His stomach growled, loud enough to alert Ladybug, and he hissed as he moved to cover it. Gabriel had told him no food until he could fit into that one pair of pants for his next show. He sighed at the thought, ears drooping close to his head.
“Chat? Are you hungry?” She asks, wondering if she would be able to bring him some pastries. Her lips quirked into a smile, turning to look at him and freezing.
His eyes were dull, ears and tail hanging low, and his hand was slightly digging into his stomach. She always tripped while moving closer to him, arms wrapping around his shoulders and pulling him into a hug.
“Chat? Are you ok? Do I need to kick someone’s ass?” She questioned, tilting his head up towards her. Her fingers lightly danced over his cheeks, momentarily ignoring the light blush on them.
“Not unless you can kick my dad’s ass.” He muttered, looking off to the side. His stomach growled again, hunger pains kicking in and he bit his lip. Ladybug clenched her hand, her mind set, and pulled back a fraction.
“That’s it. We’re getting you some food.” She stated, swinging her yo-yo out and catching a streetlamp. Her arm wrapped around Chat’s waist, his arms clinging to her neck as she jumped and swung through town.
“Wait, no, Ladybug. I can’t, not now. He’ll be so mad if I do.” He pleaded, anxiety coursing through him. He remembered the last time he ate when he wasn’t supposed to. His neck and ribs still sometimes ached around his dad.
She faltered for a second, fighting the urge to look back at him. Her feet landed on the ground in front of her house, once again mourning the fact that he knew who she was.
“Marinette…really I’m fine.” His voice cracked. Marinette could see the strain on his face, cheeks almost hollowed out. Her heart clenched, transformation timing out and Tikki swirled out of her earrings.
“Please, just go up to my room. I’ll bring up some crackers and cheese, or something.” She said, pleading with him. He hesitated for a second before nodding, extending his staff and climbing onto her balcony.
He heard her make her way through the house, grabbing a few pastries, crackers, and cheese. His ears twitched as she climbed the stairs and opened the trap door. She set the plate with the snacks on her desk, looking at Chat on her bed.
“Chaton, get down here and eat something.” She almost ordered, hands on her hips. Chat hissed quietly and jumped over the railing, landing in front of her. His legs tensed as he stood, uneasiness running rampant.
He grabbed a cookie under her watchful glare, biting into it and looked at her room. His eyes landed on the posters se had of him, Adrien that is, and held in a snicker.
“Princess, are you purrhaps obsessed with that boy?” His lips rose in a feral grin, grabbing another cookie and eating it. Marinette’s cheeks flooded with color, her mouth moving soundlessly.
“I…No, I…Damnit, Chat.” Words failed her, annoyance making her stomp her foot against the rug. His laughter rang out, musical once again, and his bell jiggled as he tilted his head.
“I can make you forget about, if you want.” He muttered, leaning closer and winking. Warmth against his head startled him, head turning, trying to see what decided to land on him. He blinked as he saw her hand, lightly petting his hair and running her fingers through it.
Slowly looking back at her, his eyes widened at the worry and sorrow that seemed to cover her whole face. He let the smile drop and nuzzled against her hand, purr resounded against his rib cage.
“Thank you, Mari.” He whispered, eyes half-lidded in contentment. She smiled, scratching behind his ear, his purr echoing louder.
“Anytime, Minou.” She muttered in reply. Looking at her clock, she hesitated and removed her hand away from Chat.
“It’s almost midnight. Should you be going back?” Her question echoed in his head, making him sigh. He nodded slightly, straightening his posture and rubbing his head.
His ears twitched as he climbed the stairs, tail dropping in resignation. Marinette watched him climb, hand shaking before she shook her head and followed after him. She grabbed his arm, grimacing when he hissed, and pulled him back a fraction.
“Wait a second. Let me get you some cookies to take with you, for the trip.” She breathed, making sure he stayed before tripping her way down the stairs and the cookie plate. He wasn’t going to tell her he only lived a few blocks away, his need for cookies greater than the need to get home.
“Here, I put them in the baggie I was storing buttons in. Don’t worry, it’s clean, I promise.” Her words held worry but also happiness. She handed him the bag and smiled softly, leading him to the trap door.
“Thank you again, Marinette. It means a lot that you care so much.” He mentioned, holding the bag close. Her smile lit up the room, and he marveled at how it brightened her face.
The smile on her face dropped a little as she thought about something, her nose scrunched up adorably. He tilted his head, about to ask her what was on her mind when she nodded her head and looked up at him.
“I’m going to do something. Please don’t take it the wrong way.” Her nose smoothed out, teeth snagging her lip between them. He nodded slowly, wondering what she was planning on doing.
Chat froze when she moved closer and lifted her head, moving in and lightly pressing her lips against his. His heart jumped a beat and he stared at her as she moved away, looking up at him with a dark blush.
“Don’t let anything bad happen please. I don’t want to lose my kitty.” She whispered, and her eyes locked onto his. He smiled, love pumping through him as he looked at her.
“I promise to do my best, Milady. Now I must bid you goodbye, and a wish to see you tomorrow.” His blush betrayed his cool words and he nodded at her before making his way out the trap door and onto her balcony.
“Till tomorrow, my sweet kitty.” Her last words echoed against his mind, making him smile the entire way home. As he snuck into his room, his transformation released leaving him as Adrien with a bag of cookies.
He sighed happily as he tipped forward on his bed, Plagg groaning in his ear about cheese. His kwami continued complaining until a knock sounded, making him hide behind the bed.
“Come in.” He said, sitting up in his bed. The door opened and his father walked in, making him sit straighter in an attempt to please his father.
“Hello, son. Did you follow your meal plan, today?” Gabriel asked, blank eyes taking in his sons appearance. The grimace on Adrien’s face masked any thoughts, making it difficult to tell if he would need to teach him a lesson.
“Y-Yes, father. I followed the plan and didn’t have anything other than approved snacks.” Adrien’s voice dulled, eyes never leaving his father’s emotionless ones. His father nodded, pleased in his sons obedience, scanning his sons bed and desk for any contraband.
His eyes landed on a plastic bag next to Adrien’s hand and he marched forward and snatched it away from him. Cookies looked up at him innocently and he glared down into his sons fear filled eyes.
“You lied to me. Adrien you do know the punishment for lying to me and for eating so many calories!” Gabriel threatened, tossing the bag behind him. His hand raised and he swung, striking Adrien, and a loud slap echoed through his room.
Adrien blinked away tears, hand moving to press against the reddened skin, gasping in pain. Sharp jolts jumped through his brain, as he looked up at his seething father, hand curled into a fist and aimed at his stomach.
He gasped, breath coming in aching pants, tears sliding down his cheeks. Gabriel grabbed his collar, yanking him up and ignoring his gasping pleas.
“P-Please, father, I-I’m sorry.” Gasps echoing in his ears. He gripped Gabriel’s wrists, trying to pull him away from his neck. Thick fingers circled his throat and clenched, cutting off airflow and making him squirm and try to gulp in air.
“F-Father, pl-please.” He rasped, black edging his sight. His father looked down at him in disgust, throwing him down against the bed and wiping his hands against his pants.
“Don’t forget again, Adrien. Next time I won’t be so lenient.” Gabriel hissed, storming out of Adrien’s room and slamming the door behind him. He held his breath for a moment before gulping in air, holding his stomach and hissing in pain.
“P-Plagg? Can you get me an ice pack from the freezer?” He asked, eyes dead. The kwami nodded and flew to the fridge, grabbing the small ice pack and bringing it back to his broken friend.
He settled on Adrien’s pillow and winced when he put the ice on his stomach. His antennae twitched and shivered, sorrow making him wilt against the cotton cover. Adrien looked over at the small cat kwami, smiling despite the pain and moved to pick him up.
“Thank you, Plagg.” He said, holding him in a loose hug. His eyes fell shut and he let himself fall against his pillow, not letting the pain he felt distract him.
“Hey Adrien, tomorrow we can go to Marinette or Ladybug whichever one first and maybe she’ll let you get a few cuddles. I’m sure she’ll allow it.” Plagg muttered, eyes falling shut and whiskers falling limp against his cheeks.
Adrien watched as his small friend fell asleep in his hand, chuckling slightly before letting his smile drop. He looked past Plagg at his stomach and sighed, wiping leftover tears from his cheeks.
“Maybe I can get a Princess’ kiss and my life will change.” He whispered, letting his eyes slip shut and sleep to take him.