Marinette flopped back on her bed with her bag of chocolate clutched to her chest. Oh, how she loved getting candy. Ladybug and Chat Noir were gifted exceptionally large bags of candy from the people of Paris, think garbage bag size, which she’d donated three quarters of to children. However, Marinette had managed to keep a couple gallons worth of chocolate and fruit candies.
“Oh, how I love this holiday,” she sighed as she bit into a 100 Grand. “Mmmm…delicious.”
She was eating another piece when there was at thump on her balcony. Oh, crap. Chat. He’d know this was the candy from the people of Paris. He just would. There were notes and everything attached to some of the chocolate bars. Crap.
Marinette, thinking fast, took the bag and stashed it beneath her bed. She grabbed a couple non-descript bars, no notes, and set them next to her bed. That would make the whole ‘eating candy right now’ plausible.
“Princess!” he called as he popped open her skylight. If it was unlocked he had permission to come in without knocking.
“Hi, Chat,” she smiled sweetly and covered her mouth to keep chocolate from oozing out. Her giggle brought a grin to his face.
“You are eating sweets without moi?!” he held a hand to his chest in mock affront, “I’m insulted.”
“You got a ton of candy from the people of Paris, kitty. I doubt you need more.”
Chat grinned at that and disappeared back to the balcony, “AHA!”
He dropped down onto her bed with what looked like ten pounds of candy. She knew he’d gotten rid of most of his candy, but this was far less than he’d kept.
“Stashing candy for the long winter?”
He blushed, “I suppose. I actually had more, but I ended up giving some away to friends of mine and then ate a lot. I mean, I feel like I could throw up.”
”Trash can,” she pointed to the side of her bed, “Do not throw up on my bed.”
Chat leaned over, grabbed the top of the can, and placed it much closer to his side of the bed.
“Well, princess, care to indulge in some of my bounty?”
“I suppose,” she grinned, “If you’re sharing?”
“Of course! I don’t believe I could ever spoil you enough,” he leaned forward and made a kissy face at her.
She pushed his face away, “You are such a flirt.”
He pouted, “Only with you…and Ladybug.”
“Why is that do you think?” Marinette really regretted the words once they’d left her lips.
“Perhaps I have a type,” he shrugged, “Or you might secretly be Ladybug.”
Marinette giggled nervously, “Yeah, you’re right. That’s it. I must be Ladybug.”
“Maybe I just like you. What’s not to like about you, Marinette?”
“Well, I’m a spaz, for one. Klutzy, for two. I’m completely incompetent around certain people, for three. Oh, and I’m totally forgettable, for four. Should I go on?”
Chat pounced on her and wrapped his arms around her shoulders, squeezing tightly as he rocked her back and forth, scolding, “You are not, you liar! I will never forget you, and you’re not incompetent, just shy. You are not klutzy, you are accident prone. You aren’t a spaz, you’re just energetic, and I find you completely, one hundred percent amazing and adorable.”
She blushed, “Thanks, Chat.”
He leaned back, “And I want to kiss you.” His eyes widened as he realized he’d voiced that out loud. “Uh…” his fingers went up to his mouth and he smiled sheepishly, “I just made this awkward, didn’t I?”
“Chat, if there’s one thing I understand, it’s awkwardness.” Then she shrugged and grinned, “Why not? Kissing is fun.” Not like she’d done much of it, but from what she remembered of it, it was fun. Hell, she’d already kissed him once.
Marinette didn’t give him a chance to register what she’d said before she returned the pounce and dropped a sloppy smooch to his lips; it was quick and messy.
“There,” she giggled, “I kissed you. Done. Oh,” she added as if she had an afterthought, “Five…I’m extremely awkward.”
Chat sat up slowly, dizzy in the way he swayed on his ascent. “You just kissed me.” He was staring at her with a happily dazed expression on his face as his fingers went up to his mouth and he pulled them back to see that they were, indeed, wet. That was her fault. His first kiss. His eyes glanced up to Marinette, a feral, predatory expression, as his face broke into a mischievous smirk, “My turn.”
With a flick of his wrist, he flung the sack of candy beneath her bed and hopped forward, his body pressing Marinette’s to the bed as he pressed is lips to hers.
This kiss wasn’t playful and sloppy. No, this one was slow and calculating. Chat moved his lips against hers, a little roughly, but then it softened and she moaned into his mouth. Chat took that as his invitation to slip his tongue into hers. Marinette squeaked before humming in satisfaction at the intrusion.
She felt it. There was passion and, dare she believe, more?
She pulled back to look at him, her eyes soft and unfocused. “What was that for?” she whispered.
“I feel like I’ve wanted to do that for a while,” he admitted, “I’ve just never had the guts, or your permission, before.”
“Oh,” she smirked up at him, “In that case.” She slid her hand up the back of his neck, fisted her fingers into his hair, gently swirling them at the base of his skull, and pulled his face closer to hers. She connected their lips once again and they didn’t break away again until Chat was begging for air.
“Wow, Marinette,” he sighed and dropped his forehead to her collarbone, “I’m, uh, going to have to go home.” He was awkwardly holding himself above her and Marinette giggled.
He blushed. Marinette couldn’t recall seeing Chat Noir blush before and had to admit it was particularly attractive.
“You should go home and take care of that.”
“Yeah,” he bit his lip and grinned, “Continue this later?”
“Absolutely,” she nodded, “When you get back.”
He nodded, pulled back, leaned down to retrieve his bag of candy, and vaulted home.
Once Adrien had dropped his transformation, he grinned like a lovesick puppy. He and Marinette had just made out on her bed. It gave him a giddy feeling in his stomach. He wondered if she felt anything like that or if it was just in good fun? Luckily, thanks to the cold October air, he didn’t need that cold shower, after all.
He glanced down at the bag in his hands. “I could have sworn I had more candy,” he mused as he opened the bag. His fingers came into contact with one of the chocolate bars and he pulled it out to look at it.
We love you, Ladybug! Thank you for protecting Paris!
Adrien’s brows furrowed. Somehow he’d ended up with one of Ladybug’s candies. He pulled another out.
Ladybug, you are my hero!
“Huh,” he pursed his lips in confusion and pulled out another. And another. And another. They were all Ladybug’s candies. Not a single one of them was addressed to Chat Noir.
“Ho…ly…shit.” Adrien sat on the edge of his bed and clutched his face in his hands. After he let out his breath, slowly, he ran his fingers up into his hair and pulled. “Marinette? Plagg!! PLAGG!! Get your ass in here.”
Plagg appeared out of his camembert hideout before innocently asking, “Yes?”
Adrien sat up to glare at the kwami, “Did you know Marinette was Ladybug?”
”Adrien, do I look oblivious to you? Of course I knew she was Ladybug. She sits behind you every day. Where do you think I disappear during school hours? Tikki is my oldest, and dearest, friend. I’m not going to just sit there and rudely ignore her presence.”
He didn’t like the patronizing tone his kwami had taken.
“Didn’t you think that, as your weilder, I might have wanted to know that information?” he growled.
“Meh,” he waved a pod indifferently, “Tikki and I have an agreement not to get into your whole identity crises and whatnot. It’s just the way we roll.”
“Well,” Adrien gritted, “I’m about to roll you a new one if you don’t start talking about all the stuff you haven’t told me, now.”
Plagg scoffed, “As if. What is it you could do to m—“
Plagg’s eyes widened, “You wouldn’t dare!”
“All because of some candy?” Plagg grumbled. “Tikki is going to owe me big time.”
Plagg shifted uncomfortably, “We don’t share this kind of information, kid.”
“You do now.”
“Ugh. Shy girl, what’s her face, is Tikki’s chosen. There. Happy?”
“No, I already figured that out. What else? There has to be more to it than that. Like why was Marinette so adamantly against it?”
“She didn’t want you to know her identity,” Plagg grumbled.
“Do you know why?”
“You do realize she can’t really talk to you without stumbling over herself, yeah? So I just considered her doing you a favor,” Plagg chuckled.
“Plagg, you little shit, you better offer me up something or else I swear you’ll be living off of mild cheddar and crackers for a month.”
Plagg paled, as much as a black cat God can, and broke, rubbing his pods together nervously, “She didn’t want you to know she was Ladybug because she didn’t think she was worthy of the miraculous. Girl’s got as many insecurity issues as you do.” Plagg shifted nervously, hoping that Adrien would be satisfied by this answer.
“What? Why? Marinette’s awesome! I mean, she’s beyond amazing. Why would she think that?”
“She did try to get rid of the miraculous…”
“You are starting to sound like a broken record, kid,” Plagg grumbled, “She slipped the earrings into her friend Alya’s bag and tried to blink out during your first akuma. Ladybug was sure it was a mistake and that someone else would be better for the job.”
“You’re telling me,” Plagg nodded, “Well, long story short, shit hit the fan and Marinette decided she had to be Ladybug to save Paris. End of story.”
“Yet, she still didn’t think she was worthy?”
“Come on, kid, aren’t you listening at all? She has insecurity issues. She’s quiet, spazzy, clumsy, and second guesses everything. The girl is a walking doubt, okay? Especially, as far as you’re concerned.” Plagg popped a pod over his mouth and groaned painfully. He hadn’t meant to say that.
“What is that supposed to mean? ‘As far as I’m concerned?’ Is it Chat me or Adrien me?”
“Uh, just forget I said anything,” Plagg dove beneath his pillow to disappear.
Adrien flopped backwards and lifted the pillow roughly off of his kwami, who was cowering with his pods in his ears, “Cheddar…crackers…”
“Fine!” he whined, “Both, okay? She thinks Chat is a more impressive superhero because of your bravery and selflessness. Like I said, she lacks confidence in herself, but has this like really impressive righteous avenger persona that just sort of pops out of nowh—“
“Plagg!” Adrien whined, interrupting his rambling.
“Oh, sorry. Uh, yeah, where was I?”
“She thinks Chat is a more impressive superhero…or some nonsense like that.”
“Nonesense, right…okay, well, Ladybug thinks your flirting is insincere. She thinks you flirt with everyone so she rolls with it as just one of your quirks.”
“She thinks I’m insincere?”
“Well, you did flirt with her civilian identity so…”
“Oh, God,” Adrien rubbed his hands across his eyes, “My subconscious must have known it was her. I don’t know what else would have possessed me to do that.”
“Yeah, well she got the idea that you were just a silly flirt. Then the Marinette side of her is shy around Adrien.”
Plagg leveled a glare at the boy, “You do realize your face is all over France, if not the world, right?”
Adrien ground his teeth and grumbled, “Yeah.”
“That’s intimidating, not gonna lie. The girl has been twitterpated with you since the day you gave her that black rain shield.”
“The umbrella?” Adrien’s eyes glossed over as he recollected the incident with the umbrella. “She’s been what?”
“Twitterpated? Infatuated? Over-the-moon? Crushing? Obsessing over you,” Plagg flew up to tap Adrien in the chest, “Because she likes you. A lot. Like Tikki said it’s bad. It’s almost as bad as you obsess over her as Ladybug, which I find hard to believe because no one could be as incessantly annoying as you when you’re blathering on and on about your gushy non-existent roman—“
“She likes me?”
“You managed to catch that, huh?” Plagg glared, “It’s like I’m not even speaking French here.”
“Yeah, I got it. I just, I don’t even know what to think. I had no idea. Marinette liked me? Is that why she’s always been so weird around me?”
“For some reason I’m starting to think the master was a bit hasty in his decision.”
“Shut up, Plagg. I am academically smart, not socially smart.” Adrien had no delusions about how inept he was as far as socializing was concerned. He had been raised in a glorified bunker and the only company he’d ever had, in groups, were stuffy parties, where no one ever said what they actually thought or meant, and avoided talking to anyone for longer than a couple minutes. Then, he supposed, at photo shoots where all talk consisted of perfecting your craft, discussion of effectiveness of beauty products, and the color pallets used that day. Yeah, not much in the way of normal discussion as far as Adrien was concerned. He’d always been a little self-conscious about it.
“You got that right.” Plagg scoffed and shook his head.
“Well, I’m learning, all right? So, Marinette couldn’t talk to me, and stumbled over herself, because she likes me. I wonder why? She screamed at me when she first met me.”
“The way Tikki tells it, she’s actually crushing on you, and not your face, so get over yourself.”
Adrien let out the breath he’d been holding and a chuckle escaped him. Then he laughed. He laughed and laughed, in hysterics, until tears were streaming down his face.
“Uh, should I be concerned?” Plagg finally asked with wide eyes.
“No, no,” Adrien tried to stop himself as he wiped at his eyes. “I made out with Ladybug and I love her, Plagg. Ladybug, Marinette, whoever she is, I love her. Like really love her, not some silly crush. I know Marinette. I know her as a person and as a friend. Ladybug has always been my crush, my infatuation, but Marinette is real, and I think I’m going to go crazy if I keep sitting here thinking about her. She doesn’t even know! I have to tell her. Plagg?”
“Claws out…yadda, yadda.” Plagg waved his hands flippantly.
Marinette sat on her bed and took a deep breath. That had been close. Chat had been ‘this’ close to catching her with a bag of Ladybug’s candy on her bed and she’d have had a very hard time explaining that to him.
“Whew, Tikki,” she sighed, “I am so lucky he didn’t see that.”
“You just made out with Chat,” Tikki giggled.
Marinette glared at her kwami, “I did not. We kissed…three times. That does not mean we were making out.”
“Your last kiss required you to break for air and Chat was suddenly too big for his britches. What would you call that?”
Marinette grumbled, “Well, hell. I guess I did make out with Chat Noir. He was such a good kisser, though.” Marinette ran her fingers across her lips and smiled, “I wonder what he’d think if he knew I was Ladybug.” She giggled to herself.
“I guess he’d probably feel about the same way you would if you found out you’d made out with Adrien,” Tikki said deadpan.
“Oh, Tikki, don’t be so daft. Adrien would never kiss me like that.”
Tikki rolled her eyes and snuggled into Marinette’s neck, “I wouldn’t be too sure. You should never sell yourself short like that. He’ll come around.”
Marinette sighed heavily and nodded, “Maybe. I can’t lose hope. Candy?”
Tikki popped up and grinned, “Of course!! I thought you’d never ask.”
Marinette leaned under the bed and grasped for her candy bag. Her hand snagged it and she plopped it between herself and her Kwami.
“Hmm…what kind do you want?” she asked as she rifled through it, “Snickers? Cadbury caramel? Reeses? Zots?”
“Surprise me!” Tikki rubbed her little pods together and closed her eyes. They opened when she heard a sharp intake of breath.
“Oh, no. Oh no!” Marinette exclaimed as she started pulling pieces of candy out of the bag. They all were addressed to ‘Chat Noir.’ “He took my bag!?” Marinette grabbed fists of her hair and pulled as a shrill shriek escaped her. “He’s going to know who I am, Tikki?! Oh, God, this can’t be happening.”
Tikki heard a thump and giggled, “This is happening all right.” Then she flew to hide as the skylight popped open.
“Well, hello there, beautiful,” Chat said suavely as he dropped down on the foot of the bed and crawled towards her seductively, “You have been keeping secrets from me, bug.”
“Uh, what?” she asked.
“Don’t play coy with me, Marinette. I know you’re Ladybug.” He held the damning bag in front of him and chuckled, “Not that I’m surprised that the two most amazing girls I know just happen to be the same one.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking abou—what?”
“You heard me,” he grinned, “I have something I’ve wanted to say to you for a long time.”
“Chaton,” she warned, “Don’t.”
“I love you,” he sighed happily. It was light a weight had lifted off of his chest as he finally set the words free. She knew how he felt and now it just made her feel guilty.
“Minou,” she dropped her face into her hands and tried not to cry. She liked Chat, she did, but she really wanted to be with Adrien, “I can’t be with you.”
He frowned. “Why not?” he whined as he grabbed her shoulders, “I love you!”
“I know.” She was crying now. She felt awful. “It’s just that there’s someone I like and I don’t know if I’d be able to choose between the two of you.”
Chat’s smile widened into one of genuine, radiant warmth. He knew why. She was in love with Adrien, according to Plagg, who coincidentally also happened to be him, so it was perfect. “I know and I’m fine with that.” The gleam off of his open mouthed smile was radiant.
Marinette gasped, but she still couldn’t bring herself to look at him, “And you’re not upset that I can’t return your feelings?”
If she hadn’t had her hands over her eyes, she might have seen the telltale green flash of Chat dropping his transformation.
“Why would I be upset? I’d be ecstatic! I love you and you do love me. I think that’s about as perfect as we can be.”
“You’re rhyming now? Improvising poetry? You’re such a romatic, kitty. Wait, what?”
She lifted her head up to look at him and her breath caught in her throat. It happened about half a second before her heart did a flip flop and the room melted away in a swirl of darkness.
“—rinette? Mari? My Lady?”
His voice was calming. Marinette could hear him calling to her as she opened her eyes. They fell on the black clad form of her partner, Chat Noir.
“Uh, whoa, what happened?”
He smirked, “You fainted.”
“I fainted? Why? I had this strange dream, Chat. You were…” she glanced down at the two bags of candy on her bed and her eyes shot back up to Chat, “You’re…Adrien?!”
“You’ve been…” she gestured up and down his lithe frame. “This whole time?” She gesticulated wildly. Even earlier when they’d made out and he’d lifted himself off of the bed.
“Yes,” he blushed slightly and nodded.
“And you l-l-love me?”
“I do,” he leaned forward to grab her hand. She flinched as he collected it, but allowed him to place a chaste kiss to her knuckles.
“You’re the most exceptional person I know, Marinette. I have been head over heels for you since you fell out of the sky.”
“You...” she trailed off and her fingers went to touch her lips, “We…”
“Kissed?” he smirked, “I would really like to kiss you again, actually.”
Her eyes shot up to his to ask a question. ‘Really?’
“If you’d let me.”
Marinette nodded dumbly. Words were failing her completely at this moment. She’d pretty much decided that, if this was a dream, she was just going to roll with it because it was shaping up to be one of the better ones she’d ever had.
There was a flash of green as Chat dropped the transformation, leaving a misty eyed Adrien Agreste in his place.
Adrien leaned forward to where his lips were just in front of hers. Marinette could feel his breath and the warmth from his cheeks, “I’ve always wanted to do this…” then he leaned forward and captured her lips, with his own, as himself.
His lips were soft, softer than she’d remembered from their kiss earlier. There was an emotion she hadn’t detected quite as strongly before, but had been able to sense it. It was so much stronger.
She opened her eyes to look at him as he kissed her gently with such passion. His eyes were closed and she realized, in that moment, she was the luckiest girl in the world and he had to be an angel.
His golden eyelashes fluttered as he hummed happily. Marinette’s eyes closed at the sound and she gasped when he pressed his tongue against her lips. She allowed him to deepen the kiss so their tongues could dance together. He tasted sweet, like candy, and she grinned as they kissed. She could feel him respond with a smile of his own.
Adrien pulled back to look at her and placed her cheek in his palm, “I think I am ridiculously in love with you, Marinette.” He shook his head like he was slowly losing his mind.
“I think I am just as ridiculously in love with you, too, Adrien.” Marinette leaned forward to nuzzle his forehead with hers in a reassuring ‘kitty kiss.’
“Would you maybe want to be my girlfriend?” he asked timidly. “So we can go out on dates, watch sunsets on the roof, or stay in and cuddle. We could do whatever you want.”
Marinette giggled to herself. It came out almost hysterically as the whole situation sunk in. Then she grinned up at him, “I’d be a fool not to.”
“So is that a yes?” he asked nervously.
Marinette threw her arms around his torso and pulled him over with her onto the bed, “Yes! Are you nuts? It would make no sense for me to say no.” I’ve only been dreaming about it for the last two years.
He grinned sheepishly and scratched the back of his neck in a nervous gesture, “That still doesn’t mean you wouldn’t.”
She rolled her eyes and buried her head in his neck, “You’re ridiculous.”
“You’re more ridiculous,” he laughed.
“You make puns while you’re fighting akumas…”
“You stutter every time you talk to me…”
“I’m not stuttering now, am I? Y-e-s. Yes. YES! I’m your girlfriend so deal with it.”
He grinned and leaned forward to place a sweet peck on her lips, “Gladly.”
She quirked an eyebrow and observed him speculatively, “You act nothing like Chat when you’re Adrien…”
“Are we still saying why we think the other is ridiculous? Okay, fine. You don’t always act like Marinette as Ladybug, either…”
They went on and on as to why the other was ridiculous. Then they discussed what they liked about the other, and, finally, figured out why they were madly in love with each other.