It was amazing. No, she was amazing. Ladybug, the red and black queen of Paris, the hero to save all heroes. And she was laughing at his joke.
"Oh my god, Chat, that was so bad, even for you!" Ladybug giggled, leaning against the wall across from him, stuck in the same mess of ropes as him. He gave her a flirty grin, pulling himself from his thoughts to focus on what words were actually coming from her absolutely perfect mouth...
Okay, Chat, focus.
"My Lady, how your jest wounds me so!" He cried, grinning wider. "Surely I've had worse-and by worse I obviously mean better-jokes than 'I'm sorry I got you roped into this'?!"
"It wasn't the joke, it was your timing!" The smile fell from Chat's face as Ladybug kept her head bowed, shaking with laughter. Something about the way she said that...
"I mean," she began elaborating, "here we are, trapped, half of Paris is on fire, I already used Lucky Charm and you used Cataclysm. We have only moments left, and then we'll be civilians!" She looked up, desperation etched onto her usually cool face.
"It's okay, my Lady." Chat said softly, heart aching for his love. "I won't look. I'll close my eyes, and you can change back. I don't mind if you see who I am-"
"Oh, kitty, why are you so precious?" Ladybug's whisper caught him off guard. He blushed, eyes wide.
"I, uh, what?" He stammered, shocked. A genuine compliment, from Ladybug? But it wasn't his birthday! Was it..?
"There's no way for us to get out of this without knowing who the other is." Ladybug continued. "Say we wait, and eventually the akuma victim comes back and takes our Miraculous. Then we see each other. Say we somehow get rescued? We'd see each other-or hear our rescuer call us by name. We're stuck, Chat."
"My Lady, I... I'm sorry. I don't know what to say other than I honestly don't mind knowing who you are. I'd love y-"
"Chat, you don't love me!" Ladybug's desperation shook her voice, and apparently her entire being. She hates being useless, Chat knew, just as he knew this whole scenario was killing her. "Love takes work, and time, and, and-you don't even know who I am! You wouldn't love who I am behind the mask. I doubt you'd even really like her. She's so... Ordinary.."
All of the fire from her voice was gone, and she visibly deflated. Chat Noir couldn't believe his ears.
"Ordinary? You're Ladybug! So what if you spend your free time doing something like, I don't know, playing chess in your room alone?! That's just a whole other side of you I get to meet and learn to love!" This was something Chat had been wanting to say for a long time. The words just wouldn't be held back anymore.
"I love you as Ladybug! Not just because of how awesome and great at kicking butt you are! I love you because your eyes light up every time you get to help someone, I love you because your laugh is the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. I love you because you're so strong, but you can be so gentle. You're smart and creative and brave and funny and sweet and-to know the other you? To see you as a different side of yourself? I don't understand how you don't get why I'm so excited for the opportunity to fall in love with you all over again?"
He fell silent, unable to look away from the blue eyes that stole his heart all those months ago. They were wide in shock, as though Ladybug was seeing Chat Noir for the first time. Suddenly, before he could apologize or Ladybug could reject him again, they began to glow, shedding their hero forms.
With the transformation came the strange shifting that seemed to turn his very body into something intangible, as though he and Plagg were bonding on a deeper level than a suit in a ring. That strange feeling of nothingness for those few seconds gave him the chance he needed-he was free of the ropes and standing in the middle of the room face to face with-
Her face was completely slack with shock, and Adrien could relate. It felt like his brain had shut down completely, leaving him paralyzed. Then, it clicked.
"How could I get so LUCKY?!" Adrien straight up shouted, pacing like the cat he was(half the time). "You're the sweetest girl in class, and you're smart and funny and absolutely adorable and you're LADYBUG and oh god-" Adrien dropped to his knees- "I don't know what I did to deserve this as heaven but I'll do it a billion times over thank you thank you thank you-"
"A-Adrien?" Marinette whispered, her hands flying to her face. "I've scratched you under the chin... I scratched Adrien Agreste under the chin... I thew Adrien off of a building..."
"So what?!" Adrien cried, springing to a stop right in front of her, grasping her hands and feeling like her was going to burst with joy. "You're my Lady, and I'm your Chat and this is awesome because you're also pretty, shy, adorable Marinette, and today is the best day ever."
Judging by the way Marinette, his beloved Lady, kissed him, she had never agreed more.
Later, after defeating the akuma and laying in bed with a fully rested Plagg(he and Tikki had hung out while their Chosen worked things out) sleeping by his head, he decided something.
His life had a lot of down sides-his dad, Natalie, the exhausting but work of a model-and a lot of good sides-Nino, school with peers, Alya-but there was one thing, one perfect thing, that made him laugh and smush a pillow to his face with just the thought of her. Miraculous Marinette, Ordinary Ladybug, the most perfect being to ever exist, mask or not.
And that was one thing he know would always be constant.