6: Gentle Peck
There were times when Marinette thought that perhaps, maybe, possibly she's spent too much time with Chat Noir.
Like whenever she slipped up and said, "You've gotta be kitten me!" or, "Oh, that's pawful!" because Chat used cat puns so often she'd forgotten what the real words even were.
Like whenever she was in a stressful situation as Marinette and a corner of her brain kept waiting for him to show up and help; kept saying, 'don't worry, Chat will get here soon, just hang on!' and then got unreasonably disappointed and betrayed when he didn't.
Like whenever she spoke with Alya or Nino or Alix and dropped a lead-in and then waited for the awful pun or worse pick-up line, only to realize in the ensuing awkward silences that he wasn't there to follow up on the joke.
(Like whenever she woke up at three A.M. feeling warm and happy and loved, only to realize she’d been dreaming of rooftops and eyes the wrong shade of green.)
But this was the final straw.
"What, no thank-you kiss for your savior, handsome boy?"
She was never speaking to Chat Noir ever again.
(Because obviously he was the one responsible for rubbing off on her so much that that horrible horrible pick-up line was there to fall from her lips, rather than the thousand-and-one daydreams she’d had in the past three years of being Ladybug and knowing Adrien.)
Adrien’s eyes went wider than she'd ever seen them go before.
If Ladybug was capable of plucking those words out of the air and stuffing them back down her throat where they belonged, she would have done so in a heartbeat.
Hell, she’d take it back verbally if her brain hadn’t been stuck in a feedback loop of ‘oh god oh god what the heck did I just say I didn't just say that did I what the hell did I just say—’
"I-I didn't think—" Adrien stuttered, breaking their silent stand-off and getting redder by the second.
Of course he didn't think, Marinette, you idiot! You just asked him to kiss you! What the hell?!
She opened her mouth to tell him... something, and completely blanked. What the hell would Ladybug say in a situation like this?!
Error: Ladybug.exe not found.
For that matter, what would Marinette say?
Error: Marinette.exe not responding.
How had she gotten into this mess in the first place?
"You didn't? Ah, that's a— pity," Ladybug said, taking her fingers away from her lips where she'd tapped them suggestively (oh god) and swallowing the 'kitty' on her tongue for its proper 'pity'. Channeling Chat had gotten her into this mess and now it would have to get her back out again, but she refused to do the cat puns.
"Don't worry, handsome boy," she continued with a wink, partly because it seemed she truly did hate herself, but also because it was bizarrely easy to construct sentences in Chat's tones and cadences. "A kiss would be a treat from someone as sweet as you, but I understan—"
That was about the point that one brilliantly blushing Adrien Agreste pressed his lips to hers.
It lasted about two seconds and one shocked eternity. Ladybug stood stunned by the gentle sensation of chapped lips against her own, warm and dry and sweet and almost catching on hers—
And then it was over.
"Thank you," he breathed, hot air fanning her mouth, his face only a few scant inches away.
She blinked stars out of her eyes and looked up into his, and her belly clenched.
Green, green, green, green... flecked and streaked and pooled with dark and light and gold and grey, just not quite the right shade of—
She cut that thought off and pushed it down, because she had been waiting years for this, for Adrien, and she wasn't going to let Chat take this opportunity away from her.
She tipped her head just so, shrinking the small distance between them to less than an inch.
"My pleasure," she whispered, and returned the gesture — a dry, warm, chaste little kiss that made her pounding heart stutter and made Adrien's breath hitch against her mouth as she added, "Especially with rewards as sweet as this."
She drew back, giving him a little Chat-like smirk, and something behind those green eyes flashed — flashed bright and dark and wanting. Ladybug's skin raised in goosebumps from head to toe, mouth going dry in the split second before he grabbed the back of her neck and crashed his mouth into hers.
She gasped, hands going to his lapels to steady herself against the sudden onslaught. And it was an onslaught: needy and greedy and hedging on desperate, and she arched to meet it, liquid fire rushing up beneath her skin to meet his roving hands.
He took her gasp and licked into her mouth, taking taking taking, and his kiss would have only been taking if every touch wasn't just stoking her higher.
It was too much — her knees were going weak, there was a mewl caught in the back of her throat, his hands burned — and she tried to stagger back, to give herself room to fill her aching lungs, only for him to take her white flag and use it to push her against the nearest wall.
Her back hit the wall a split second before the hand in her hair shifted to cushion the impact her skull would have suffered. Momentum brought their teeth together with a painful click before he changed the angle to kiss her deeper still.
Her response was dulled, slowed, caught in the undertow of him, of his mouth, of the way he was devouring her, but it came in the wake of the realization that she needed to take charge or she was going to pass out (though whether from the weight of his laser-focused attention or her own lack of air was anyone's guess).
She hooked her foot behind his and used the leverage to switch their positions, catching a handful of his hair to dull the impact for him as he had for her.
Her fingers twisted in his locks and formed a grip to wrench their mouths apart, her gaze meeting his glazed, dazed eyes. She sucked in three huge gulps of air to assuage her burning lungs then dove back in, unable to stand just looking at him for any longer than that.
She got as far as sucking his tongue into her mouth before his weight abruptly gave way, falling onto her where she had him pinned, a breathless moan exhaled against her lips. Her suit-granted strength made it easy to grab his hips and hitch him up against the wall, and, to her surprise, his legs instantly wound around her, dragging her closer.
It was at once dominating and submissive, possessive and pleading, and the contrast, the unexpectedness of the gesture dragged a fervid keen out of her, burned her bones to ash and coalesced into lightning quicksilver in her blood. She was the one pressing closer this time; she was the one taking taking taking, raiding his mouth like she could crawl into his skin if she tried hard enough.
And he gave in, took her greed and her need and her desperation, swallowed it down and helped draw her into him, helped her try to crawl into him, wrapped himself around her, hands clutching and smoothing everywhere — over her shoulders, along her sides, up her nape, across her cheeks, into her hair, down the swoop of her spine and the small of her back. Low groans rumbled in his throat at her every trembling response to his touch.
He was the one who pulled back this time, panting so hard he half-choked. His flush was a shade of red that made her want to explore it, chase it, put her hands in his back pockets and drag him off to a very dark corner for a very long time to do very many things with him and see if she could make that flush any darker.
She very nearly did just that. Would have, if a rude awakening hadn't come in the form of the sound of a building crumbling to the ground.
Both of their heads whipped around at the crash and ensuing screams from outside.
"Bow down before the might of the Puppeteer! I'm the one pulling the strings now, and none will escape my Mega Marionette!"
Akuma, Ladybug thought distantly. Something about an akuma.
She'd been fighting an akuma, she realized with slow-dawning horror. She'd been fighting an akuma, and had rescued Adrien and then she'd made out with him in an abandoned corner of the Louvre while the akuma rampaged around Paris unhindered.
Adrien's feet hit the ground with a thump, and she released her grip on his thighs to let him stand.
He chose not to, instead sliding down the wall where she'd had him pinned, looking starstruck and stunned and she really wanted to—
Focus, Ladybug, focus.
"I—" she croaked. She cleared her throat and tried again, waving her hand at the disaster-in-progress in the hopes that it illustrated her point better than her failing voice. "I... I need to... Um. Akuma. There's— there's an akuma and—"
"Y-yeah," said Adrien, blinking like he wasn't seeing things clearly, and oh—
"I-I'll just—..." she said, stumbling back a few steps and trying to make herself turn around, away from the sight of Adrien kiss-mussed and slumped on the floor like she'd made him forget how to stand.
She took a deep, shuddery breath and got out, "See you around, handsome boy."
And with that, she ran for the doors and out into the fray.
(The akuma wound up being defeated by pure luck. When Chat Noir showed up a quarter of an hour later, he was even more out of it than she was, and even with the two of them together it took several hours and countless architectural casualties to get anything done.
And if Ladybug noticed at any point during the fight that Chat's lips looked a little kiss-bruised... well. She had no place to judge...
Or any right to feel jealous.)