Chapter 1: Artisticruel
"Hey, wanna hang out at my place and play Mecha Strike III tomorrow?"
Never in her entire life, the whole 14 years she'd been alive, never in the immense expanse if Paris or even the world would Marinette imagine she'd hear those words. From Adrien. To her.
A wide smile slowly crept up her face, her utter shock unable to stop it. Her entire face flared pink as she tried to make direct eye contact with Adrien and not lose her cool. "Uh, oh, heh, um, yeah, gat would be threat! I mean- oh, sorry, that would be g-great!" she managed to gasp, stilling herself from her wild movements that seemed to well up from inside her around Adrien.
"Cool! Wanna' walk home with me after school?"
A romantic walk with Adrien? Yes!
"Sure!" she exclaimed a bit too loudly.
"Great! See ya' then!" Adrien said as he walked off, giving Marinette a little salute as he turned and headed away.
Marinette couldn't breathe.
"AAAAAAAAAAAH! ALYA, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND! I'M GOING TO ADRIEN'S HOUSE. AND IT'LL JUST BE US!!!!" Marinette screamed into her phone, no doubt killing Alya's ears.
"Calm down, girl," Alya said into the phone. "It'll be-"
Suddenly, a breaking news report flashed across Marinette's television screen, drawing all of her attention. Someone had been akumatized and was charging around the Louvre, damaging art and reducing citizens to puddles of paint.
"Alya, I have to go!" Marinette cried into her cell phone, then hanging up before Alya could ask why.
Alya pulled her phone away from her face and stared at it questioningly. "One day," she muttered, "I'll figure out where that girl always is."
Meanwhile, Marinette had already transformed and yoyoed away, towards the Louvre. As she gained sight of the museum, she assessed the situation. The akumatized villain, a high schooler like herself with orange skin and a blue suit, as well as a drawstring bag hanging from a belt loop, was standing before the museum entrance, parrying Chat Noir's attacks with a large paintbrush. Strange.
"Ah, Ladybug! Nice of you to join us," the villain exclaimed as Ladybug jumped down into the scene.
"I am Artisticruel," she announced proudly. "If you don't mind, I think this image is rather inspiring. You wouldn't mind if I... painted it!" she shouted, and lunged for Ladybug with her paintbrush. Chat Noir managed to push it out of the way with his stick in time, and it clattered against the ground.
"You think that's the akuma?" Ladybug asked, turning to Chat Noir.
"Only one way to find out," he said as he pounced for it. He snapped it in half with his feet, but no akuma fluttered out.
"You idiots! You broke my paintbrush! My one and only outlet to express my emotions!" Chat Noir cast a confused glance towards Ladybug, and the two giggled.
"You think that's funny, huh? Well, no matter. I've got more where that came from." With that, she pulled a spray can out of her oddly-placed bag, and rushed for some cowering citizens. She seemed to be targeting one in particular; a middle-aged man who looked remarkably like her, even akumatized.
Hawkmoth connected with the villain through the strange moth-shaped mask: "No, stop! Get Ladybug and Chat Noir's Miraculous while you can! You'll have plenty of time for revenge when they're out of the way." Artisticruel nodded as the link faded, and turned back around.
"You aren't out of this one yet," she sneered. "You'll be the main pieces in my collection... Of Paris!" She lunged for Chat Noir's ring, pulling up her can to spray him. Ladybug tripped her with a swipe of her leg, and Artisticruel came crashing down.
Before Ladybug could tie her up, she crawled away quickly, and sprang to her feet. "This isn't over. Hand me your Miraculous, and I just may go easy on you."
"Never," Ladybug and Chat Noir scoffed in unison. "Lucky charm!" Ladybug cheered, and as the magical item materialized and fell into her hands, Artisticruel gasped. In Ladybug's hands, there was a book. Apparently, the villain recognized the title on the cover: Life is an Art Form, by William Hertz. She quickly opened to a random page, and inside found a whole lot of small print and many drawings of many things. A sketch of a teapot, of a baby crib, a simple drawing of a pen.
Suddenly, the book was snatched out of her hands. Ladybug looked up to see that Artisticruel, now much less intimidating and fierce, was flipping through it, tears welling in her eyes. A look of sorrow painted her face, and she lingered on every page, like she wanted to savor it forever.
Chat Noir took the opportune distraction to tackle the villain, but strangely, she didn't seem disturbed. She simply clutched the book to her chest and stared off into the distance as Ladybug tied her up with her yoyo, that same look of agony hanging from her features.
Ladybug tried to locate her akuma. She took the spray can and crushed it, to no avail. She then took the bag, and upon finding no other contents, ripped it to shreds. Again, nothing.
"Ladybug, look!" Chat Noir reached behind Artisticruel's ear, and pulled out a simple fountain pen. Inscribed in the side with gold calligraphy was one word: Hertz. He shrugged, and snapped it in half.
The akuma fluttered out, climbing steadily in an attempt at escape. "There you are, little akuma," Ladybug smirked. "Time to de-evilise!"
With everything sorted out and the mess cleaned up, the akumatized villain faded back into someone Ladybug nor Chat Noir knew. She looked up at them, her face stricken with the exact same face as before, and gave them two words to chew on:
"What!?" Ladybug and Chat Noir exclaimed, once again, in unison. "How can you remember?" Chat Noir asked the girl. "How can she remember?" He repeated, turning to Ladybug and gesturing towards the girl. Ladybug simply looked to her with a concerned expression; the girl was clearly upset, even after the attack.
Ladybug took three tentative steps towards her, and knelt down so she was eye-level with her. "What was the importance of that pen, and that book?" she said softly.
The girl only shook her head, her expression morphing into an almost fearful one. Ladybug sighed, and drew the girl into a light hug. "I'm sorry you have to remember being controlled like that; whatever happened that led up to it, you can confide in me, I promise," Ladybug whispered as the girl hugged her back. Ladybug pulled away and clasped the girl's hands in hers. The girl turned her head away and muttered a 'thank you'. Ladybug beamed at her, and promised to herself that she would find this girl as Marinette and help her through whatever had her this troubled.
In the meantime, she and Chat Noir had to figure out how this poor girl could remember the attack,
and what that meant. She nodded her head to the girl, and stood. Her earrings beeped as a second-to-last warning, giving her just five minutes to consult with Chat Noir. Trotting over to him, she sighed. Chat Noir raised his hand and opened his mouth as she approached, but after a moment closed it and slumped his shoulders in defeat. "I don't have a pun for this one," he muttered, ashamed. Ladybug chuckled.
Her face fell as she watched the downtrodden girl get up and walk away, all on her own.
"So, what do you think's going on here?" she asked, turning back to Chat Noir.
"Yeah, first I don't even need my Catacalysm," Ladybug nodded at that, "and then the victim remembers the attack, which means she'll be traumatized because she was under control." Cat Noir frowned. "AndthenIdidn'thaveapun!" he exclaimed in one word, waving his arms above his head. Ladybug grinned.
"I don't know, I was more surprised you didn't call me Bugaboo," Ladybug scoffed.
"Oh, you're exactly right, Bugaboo."
Ladybug's earrings beeped as a final warning, and she immediately yoyoed away, calling, "Bug out, Kitty!"
That night, one simple thought kept both of our heroes awake. The fact that Hawkmoth could be getting weaker- or stronger.
Chapter 2: Hangout
Things be getting juicy up in here
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"Marinette? Marineeeete?" Alya sang as she waved her hand in front of her best friend's face.
"Augh, what??" Marinette started.
"You seem distracted today, girl. Is everything alright?"
Marinette wanted to tell her everything. The pressures of being Ladybug, a great hero that can't fail, and Marinette, the meek girl that fails at everything, at the same time. She wanted to let it all out, how she was worried that the fact that an akuma victim remembers could very possibly mean impending doom, and how Alya's Ladyblog was completely useless.
But she couldn't, so she settled with, "Oh, ah, no, nothing's fine. I mean- everything's fine! Hehe, nothing to worry about!" She smiled awkwardly, and giggled nervously. Who was she kidding, though? Alya was the master of moods.
"Are you thinking about your....date tonight with Adrien?" Alya asked, lowering her voice and smirking. Okay, so maybe not the master of moods.
"What?!" Marinette exclaimed, having to restrain herself from standing and embarrassing herself. She had forgotten completely. "Wait- it's not a date. I'm going with Adrien to his house to play Mecha Strike III, that's all," Marinette said, calming down.
"Yeah, but don't forget who it's with," Alya remarked, waving her finger at Marinette.
"I think that's impossible," she said, both girls laughing.
"Dude, aren't you going out with Marinette tonight?" Nino asked Adrien as they walked the grounds to their next class.
"What? No. She's coming over to play Mecha Strike III. That's all," Adrien answered flatly, but even he couldn't hide the blush creeping up his cheeks.
"Woah, no way! You totally have a crush on Marinette!" Nino said loudly, backing up and pointing finger-guns at him.
Adrien huffed. "No I-" Then he stopped, dumbfounded. Maybe he did have a crush on Marinette.
Nino's smile grew wider, and he raised his eyebrows at Adrien as the silence grew longer.
"Okay, maybe I do have a little crush, but I like someone else better," he caved.
Nino put his hands in the air and shouted. "No fricking way, dude! I've gotta' tell Alya, she'll be so pumped! Wait till she hears this!"
Adrien put his hands around Nino's wrists and pulled his hands down. "Please don't," he said blankly. Nino huffed. "Fiiiine, I won't tell anyone. Just Alya."
"Y'know what, fine, tell Alya. Just please make sure she doesn't tell Marinette," he reasoned.
Nino tsk'ed and crossed his arms. "You know your man wouldn't dream of revealing a secret that huge!"
Adrien sighed in relief. "Thanks."
As the schoolday neared an end, Marinette's thoughts drifted from Adrien to Hawkmoth, and back again. Both opportunities were equally inviting: defeating Hawkmoth, Paris and even the world's greatest enemy, and getting Adrien interested in her. She had a feeling the latter would prove to be more challenging.
As final bell rang, Marinette's thoughts had been consumed completely by Adrien and their da- hangout that afternoon. She rushed to pack her things, then practically flew across the grounds to the front gates, stopping to rest and wait for him there. She bounced on the balls of her feet anxiously as she waited, her thoughts flitting between what to do and what to say.
Marinette jumped, dropping her schoolbag and her purse. Uh oh- the one with Tikki in it. Both Marinette and Adrien heard the small gasp that the bag emitted, and Marinette absolutely panicked.
"Oops, uh, silly me! Hehe-" she rushed, frantically picking her things back up.
Adrien stood there, puzzled. "What was that?" he asked, leaning towards the bag.
"Oh, uh, heh, nothing!" Marinette shouted, grabbing his hand and speed-walking out of the campus before she realized what she was doing.
When she finally slowed to a stop at the bottom of the steps in front of the school, she noticed what she had done. However, instead of letting go, she held on, staring for a moment at their clasped hands, her face a deep crimson.
She let go with the speed of a cheetah after a few seconds too long, and looked up to see Adrien staring at her. He didn't seem to realize he was doing so for a moment, and quickly tore his eyes away, both of them opting to look anywhere but the other. That few sweet seconds of contact sent Marinette and, to his surprise, Adrien's hearts fluttering wildly.
Adrien would have to reflect on this later, most likely with Plagg. Since when did he have a crush on Marinette, especially that intensely?
Maybe it's her kind-hearted nature, a voice inside whispered. Or the fact that she's always there to help whoever, however.
Or maybe it's because she reminds you of someone.
Adrien shut off the nagging voice in the back of his mind, setting it aside for later. For now, he had a da- hangout with Marinette.
"Heh, um... My house is this.... way..." Adrien said, his words slowly forming into a mumble. He was caught off guard as he tried to form words, but found it difficult to get them out. Had that ever happened before?
Marinette does things to you, the voice said. Different things. She's different.
Adrien shook his head, ineffectively trying to clear it. "Uh, follow me," he said, making a pointing motion with his thumb in the direction of his house.
Marinette nodded eagerly, desperate to get out of the awkward silence that had ensued her foolish mistake. She promised herself the moment she got back home, she'd bang her head against a wall. Repeatedly.
They quickly fell into step beside each other, headed towards the Agreste mansion. Despite the awkward situation they'd found themselves in just moments ago, it was surprisingly easy to slip into a comfortable conversation. Marinette, Alya, Adrien, and Nino had hung out as a group more and more recently, and Marinette was building up the ability to actually talk to Adrien, given a few minutes to calm down from the initial nervousness.
Soon they reached the Agreste's estate, and the two were let in. No matter how many times she had to see it, the giant building before Marinette would never cease to amaze her. For Adrien, of course, a classy mansion was perfectly normal, and he opened the door politely for Marinette and led her to his room.
As Marinette and Adrien entered the gigantic room, Marinette gasped loudly. It was furnished in the most exotic of activities, complete with a dance machine and a rock wall, and had such grand appearance and style she felt utterly blown away.
"You like?" Adrien asked simply, sitting down in front of the TV and setting up Mecha Strike III.
"I love," was Marinette's answer. How rich were the Agrestes?
"Um, which controller do you want?" he asked, and Marinette turned back around to see two remote controllers in his hands, one Chat Noir themed with a black color and cat ears and the other decorated with Ladybug spots.
"Oh my gosh, that's so cool!" Marinette cooed as she took the Ladybug remote from Adrien's hand. She had no idea Adrien was that interested in the heroic duo.
"I know, isn't it?" Adrien grinned as he started Mecha Strike III, the loading screen and futuristic background music on the TV.
The red color with black spots fit rather well with Marinette. Why did it fit that well?
Because she reminds you of someone, the voice wailed. Adrien tried his best to shove it to the back of his mind, permanently this time. He pressed 'play' on his Chat Noir controller, and motioned for Marinette to sit down next to him.
The two leapt into an intense battle, the leading score flitting back and forth between players. Both put forth their best effort, the clanging and shooting sounds of the game reverberating around the room.
When Adrien looked over at Marinette after a couple of rounds, he was surprised to notice that her face was screwed in the utmost concentrated expression, the tip of her tongue sticking out. And that it was.... adorable. He faltered, and Marinette took that time to strike, winning the round.
When she turned to look at Adrien and gloat a bit, she stopped when she saw that he was staring at her once again, this time with a more captivated look. Why was Adrien looking at her like that? She blushed, and Adrien blushed back and turned to the screen again, seemingly having noticed again what he was doing.
They started playing once again, the winning score switching back and forth between them. This time, Adrien was a lot less competitive, opting to enjoy the cute faces and sounds Marinette made as she strove to win. Each time she did, she'd turn to him and grin mischievously. He'd grin back, for a different reason.
He liked Marinette. A lot, he now realized. He might've even gone so far as to say that she was tied with Ladybug, miraculously.
As Marinette won yet another round, she excused herself to go to the bathroom. She did, but instead of using it, she opened her back and checked on Tikki.
"Tikki, omigosh, can you believe it!?" she shouted, and before Tikki could get a word in, kept going. "He stared at me. DID YOU SEE HIM STARE AT ME?? Of course you didn't, you were in the bag, but HE STARED AT ME!! WITH BLUSH ON HIS PERFECT CHEEKS!!!"
"Marinette, calm down. I know you're excited, but he might hear you," Tikki cooed in her sweet little voice.
"Right," Marinette replied. "It's just.... Adrien," she sighed, a faraway look in her eyes. Tikki rolled hers. "I'm gonna' go hang out with Plagg," she muttered quietly, a small smile on her lips. To be young and in love, she thought.
"What? Who's Plagg?" Marinette asked, confused.
"I said, I'm gonna go hide in a bag! Hehe!" With that, she zoomed away to avoid more questions, phasing through the ceiling and heading towards the room's balcony. That was close.
Adrien gasped as Plagg opened up a random drawer from the inside and zipped out. "I can sense Tikki," he gasped excitedly. Wait till she hears what happened! he thought, grinning.
"What? Who's Tikki?" Adrien asked, confused.
"I said, I can sense something cheesy!" With that, he flew away to the balcony, desperately hoping that Adrien would shrug it off. Not that he would mind if Adrien did find out about Marinnete being Ladybug; the two kind of deserved it. They could afford to be happy kids in love, fighting bad guys every other day. Of course, Tikki, Master Fu, and all the other kwamis would have his head if he were the cause of the reveal.
The two kwamis met at the balcony, Plagg becoming simply ecstatic. "Let's go somewhere neither of them can hear, because I can tell you're going to start shouting," Tikki giggled quietly. Together, they phased through the ceiling and sat on the roof. Plagg jumped right into the conversation.
"Tikki, Adrien is forming a crush on Marinette. Marinette, who's also Ladybug! And Marinette has a crush on Adrien. Adrien, who's also Chat Noir! You have to let them show their identities, Tikki! It's for the greater good! If the sole heroes of Paris find out that they're in love with each other, they'll finally be happy! Crime rates will go down 100%!! You gotta, Tikki!!" Plagg exclaimed, flying all around and making motions with his hands. Tikki simply watched his exaggerated flying, amused.
"Plagg," she said, holding back a laugh.
"What? I'm serious! Don't you care about Marinette and her happiness?" he said, folding his arms.
"Plagg, they're already starting to figure it out themselves!" she huffed, laughing heartily.
Plagg let his arms down, bewildered that he'd been oblivious to it. They were starting to figure it out.
Plagg started chuckling too, and together they enjoyed the evening, talking and laughing whilst the two heroes of Paris did the same below.
Adrien having a crush on Marinette gives me life
Marinette and Adrien played together until the sun went down, talking and laughing happily as the afternoon wore into evening. Marinette had taken her lead and run with it, now roughly a dozen points ahead of Adrien. Both were thoroughly enjoying the others' company when a notification sounded on both of their phones. A month or so ago, Mayor Bourgeois put in place a safety precaution: whenever there was an akuma attack, they would send out a warning on all cell phones in Paris to warn citizens and the two heroes. This time, it was an akuma at the Eiffel Tower.
"I have to get you to safety," both Adrien and Marinette said at once. They both were taken off guard.
"No, I need you to be safe, I have to- do something," Marinette persisted, standing up with Adrien.
Where was Marinette going? What was so important that she had to-
You know why. You know exactly why.
Adrien cursed the stupid voice, and shoved it down again, opting to focus on the task at hand. He had to get to Ladybug, and get Marinette to safety.
"I need you to be safe, Marinette. Please, just listen to me. Hide out until it's all over, and I'll be back," Adrien pleaded. "It isn't safe to go home."
"Adrien, I'm not worried about me. I'm worried about you. I'll be okay, I promise."
This conflict was not an easy one; both sides had a fantastic reason for leaving, and protecting the other. However, time was slipping away, and with it innocent citizens.
"Fine, just, please go somewhere and hide. I need to go," Adrien said, a look of concern decorating his face.
Marinette sighed. "Adrien, I need you to be protected. You hide somewhere, too." Her face mirrored Adrien's: worry for the other.
"Okay, I need to go, and as soon as it's done I'll hide. I swear," Adrien relented.
Marinette knew she couldn't stop him from leaving, only hope that he stayed safe. She nodded, and Adrien put his hand on her shoulder before he left, displaying all of his concern for her.
He whispered, "Stay safe." And then he was gone.
Marinette stood there for a moment, the skin where his hand touched her shoulder tingling.
She was about to go find Tikki when Adrien sprinted back into the room, looking through drawers and boxes, hiding them from Marinette with his body as he did so.
Soon he found what he was looking for on the balcony, and although Marinette couldn't see what it was, she saw him stuff it in his jacket. He nodded to her as he left the room, leaving her dumbfounded.
She shook off the incident, promising to go back to it later. She had a more pressing matter on her hands right then.
She called out for Tikki, jumping in surprise as she appeared out of nowhere behind her.
"Marinette, say the words!" she cheered, and Marinette wondered how she'd known of the akuma attack.
Whatever. It didn't matter.
"Tikki, spots on!"
"Plagg, claws out!"
As Chat Noir arrived at the scene, he almost puked. There was blood. Everywhere.
He calmed down when he realized that it wasn't blood, but ketchup. The immediate vicinity of the Eiffel Tower was deserted, of citizens and akumatized villains. The trail of ketchup was prominent, though, and he followed that through the city. Soon, Ladybug yoyoed into the scene and ran alongside Chat Noir.
"How's the condiment hunt going?" she asked, looking around confusedly at all the ketchup everywhere.
"This has got to be the weirdest akuma yet," he replied, the two jumping from rooftop to rooftop.
"Yeah, no kidding. Is the akuma a hotdog vendor whose cart got stolen?" Ladybug joked, but as they reached the mayor's office, they stopped laughing.
It was an akumatized hotdog vendor. And he was angry.
"Where is my cart, you theives! I, Evilendor, refuse to give anyone mercy until my cart is found. Mayor Bourgeois, he who denied the search party for my cart, is to blame for this. Find him, or you will all drown in condiments!" the villain sneered at a crowd of people he had trapped in a wall of dried mustard.
"I think Hawkmoth's getting kind of desperate," Chat Noir huffed unbelievingly as they slowed to a stop on a roof above the scene.
"Yeah, no kidding. Looks like this might be easy," Ladybug said, eyebrow cocked in confusion.
"I think the akuma might be in that hotdog hat," Chat Noir said, pointing at the villain's ridiculous garment. Chat nodded, rolling his shoulders in preparation for seemingly the thousandth akuma yet.
The battle was extraordinary, in the sense that it'd taken the miraculous duo less than ten minutes to take down the offending akuma. Neither Chat's cataclysm nor Ladybug's infamous lucky charm had been required, much to their surprise- and alarm. Things were getting easier and easier, a million different reasons for such an event clawing their way into Ladybug and Chat Noir's heads.
As the akuma had needed no special moves, the heroes' time before detransformation had not been shortened, giving them an opportunity to contemplate the situation at hand.
"I just don't get it," Ladybug sighed as they came to rest atop a secluded rooftop. "These akumas just keep getting easier and easier, for no reason!"
"Chillax, 'Bug, it's easier on us," Chat Noir said smoothly as he propped his arm on his baton and his head in his hand.
Ladybug cast a cocked eyebrow at Chat, confusion adorning her face. "Did you just call me 'Bug'?"
"Of course! You don't like 'Bugaboo', so why not just 'Bug'? Plus, it has a better ring to it," Chat Noir explained, waving his hand flippantly. "What, you don't like it?"
Ladybug rolled her eyes, a small smile playing at her lips. "I guess it is better than 'Bugaboo'."
A wave of relief washed over Chat. She hadn't turned down his teasing, for once, although that might've had something to do with the fact that 'Bug' wasn't as flirtatious a name as 'Bugaboo'. Chat didn't care- so long as his lady didn't reject him.
A small thought nagged at him, though, one that belonged in and had escaped from the far corners of his mind. He was in love with Ladybug, absolutely head over heels for her, but also starting to form a crush- small, he corrected himself- a small crush on Marinette. One that seemed to be growing, despite how much he hated to admit.
The thought flashed through his head in an instant, and soon began to grow heavier. He glanced over at Ladybug, her gaze still fixed on him, and gulped slowly, almost theatrically.
Here goes nothing, he thought desperately.
"Ladybug, can I ask you something? Something important?" he questioned, quiet and serious.
Ladybug looked puzzled for a moment, before turning to Chat Noir fully. "Of course you can, Chat," she said, a warm look decorating her features. That slightly relaxed him, and he dug into himself for as much courage as he could muster.
"Do you-" He sighed. "Do you like me the way I like you? You know pretty much how I feel, and I can sorta..." A lump formed in his throat, and he pushed it down as far as it would go. "I can sorta tell by the way you, y'know, act, that you don't feel the same."
Ladybug hesitated for a moment, the question catching her off guard. Her first reaction was to simply say 'no' outright, but she knew that would hurt his feelings. Badly.
Instead, she opted to let him down gently; she knew he would understand that she loved someone else.
She sighed. "I... I know how you feel, about- about me, but I just don't feel the same way. I'm sorry Chat, it's just... My heart belongs to someone else."
To Ladybug's slight surprise, Chat's face did not fall, but instead he seemed to come to a conclusion. He nodded at her, and held his shoulders higher.
"I'm glad that you love someone, and that I know for sure you don't like me. Do- do you want me to, like, back off?" he asked, suddenly weighed down by the fact that he'd been flirting with her this whole time, whilst she had no feelings for him.
Ladybug didn't know what to make of Chat's question- him, stop flirting with her? It seemed almost impossible, but the more she thought about it, the more mature and respectful the question was. He was taking her feelings into consideration, holding back his in respect for hers. She nodded after a moment, smiling gratefully.
"Thank you, Chat. I know it's hard when someone you like doesn't like you back. You could probably say I speak from experience. But you're my best friend, and I care about you. I'm grateful that you'd do that." She held his gaze in a look of compassion, one that told him the exact amount of love (platonic as it was) she had for him. They were partners, working together against the forces of evil. They were bound by magic in defending Paris and, by extent, the world. Their bond was strong, they both knew.
Soon they had to split ways, and go back to their civilian lives. Except, as soon as Ladybug had yoyoed across the rooftops and Chat had vaulted his way down to the alleyways, it hit them both: were they supposed to go back to Adrien's house and continue... whatever it was they were doing?
Chat Noir had to go back home anyway, so he vaulted across Paris and inconspicuously headed back to the Agreste Mansion, hoping that Marinette would return. Ladybug decided she would go back and see if she was still welcome, and go home if needed.
What the two heroes found themselves in was unexpected entirely: meeting awkwardly on top of the Agreste Estate.
Things gettin sPiCy
I adore Chat coming to terms with his unrequited love uwu