AU where Ladybug and Chat Noir can only go so long without being in physical contact.
Marinette woke up feeling hot and sticky. She squinted at the fuzzy ceiling for several seconds before her brain registered that Adrien was sprawled on top of her, nose buried in her collarbone. His hot breath wafted over her damp, sweaty skin and Marinette scowled.
“Kitty, get off. It’s too hot,” she whined, poking and prodding at him. The middle of summer in a heat wave was not the time for cuddling.
Adrien grunted and, mostly asleep, rolled off of her and towards the wall. Marinette exhaled and made a face at how sweaty she was, but still rolled over onto her side and rested her forehead against his back.
They’d gotten in late last night after an akuma attack. She did some quick calculations in her mind. Her alarm hadn’t gone off yet, but the sunlight against her wall told her it was after seven. That meant about five hours of full body contact. Should be enough to get them through the morning, if not the day.
Sometimes Marinette wondered what would happen as she and Chat grew stronger. They were already one of the most powerful Ladybug and Black Cat teams there had ever been according to Plagg. That was because their bond - the bond between her and Adrien, and the bond with their kwami - was so strong. But the bond needed physical contact to sustain itself. If they went too long apart, both of them would feel pain and Tikki and Plagg would grow weak, which was a major problem during akuma attacks.
It was a circle. But what happened the circle got too strong? Would she and Adrien have to be glued at the hip in the future? How would that even work?
“I can feel you overthinking,” Adrien mumbled, voice heavy with sleep.
Marinette blinked, so close that her lashes fluttered against his skin. “I’m not overthinking,” she objected. “I’m thinking exactly the right amount.”
Adrien chuckled at that, reaching back to find her hand. He intertwined their fingers and lifted their hands to his mouth, where he gently kissed her knuckles. Marinette blushed just like she always did; she was glad he wasn’t looking at her and couldn’t see, because he surely would’ve teased her otherwise.
“We’ll be okay, Bugaboo,” he said, so confidently that Marinette couldn’t help but believe him.
“I know,” she said softly, a small smile on her lips. This wasn’t the ideal situation and they all knew it. Tikki had floated the idea of keeping their identities secret for all of three weeks until realizing that wasn’t going to cut it for this Ladybug and Chat Noir.
But they were making the best of it. Everyone at school thought they were dating. Marinette was content to let them think that, even if it wasn’t quite true yet. They sat side by side in class and spent every lunch wrapped up in each other’s arms. Adrien spent every night in her bed. Patrols often ended with them draped all over each other.
It worked. Especially because she knew Adrien not-so-secretly relished it. He didn’t get a lot of positive attention at home, and that meant next to no hugs. Marinette had made it her goal to lavish affection on her kitty.
“Do I have to go yet?” Adrien asked.
She sat up a bit to look over their slumbering kwami. “You’ve got about ten minutes.”
“Good enough.” He sighed and rolled over so that they were face to face, literally so close their noses touched.
“Hi,” Marinette whispered with a bigger smile. His beautiful green eyes were captivating.
Adrien smiled back. “Hi.”