It wasn’t unusual to wake up like this with Tikki curled in her hair, hidden in the cat plush, and Chat’s head pillowed on her stomach whilst he respectfully laid on top of the blankets. Normally her hands would be carded through his blonde locks in her slumber but today Chat seemed to be curled around her side holding her tight. Marinette knew he had a tough home life and was practically touch starved so they’d silently come to an agreement that included lots of tactile touches and cuddles when they hung out. Even if she was asleep when he arrived her skylight was always open for her Chat Noir, he was her best friend after all and Tikki had long since taken to pretending to be a stuffed toy at night.
What was unusual though was that she didn’t remember going to bed and she was quite sure she was still wearing her school clothes too. She sleepily tried to take stock in the darkness but the longer she thought about it the more she realised she didn’t even remember getting home. A well of hot panic began to grow in the back of her throat at the missing memories but before Marinette could truly freak out Chat awoke, green eyes peering at her in the darkness as his ears twitched clearly alerted to her stress.
Chat carefully propped himself up and ran clawed hands across her cheek and forehead before stroking her hair gently as if she was about to break or that she needed to be coddled and treasured, his reaction seemed to panic her further and she found her breath becoming short as her heart pounded in her ears.
“Shush princess, breathe.” He soothed.
Marinette spent a few moments replicating the slow breaths he was taking to calm her down, her awaking panic clearing to a sleepy disorientation, a dull discomfort becoming obvious the more she calmed. Specifically a throbbing on the side that Chat was avoiding, her cheek, shoulder and arm a strange combination of numb and hot, telling her she was quite badly injured.
“I don’t- What? Chat? What happened?” she stuttered out, her heart beginning to pound again.
“Your classroom was crushed by an Akuma. You got caught in the debris trying to save Rose… You we’re out cold Mari.” He sounded clinical, like he’d detached from the situation because it was painful to remember.
Something in his dejected tone made her insides tighten in response and she raised her uninjured arm to run through his hair in comfort. Chat instinctively leaned into the touch eyes sliding shut as his nuzzled his head into her palm seeking comfort but he took it for only a moment before pulling back, moving to sit up.
“You’re injured and I should go. I just wanted to make sure you were okay.” He sighed out not sounding at all like he wanted to leave but his eyes slid over to her desk where a lone Akuma sat fluttering in a jar.
She’d missed it before, not looking any further than her partner in front of her but as she observed it’s wings flutter in the street light Marinette realised proudly that he’d won. Even though she’d been taken out of commission before even getting to the fight Chat Noir, the ‘side kick’, had won. Maybe now other people would see how wonderful her partner was too.
“Please stay the night.” The words quietly slipped out of her lips without permission, shameless and full of love for her partner. “Please Kitty.”
Chat looked at her closely, his eyes scanning her face though he seemed to find whatever he was looking for in Marinette’s expression as he was quickly settling back down, a soft smile on his lips as he got comfy, nuzzling back into her uninjured side.
Marinette felt an answering smile on her own lips as she rested her hand by his ears, fingers gently stroking. They snuggled in silence for a while, Chat quietly purring as she began to drift off again, the telling pressure of Tikki at her neck and Chat at her side comforting her back into slumber.
“You’ll be all fixed up tomorrow princess, Cat’s promise, we’ll find ladybug in the morning.” he yawned into her side as he too began to drift off, warm in her hold.
Marinette sleepily decided she’d worry about cleansing the Akuma tomorrow; they deserved a good night’s rest first…
In the morning the Akuma would be gone, the city cleansed, Marinette healed and a single small note signed with a drawing of a ladybug resting in the closed jar. It would turn out Tikki thought they deserved the rest too and had cleansed the Akuma alone in the night, the pair too tired to even notice it. Chat would begrudgingly tell her about how he’d taken down the Earthquake Akuma alone after ladybug never responded to the call. He would explain about seeing Marinette go down right at the start of the fight and how in a blind panic he swooped in and carted her off to safety before finishing his fight and bringing her home. Her parents had checked her over and confirmed she was mostly bruised and as soon as he was sure hospital wasn’t required Chat had settled in for the night, only disappearing once to recharge. Apparently her parents hadn’t minded her Cat guest in the least and in the morning that’s what worried her the most.