Plagg knew the other Kwami were using their powers to help Marinette survive the stress of her day, he couldn’t miss the way she began showing up to class on time every day looking better rested than she had since he’d first seen her, or the way she was able to disappear in a crowd easier when things got dicey. He had once been envious of the others for having helpful powers, things like shields and illusions and altering time.
But he long-since figured out that Destruction had a place, there were things he could do if he practiced his control again, Tikki confirmed his suspicions on a day Longg was there; the class was allowed to study outside because of how conveniently nice the weather was, not a hard line of spots to connect to the Dragon. “I think it is time we have the two of them finally do a reveal, Plagg, if not for Marinette then most definitely for Adrien.” Tikki and Longg both looked firm on the idea, it meant they had argued with the other Kwami about it already.
Truthfully, he wasn’t against it, his Kitten could finally stop pining after the Bug and get real love in his life; but Plagg didn’t think they were ready, in fact, he knew they weren’t ready. “Trust me, Sugar Cube, I would love for the kid to be done pining and writing flowery poems for the Bug. They aren’t ready for it, think about how often those supposed friends made these elaborate schemes to push them together, as well as how Marinette handled those times, it’s just like that and this is something they have to do on their own.” He felt odd being the one to defend Marinette’s sanity here but Plagg knew his kid, Adrien’s shitty relationship with his dad and lack of a social life made him clingy to what he did have, once the reveal went down the Bug would never have a moment Adrien wasn’t trying to be glued to her side.
Tikki hesitated but nodded and even Longg looked like he was reconsidering. “I get it, you want her to be happy and have someone she can talk to about the Box and us, it’d be nice for the kid to be included and all but he’s going to jump right to romance and she isn’t ready to see Chat Noir and Adrien as the same person.” Which would cause a problem in their partnership, make one or both of them a target for Hawkmoth, and ruin any chance at them being happy. “We can nudge them along and plant the seeds to start a reveal, casual comments or pointing out similarities, but we have to let them do it on their own.” Tikki’s eyes softened and Plagg purred as the duo of red Kwami curled around him, he wanted nothing more than to nap with the others in the Miracle Box once they had Nooroo and Duusu back.
But they had to be patient.
Once lessons were called back to the classroom, with Adrien holding the door for Marinette as the young heroine tried to avoid his gaze, Plagg knew he’d have to do something to get Adrien not prioritize romance over friendships and himself.
He had a bit of a chance to start something when they got back after classes, once fencing and basketball practice were over, Plagg jumped at the chance as his Kitten waxed poetic about the equally socially awkward fencer. “Kid, is Kagami the type of person who will accept being second?” Plagg earned a look of surprise, the ramble about the fencing form pausing, but the Kwami was relieved to see his kid shake his head. At least he understood her well enough, Plagg supposed, it was a decent sign there; a shame he couldn’t be as observant where Marinette was concerned.
“I’m not trying to hurt you, but I think you need to hear this, try not to be upset or angry as a reflex.” Adrien blinked again and turned in his seat, Plagg had to admit that it was sweet when Adrien gave his full attention to whomever was speaking to him, the only time it failed before was when the kid was too wrapped up dreaming about his lovebug. “Creation has to win, if something happens to the Bug it’s over, you know this and I know this; that’s what the Black Cat is for, your Bug can’t conjure a weapon so we have to be her weapon.” Adrien nodded and Plagg knew his kid knew this, it was why Adrien got himself tangled up in all sorts of insane situations.
Luckily for him, though it was a bit annoying too, Adrien was raised not to interrupt. “Sword girl doesn’t like coming in second, she’s too proud and stubborn to accept defeat, but as long as you’re the Black Cat you cannot pick anyone over the Bug at all. Ever.” Plagg hated doing this to his kid, really he did, Adrien deserved a taste of happiness. “I don’t mean chase after the Bug with flowers again, Lord knows she’d punch you worse than she did your cousin, but what would Sword Girl say if an akuma was attacking across the city while you’re on a date and you had to ditch? She knows your schedule, her Mother is your father’s associate, you can’t use your pops as an excuse to get away from her.” Understanding flickered in Adrien’s eyes, which lowered as he looked at his hands, Plagg sighed and landed on his Kitten’s lap.
He hated having to be responsible. “You have choices, you always have choices, but I can’t make them for you and I don’t want you to put off choosing and lose those choices. If you want to pursue sword girl’s heart, kid, you need to ask Ladybug to give you a different Miraculous to use and let her choose a new Black Cat; the Bug has way more on her shoulders now that she’s also protecting the Miracle Box, she can’t afford to have a Black Cat that can’t put her first. If you had a Zodiac or one of the Wu Xing then you could skip a few fights to keep sword girl happy.” Adrien scooped him up and Plagg sighed as the kid’s eyes glistened with unshed tears, the Kwami rubbed his face against Adrien’s and purred to try and calm him down.
Tikki would slaughter him if his Kitten got akumatized over this. “But it wouldn’t be you, Plagg. I don’t just like being Chat Noir because I get to partner with Ladybug or get away from this place when it’s too lonely, you’re important to me too.” Plagg purred louder and his tail wrapped around Adrien’s finger as he laid there in his Kitten’s hands.
“What I suggest, kid, is that you stop pursuing romance completely and focus on your friends and yourself. In three years you’ll be able to leave and live on your own, right? Do you even know what your hobbies are outside of what’s on your schedule? What’s Marinette’s favorite place to get coffee? Where does Alya go when she’s frustrated with her siblings? What kind of food does Nino like to eat? You don’t know any of that stuff because you aren’t asking, you’re focusing so hard on romance like your anime that you aren’t developing the same solid friendships those characters have.” Plagg earned wide eyes and a slightly open mouth, wanting to argue no doubt, but then his Kitten seemed to think and nodded.
Adrien’s voice was sad but steady. “You’re right, Plagg, and for all I know I could find someone else later that makes me feel different than both of them and find out that’s really love.” Plagg nodded and earned an extra wedge of Camembert, watching his Kitten take a breath before calling Kagami, it was an easy conversation too.
“I think we should try and learn more about having friends before pursuing romance, since we’re both so new to both things.”
“Are you certain this isn’t about the other girl?”
“No, I just want to learn more about myself and I know I’m not ready to put you first like you deserve if we became a steady couple.”
“Thank you for your honesty, Adrien, I’ll have to beat you in our next training for not saying something sooner.”
“I’m saying it now, Kagami, but thank you for understanding.”
“Thank you for caring for me enough that you’re preventing me from being hurt, Adrien. Good night.”
Plagg spent the night curled up purring in Adrien’s hair as his Kitten began trying to find things he liked, learning about himself and who he was outside of the perfect son his Father wanted him to be, it was a start and Plagg was glad his Kid had listened.
“I’m sort of mad you never said anything sooner, you Stinky cat, but I think it was for the best.”
Plagg curled around Tikki as she snuggled closer to him, their holders were on the roof of Ivan’s apartment building with a massive projector screen to watch a movie with their friends, now that they weren’t focusing on romance the pair of teens began to flourish in and out of the suits. To the point that Marinette had confessed her crush and told Adrien she wanted to focus on herself for a little while, but that she felt the need to apologize for not seeing him and instead seeing what his Father wanted people to see, which led to Adrien openly paying more attention to Marinette.
Really, the Kwami couldn’t ask for more from his kid if he tried, over the past several months they had become good friends and Adrien was finally able to see just how bad his relationship with his Father actually was for him. His kid had even shut Lila down in front of the class, when she tried to force him to study with her again, by telling her that if she needed more help that she would need to find a designated tutor and that he wouldn’t fall behind trying to help her play catch-up again. The others had gotten upset with him and Marinette, who defended his right to prioritizing his own grades, before Adrien reminded Lila in front of them how she lied to Nathalie and the Gorilla to get into his house and forced a kiss on him he didn’t want.
Adding to the School Board intervening, since Marinette had finally gone to her parents about Chloe’s bullying and using her Father as well as why Lila targeted her and used her Mother’s status as a diplomat to keep the Principal from questioning her, Plagg was a content cat knowing Lila had been caught for felony level truancy and forced back to her real home in the coastal area of France with her Mother. Bustier had been suspended along with Damocles, the kids now had a teacher named Baxter Kennedy, bullying seminars were required too. “Me too, this is nice.” Along with bullying seminars there were meetings with therapists, public awareness of how words and actions could be misinterpreted, with Alya spearheading a campaign to be kinder while Hawkmoth was on the loose.
Which actually isolated and created a suspicion Plagg wished wasn’t looking truer, the most recent string of akuma were all people pissed off at one Gabriel Agreste, for all the good people were doing to help others he was getting worse and it would make sense if he was Hawkmoth. Like Marinette theorized before, rather, with Mayura only able to be Nathalie if that were the case. “Sugar Cube, if it is him then we’re going to need a reveal first, my Kitten can’t take that hit without being one-hundred percent sure he’s got people in his corner.” Tikki hummed and Plagg found himself miserable as he looked down to where Adrien offered his side to Marinette, the latter huddled and cold despite her fleece pajamas, the weather was getting colder and soon Marinette would start to slow down.
Holders developed traits the stronger the bond with their Kwami was and Marinette was very deeply bound to Tikki, the pair would slow down and be weaker, while it meant their powers would be much stronger and be able to be used more often without needing a recharge… it meant in the late fall and winter that the Bug would be at severe risk.
They needed a reveal yesterday.
But first his Kitten needed to know just how dangerous the coming season would be, since Hawkmoth had a very poor bond with Nooroo the Butterfly wouldn’t be weakened, the Bug would need to do unity transformations to not possibly drop out in fights. “What'cha doin’ there, kid?” That night Plagg noticed Adrien deeply concentrating on his computer screen, pink wool yarn and knitting needles in hand, frowning at the attempt of whatever he was doing.
Adrien hummed without much thought. “Marinette was really cold tonight, I’m trying to make her a shawl so she can wear it over pajamas and stuff.” Plagg’s purr rumbled as pride burned in his chest at the kid, talk about a change of character, the Kwami hummed as his Kitten frowned at a bad segment and tugged the yarn back through to fix it before Plagg hovered down.
“Like this, kid.” It was an easy pattern, smart for a first-time knitter, the motions became easier for Adrien once Plagg helped guide him. A look of warm surprise made the Kwami huff, feigning hurt at the look even as he puffed his chest, stupid Kitten and his new observant ways. “I know a lot more than you think, Kid, there’s a lot of years I spend in the Miracle Box with the other Kwami and the Guardians sometimes give us new things to do every so many decades. Add to the number of Chat Noir that I’ve worked with? I’m a cat of many talents.” It piqued the curious little part of his Kitten that was hidden behind the polite facade, just what Plagg wanted.
Adrien didn’t let it distract him from his task though. “Do you miss them, the other Kwami?” Plagg shrugged as his eyes scanned the pattern on Adrien’s computer screen, this was something his Father would have been great for, leave it to Gabriel to allow a God of Destruction to raise his son and teach him how to knit.
“Sometimes. I shouldn’t tell you this, kid, but there are nights I fly over to Ladybug’s place to check in on her and Tikki. She doesn’t know who you are, before you ask, but her bond with Tikki is strong enough she’s adopting bug traits. Tikki warned me that they’re both getting slow, the colder it gets their bodies want them to hibernate. If she gets too cold, she’ll go to sleep and won’t be able to wake up until her body thinks it’s spring.” Adrien started in alarm and Plagg watched the trembling in his hands, setting his attempted shawl aside to avoid stabbing himself.
He grabbed his phone and opened the app that the pair agreed to download, to message outside the suits and come up with plans to catch the Butterfly. “I don’t suppose we can just bundle her up in a thick coat, huh? There really isn’t any avoiding a reveal, is there?” Plagg watched his Kitten sigh, tapping out an answering message, the Kwami hovered to see what was on the screen.
The Bug was reluctant but willing, only asking that he lower his expectations when he found out who she was, Plagg really wanted to know where the confidence was that he knew Marinette had. Just what happened to make her think so little of herself where Chat Noir was concerned?
Tikki cuddled close to him and Plagg huffed as Orikko caged him in on his other side, each kid wearing as many Miraculous as they could, the reveal hadn’t gone sideways at all; with their much stronger friendship in place it only led them to crying about ‘it’s you’ and 'I knew I was right’ before they threw on their warmest pajamas and played video games until Adrien had to sneak back into his room.
But these nights were his favorite, when Plagg was surrounded by the other Kwami and his Kitten was cuddled in bed with the Bug, nights where Adrien and Marinette could laugh softly as they recounted all the events they’d experienced and all the things Marinette was going through as Guardian. “Bug?” Adrien’s voice was soft and Marinette hummed as she curled closer to him.
Plagg almost laughed at the sleepy response. “You know you were the girl I was chasing after, right? Even if I didn’t know it was you?” Tikki perked up at this, the nosy Creation Kwami was a sucker for romance and Plagg didn’t miss the way the rest of the Kwami were suddenly awake either.
Marinette spun around to face Adrien now with a faint blush on her cheeks. “Y-yea, I figured that much when the masks came off, I didn’t know your name but I knew you loved me.” Adrien’s face turned a very Ladybug shade of red, enough that the Bug’s nerves seemed to face a little. “Chat?” Her voice wavered.
This made Roarr snicker, muffled by the other Kwami, the strangled whimper of a reply was enough for Plagg to groan softly. “Dammit kid, all you had to do was stay cool for ten minutes.” He wanted to bang his head on the floor, how was Adrien so damn confident and smooth as Chat Noir and then a fumbling mess as Adrien Agreste?
Marinette’s little chirp of laughter faded to a sigh. “You know I liked Adrien, I told you this, you know that’s why I refused your advances as Chat Noir… right?” The revelation hadn’t seemed to strike, as Adrien had definitely come to value his friendship with Marinette, until he was reminded of her confession and apology as well as her desire to find herself.
The blush brightened but his voice was smooth as silk when he did manage to reply. “Have you- have you found Marinette yet, my Lady? Is it too late to ask that you give me a chance?” He had taken her hand now and his hopes were laid in front of him, Adrien was vulnerable and at her mercy.
“Always the cat chasing the bug, why isn’t it ever the other way around?” The playful jab from Trixx was silenced by Ziggy as she shushed the Fox.
Tikki, the traitor, let out a soft chortle. “My bugs are above all that nonsense, Trixx.” Plagg leveled her a look and met her twinkling eyes with his, he knew all about how hard Marinette had drooled for his kid.
Marinette made a soft sound, a breathy little noise, before speaking up again. “I think I have, Chaton, and I’d love to take on the world with you.”
Plagg purred noisily as the kids shared their first kiss (the first one his Kitten remembered), Tikki swooning happily, but they all forgot one detail and that was just how Xuppu acted for moments just like this. The monkey erupted from the pile, sending them all tumbling, with a wail of delight as he zoomed in to cheer around the new couple with squeaks of delight.
“This calls for a party!”
Plagg groaned and Tikki laughed as the other Kwami perked up. “Party?! Let’s have a party! Can we please, Miss Marinette?!” The Black Cat hissed when someone tugged his tail.
“No! No parties! Marinette’s parents are downstairs and we can’t be too loud, take the other Miraculous off before you two get caught.” Plagg stomped his foot and glared at the now alarmed, happy, and just confused couple. “I did not put all this work into being the responsible one for them to screw it all up!” Adrien chuckled and reached out, bringing Plagg close to press their foreheads together.
Marinette had Kwami hovering around her. “Thank you, Plagg, for looking out for us. How about we celebrate this weekend? My parents are going to China for a week to visit Nainai Cheng and the rest of Maman’s family, they want me to stay for school.” It wasn’t like she couldn’t just keep Kaalki with her and portal back if she had to, after all, but she did have class and couldn’t miss too many lessons thanks to how many the class missed as a whole from akuma attacks.
“Yay! Weekend party!”
“Marinette? What’s all that noise?”
'Nothing Maman, just a video Alya sent me, I didn’t think it was that loud!“
"Get some sleep, it’s late, you do have class in the morning. I love you.”
“Love you too, Maman, see you in the morning.”
Adrien took that as his sign to begin removing Miraculous and put them away, Marinette following him until only Plagg and Tikki remained. “That was close, next time don’t have Xuppu out if something good happens?” Adrien’s remark made her giggle.
They shared one more kiss before Plagg was drawn into the ring so his Kitten could get back home safe. As they got ready for sleep the Kwami hummed at the soft touch of Adrien rubbing his head. “Thank you, Plagg.” Two sets of green eyes met.
There was one more hurdle to jump but this time Adrien had support and love, Plagg wouldn’t hesitate to gut Gabriel if the man tried anything with his kitten.