks and pull him in for several kisses right in the middle of class?

As if she'd ever be brave enough to do it.

Alya shot her a teasing look as she slid into the seat next to her.

"That's good," Marinette said, her voice quieter than she had intended it to be. Embarrassing herself in front of Adrien again hadn't been the initial plan, but seeing his lips curl upward in a laugh had made it all worth it. If giving awkward compliments made Adrien laugh and smile, then she'd never stop.

He looked as if he was about to speak again, but his mouth shut when their teacher walked into the room. The entire class had found their seats by now and Marinette couldn't help the slight disappointment that washed across her face. Talking to Adrien was something she had been blessed to experience more of as of late, but it still wasn't enough to suffice the undying need for conversation with her crush.

The current lesson was something that Marinette knew well enough to not give her utmost attention. She had a special talent for multitasking, so gazing at the back of Adrien's head while Madame Bustier described a poem from the late eighteenth century wasn't much of a distraction.

What was distracting, however, happened to be whatever Adrien was scribbling onto a piece of notebook paper. Marinette couldn't tell what exactly he was writing, but she wanted to know; what if it was another love letter?

If that first one had even been for her.

He'd never mentioned anything to her or hadn't ever brought up the fact that some girl had answered his message he'd left in the trash. Maybe it'd been for one of the models he worked with.

Jealousy burned at the pit of her stomach.

With that thought in mind, she had to know what he was writing.

Leaning forward in her seat a little, she peered down at the piece of paper, her eyes softening with relief as she realized he was only doodling.

Thank goodness.

Little ladybugs and black paw prints decorated his paper, ranging in sizes from small to large. Marinette could distinctly pick out a crudely drawn Ladybug and Chat Noir surrounded by little hearts. Adrien wasn't much of an artist, but she could definitely tell what he was drawing.

She hadn't exactly pegged Adrien as much of a Ladynoir shipper.

It took everything Marinette had not to groan and roll her eyes. Was there anyone who didn't expect the two partners to fall in an undying romance?

Chloe doesn't, she reminded herself, Chloe's got a crush on Ladybug.

Remembering that almost made Marinette want to kiss Chat Noir in front of her.

Adrien's doodles inspired Marinette to mindlessly sketch across her empty notebook paper. She hadn't even realized what she was drawing until the superheroes appeared on her own page.

She was about to crumple it up until a thought sparked within her brain. If Adrien liked Ladybug and Chat Noir, wouldn't he be interested in seeing that she could draw them?

Pulling out her sketchbook, she sketched the same drawing but with more accurate anatomy and detail. It wasn't anything incredibly beautiful, but anyone who wasn't an artist would most likely be impressed. Hopefully even Adrien.

She glanced up every now and then to ease any suspicions from her teacher that she wasn't paying attention—she was a good multitasker, after all.

Before the first bell rang, Alya was shifting in her seat with excitement over Marinette's drawing. Marinette almost laughed. She knew Alya had never seen her draw the two superheroes before, save for the recent designs, and those had just been rough sketches.

This, however, wasn't a sketch. She'd darkened the lines with pencil and added such detailed shading that even she was proud of it. Highlights and lowlights, wisps of hair delicately fanned out with light strokes, and, just for Adrien, a little heart between the two partners. She couldn't wait for Adrien to have it.

...That is, once she found out how exactly she was going to give it to him.

Marinette had the right mind to smack her palm to her forehead. She couldn't just waltz up to her crush and say, "Hey! I was watching you doodle for most of the class because I'm totally in love with you, so I drew you this because I want you to notice me."

Panic nearly set in before a shadow was looming over her desk.

"Woah," Breathed Adrien, his eyes wide and sparkling. "You- you drew that? Just now?"

"Oh!" She glanced frantically around the room. Should she say yes? Would he know that she'd been watching him? "Well, I, I did draw it, yes- I drew it. Just now. I was bored, and-"

"It's amazing." The way the word fell off his lips made it obvious he wasn't lying. Adrien really did like her artwork. "Could you draw me one? I mean, I could pay you, but if you don't want to it's okay."

Marinette's grin almost turned into a smirk, but she hid it behind her sweet smile. "How about you keep this one? I don't need it. You look really excited over it."

"...Really?" Adrien seemed as if he'd just been offered the world. Eyes glowing with enthusiasm and mouth stretching into a grin, he gingerly reached out, holding the sketchbook in his hands as he gazed at the drawing with wonder. "You mean it? You're sure? It's okay if-"

"I mean it. Here," She ripped out the page from the book while he held it and handed it off to him. He lifted it with delicate hands, as if the drawing was a newborn baby he didn't want to harm.

"Thanks," He whispered, taken aback as he closely examined the details. "I've always wondered what you think of them. You're the only one in class that's ever met with Chat Noir in person, you know? He must have been so cool."

Something sparkled in his eyes, but before she could catch it, it flashed away.

"Oh, he's-" She began. Adrien's hopeful expression tugged at her heart. He was most likely a big Chat Noir fan, so she had to speak positively about her partner in front of him. "He's pretty... Cute."



Why did she-

Of all the things you could say about Chat Noir, "cute" is the first word that comes to mind?

"Cute?" Adrien laughed, his smile widening. "You think so?"

"Don't most people?" It was true, most young citizens of Paris completely fawned over that silly cat. Marinette couldn't fathom why. If they knew how many puns Chat flung at her every hour, they wouldn't be thinking he was such a dreamboat anymore.

"I guess," Adrien said. "I wonder if Ladybug thinks so. Do you think they'd make a good couple?"

She almost gagged.

Almost, but didn't.

Instead Marinette put on a smile and nodded, swallowing back her stutter. "Of course! They work so well together. I-I wonder why they aren't dating already!"

Oh, the agony.

The things she did for love!

"Yeah?" Adrien seemed thrilled as he tried to keep his excitement at bay. "I think so, too."

The look of absolute glee on his face as he bid her a goodbye made Marinette's heart melt into a warm puddle inside her chest. She'd do whatever she could to make that boy happy.

Marinette knew Adrien's home life wasn't exactly the amazingly perfect model life most people figured he had. No, she knew he was lonely and sad, and she wanted desperately to be there for him, even if she filled that space with nervous babbling and awkward staring. Adrien needed a person in his life to make him smile and laugh and feel loved, because she knew well enough that he was craving it. Not romantic love, perhaps, but love nonetheless.

He deserved kindness because that was ultimately what made her fall for him in the first place—how no matter what, he was always so kind and caring towards everyone.

The rest of Marinette's classes went by in a flash as her mind drifted to none other than Adrien Agreste, as usual. If only she were brave enough to invite him back over. Whether he would be helping with her designs, getting his ass beat at video games, or sharing dinner with her family, she'd be happy to have him there. Her parents had certainly taken a liking to him. They'd even teased her the day before when Adrien left sleepy-eyed.

"Were you two napping together and snuggling?" Her mother had joked, having caused Marinette's cheeks to flare up in scarlet.

She wished that's what they had been doing. Snuggling Adrien would be a dream come true. He was probably a good snuggler.

His chest would be nice to lay her head on. His arms were most likely the best at giving tight, warm hugs, and wow, his kisses were probably the sweetest.

Marinette let out a blissful sigh as she and Alya left the classroom for lunch. She'd been daydreaming about Adrien all day and had forgotten to feel hungry.

"Let me guess," Alya broke her concentration on what had been how Adrien's hair stayed so shiny. "Thinking about Monsieur Sunshine?"

"Yes," Marinette answered, unashamed. "He was just so happy about that drawing. I'd love to be able to make him smile like that every day."

"He could use it. That boy doesn't smile enough."

"I know," She let out a crestfallen sigh, shoulders drooping. "I feel so bad for him. I think all he wants is someone to be there for him, you know?"

Alya smirked and gave her friend a nudge. "So, be there for him, then! If he wants hugs and kisses, give them to him!"

At Marinette's burning cheeks, Alya let out a laugh.

"I think he's got a thing for you, you know," She said, "I don't know what it is or what you did, but he's always looking at you. Have you noticed that? He's constantly glancing your way and trying to find an excuse to talk to you."

"Alya," Marinette gave her a I-wish-that-were-true-but-you-know-it-isn't look. "He's probably just glad to have another friend. I don't think he likes me that way."

"Ah," Alya shrugged. "You never know, though, girl. Maybe his crush on Ladybug will go away and then he'll pursue you."

Marinette nearly choked on air. "He's got an actual crush on Ladybug?"

"Don't look so surprised! Most people do. It's probably just a silly celebrity crush. Adrien's really into her, though," Alya's laughter came in snorts. "Nino told me the dude's got Ladybug posters up in his room. She's his desktop wallpaper. He's an avid follower of my blog. That's a secret, though, so don't tell anyone." Quickly she realized that maybe telling her best friend who was literally in love with Adrien that he liked someone else might not have been the best thing to do. "It's silly, though. I don't think he's in love with her or something. I didn't mean anything by it."

She couldn't speak. Adrien having a crush on Ladybug was Adrien having a crush on Marinette. Her legs wobbled. Oh, god, she was going to faint in front of the school crowd. Adrien has a crush on Ladybug. Adrien has a crush on ME.

Could a person vomit from being so excited?

"I-I need to go home," Squeaked Marinette, "don't feel good."

Alya frowned, regret noticeably appearing on her face. "Hey, I'm sure Adrien doesn't actually like Ladybug more than you-"

"No, no," Marinette laid a reassuring hand on her friend's shoulder and smiled. "Not because of that. That doesn't bother me at all. I just... Need to go home to scream."

Alya didn't say another word. Best friends didn't need words to understand that when Marinette needs to scream, she needs to scream.

And that's exactly what she did when she got into her room.

She screamed, loud, into her giant cat pillow and hugged it in a suffocating grasp. Her legs kicked and chest bubbled with giggles as she sucked in air after every gleeful screech.

Thankfully her parents were three stories below tending the bakery, because they'd surely come to check up on their hollering daughter if they heard her cries of joy.

"Marinette," Laughed Tikki, laying a tiny paw on her shoulder. "Are you okay?"

"Never been better, Tikki," Sighed Marinette as she turned onto her back, gazing at her ceiling with the biggest grin her face could muster. "I think Adrien has a crush on me."

Tikki became excited, buzzing around her head. "Really?"

"Well," Marinette sat up, shrugging. "He's got a crush on Ladybug, apparently. And... Ladybug is me. So going by that, technically, Adrien has a crush on Marinette, right?"


Not exactly.

Marinette's joyous grin suddenly stretched downward in realization. "Oh, god, Tikki," She groaned, throwing herself back onto her bed. "What if he finds out I'm Ladybug? He'll be so disappointed... Silly, nervous Marinette is the one who's behind Ladybug, the super-heroine of Paris. He'll see that Ladybug isn't actually what she's made out to be. He'll be so disappointed! He won't be happy to know who I really am! Adrien finding out that Marinette is Ladybug would ruin any chance I have with him. I'm a goner. I'm literally dying-"

"Marinette," Tikki scolded gently, "that's not true. Like I've said before, you're Ladybug with and without the mask." Her paw caressed Marinette's forehead reassuringly, eyes soft with understanding. "Who's to say that he doesn't like who Marinette is? You two seem to really enjoy each others company lately."

"...Yeah," Sighed Marinette, "but he doesn't like Marinette that way... And I think I kind of scare him off with my nervousness. Whenever I start rambling he just gets this expression on his face that I can't explain. I have no idea if he thinks it's cute or weird."

"Well, he seemed pretty happy about that drawing today."

That was true. Marinette had never seen Adrien smile so big before. Maybe he did like her and enjoyed having her around?

She didn't have too much time to ponder that thought—a crash and a scream from outside made Marinette spring out of bed and leap down the stairs to her window, where she gazed out expectantly.

It was just as she had assumed: another Akuma attack.

Marinette groaned. She would have to miss lunch today.

"Looks like we've got another one," Tikki said as she zipped over.

Marinette nodded before shouting, "Tikki, transform me!"

Adrien sighed as the city was enveloped by a flash of pink. Everything returned back to normal, flowers that filled the streets disappearing and vines along buildings turning to dust.

Compared to the last Akuma attack, this one had been a piece of cake. They hadn't even needed to use their special powers, which was a rare occurrence, even for stupidly easy battles.

By Adrien's standards, this particular villain had been practically pathetic—a florist whose ability was to grow flowers and vines on any surface. That was it.

Plants didn't stop Ladybug and Chat Noir.

In fact, when Ladybug was around plants, she seemed full of energy and even gleeful. If he had cat side effects, then Adrien didn't doubt that Ladybug had ladybug side effects as well.

As he landed by his partner's side, Adrien grinned and wrapped his tail around her waist, waving for the cameras that now surrounded them.

News crews couldn't get enough of Ladybug and Chat Noir.

"Chat," Ladybug hissed through her teeth as he rested his hand on her shoulder. She didn't seem unhappy with the contact, though.

So he kept his hand there.

She didn't force him off.

"Ladybug!" A young reporter shoved through the crowd, her eyes full of excitement. Just from her voice, Adrien knew it was Alya. "Could I get answers to a few questions for the Ladyblog?"

Adrien grinned as Ladybug obliged. Alya would be raving about this later. He could imagine it now: "Oh my god, you guys, Ladybug actually answered questions for the Ladyblog!"

"Okay," Alya stood up straight, turning on her phone camera. "I was just wondering, what exactly is the relationship between you and Chat Noir now that you've kissed?"

Ladybug visibly deflated. She looked quite uncomfortable, so Adrien took matters into his own hands (or claws.)

"Ladybug!" He gasped, pointing to her earrings. "Your miraculous is wearing off!"

His partner gave him a quizzical look before catching on and nodding. "Oh, I'm sorry—Alya, was it?—but I have to go before I change back!"

She zipped off and Adrien followed closely behind, though not quite matching her speed. She'd always been just a tad faster than him.

They bounded from building to building until they were practically across the city, back at the school. Adrien landed next to his partner, who stopped upon the roof. He frowned at her hardened expression.

"My Lady?" He hesitantly reached out a hand, but pulled it back, knowing not to step over her boundaries. She probably didn't want to be touched right now, and that was okay. He didn't need to touch her to comfort her. "Don't let silly reporters get to you. I'm sure Alya only had our best interests-"

"I'm not upset about that," She sighed as she turned, sitting with her back against one of the decorative chimneys. "I'm upset people keep assuming that was a kiss of love and not a kiss of life. I was trying to get you to breathe, not giving you a final declaration of love before you died."

Adrien turned his gaze away and set it on the schoolyard below, where students pooled back in after the attack. That was where he should be, but standing with his Lady was the much preferred option.

"Fans will be fans," He said as he sat next to her, his eyes on the blue sky (which reminded him of her eyes.) "But I agree. When you finally fall in love with me and we kiss in front of thousands of people, that's when I want the fans to go crazy." Shooting her a wink, he grinned as she rolled her eyes and smiled. That smile was something he lived for.

"Dream on, kitty. CPR may be the only kiss you ever get from me."

Adrien feigned a gasp, pressing his hand to his heart dramatically. "Oh, my Lady, you wound me! I can feel my heart bleeding."

"Well, that is where blood comes from."

"You've hurt me. I never want to see you again."

"That can be arranged."

They broke into a fit of laughter, enjoying each others company when there wasn't an Akuma victim trying to rip them to shreds. Their friendship was an odd one, but a lovely friendship nonetheless. Adrien felt the familiar heat of blush tingle his cheeks.

Ladybug gazed upward at the clouds, her eyes glimmering in the sunshine. Adrien studied her features, scanning every bit of skin he could. Her adorable galaxy of freckles that adorned her rosy cheeks and button nose made his heart pound in his chest. His gaze traveled to her hair, which shone in the rays of golden light that rained upon her as if she were some goddess from another time.

To him, she was.

He quickly tore his eyes away from her as she caught him staring, which made Ladybug break into giggles.

"Were you ogling me?"

Adrien shook his head, cheeks crimson. "No, of course not. I'm admiring you. That's different from ogling. I've only ogled you a few times."

"Chat Noir!"

He shrugged, smirking as he chuckled. It wasn't a lie. "What can I say? You've got a pretty cute butt."

"Oh my god, we are not having this conversation right now." She gave him a shove, but the grin on her face and the redness in her cheeks only made him want to continue. There was nothing wrong with flattery.

"Aw, do you not think so? I didn't think of you as self-conscious."

"I'm not."

"So you agree? You think your butt is cute?"

"Chat Noir, please," Laughed Ladybug, "or else I'm going to kick you off of this school."

"That might be for the best," He chuckled with a cheeky grin. "I'm missing class right now."

Ladybug froze, her smile thinning to tightened lips. It was then that Adrien realized what he had said.

You idiot, you're not supposed to share that kind of information!

"You..." Ladybug cleared her throat and steadied her voice. "You go to this school?"

He was surprised she didn't scold him for letting that information slip.

"Uh..." He glanced away, knowing there was no use in laughing it off or lying. "...Yes, I do. Why do you look so surprised, my Lady? Did you think I was older than a collègian? I am cute enough to be, I suppose. I'm pretty mature for my age."

Ladybug snorted. "That's a lie. To tell you the truth, I figured you were in lycée or at least a higher grade than I am. I just never asked."

Adrien raised an eyebrow curiously. "And I thought you were five-thousand years old?"

"Did you actually think so?" She had a teasing lilt to her voice.

Adrien laughed. "No, not really. Honestly, to me you look to be about..." He studied her for a moment. "...Maybe fifteen, sixteen. Seventeen at the most. Am I right?"

"You're wrong," She said with a grin, "I'm actually twelve."

Adrien coughed, wide green eyes staring at her and begging it to be a lie. "N-no you're not!"

As Ladybug broke into laughter, Adrien felt relief rush through him. So she was joking. Good. He felt stupid for believing her for a moment.

"I'll give you a hint. I'm between fourteen and eighteen. That's all you need to know."

He grinned back. "Well, same here. Aren't we just the perfect match?"

"Not if you're eighteen and I'm fourteen."

"Ah," He scooted closer, draping an arm around her shoulders. "But I'm not eighteen. Try going younger."

Ladybug rolled her eyes and pushed him off, giving a shake of her head. "I don't need to know your age, kitty. We're supposed to keep our identities secret."

"But how many teenagers are there in Paris? There's no way I'll guess who you are. At least tell me your age so I know I'm not crushing on someone too young or too old for me."

Ladybug seemed to ponder his request and then sighed, tapping her fingers on her thigh. "True. I'll give you this one thing. No more questions afterwards, got it?"

Adrien nodded excitedly. Learning new information about Ladybug was always thrilling. "You've got a cat's promise."

"Is that a good thing?"

He laughed. "Of course, my Lady. I won't tell a soul."

"Fine," She shuffled her shoulders, getting comfortable against the chimney. "I'm fifteen. There, no more questions."

Adrien's heart leaped in his chest. His tail flicked in enthusiasm with this new info, a purr rumbling in his chest. "Aw, Ladybug," He sighed, leaning in to rest his head on her shoulder. "We're the same age. It's true love. We're just simply meant to be."

"Off," She instructed, giving him a gentle shove. "Down, kitty."

"Can I come to your birthday party?" He gave her an innocent grin, teeth glinting in the sunlight. "I'll come bearing gifts and my love."

"I'll take the first option only, thanks," She laughed, shaking her head. "But no. You can't come to my birthday. It's not for months anyways."

"What's a sweet sixteen without Chat Noir? I can pop out of the cake."

"I don't think I want to see that."


Their playful banter continued until the final bell for school rang, hundreds of students scattering out as they prepared for the weekend.

"Fuck," Hissed Ladybug under her breath, causing Adrien's eyes to widen.

"Such profanity!" He gasped. "You don't usually say that word unless you've been struck in the face."

"Shut it," She shot him a glare, which made his grin grow wider in return. "We missed the whole school day."

"Technically, only half-" His eyes grew to the size of saucers and his heart stopped beating in his chest. He stared down at her, placing a hand upon hers and squeezing it tight. "Do you go here too?"

"I'm not answering that." She seemed nervous, like she had admitted something she didn't intend to. She probably did. Sharing that they went to the same school might have scared her.

So, instead, he changed the subject.

"It's a lot warmer today," He sighed, placing his hands behind his head as he relaxed against the chimney. "Summer's almost here. A good thing, too, I'm so tired of the cold."

The tension Ladybug held in her shoulders faded with the change of the subject. "Me too. I get so exhausted in cold weather."

"Don't ladybugs hibernate in winter?"

His partner nodded. "The actual insects do. I just get unbelievably tired all the time."

Adrien smiled at the thought of spending winter with her. It would certainly be better to play in the snow with a friend rather than sit at home watching it from his windows alone. "Ah, Bugaboo, our first winter together, we must have a snowball fight."

"You wouldn't want to face me in a snowball fight, chaton," Ladybug replied with a chuckle. "I can get pretty brutal."

"Do tell," He scooted closer, earning a playful shove from his partner.

"The one and only snowball fight I've ever had was practically a war zone. I don't remember how many jackets I stuffed snow into."

"Me-owch. I didn't know my lady could be so cold."

"Was that two puns in one sentence?" Ladybug genuinely looked offended, but the grin that tugged at her lips signaled that she had indeed found it funny.

"What can I say? I'm talented." He flashed her a smirk before sighing in bliss. A cloud that blotted out the sun for a moment had just moved along, leaving a clear spot for it to shine down on the pair.

If there was one thing Adrien loved, it was a good patch of sunshine.

Warmth radiated onto his suit and what little skin was exposed, filling his body with such a wonderful heat that he couldn't help but purr and shut his eyes. All cats loved sunshine, and Chat Noir adored it.

He flinched in surprise as he felt a hand begin to scratch under his chin. Opening his eyes, Adrien gazed at Ladybug with a pleasantly surprised expression; she was scratching him because she wanted to. Grinning, he purred louder and titled his head up as she continued to scratch him, his tail curling in pleasure. It was a different feeling, but it was nice to be touched. Her hand slid from his chin to his head, where she stroked his hair and behind his ears. He submitted. His head flopped onto her lap and Ladybug giggled, her fingers finding that perfect spot right behind his cat ears. She knew exactly how to make him go crazy.

It wasn't anything but innocent pleasure—it ultimately just felt nice. The fact that Ladybug's giggles accompanied his purr made Adrien's smile grow three times its size.

"You're so weird," She sighed, removing her hand from his person. "I've gotta go, Chat. My parents will be expecting me. I'll see you for patrol later, okay?"

Adrien whined. "Can't we sit in the sun and cuddle?"

Ladybug shook her head with a chuckle before she leaped away, Adrien's gaze following her until she disappeared behind a building.

Her touch lingered and burned his skin with a content warmth that made Adrien blush and tingle. The soothing hands that made him submit to her clutches caused a sigh to slip past his lips (which he honestly wished she could be kissing right now), his purr still rumbling deeply in his chest.

It took him a good fifteen minutes before he could remove himself from the sunny spot. He was a bit disappointed that he had to leave such a wonderful patch of sunshine, but Nathalie would be expecting him home for piano recitals.

Ah, the wonderfully exciting life of Adrien Agreste was to greet him as soon as he walked through those double doors: isolation, a distant father, and cold, empty hallways.

He let out a flat "woohoo" before slipping in his open window and detransforming.

After a good two hours of reciting songs on piano that he'd practiced plenty of times to know perfectly by heart and another hour of tedious Chinese lessons, Adrien found himself wandering in the kitchen for dinner, curious about what was on the menu that evening.

As usual, his father didn't accompany him at the dinner table, leaving Adrien to sit by his lonesome at the end of the glass surface. He sighed, gazing down at the plate that sat before him, a light and low-calorie meal barely tempting his taste-buds.


An irritated groan slipped past his lips. If he had it his way, he'd order a large triple cheese pizza with four toppings and eat it all by himself.

But Adrien didn't have it his way.

So here he was, eating a small meal that would surely leave him feeling a little more than peckish when bedtime rolled around. By now, he was used to it. Didn't mean he liked it, though.

After he'd eaten and wandered up to his room for some good-old video games, Adrien sat in his computer chair and spun in a circle before loading up the Ladyblog to check up on any recent silly theories or photos. It was full of pictures from the day's flower akuma, some of the victim but most of Ladybug and Chat Noir kicking ass. Well, what little there was to be kicked. It'd been easy.

Almost too easy.

Adrien scrolled through the blog mindlessly, not very interested until photos of the pair sitting atop the school appeared on his screen. A sigh of bliss escaped him as he leaned forward, his chin resting on his palm. Gazing at those photos only brought back how wonderful it'd felt to sit there and enjoy some time alone with his lady. The memory of her fingers in his hair, how she smelled like a mix of cookies and lavender, and the way she made his head plunge into her lap caused Adrien's heart to beat wildly in his chest.

The sight of Ladybug and Chat Noir reminded Adrien that he'd need to meet her for patrol in an hour. They'd agreed to patrol every other day, going one night then not the next until they met again on the third evening. He wished it could be every night, that way he wouldn't go a day without being blessed by the sight of Ladybug leaping across the skyline of Paris.

He became impatient with waiting around and playing video games to pass the time. It was Friday, so there'd been no studying to attend to. A lonesome, uneventful Friday that left Adrien desiring some company.

So, he left early. It'd taken some coaxing with several cheeses to get Plagg to transform before he was supposed to, but once Chat Noir flung outside of his bedroom window and leaped across the city, Adrien felt all of the doleful thoughts drain from his body. There was just something about being so free that caused his ears to twitch and lips to stretch into a wide cat-like grin of excitement.

He landed atop their usual meeting place, strikingly gorgeous Notre Dame, which gave the pair a beautiful view of their beloved Paris before they ventured off on patrol. Being thirty minutes early meant he'd be sitting alone for quite some time, but Adrien couldn't find it in himself to care that much. He was in his element: dark skies, twinkling lights, the world settling down for the evening. His ears picked up the hum of cars rolling down the streets and muffled conversation from below. Distant swing music could be heard from some event he couldn't quite see with his eyes. This was Paris, this was his home, and sitting atop buildings under the faded stars was where Chat Noir belonged.

It was where Adrien belonged.

He hadn't realized how much time he'd passed by listening to the song of the city until Ladybug landed next to him, her blue eyes shining in the yellow hues of artificial light.

"You're here early," She said as she fastened her yo-yo onto her waist. "I thought I would be here first tonight since I left before I should have, too."

Adrien grinned as he stood closer, draping an arm around her petite frame. "I couldn't wait to see you, mon chéri."

"Stop," She laughed as she gave him a shove so his arms disconnected with her body. "Are you always such a hopeless romantic?"

"Only when I'm around you, my Lady. I just can't help it. You make me see everything good in life. When I'm with you-" Leaping onto the ledge of the church, he took a deep breath and shouted, "-I want to scream and let the world know that I love you!" He turned and flashed her his signature smirk, which earned him a roll of baby blues in return. It was her little way of saying, "I want you to shut up but I think you're cute."

At least, he hoped that's what it meant.

How could she not think he's cute? Cats are adorable and Chat Noir was no exception for that term.

"I'm pretty sure the world already knows that," Chuckled Ladybug, "and if it didn't, now it does."

Adrien smiled and hopped down to stand next to Ladybug's side. "Well, now that the Parisians know we're practically married, shall we go?"

Ladybug nodded, then scrunched up her nose and shook her head. "Okay, yes, I'm ready, but we are not practically married. I don't see a ring on my finger."

"I'll get you one. What kind of stone?"

"No thanks."

"See? We're already disagreeing like a married couple. Next we'll be having kittens."

"Kittens?" Ladybug scoffed. "Can't you at least call them children?"

"So you agree?" Adrien's grin grew twice its size as he smirked at her. "You think we'll have children?"

"Not even in your dreams, tomcat." With a roll of her eyes, Ladybug took to their usual route, Adrien following closely behind.

Patrol was relatively quiet but that's usually how it went. The two were more focused on scouting the city and making sure the citizens were safe rather than conversation. It was a comfortable silence and Adrien felt at ease until his muscles began to ache and his breath was harder to suck in to his lungs, which burned from exhaustion.

He slowed, watching helplessly as the two became farther apart. "Wait," He panted, stopping upon the same roof they'd be on earlier that day. The school was much quieter and less peaceful looking during the night.

"Chat?" Ladybug backtracked and landed next to her partner, concern lacing her expression as she noticed he seemed quite out of it, hunched over with his hands on his knees. "What's wrong? Are you okay?"

"Fine," He coughed, holding up a finger. "Just... One moment. I'm not feeling too good."

Dizzy was the only word that came to mind when his legs lost their balance and sent him to sit on the gravelly roof. He held a hand to his forehead, shutting his eyes tight as he fought to find energy within his thin body. Adrien wasn't sure what the hell was wrong with him or why he was feeling so weak and sick until his stomach clenched in a reminder that his dinner had been a bit too light.

"Chat Noir?"

His green gaze met hers and he could see that she was worried, even with blurry vision.

"Chat, what's wrong?"

"Ah," He breathed, "can we take a small break?"

Ladybug hesitated before nodding, sitting next to her partner with a watchful eye. "You've never ran out of breath before. Are you sick?"

Adrien shook his head in response, unable to muster the energy to look at her or even speak.

"Ran too fast?"

He shook his head.

"Get enough sleep?"

He nodded.

"Drinking enough?"

He nodded once more.

"Eating enough?"


He still didn't meet her gaze.

"Chat Noir," Ladybug's voice took on a stern tone. "Are you eating enough? Answer me."

What could he say? "Yes Ladybug, for a model who needs to be skinny enough for a very important upcoming photo shoot, I'm eating the right amount. For a growing teenage boy who's also a superhero? Hell no, I'm not."

"You don't have to answer me, " His partner sighed. "I guess I can tell. I'm worried about you, you know. That skin-tight suit doesn't hide your body and frankly I think one day you're going to be smaller than I am. Why aren't you eating enough, Chat?"

Adrien's eyes shut tightly as his mind swam to come up with a believable answer.


Her hand on his shoulder caused his eyes to snap open and then he looked at her; her blue eyes were dull with fret and pink lips stretched downward in a frown. She was the perfect example of a friend who cared.

It touched him deeply. Would the truth give too much away? Maybe he could dance around it, sprinkle a little bit of information that wouldn't exactly reveal he's Adrien Agreste but would let Ladybug know what he was dealing with. It's not like he was doing this to himself.

"It's... Complicated," Spoke Adrien, resting his hand on hers. "And kind of a long story. Well, maybe not long, but... Difficult to explain."

"We've got all night, chaton."

He sighed. "Do you know what life is like for a model? It's not fun. We're not as perfect as we look in- ..." Too much information. Don't share everything.

Instantly Ladybug's face softened in understanding, as if she knew exactly how he was feeling. He doubted it; she had curves and was obviously healthy. There was no way she'd be a model. Maybe she knows somebody who is?

"I don't want to give too much away, but... Let's just say I'm regulated on food, and those who regulate me don't know that I'm Chat Noir. That's all I can really say, my Lady."

"I understand," Ladybug's hand rubbed his bony shoulder gently. "I have a friend who's a model. He doesn't get to eat a lot either."

Adrien smiled and leaned in to her, his energy depleting as the desire to snuggle up with Ladybug again grew. "You do love me," He sighed, his head finding its way into the crook of her neck.

"Platonically," She reminded him with a pat on his back. At least she didn't push him away.

"It's still love, Bugaboo. You can't deny that you feel something for me, whether it's platonic or not."

"Listen," She sighed, successfully changing the subject. "How about you go home? I'll finish up here and if there's an emergency just meet me back at our spot. If not, please eat something and get some rest. You need it."

Adrien opened his mouth to protest but she shook her head, pressing a finger to his lips. "No buts. Go home and eat. Paris will be fine for one night without its black cat."

He nodded, knowing there was no sense in arguing. She was right, anyways. Chat Noir would be no use in protecting the city if he was lethargic and out of energy, so the best thing to do was go home and try to sneak a few snacks. "If you say so."

It took Adrien a moment to find his strength but once he did he stood, stretching out his arms with a yawn. "I'll see you the day after tomorrow, provided there's no attacks earlier than that."

Ladybug nodded. She didn't seem like she was going to say another word so Adrien turned and extended his baton, but her voice caught him before he leaped.

"Chat Noir?"

"Yes, m'Lady?"

"Stay safe, please. Paris needs you," She hesitated before speaking again. "I need you."

Adrien grinned, warmth spreading through his body. "I promise."

He didn't know how he'd ended up in front of the Dupain-Cheng bakery.

Well, he knew how. He just didn't know why.

After parting from Ladybug, Adrien's hunger and sadness had driven him to seek out the one place that made him feel at home. The food and the atmosphere were better comfort than anything he'd experienced in the past few years.

Although he'd assumed it would probably be closed, actually seeing the sign on the door that read fermé made his heart sink to the bottom of his boots. Ears drooping, Adrien pressed his face against the glass and gazed inside, thanking his night vision for allowing him to see in the dim lighting. The bakery was empty save for bags of flour and the perfectly clean front desk and display, which taunted him silently.

With a heavy sigh, Adrien turned to go home when a sweetly familiar voice stopped him in his tracks.

"Chat Noir?"

His gaze flicked upward to the third story, where his green eyes met those of Marinette, who sat overlooking her terrace.

"What are you doing here?"

"Sorry to disturb you," He gave her a wave and an apologetic grin. "I heard this is the best place in the whole city to get sweets and I found myself feeling hungry. I'll come back tomorrow."

"Oh. Well... Did you want something?"

Adrien couldn't see her expression due to how much higher in elevation she was, but her tone seemed nice enough. She didn't appear to be annoyed with his presence. "Don't worry about it, miss Marinette. I'm quite fine. You don't need to get me anything."

"Are you? I can hear your stomach growling from up here." The soft giggle that came from her was unmistakable. Adorable.

"I'm sure-"

"Just come up here. We've got leftovers from earlier and I can't let one of Paris' superheroes go home on an empty stomach."

Surprised but not protesting, Adrien scaled the building until he was perched on the railing of her terrace, sitting still as Marinette scanned him. She was probably nervous to have a superhero on her roof at such late hours.

In fact, she looked as if she had been just about to go to bed. Pigtails loose to let a river of black hair flow down her shoulders and onto her chest, where she wore a plain white pajama shirt. Her usual pink jeans were replaced with spotted pink-and-white pajama pants, and as his eyes landed on her bare feet, he noticed that they were painted a pastel pink that matched her pants. Adrien grinned.

"Do you come to girls' balconies late at night just to check them out?" Marinette teased, raising an unamused eyebrow as she followed his gaze. She must have noticed him taking her in.

"No, sorry," He laughed as he removed himself from his perch to stand in front of her. "Didn't mean to stare. I'm not feeling like myself tonight."

"I see," Her eyes shifted away, as if she were almost afraid of something. What was she hiding? "Well, stay here. We probably have some bread or something I can give you."

"I don't have any money on me."

"Don't worry about that, we wouldn't be able to sell it anyways because it'll be stale by tomorrow."

She disappeared below her trap door and Adrien waited, alone on his classmate's terrace as he took in his surroundings. Three potted plants on a ledge to his right, and a cute little lawn chair to his left. He sat on the small wooden table in front of him but removed himself as it wobbled; for once he was too heavy to sit on something. A chuckle bubbled in his throat.

"What are you laughing at?" Marinette appeared from the trapdoor, her head peeking out. "Is it because you almost fell off that table? I saw that, by the way."

Adrien blushed, thankful for the night sky that cloaked his red cheeks. "Cats can't always be graceful, Marinette."

"I assumed. Here," She hoisted herself back onto the terrace, where she handed him a tray. On the tray was a plate that held three chocolate-chip cookies and a larger one that held two croissants. They appeared to be fresh, not old food like she had said—or maybe he only thought that because of how hungry he was.

"Thank you," Breathed Adrien, eyes wide as he sat in the striped lawn chair. "This is kind of you."

"Well, how else can a civilian show her gratitude for you and Ladybug protecting the city?" She sat on the wooden table, which didn't wobble like it had when he placed himself there before moments before.

"Feed Ladybug too."

Marinette giggled. "She's welcome to eat here too. The bakery is open to all people, even superheroes."

"Am I exclusively allowed after hours, then?"

"No. I can eat here whenever I want. I live here."

"True," He chuckled as he finished his first cookie. "Did you make these? They're amazing. You really know how to bake, Princess."

"I baked them," She nodded, her lips curled upwards in a smile. "But it's my papa's recipe. What's with the nickname, by the way? I'm not your princess."

"You can be if you want to." It slipped out before he'd had a chance to think about what he was going to say. His eyes widened as he realized that this wasn't Adrien talking to Marinette, but Chat Noir, someone his classmate had only interacted with twice, and both times he'd been protecting her. "You know, I meant to say that differently."

"Oh, did you?" Laughed Marinette, her cheeks a hint of pink as she crossed her legs atop the table. She was so tiny that she fit perfectly on the surface. "To me it sounded like you were flirting. I thought Chat Noir only flirted with Ladybug?"

"I do," He admitted, "she's the only one for me. Doesn't mean I can't call you Princess, though."

"What if I don't like the nickname?"

"Then I'll call you something else. How about Freckles?"


"Bakery Goddess?"



"Oh god."

"Adorable girl whose eyes sparkle like the ocean?"


Adrien looked up from his tray of food in alarm. He'd gone too far. Adrien was the one with the crush on Marinette, not Chat Noir. Now he'd probably scared his classmate into thinking the superhero was nothing but a silly flirt.

"You know," He sighed, giving a nervous laugh as he scratched the back of his neck. "It's late. I think I'm going to take my leave now."

Marinette nodded, raising an eyebrow. "Uh, yeah, okay. Goodnight, Chat Noir."

"Thanks for the food. I really appreciate it." He finished his snacks before giving her a wave and vaulting off her balcony, bounding home as quickly as he could.

Well, so much for acting suave. The only thing Adrien felt as he returned home was sheer embarrassment.

Marinette let out a groan as the led on her pencil snapped for the sixth time in the past eight minutes. The tension she held in her wrist was certainly coming out onto her sketches.

"What's wrong with him, Tikki?" She sighed, erasing the dark line that stretched across her paper. "He's been acting so weird lately, around Ladybug and now Marinette. Why did he even come here? What was the point? He acted so... Off. And then he called me adorable and told me that my eyes sparkled like the ocean. What the heck?"

"Calm down, Marinette," Tikki's soft voice soothed her jittering nerves. "It's okay. Maybe he's just overtired."

"Overtired," Marinette repeated, setting down her pencil with a clack on her desk. "Overtired, and hungry. I'm worried about him, Tikki. He's- he's getting so thin. I think whoever he lives with or whatever job he has is making him lose weight dangerously. He said he was a model. I don't know what it's like to be a model. How am I supposed to help him? The poor guy is probably going to bed hungry every night because of his job and there's nothing I can do."

"Marinette," Tikki was smiling, her blue eyes gentle as she gazed at her chosen. "You care about him a lot."

"I do and I hate it." Groaning dramatically, Marinette slumped forwards and laid her cheek on the cool surface of her desk. "I don't know what's wrong with me. Lately I can't push him away when he flirts with me and he's been making me blush. Chat Noir doesn't make Ladybug blush! That just doesn't happen!"

"Don't wake your parents," Tikki reminded her.

"I know, sorry," Sighing, Marinette closed her sketchbook and stood, turning out her bedroom light. "Maybe some sleep will help me clear my head."

With her room now dull, the teenage girl climbed up into bed and hid under her covers, mind swimming in a sea of thoughts.

Stupid Chat Noir.

Stupid Chat Noir and his stupid flirting and stupid puns and stupid eyes and stupid pretty blond hair and stupid ability to make her blush.


If anyone was stupid, it was her, Marinette, for letting him do this to her. Her partner never used to make her want to punch her pillow in frustration.

"Ugh!" She groaned as she threw her blanket off of her legs. It was getting too hot under the covers and she needed air.

"Tikki, I'm-" The vibration from her phone silenced her. Curious, Marinette picked it up and checked the time: twelve-fifteen A.M., and a new text from Adrien.


Why on Earth was Adrien texting her at twelve in the morning?

Adrien <3, 12:15 A.M.: [ Are you awake? ]

Marinette's heart beat a thousand miles a minute. Swallowing dryly, her trembling fingers typed out six different replies, all being erased before they were sent as she internally panicked over what to say. Did she say yes? Did she ignore it and pretend to be asleep? He saw that she read his message and that she had been typing, so she couldn't fake being asleep.

After freaking out for a good two minutes, she decided to just go with a neutral reply.

[ yeah I'm awake. what's up? ]

Adrien began typing again then stopped for a brief moment before continuing, quickly this time.

Adrien <3, 12:19 A.M.: [ Oh my god Marinette I'm so sorry. I meant to text Nino. Did I wake you? ]

Marinette wasn't sure if she should feel disappointment or gratitude that he'd accidentally texted her. Maybe he didn't want to text her. Or... Maybe he was lying and was too embarrassed to admit that he wanted to text her. That'd be something she'd do.

Yet... Now she had her chance.

[ it's okay, you didn't wake me i was already up ]

Her hands trembled as she held on to her phone, desperately staring at her screen for any sign that he was going to reply.

He read her message.

He began typing.

I'm texting Adrien. I'm having a conversation with Adrien. This is a normal thing that normal friends do. I need to calm down.

Adrien <3, 12:21 A.M.: [ Oh okay good. I just can't sleep so I wanted to text Nino to get my mind off of stuff but looks like I'm texting you instead. That alright? ]

So polite, even over text.

What could be giving him a hard time sleeping? Was his model life stressing him out like Chat's was? Did he need comfort?

Whatever it was, he'd texted her first, so Marinette took the bait and ran with it. At least she couldn't stutter over text.

[ that's fine. what's keeping you up? ]

Adrien <3, 12:22 A.M.: [ Mostly personal stuff. I don't wanna bore you with the details. How do you think you did on that test in physics today? ]

Marinette snorted. She'd missed physics due to the akuma attack. When she should have been in class testing, she was on the roof of the school scratching behind Chat Noir's ears.

Boy, did she need to get her priorities straight.

[ missed it. got called out of class early ]

That was a believable lie, right?

Adrien <3, 12:24 A.M.: [ Me too. I guess we'll be making it up together then? ]

And that's when her heart stopped beating. Her and Adrien, alone in a classroom, making up a test-

-probably wasn't that big of a deal. They'd most likely be seated away from each other and one of them would finish earlier and depart. Leave it to Marinette to overthink things.

Their conversation drifted to that of school, then to her favorite subjects, which led into the topic of favorite things between the two. Marinette learned lots of new information about Adrien, but the best things she learned were that Adrien's favorite color was blue—not a dark blue, but a baby blue, his favorite season was summer, and his favorite food was chocolate-chip cookies.

They shared two favorites. Her heart pounded so hard she felt as if it was about to explode inside of her.

By the time the clock reached three-fifty A.M., Marinette realized just how exhausted she felt. She hadn't expected to stay up this late, but talking to Adrien all night was definitely a plus. The conversation dynamic had definitely changed. Adrien had gone from using professional grammar to spewing out typos, which Marinette would make jokes out of after. He'd even sent her goddamn memes.

Cat memes.

[ i'm so tired ]

She sent the message just as the clock struck four. Her eyes drooped and burned as she fought to keep them open, but she couldn't leave before they exchanged goodnight texts. They'd been texting for nearly four hours and Marinette couldn't keep herself awake any longer. Please hurry up and text back so I can sleep.

Adrien <3, 4:01 A.M.: [ yeah me too lmao but befoer i go can i ask you somethign]

[ yeah go ahead ]

Adrien <3, 4:02 A.M.: [ is it ok if i come over tomorrow? ive got nothing to do and my schedule is free so maybe we can hang out and play video games or work on your designs or w/e ]

If she'd been more awake, Marinette would have screamed. She would have screeched and cried and thrown up from excitement that Adrien chose to hang out with her over Nino or anyone else, actually.

But Marinette was exhausted and Marinette was not thinking straight.

So, she typed out one last text.

[ i'd love that <3 goodnight adrien, sleep well ]

Once it had sent, she curled up in bed and easily fell asleep, contented by the warmth in her chest.

The next morning, she wasn't sure what surprised her more: the fact that she'd sent Adrien a message with a heart emoji, or the fact that he'd sent one back.

Truthful Scars

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

Part 4 of 21

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