Gigantitan transformed back into the baby August. He fell from about the head height of his former gigantic form.
Ladybug caught August. She picked up the pacifier that had fallen with him.
"So what was it this time?" asked Chat Noir.
"A late night craving, huh, baby August?" said Ladybug, spinning around and making the baby giggle. "Ooh, you're so cute!"
"I'm a bit jealous," said Chat Noir.
Ladybug's earring beeped a signal for the last spot.
"Don't be," said Ladybug. "Here, you can have him."
Chat made a surprised sound as Ladybug thrust the baby into his arms.
"Bye bye, little guy!" said Ladybug, swinging up to the roof.
"I meant jealous of him!" said Chat.
August looked up and waved.
Chat said, "You miss her already too? I know how it feels."
"Gummy!" said August, looking sad.
Chat Noir remembered the object Ladybug held in her right hand as she waved goodbye to August.
"Ah, of course! The pacifier!"
Chat Noir extended his staff to the roof level of the bakery building to look for Ladybug.
Ladybug wasn't there, but a girl he knew was standing beside a deck chair by the trapdoor that led down to her bedroom.
Marinette put her hands behind her back for a second.
"Uh…" said Marinette.
"This isn't the first time I've bumped into you right after Ladybug transformed back," said Chat. He gasped. "Could you be…"
"Ah... in love with you!" said Marinette, running at him and hugging him.
"Marinette?" asked Chat Noir in a whisper.
Tom Dupain, Marinette's father, looked out through the trapdoor. He saw Chat Noir with a baby in his arms, and Marinette hugging him.
"Oh! Well I never," said Tom. "Whoa!"
Marinette pulled back abruptly from the hug. Chat Noir's timer beeped.
"Oh! Well, perfect timing!" said Chat. "I have to go and take him back to his mother."
August began to cry as he was being taken away. "Gummy!"
"I'm sorry, I can't find your pacifier. Your mama will have another one at home," said Chat.
Tom looked around and spotted the purple pacifier on the floor under the deck chair.
"Here it is! He must have dropped it and it rolled," said Tom, handing it to the hero.
Chat Noir took it, wiped it on his leather-clad chest, and gave it to August. The child sucked on it happily.
Chat looked over at Marinette and gave her a sly smile and a wink. She seemed to be too much in shock to respond.
"Why don't you come have Sunday brunch with us tomorrow?" asked Tom.
Marinette's mother, Sabine Cheng, had joined them on the roof by this point. She smiled and nodded at the invitation.
"Well..." said Chat.
"I'll make macarons."
"How could I say no to that? Well, see you tomorrow then! Bye m'... Marinette."
Chat Noir spoke aloud to August as he took him home.
"I just thought that she followed us everywhere because she's a fan of Ladybug, like her friend Alya. But it turns out she's Ladybug, detransformed after the battles. Do you realize this is the first time a girl has told me she's in love with me?"
August made a little gurgling sound.
"Tell me about it. Ladybug confessed her love to me!"
Marinette lay on her bed with her hands over her head.
"This is a total disaster!" she said in a muffled voice.
"You shouldn't have lied about your feelings, Marinette," said Tikki.
Marinette sat up.
"Tikki, he's figured out that I'm Ladybug! Why did I go off with that stupid pacifier?"
"And now everyone thinks that you're in love with him."
"And Chat Noir thinks Ladybug just returned his love!"
"That's about right."
Marinette screamed into her pillow.
"He's late," Marinette said nervously to Tikki as they watched from the roof the next day.
"You think he's not coming?" asked Tikki.
"Of course he's coming. He's infatuated with Ladybug. And with macarons."
"What are you going to say to him?"
"I don't know. I only said I loved him to keep him from knowing that I'm Ladybug. But now he knows I'm Ladybug. But I can't say that in front of my parents, or they'll know I'm Ladybug! Tikki, you have to help me!"
Tikki looked at her, antennas drooping.
And then they saw Chat Noir leaping across the rooftops, rose in hand.
Down in the family room/kitchen Tom finished setting the table. "Voilà!"
The doorbell rang.
"This is a nightmare!" said Marinette.
"Come on, sweetie, let him in," said Tom. He scooped her in one huge arm and pushed her to the door.
Marinette opened the door and there was Chat Noir with a big smile.
"Hello, my sweet Marinette!" said Chat.
"Uh, hello Chat Noir," said Marinette nervously.
Tom grabbed him in a bear hug. "Welcome to our home!"
Sabine said, "Tom! Let him come up for some air, huh?"
"Oops, sorry," said Tom.
He put Chat Noir down facing Marinette and backed off to stand by his wife.
"Uh, how are you?" asked Marinette stiffly.
"Wonderful, and you?" asked Chat Noir.
Chat offered his rose, which Marinette took. He put a hand on she shoulder and warmly kissed both cheeks in the traditional French greeting. She kissed his cheeks back.
Tom and Sabine beamed with parental pride.
"Oh, he brought a pink rose for Marinette – she loves pink! You two already know each other so well!" said Tom.
"Everyone loves pink, Dad. It doesn't mean anything," said Marinette.
"We don't actually know each other that well," said Chat. "Only the public side."
"He's right! It all happened so fast!" said Marinette.
"Love at first sight! That's even more romantic! Have a seat, kids, I'll bring out the first course."
As they sat at the table, Marinette said, "I have something to tell you..."
"Yes?" said Chat.
Tom set down a two-tiered tray of pastries in front of them.
"Voilà! Sweethearts' vol-au-vent. For two, of course."
"Uh…" said Marinette.
Chat Noir took a pastry and ate it.
"Tell me, Chat Noir," said Tom. "Is being a superhero a steady profession?'
"Tom!" said Sabine.
"What?" asked Tom.
Chat had an answer ready. "I can't tell you about my secret identity, but I assure you I am well prepared to support your daughter."
Marinette had taken a sip of water, and she choked a bit. Sabine patted her back.
"Dad, it's gotta be super dangerous being a superhero's girlfriend," said Marinette. "Maybe I should rethink this."
"Of course, not sweetie," said Tom. "Chat Noir won't be a superhero all his life. Once he's defeated Hawk Moth, he won't need to run on the rooftops with a stick saving people. I know! He could work in the bakery with me! I could train you, young man."
"Maybe Chat Noir doesn't want to be a baker at all," said Marinette, grabbing Chat by the shoulder.
Chat nodded at this.
Tom took the nod for agreement with him. "Ah, see? He'd love to! Everyone loves bakers."
Tom made a frame in the air for an imaginary new store sign.
"'The Dupain-Chat Noir Bakery'. Doesn't that sound purr-fect?"
"Tom!" said Sabine.
"I can already see the little kittens running around in the house. And pet hamsters. Do you like hamsters?"
"Hamsters?" asked Chat.
"Because my daughter loves them. What did you want to name your future hamster again, sweetie?"
"This is a nightmare," said Marinette, putting her face in her hands.
"Nightmare! Right. That's a funny name, isn't it?"
Chat grabbed one more pastry just as Tom took the tray from the table.
"I'm bringing the souffle," said Tom.
Marinette had enough. "Chat Noir, you're a wonderful person."
Chat said, "I'm awesome in so many ways, even I could fall in love with myself!"
"The thing is... I've changed my mind. Worshiping you from a distance as a fantasy is one thing, but really dating is something else. I'm not ready..."
Chat slammed his fist on the table. The heart-shaped souffle that Tom had placed there collapsed.
Chat said, "Worshiping from a distance? After all we've been through?"
Marinette was afraid he would say too much about their superhero adventures. "Chat, don't go there!"
He stood up and glared at her. "You're lying, making up excuses. You're not in love with me. This is just some sort of game for you!"
Tom stood up, angry himself. "Stop! You think because you have super strength and claws that you can push my little girl around?"
Chat stood up and held off his advance with one stiff arm.
"Don't worry, I'm leaving," said Chat Noir. "Thanks for the food."
He raced for the door, got through it, and slammed it behind him.
"What have I done?" said Marinette. She left the table and rushed up to her room.
Tom clenched his fist and growled.