Continuing Tales

Truthful Scars

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

Part 7 of 21

<< Previous     Home     Next >>
Untitled Document

"Nino, how do you know if you're in love?"

Adrien's eyes widened as Nino choked and sputtered on orange soda, coughing and shooting his model friend a shocked stare. He knew it was an odd subject to begin a conversation with, considering him and Nino rarely delved much on their emotions. Still, Adrien was curious with a burning desire to know the truth about his feelings, and if there was anyone who could help it was Nino. He and Alya had recently hit their five-month mark and their relationship had been nothing but smooth.

If Adrien wanted to decipher his conundrum, he'd enlist Nino as the friend with a solution to his problem.

(Hopefully, at least.)

"You? In love?" Nino chuckled, shaking his head in bewilderment as he tossed the empty soda can into a wastebin across the bench they currently sat at. "With what lucky girl? Please don't tell me Chloe finally made you fall for her via Voodoo or something, dude."

Adrien scoffed, letting a soft laugh slip past his grin. "No, I can promise you that it definitely isn't Chloe. It's...ah, well, I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't say her name because I still haven't figured out my feelings. I can't tell whether or not it's love or just desperation to have someone to hold on to."

"So," Nino began, adjusting his cap on his head as he went into professional friend mode. "You want to know what it's like to be in love, huh? Well, you've got a great friend who knows exactly what love feels like. I think, at least. How do you feel about this mystery girl? What's she like? What do you like about her?"

Adrien didn't need to ponder long over that answer. "Everything. She's literally the definition of adorable. Bright blue eyes, soft hair that smells like lavender and vanilla, the smoothest skin and these cute freckles all over her nose and cheeks. I see her and I get that weird feeling in my heart, you know? Like it gets tight and wants to jump out of me."

"Dude," Nino laughed with a shake of his head. "You're such a sap."

"I know," Adrien sighed, leaning back against the cool metal of the bench. "I just can't get her out of my head."

It was true. Since he'd visited Marinette last Saturday his mind was a constant buzz with memories of those sparkling bluebells and enamoring giggles that made his heart skip a beat. The feel of her delicate hands weaving through his hair and scratching behind his ears in that perfectly beloved spot made made Adrien's hands twitch with the desire to have his fingers curled around her tiny waist once more. The scent of her sweet skin that he could barely resist the urge to pepper with ginger kisses still lingered within his head, making his nose itch with the memory of having it buried in her neck while he slept. Images of spotted pink pajama pants and legs tangled within his own made Adrien so dizzy with feelings that he could barely sit up straight. It was to the point where he'd kill to have her silky bangs in his face again just so he could press his lips upon her forehead.

"Uh, hellooo?" Nino laughed, waving as if he was flagging down a taxi. "Earth to Adrien! Where'd you go, dude?"

The blush that had risen upon his increasingly hot cheeks hadn't gone unnoticed by Nino.

"Sorry," Adrien said, finding it impossible to wipe the lovestruck smile from his face. "Just a little distracted."

"Just looking at you hides no secrets, dude. You've got it baaad," Nino said with a light chuckle as he mindlessly checked the hour on his phone. "Damn, lunch break is almost over. We can discuss your fate with Mme. Mystery on the way back, 'kay? I'll be a good wingman."

"Thanks," Adrien said as he stood, slinging his school bag over his shoulder. "I would actually appreciate the help. I'm not the best when it comes to admitting my feelings. The last time I tried to girl how I feel, I told her that I loathed her instead of love. You can imagine how that went."

At Nino's outburst of laughter, Adrien's gaze faltered and met the pavement of the sidewalk. Last Valentine's day was always a painful memory to bring back into thought. All within a few hours, he'd failed at writing a love letter to Ladybug, told her he hated her, that they weren't friends, and eventually tried to straight-up murder her with his Cataclysm.

Dark Cupid had officially earned his title as Adrien's least favorite akuma villain.

He'd never in the right mind ever dream of hurting Ladybug. He'd never hurt anyone if he had the choice. Unfortunately, it seemed like being victim to the powers of many akumatized villains was a regular occurrence. Nightmares about harming Ladybug plagued his sleep some nights. It wasn't often, but they were certainly there, waking him in a cold sweat with heavy breath.

Why did he have to be constantly dripping with bad luck?

"Anyways," Adrien began, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jeans as he and Nino walked along the side of the street. "I'm not really sure what to do about these feelings. I know something's there, that's pretty obvious since I can't stop thinking about her, but I don't know if it's considered love or not. You love Alya, right? Can you tell me what it feels like?"

Nino's smirk turned to that of a sentimental grin as he nodded, his cheeks noticeably becoming redder. "Well, yeah, dude. You don't just date someone for five months without feeling some sort of love, you know?"

Adrien smiled, a quiet chuckle rumbling from his chest. Nino had nobody to thank but Ladybug for his happiness; she'd shoved the pair in an animal cage all day long and from Nino's vague explanation, Adrien could only guess there'd been a lot of secrets shared and maybe some kissing involved. Only he and Alya knew what really went on in there that day.

"Is it like..." Adrien's mind fought to find the words that could accurately describe the emotions he felt towards Marinette. "Is it like constantly having her on your mind? Thinking of all the good things you want to do together and even wanting to share bad moments just because you'd be with her? Wanting to touch her as much as you can and kiss her every waking moment of the-"

"Dude," Laughed Nino, eyes wide as he surveyed his model friend. "I'm pretty sure it's fair to say that you've got a huge crush on whatever girl it is you're interested in. For me, it's all of those things, but I'm used to it. Of course I'm always happy, man, but it's just a nice constant to have in my life now. We don't share as much PDA as we used to but that's because the newness of the relationship has worn off and we're just happy to be with each other, sharing kisses and touches and all those moments you think about, you know? It's like having a crush but less of the anxiety because I know she loves me back."

"And you say I'm a sap," Adrien snickered. "I think I understand, though. How would you go about asking a girl out, anyways? A girl who's kind of shy but really cute and caring."

"Well," Nino said as they stepped back onto school campus, heading up the steps Adrien had watched Marinette fall down some time ago. "If she's kind of shy then you want to go about it delicately. Don't just rush out there and claim your undying love for her in front of the school, be gentle and kind and ask her out in privacy. Take her to an innocent first date and try not to kiss her before she's ready."

"You seem to have a lot of relationship advice and it makes you sound like an old man," Laughed Adrien as they stopped in the courtyard, where groups of students had gathered to chat and wait on the bell for class to ring. "But I appreciate it. I've been trying to ask her out all week but things keep coming up. I want to today, though."

"Then go for it." Once Nino had spotted Alya he gave Adrien a small wave, signalling with his hand that he was going over to her. "I'll catch you later, dude. Good luck with that girl."

"Thanks." Adrien grinned, grateful for his friend's advice. Nino was a great assistance in helping him decipher his feelings for Marinette, whatever they happened to be.

Adrien had never expected that anyone but Ladybug could claim hold of his heart and make his head swarm with thoughts that made his cheeks pink, but Marinette had proved him wrong. Not only did he feel about Marinette how he'd felt about Ladybug for nearly a year now, but the buzzing warmth that made his chest burn in a lively fire was undoubtedly stronger.

Marinette was the summer sky, eyes as blue as the heavens and brighter than the sun. He wanted to bask in her warmth and relish in every moment she blessed him with her presence.

What could he say? Adrien had always been quite fond of poetry, and he had a habit of falling fast.

Falling for Marinette both terrified and excited him. The idea of admitting his feelings and having her kiss him made his legs turn to jelly. Just the thought of calling her his girlfriend, something he'd never had the pleasure of calling a girl before lit sparks within his heart. However, with good thoughts come the inevitable bad; knowing that their relationship could go so well and end in nothing but pain and despondent tears made a frown tug at Adrien's lips. The even more depressing thought was Marinette rejecting him immediately, although he assumed that'd be easier to get over than completely indulging on his love for her and giving all of himself to her only for them to end it.

A relationship between them was a chance. A chance that could either end up in a fulfilling life, loving each other until death set them apart and even after, or a chance that an eventual fight or realizing that they were too different of people tore them apart.

The thought hurt, but a chance was a chance. A fifty-fifty possibility that Adrien was prepared to take. He wanted to take the risk, to run with it and scoop Marinette up in his arms and carry her off bridal style to the nearest fabric shop and shower her with gifts of all different textures and colors. Nothing made him happier than seeing that gorgeous face stretch into a gigantic grin while those sky blue eyes twinkled in excitement. He needed that smile in his life.

He needed Marinette in his life.

As if by some magical calling, his gaze landed upon Marinette, who had just walked back into the school. Alone.

Now was his chance to ask what he'd been trying to spit out for a week.

"Mari-" He started, but forceful arms that wrapped around his neck caught his words within his throat.

"Adri-kins!" Cooed Chloé, placing an uncomfortable and very unwanted kiss upon his cheek. "There you are! I've been looking for you. Listen, I want you to come over after school today, okay? Daddy just bought me some brand new diamonds and they sparkle so bright that you have to wear sunglasses or else you'll go blind. I want you to help me pick which pair to wear as earrings."

"Uh..." Adrien held back the urge to grimace. "Sorry, Chloé, but maybe another time. I've got plans after school today."

"Plans?" She scoffed, crossing her arms with a suspicious raise of her eyebrow. "What could be more important than me?"

Adrien could think of a lot of things. "I'm hanging out with a friend today. Can we reschedule?"

"Can't you reschedule with your other friend who's apparently more important than I am?"

Sighing, Adrien laid a hand upon her shoulder and shook his head, his uncomfortable expression apparent. "No, sorry, Chlo'. I've had this planned for a while."

"Fine," Chloé hissed as she placed her hands upon her hips. "I'll let daddy know that you'll come over this weekend. Is that fine?"

"Maybe, I'll have to see what my schedule is like." As absolutely thrilling looking at rocks sounded to him, going over Chloé's wasn't something Adrien looked forward to. He did it out of sympathy; without a friend and someone to blab to, Chloé would mostly likely explode. Besides, a friend since adolescence was a hard one to let go of, even if she'd grown into a person whose actions he didn't care for. Her constant dislike and teasing of Marinette (as well as most of the other students) was something that miffed him greatly.

Chloé pouted. "Okayyy. I just kind of miss you, Adrien, we haven't really hung out since before school started."

"I know," He sighed, "I'm sorry. We'll find time, though. Can you excuse me for a second?" Before Chloé could respond, he gave her an apologetic smile and walked off, searching for the girl with black pigtails and a galaxy of freckles. His eyes scanned the courtyard and his heart skipped a beat as they landed on her, giggling from something Alya had said.

Ugh, that laugh. His hands trembled.

Marinette's laugh had a way of weaving its way into his chest and bubbling within the cavities, making it burn with affection for her. The way her mouth stretched into a grin and the adorable noises that came out of it made his legs wobble.

It should be illegal to posses that amount of cuteness. If he didn't compose himself, Adrien would need someone to call the paramedics because he'd surely keel over from cardiac arrest.

"Mari-" His voice cracked and he was thankful he'd been too far away for her to hear him. Clearing his throat, he approached with trembling legs, nerves chilling his veins. Can't chicken out. Now's the chance.

"Marinette," He began again, giving her a small wave. "Can I talk to you for a second?" Swallowing nervously, he glanced at Nino and Alya, who shared matching curious expressions. "Alone?"

"Oh," Marinette's gaze had a hard time holding his. "Sure."

They walked over to the stairs, which Adrien leaned against with one arm. He hadn't exactly thought out how he was going to ask her the question that had been burning a hole within his brain for the past week, causing internal panic to set in for just a brief moment. I probably look so awkward. She's gonna reject me-

"H-how are you feeling?" Marinette's voice broke him from his worrisome concentration. "Are... Are you doing okay? We haven't really gotten a chance to talk, so..."

"Oh, yeah!" Adrien nodded, giving her a warm smile that would surely be convincing. Truthfully, it'd been a rough week; he hadn't seen her as Chat since Saturday night and they'd barely gotten a chance to speak at all. "I'm fine. Feeling better since Saturday, at least. I just...wanted to ask you a question."

It was a question he'd wanted to ask Monday when they sat alone in their physics classroom making up a test. It'd been something he'd wanted to ask Tuesday when she'd accidentally tripped over a rise in the sidewalk and fallen into his arms. It'd been something he'd nearly asked on Wednesday when he'd walked her home from the short distance of school. He'd desperately tried to ask her Thursday, but the pouring rain he'd been caught in on his way back from lunch had certainly killed the mood.

Now it was Friday and they were alone, without a single disturbance in the world. His nerves couldn't get the best of him at this point; he was far too determined to spit out the simple question that'd been nagging at him for five days straight.

Just as he opened his mouth to speak, the bell cut him off, making his chest tighten with anxiety. They couldn't go to class now! He had a question to ask her!

"Marinette, wait," He begged, reaching out to place a hand upon her shoulder but hesitating and pulling away before he made contact. His mind swam to figure out exactly what he wanted to say. "Before we go to class, I was wondering, if... If maybe you wanted to... Well, I was thinking, it's not weird, we can-"

Marinette rose a curious eyebrow, an innocent smile appearing on her features. "Yeah?"

Damn it, Adrien, just spit it out!

"I was wondering if maybe you-" He swallowed dryly. Why was asking his friend a simple question so hard? "-if you wanted to do something after school together today? We haven't had time to hang out lately a-and if you're busy or don't want to that's totally fine, really, but if you do want to there's that new ice cream parlor that opened up down the street a-and I've been really wanting to try it, and I wanted to ask you because you're funny and also my favorite person to eat sweets with..."

Favorite person to eat sweets with. Adrien resisted the urge to smack a palm to his forehead. He had officially reached an entirely new level of awkward.

Usually it was all Marinette doing the stammering and rambling, but now the tables had surely turned. He didn't know that it felt so embarrassing!

"Oh!" Marinette's eyes shifted to the floor as her cheeks became a pleasantly rosy shade of red. Adrien almost fainted from how cute she looked while he prepared for a gentle rejection. He promised himself that he'd only cry a little. "You want to take me out? Like, out-out? Like a date?" Her eyes widened as her voice's pitch raised. "A-ah! I mean, it's not like it is a date, I didn't assume it was, but if you want it to be a date by all means I'm totally fine with that, but it doesn't have to be, I-I... Agh. I'm so awkward, I'm sorry."

"No, no!" Adrien laughed, giving her a reassuring grin. "It's okay! I'm pretty awkward right now too. I-I uh, I never said it would be a date, but... It could be if you want it to. Or it could just be a normal two-platonic-friends-hanging-out kind of thing. Except we're alone and eating ice cream. It's only a date if you want it to be, I mean... I don't mind."

And then she giggled, that adorable little noise that made Adrien's legs turn to goo and stomach flutter with akuma. If he hadn't been in a crowd, he'd surely have fallen over. "Well... Sure," she said softly, looking up at him through her long eyelashes. "If you don't mind then I don't either."

"C-cool!" He held in a sigh of relief. "It's a date, then. We can go right after class."

Marinette looked a little embarrassed. "I don't have any money on me."

"It's a date, remember? I'm paying." He gave her nose a tiny touch, adding in a wink for good measure. Her scarlet face and giggles were certainly reward enough for his innocent flirting.

They made it back to class in the nick of time, sitting in their seats just as the late bell rang its final chime. The urge to turn in his seat and look at Marinette was almost too strong to resist, but he powered through the class without so much as a single glance.

Occasionally, he could hear Alya and Marinette squealing quietly to each other. Whatever it was they were so happy about, Adrien could only assume it was good. Maybe another Ladybug video.

Ten minutes before the final bell of the day was about to ring, their teacher announced that they'd be working in groups of four for a project he didn't quite catch the subject of. Adrien's breath caught in his throat, eyes snapped open in a silent prayer that they'd be able to pick their own groups—he really didn't want to get stuck with Chloé and end up doing all the work—but thankfully, his wish was granted.

Instantly he turned, flashing Marinette and Alya a wide grin with the eyes of an excited puppy. If he'd been transformed, his tail would have been wagging very uncharacteristically for a cat, and perhaps he would have even purred with delight.

"Hey," Nino's voice caused Adrien to turn, giving him a curious look. "We need to talk."

"We do?" A nervous frown tugged at the corner of Adrien's lips as he surveyed his friend's serious expression; Nino was usually the playful type, not much for serious conversation. What could be causing him to give such a look?

Nino nodded and leaned in closely, his voice hushed and secretive. "That girl you were talking about earlier, the one you're crushing on? She wouldn't happen to have black pigtails and be sitting behind us, would she?"

Adrien swallowed, his gaze stilling on a pencil on his desk that had suddenly become incredibly interesting. It was easier to stare at than his friend's inquiring gaze. "Maybe," He said quietly, "is that a bad thing?"

He remembered Nino's little crush on Marinette back before he'd started dating Alya. His friend had been certainly smitten with the girl, and Adrien worried he'd overstepped the lines of bro code by liking her or something—if that even existed.

"No!" Nino exclaimed, slapping a hand over his mouth as he realized it'd come out a little too loudly and then let out a satisfied laugh, shaking his head. "Why would that be a problem? Haven't you figured out that she's absolutely crazy about you?"

"Who is?" Alya cut in, giving her boyfriend a stern gaze. Nino backed off immediately, knowing that he'd apparently been speaking loud enough for the girls to hear.

Adrien scratched at his neck awkwardly, shooting a shy glance up at the girls. "So, uh, I assumed it's the four of us, right?"

Marinette nodded, the familiar light flush apparent on her freckled cheeks. She appeared so dazed, so full of bliss as she rested her head atop her palms, elbows propped on the desk. Before she spoke, she let out a dreamy sigh, eyes drooping in a slow blink. "Mhm. Us. Together."

Adrien cocked his head to the side with a small grin at her pleasantly lost expression. Had he done that to her?

Mon dieu. He had done that to her.

If Nino was correct, and from what Marinette had told him as Chat, Marinette not only returned his feelings but possibly even felt them stronger than he did. How had he not noticed it before? Her stuttering, stammering voice, blushing cheeks and nervous twitching paired with shy glances all added up to only one thing: it wasn't that she was afraid of him or disliked him, it was that she liked him. Like-liked him.

A pang of realization made Adrien cough, eyes bulging and a grin stretching from ear to ear. Thankfully, the ringing of the bell covered up his noises of surprise and gave him a moment to collect himself before standing from his seat. The final bell of the day had finally chimed, causing relief to flood throughout his entire body. He'd been trying to avoid working himself up over the so-called "date" he and Marinette had agreed to go on, and now that they'd finished packing their things, it was time to execute it. Hopefully he wouldn't come off as too awkward or flirty. A nice middle ground between the two would definitely be needed.

This was Marinette, of course; the sweet, innocently charming classmate whom he'd unexpectedly fallen for. The girl whose eyes twinkled like diamonds and whose laugh sparked a pleasant fire within in chest that warmed Adrien all the way down to his toes. After a week of desperate attempts to ask out the adorable girl, he'd finally succeeded, and thank goodness she'd accepted. He'd have a chance to talk to her again other than simple smalltalk in school.

They'd be on a date.

A hesitant hand that rested upon his shoulder made Adrien turn, his eyes meeting Marinette's. She gave him a shy smile, looking up at him through her lashes with the sweetest expression he'd ever seen grace her beautiful features.

"Hey," He breathed, "you're ready?"

She nodded, humming in response. "Yeah, all set."

Adrien didn't miss Nino's sly smirk as he exited the classroom behind Marinette, giving his friend a playful eyeroll. He felt thankful that Nino hadn't been upset about him having feelings for Marinette—there honestly wouldn't even be a reason for him to be, considering he was very happily in a committed relationship with Alya. A quick wave of appreciation rushed through him as he and Marinette departed from the school, beginning their short journey down the street.

They walked in a comfortable silence, their arms occasionally brushing together (which admittedly caused a spark to shock through Adrien with every brief touch.) He took in a long breath, feeling content as he exhaled slowly. The scents of Paris in summer were always a wonderful greeting when walking outside in the streets.

Adrien caught the temptatively delicious aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the air as they passed Marinette's home. The bakery always provided the best scents to bless his nose. "I smell bread," He sighed, his expression softening as he shot Marinette a grin.

"I'll never get tired of that smell," Chuckled Marinette as she glanced back at her bakery once they'd passed. "It's the best."

"Last week, while I was on the way to a photoshoot across the city," Adrien began, thinking back to the exact moment he planned to tell her about. "I had the window down in the car, and we passed this other bakery that I don't remember the name of. I smelled the bread baking for just a split second, but I immediately thought of you."

Ah, there was that blush! Those rosy cheeks and shy giggles that made his heart race from the sight of his gorgeous classmate. Every time he gazed upon her lovingly he noticed something he hadn't seen before; a new little surprise that his eye hadn't caught yet. Whether it was the way she shut her eyes as she laughed or how a few stray pieces of hair hung in her face, Adrien knew he wanted to memorize every detail of her features. Had she always had so many freckles?

Adrien imagined one day he'd count them all.

"You thought of me?" She said through her giggles, cheeks reddening deeper. "That's...sweet. I think about you when I make cookies now."

"I can only imagine why," He laughed, "the image of Adrien Agreste ghostly white and covered in flour must be a hard one to erase."

"Well, yeah, but...that's not what I meant."

Adrien turned his gaze to her, eyebrows raised. "Oh?"

She nodded. "It reminds me of how much fun that was, and that you're a real person, you know? You like to laugh and have fun too, just like anyone else."

Grinning, Adrien hesitantly reached down and brushed his fingers across her knuckles, a silent plea that he hoped would end up in her wrapping one of those tiny hands around his.

She didn't.

"Thank you. I know most people see me as some high-end celebrity up on a gold pedestal, but I'm just like everyone else. I'm an awkward goofball, you know?" A soft laugh drifted past his lips. "I'm really glad you see me as a friend. Maybe-" Their eyes met for a brief moment before he looked down, his voice growing quiet. "Maybe more than that."

Marinette said nothing for a second or two before she chuckled, her blue eyes meeting soft green. "If you're trying to steal the best friend position, Alya will murder you."

"Oh, I can imagine," Laughed Adrien as he held open the door to the ice cream parlor, a small and quaint little shop decorated by vines and flowers of all different shades. The building had been around for ages but it hadn't been occupied until a local family bought it. Adrien could only assume that the homemade ice cream would taste like heaven in a waffle cone.

Adrien learned something new about Marinette that day while they sat at an adorably pink table: her favorite ice cream flavor is strawberry and the expressions she made when it started dripping down the side of the cone were some of his favorite.

"Do you only like the strawberry because it's pink?" He asked with a light chuckle as he chewed one of the oreo pieces that had been placed atop his cookies and cream. "I could see why. Pink is a pretty color."

"No," Marinette replied with a delicate laugh, shaking her head as she gave her ice cream a lick. "I like how it tastes. Strawberries are my favorite fruit."

"Mine too, but I've never had the chance to try them in ice cream, and this time oreos and vanilla sounded too good to pass up." He eyed the strawberry bits that poked out of the pink treat. "Maybe next time, though."

"You can try some of mine, if you want." Marinette's voice was so quiet he'd almost missed her offer. "That's not weird, is it?"

"No," He laughed as his lips stretched into a grateful grin. "You can try some of mine, too. Here."

Holding out his cone with a smirk, Adrien chewed on his bottom lip as Marinette took the bait. Once she leaned in to take a lick, he pressed it against her nose, snorting at her tiny gasp of surprise. She shot him a playful glare that caused his smirk to grow wider, although he knew he was next in line to feel chilly ice cream upon his skin.

"Adrien," She sighed with a smile, reaching out to grab a napkin. "Rude."

"Wait, look," He giggled as he pressed his own ice cream against his nose, eyes sparkling as his friend broke out into a small fit of laughter. "We match! It's the look of the century. Everyone will be wearing it now that I have."

"I didn't think ice cream on the nose could be considered a fashion statement," She said with a grin, dabbing at the ice cream that had taken shelter on the tip of his nose. Adrien hoped she didn't notice the way a positively red flush rose upon his cheeks.

Or maybe, he hoped she did notice, because when she realized that her hand had been pressed against his cheek as she wiped off the cookies and cream, her own face had heated up into a deep pink that reflected his own.

"Sorry, I didn't ask if I could-"

Adrien grinned, reaching forward with his own napkin as he wiped her nose clean of the ice cream before she could protest. "Sorry for what?"


Chuckling softly, Adrien watched her with a curious expression, examining the way she worried at her bottom lip and how her eyes shifted from the used napkins to her waffle cone, which she bit into slowly.

When her gaze met his, Adrien sighed, unable to tear his eyes away from her own. Every time he'd had the opportunity to dive deep within them he'd never wanted to resurface; swimming within those blue pools made his entire body feel content. They were so bright, so beautiful, so intelligent. So full of life and joy, dazzling in the warm light of the parlor.

In that moment, Adrien knew his favorite color had become blue.


Adrien hummed in response, unable to open his mouth to properly reply. Marinette was the prettiest girl he'd ever had the pleasure of laying his eyes upon.

Sure, Ladybug was pretty, too, but Marinette....

"Is there something on my face?" It was then he noticed how worried and embarrassed Marinette seemed, her fingers combing through her hair in an attempt to fix something that hadn't been messy.

"No," He reassured her with a shake of his head, placing his hand upon hers to convince her. "Nothing's wrong. Everything's...good. Everything's right."

"Oh," She breathed with a sigh of relief. "You were staring, so I thought..."

"Maybe I'm just admiring you."

He grinned as Marinette nearly choked on her waffle cone, which she'd almost finished. Seeing her flustered and red-faced made his heart pound within his fuzzy, buzzing chest. Yeah, he was definitely admiring.

At her silence, Adrien felt a disappointed frown pull at his lips, which had previously been stretched so wide. "Hey, are you okay?" His hand squeezed hers comfortingly and he hadn't even realized that the contact they currently shared was definitely reserved for two people who were a little more than just friends.

When Marinette's fingers weaved between his and returned the squeeze, the grin was practically slapped back upon his face as he took the final bite of his ice cream. If anyone were to see them, they'd surely assume that the two were a young couple on what might of been their millionth date. Part of him prayed the paparazzi would find him like this, completely lovestruck with his fingers entwined with those of Marinette Dupain-Cheng.

They'd surely make a good couple. Fashion designer girlfriend and model boyfriend; what could be better than that?

Don't get ahead of yourself, Adrien's brain screeched, it's barely a date. You're not dating her.


Maybe she'd agree to it if he told her the truth about his feelings. Maybe she'd want to become his girlfriend and hold his hand like this every day. Maybe she'd be overjoyed to be his, just as he'd be elated to be hers. Maybe, if he was brave enough, he'd admit to caring deeply about her, wanting her, and shyly ask if she felt the same. He knew she did.

Yet he wasn't brave enough.

So, he went with a less suspicious route.

"Hey, Marinette," Adrien's voice stupidly wavered. "You know how you said you have a crush on Chat Noir?"

Marinette, taken by surprise, jolted upward and blinked rapidly in astonishment. "Uh! Oh! Y-yeah? Why?"

Adrien grinned, his cheeks becoming pleasantly warm. "I was wondering if you had any interest in other guys with blond hair and green eyes."

He could practically see her breath caught in her throat as her voice became just above a whisper. "L-like who?"

"Like..." He swallowed, his gaze meeting hers shyly. "Like m-"

A scream from outside the parlor interrupted Adrien mid-sentence, startling both him and Marinette. As he turned to peer out the large windows, Adrien sighed as his eyes landed upon people running and black objects flying. There hadn't been an akuma attack since last week; he had no doubt that Hawk Moth had claimed yet another victim who was now tearing up the streets.

"Marinette," He began, standing quickly. The determined look that had appeared on her features caused his heart to freeze. It was oddly familiar, but he'd never seen her with that expression before, had he? No... When they'd played video games she'd been determined, but this determination was different. "Marinette. We need to get somewhere safe."

Marinette gave him a curt nod before grabbing his hand, leading him to the back of the shop. "We could hide in the bathrooms," She suggested, glancing back and forth from him to the city outside. "Yeah, they're safe. I'll come out when it's over. You stay here."

"Marinette, n-"

But she'd already ran to the girl's room.

Confused and a little annoyed with her sudden flee when there was clearly danger afoot, Adrien sighed, shrugging his shoulders and dashing into the boy's bathroom to transform. Entering a stall, he lifted up his overshirt as Plagg flew out, giving the Kwami a small shake of his head. "I guess Marinette is going to stay here."

"Aw, so sad that Hawk Moth ruined your first date ever!"

Adrien scowled. "Don't rub it in, Plagg. We need to get out there. Transform me!"

Marinette burst out of the bathroom once she'd transformed, feeling Ladybug's boundless confidence seeping into her skin and turning her into the super-heroine Paris adored. Running out into the dining room of the shop, she gasped as a black figure bumped into her from the side, sending them both tumbling to the cold tile floor.

"My Lady?"

Ladybug lifted her head to gaze at the voice she knew all too well. "Chat Noir? What are you doing here?"

"Ladybug," Chat's eyes were wide with wonder, his lips twitching into a grin. "Were you- were you in here? Before the attack?"

Swallowing nervously, Marinette narrowed her eyes, giving her partner a shake of the head. "N-No, silly kitty. I just had to run in here to transform. No time for talk, we've got an akuma to catch and purify!"

She hoped he wouldn't catch on. Chat Noir had always been incredibly curious, now being no exception, and certainly not a time for his bothersome questions. Didn't he know by now that identity questions made her uncomfortable?

Truthfully, her own curiosity was piqued by the idea of her and Chat having been in the same shop before they'd transformed. She could have looked at him without knowing it. Maybe he was the blond man who'd been tending the counter, or the teen in the back wearing a black hoodie who had been sitting with a girl.

No... It was a thought Marinette knew not to delve on. Their identities were a precious secret, and no matter how desperately she desired to know who had fallen asleep next to her in her bed, she'd pretend that she didn't care. She didn't want to know.

She did.

Marinette shook her head to clear her thoughts and sighed, bursting out of the shop with Chat right behind her. The pair stood in the middle of the street, back to back as they took in any sort of destruction or danger that they could identify.

Well, what little destruction there was.

Oddly enough, everything was absolutely quiet. No noise whatsoever, not so much as a peep from birds or cars. It was eerie to say the very least.Paris had never been in such a dead quietude. It almost felt like a ghost town.

"Where's the villain?" Marinette grunted as she gazed around the street, eyes flicking from buildings to signs to the road itself. Citizens fumbled around the sidewalk, some hunched over and others walking around in a confused daze. Wandering over to a young woman, Marinette gave her a light tap on the shoulder, looking up at her desperately. "Excuse me, ma'am? Have you seen anything unusual? An akumatized villain, perhaps?"

The woman stared down at her, parting her lips to speak but frowning when not a single sound rose from her throat. Instead, she hopelessly pointed, red hair drooping in her face as she hung her head in what appeared to be embarrassment.


"Ladybug," Chat's voice from behind startled Marinette, causing her to turn quickly in alarm. The sudden noise was a bit frightening due to the entire city being so ghostly quiet. "I can't talk to these people. It's like they've all gone...mute, or something."

Studying the street, Marinette narrowed her eyes and placed her hand upon her chin thoughtfully as she attempted to formulate a plan. A metaphorical light bulb shone above her head as she snapped her fingers, turning to her feline partner to spell out her idea on how to handle the situation. "Chat," She began, "you've got good hearing, right? Can you hear anything at all? Any screams in the distance or something like that?"

Chat paused for a moment, tilting his head to the side as his ears twitched, one adjusting to listen behind him and the other turning to listen to the far left. "Yes," He stated, his right ear flicking. "I heard a faint scream around Gotleib street. The villain must be over there."

"Good kitty," Marinette cooed as she scratched under his chin, earning a soft mewl from Chat in response. Such a cat! "Let's not waste any time, then."

The two zipped off in the direction of the cries for help, arriving within less than a minute due to their magnificent speed. Marinette landed atop her own terrace, watching as Chat perched himself upon the railing. A familiar feeling of warmth spread throughout her. The mood of the situation would completely turn a one-eighty if he'd been propped there late at night without an akuma rampaging through the city.

And then they saw it, an older woman hovering in the air with wings made of paper, decorated by text stretched all across the delicate feathers. She wore a faded pink sweater and cracked glasses attached to a colorful beaded string around her neck. Surrounding her were orbiting books, all black except for a certain hardback that stood out as a deep glowing purple.

"That must be where the akuma is located," whispered Marinette, "the purple book. You think she was some kind of librarian?"

Chat chuckled. "Well, I guess I can really read her expression. She looks pretty mad. I bet she's upset that nobody in the library could stay quiet, so now she's making all of us hush. I guess we'd better book an appointment to teach her a lesson!"

Marinette, rolling her eyes with an annoyed groan, gave her partner an unamused grimace as she surveyed the woman and her work. The books that orbited her occasionally fled and chased after civilians, stealing their screams right from their throats and silencing them quickly.

"Wow," Chat grunted, "I'd hate to have my voice shelved."

"I'm literally going to smack you." Marinette couldn't hide the laugh in her voice as she faux threatened her feline colleague. "This is no time for jokes! We've got to capture her akuma and set these poor people's voices free."

"Just tell me where you want me, my Lady."

"We need to try and get that book away from her without getting in her line of attack. I don't really want either of us to go mute; being able to communicate with you while we deal with this makes the job a thousand times easier."

Chat gave her a nod and grinned, twirling his baton in his left hand. "It's a good thing I'm a cat of many trades. I know sign language."

"I don't, so it would be no use," Marinette gave him a sideways glance. "Besides, I don't plan on us going mute anyways. We're going to get that book."

"Got it."

"Chat, wait, I didn't-"

But he'd already leaped.

That stupid, stupid cat never listened as well as he should have. How could he have such amazing hearing but never bother to listen to her half of the time?

Sighing, Marinette swung herself from the building and landed with a thud on the slick paneling of an apartment roof. She'd never been one to have the same grace as Chat Noir when it came to landings, and with the whole city eerily quiet, her feet slamming against the roof was an obvious giveaway. Cursing to herself, Marinette glared at the the old librarian woman as she placed a wrinkly finger upon her lips and gave an uncomfortable shush.

Books came flying at her, each being met by the kick of her foot or the slam of her yo-yo. "You know," Marinette grunted as leaped over a book that was speedily headed for her chest. "There are easier ways to tell people to be quiet rather than stealing their voices completely."

"Shh!" Came the reply. Marinette had officially dubbed this villain as The Shusher.

Where in the hell had Chat Noir gone?

"Don't you think-" she dodged a book, "-there's a better option-" and then another, "-than this?"


Okay, so much for trying to talk the uncooperative woman out of it.

The shrill screech of a whistle sounding caught Marinette off-guard. Eyes wide, she peered down at the startling noise in the street below, where Chat Noir in a police hat stood with a blue whistle pressed against his lips as he blew forcefully.

"Hey, Madame Shush-a-lot! Don't like noise? Then you might want to stop me before I blow this whistle in every library in Paris!"

"Shh!" The old woman hissed, swooping down with her army of books to the cat. Marinette smirked at Chat's diversion. Such a clever kitty.

In fact, she couldn't help but cover up her explosive giggles with her hands as Chat dashed around in circles, blowing the whistle with every breath that slipped out of his lithe body. It came in shrill shrieks and threw off the books' aim, sending them crashing into walls and falling to the floor before fading back to their original color and laying lifeless. So, the books hated the noise of a whistle. Good to know.

While Chat had her distracted, Marinette flung herself as quietly as she could towards the woman, reaching out with a quick hand and swiping one of the books, clamping it shut so that it couldn't manage to purloin her voice. As she swung through the air, Marinette looked down at the book in her arms and- nope, the color black. No good. She needed that violet one.

Flying in again, she snatched the purple book with a satisfied grin, landing upon the ground with a huff. Except, she hadn't remembered to land with caution this time around, and Marinette's heart stopped as she was confronted with the two remaining black books, both which opened and glowed purple in preparation for capturing hold of her voice.

The hell was this; the Little Mermaid without consent?

"Ladybug, look out!" Chat shouted, his voice coated with fear as he dived behind her, taking the hit of the one book that had managed to come up from her rear. Marinette hissed in surprise, accidentally dropping the violet book to the floor due to the sudden contact and letting out a groan as her partner faced her with an innocent toothy grin and a shrug.

"Chat Noir!" She sighed, clearly agitated with his heroic feat. "Stop doing that! You're going to get yourself killed one day."

Chat shrugged once more, scratching at the back of his neck sheepishly. Marinette wanted to wipe that embarrassed expression off of his face with a smack or a kiss.

Ew, no, gross!

"Well, at least I don't have to listen to anymore of your puns. Now where did that-"

The violet book hovered above them with its army of other novels before spreading out across the city, causing an annoyed Marinette to grit her teeth. She would've had the damn akuma purified by now if Chat hadn't accidentally shoved her while protecting her from something she didn't need saving from.

Still, it was nice to know that he cared.

"Lucky charm!" She shouted in desperation, watching with wide eyes as a ladybug patterned whistle in the shape of a book plopped into her hands. At least with this she knew what to do, thanks to Chat's clever distraction. Glancing around the empty street, Marinette narrowed her eyes as her gaze landed upon the pages of wings that sprouted from the librarian's back.

"Chat Noir," She whispered, giving her silent friend a nudge. "Use your Cataclysm on her wings! If she can't fly, I don't think the books can, either." It was a stretch, but it didn't hurt to try; besides, Marinette was getting quite antsy knowing that she'd left Adrien in the bathroom of the ice cream parlor, especially since the battle had interrupted their date.

Their first date, of all things. Marinette prayed that they'd have a chance at another without having Hawk Moth getting in the way.

Chat nodded and, after vaulting atop a building and leaping down onto the villain with a very quiet Cataclysm, sent the old woman to the ground in a heap of feathered paper. The books followed suit and landed in a cloud of dust upon the street, all fading to their original colors except the violet one, which hovered above her threateningly.

"Oh, no you don't!" Marinette cried out as she blew forcefully into the whistle, causing the book to tremble and shake until its pages withered, giving Marinette a chance to snatch it from the air and rip it in half. The black butterfly barely had a chance to so much as hover above the ground before Marinette captured and purified it, sending the white butterfly to flutter away into the cloudy sky.

"Bye-bye, little butterfly!" She called out before tossing the whistle into the air. "Miraculous Ladybug!"

Within an instant, the city was enveloped in sparkling red light, cleansing the damage and returning lost voices. Chat let out a hoot of joy as his voice found its home in his throat, to which Marinette tried to convince herself was unfortunate, but she couldn't help feeling a little glad that her partner's stupid puns could be heard again. Not like she enjoyed them or anything.

"Ah, my Lady," Sighed Chat Noir after their traditional fist bump. "Aren't you glad to hear me again? Didn't you miss the purr of my voice?"

"No," Marinette laughed, giving him a gentle shove. "In fact, I enjoyed how peacefully quiet it was, tomcat."

"Well, then you'd enjoy my civilian self. Which reminds me," Chat flashed her a grin, sharp teeth sparkling. "I've got a date to get back to. Sorry to leave so soon. Au revoir, Bug!"

Marinette stood frozen, her arms crossed against her chest as her lips tightened into a thin line. Chat Noir was on a date? With who? Who would Chat even be interested in besides her?

How many girls was he leading on? Marinette as Ladybug, Marinette as Marinette, some other girl whom he was apparently on a date with?

Maybe that blond boy in the black hoodie and snapback had been Chat Noir.

She tried not to feel jealous. Marinette honestly, truthfully, attempted her best not to let the burning feeling ignite within her chest. She had no reason to be jealous. He wasn't the only one on a date. There was no reason why she should care.

Yet she did.

Sighing, Marinette ran into the nearest alleyway to detransform, watching with dull eyes as Tikki drifted into her palms and the cloud of sparkles dissipated. The poor Kwami looked exhausted and Marinette made a mental note to get her some cookies from the parlor once she'd returned.

"You okay?" She asked her tiny friend, giving her head a soft rub with her finger.

Tikki nodded, gazing up at her chosen with a warm smile. "I'm fine, Marinette. I just need a little nap. Go finish up with Adrien, okay?"

A warm smile tugged Marinette's lips upwards as she leaned down to press a gentle kiss upon her Kwami's forehead. "You're the best, Tikki."


The designer turned at the sound of the familiar voice as Tikki swiftly hid in her bag, eyes widening in surprise. "Adrien? Why aren't you in the shop-"

Marinette gasped as strong arms enveloped her tiny frame. Adrien must have realized his mistake and quickly backed off, much to Marinette's disappointment. It took all of her strength to hold in her whine of protest.

"I should be asking you the same thing," He said, nervously fidgeting with the collar of his overshirt. "What are you doing out in the alley? Did you have to run?"

"Uh..." Marinette dusted off her shirt, eyes falling to her feet. "Yeah. The books, uh, came into the girl's bathroom."

Adrien hesitated. "Yeah, they got into the boy's too. I'm glad you're okay, though."

Smiling, Marinette let out a soft sigh and nodded, clasping her hands together as a wave of relief washed over the both of them. Adrien was safe. Adrien was okay. Not a single scratch on his beautiful face.

"I'm really sorry to say this, but," Adrien pulled out his phone, checking the time with an obvious frown of disappointment pulling at his lips. "I'm ten minutes late for Chinese lessons. Can we try this again sometime?"

Marinette looked up at her friend through her lashes, a blush beginning to tingle up from her neck to her cheeks. "You, another date?"

Adrien nodded, the tips of his ears turning slightly pink. "Ah, sure. Yeah. I'd like that. I'm sorry to cut this one short."

"Don't blame yourself," Marinette said softly, laying a reassuring hand upon his shoulder. "At least Ladybug and Chat Noir took care of that villain."

Adrien hummed in response, gently placing his hand atop hers and giving it an affectionate squeeze. Marinette's blush became scarlet as she felt a familiar drop in her stomach; those butterflies in her tummy were surely having a party. A light giggle slipped past her lips without her consent, which made Adrien laugh in return. They stood there together in the darkened alleyway, fingers lovingly entwined and mouths curled upwards in giddy laughter.

"Let me walk you home," Adrien said after his chuckles had finally subsided, his green eyes glowing with the warmth of something Marinette couldn't quite place her finger on. "Before it rains. Don't want you getting a cold!"

Marinette nodded in response. The blush that burned her cheeks turned a deep crimson as Adrien linked his arm with hers, flashing her an innocent grin once they began their voyage to the bakery.

They occasionally shared a glance out of the corner of their eyes, which made both of them let out a small laugh at every met gaze. With each brush of his hip upon her own, Marinette felt a spark run up her skin and into her veins, which buzzed in excitement. Adrien's arm was linked around hers. Adrien was walking her home after a date. Adrien Agreste had blushed because of her.

This boy was going to be the death of her.

"Thanks," Marinette said once they'd arrived in front of the bakery, delicate droplets of rainwater tickling her nose. "I-I had fun, Adrien. Even if we got interrupted."

"Me too," He replied with a grin. "I'll see you soon?"

Nodding, Marinette stared up at her home longingly, letting a breath out through her nose. If only Adrien was able to go inside and wait out the rain, bundled up with her in toasty blankets in front of the TV...

"Tomorrow," She blurted before feeling her cheeks tingle in embarrassment. "Y-You can see me tomorrow if you're not busy."

The smile that blessed Adrien's gorgeous face made Marinette's heart skip a beat, maybe several. He looked so goddamn happy that she wanted to cup his cheeks within her palms and pull him into a kiss that would be almost as sweet as the ice cream had tasted.

She'd remember the flavor of that strawberry cone forever.

"Tomorrow, then," Adrien said. "I'll see you tomorrow."

And then he did something that set Marinette's entire body ablaze. Her face flushed such a deep red that she swore it'd never revert back to its original pale shade. Her arms froze at her side and her eyes widened so large that they'd almost fallen out of her head entirely.

Adrien Agreste had kissed her.

Not on the lips, but her forehead, which only grew warmer as his delightfully soft lips pressed against her skin. They lingered upon her skin for a moment before he pulled away, a dazed and sentimental expression upon his beautiful face.

If Marinette didn't know any better, she'd say that he looked as if he'd been in love with her for years. But she knew better, and she knew for a factthat whatever Adrien was feeling for her was a new development. Very new.

It didn't stop her heart from hammering in her chest, though.

"Hey," Adrien laughed as he pulled away, his thumb gently caressing her crimson cheek. "At least I wasn't cheating at video games that time, right?"

Marinette regained a small amount of her composure at his comment. "Oh, so you admit it was cheating, then?"

Adrien chuckled and glanced away with his own tinge of pink upon his face that Marinette decided she'd put there. "Yeah. I'm an evil friend."

"I forgive you," She sighed as her hand came up to rest over his. "I'll always forgive you, silly."

"Good," He said, "because cheating against you is the only way I can possibly win. It might happen again."

Marinette feigned a gasp, giving her crush a dramatic pout. "You're mean. We aren't friends anymore."

"I'm not mean," He tittered with a smirk. "Don't break up with me."

"We aren't dating," Marinette's laugh faded into a confused raise of her eyebrow, a grin twitching at the corner of her lips. "So technically I can't."

"Well, maybe that'll change someday," Adrien said through a shy smile as he checked his phone once more, his eyebrows furrowing. "Ah, I'm really late. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

Marinette nodded, her shoulders tensing as the reality of his words set in. Maybe that'll change someday. "Yeah. See you then."

"Goodnight, Marinette." Mon dieu, the tender tone in his voice was something she wanted to wake up to every morning. As Adrien gave a final wave, Marinette took note of the blush in his cheeks that had become exceptionally redder as she returned the gesture, stupidly content smiles upon both of their faces.

Wow, Marinette sighed in thought, if this is what love feels like, then I never want it to end.

Truthful Scars

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

Part 7 of 21

<< Previous     Home     Next >>