“Woah, Adrien, why are you wearing your scarf?”
Adrien looked up at his friend, Nino, as he was getting out of his limo. “Hey Nino,” he greeted. “What do you mean?”
Nino pointed at the light blue scarf wrapped tightly around Adrien’s neck. “It’s like 30 degrees out!”
Adrien laughed nervously. “Oh. That.” He scratched his head. “Uh, I have a cold?” He coughed unconvincingly.
Nino narrowed his eyes. “Riiight.”
Adrien grabbed Nino’s arm. “Well, come on, we have to get to class!” he said cheerfully.
Marinette and Alya, meanwhile, were crouching behind a bush. “Alya!” Marinette hissed, biting on the corner of her book. “Adrien has a cold!”
“Woah, maybe you really do have a cold.”
“So?” Alya asked. “Why are we hiding?”
Marinette shook her head, ignoring the question. “Should I make him some soup? We’ve got five minutes until class starts, I can make it home and back again!”
Alya pulled Marinette to her feet. “Mari, you need to stop this,” she said, pulling her towards the school building. “He’s probably alright. After all, he’s got that scarf that you made him, right?”
Marinette stumbled up the steps. “Okay, Alya,” she said. “But I can’t help caring!”
Alya slapped a hand to her forehead in despair.
“Class is over, you may now go to lunch!” Mme Mendeliev shouted, slamming a book closed. The students were out in seconds.
“Hey, Nino!” Alya yelled, beckoning Nino and Adrien over to her and Marinette. “We’re all still on for lunch, right?”
Nino and Adrien nodded in agreement, while Marinette tried not to melt at the proximity between herself and Adrien. “Where are we going again?” Adrien asked.
“That new café right next to my house,” Nino said. “It’ll be great.”
They had walked to the café, and now stood inside the entrance. It was half filled with college age students, and it had a grungy feel to it.
They all sat down. “Come on, Adrien, take your scarf off!” Alya said, draping her jacket on a chair.
“Uh, can’t, I’ve got a cold,” Adrien stammered.
Nino sighed. “Dude, it’s way too hot in here.” He reached over and pulled Adrien’s scarf off.
Adrien let out a half-hearted yelp but then grew silent as everyone stared at his neck.
“Dude,” Nino breathed.
Alya rubbed at her eyes. “Adrien!” she all but screamed. “What is on your neck?”
“Um… I got bitten.”
“By what? A vampire?”
“That’s impossible,” Marinette whispered, though she, too, was transfixed on the two reddened holes puncturing the side of Adrien’s neck. They were small, and about two centimetres apart from each other just above his right shoulder. It was clear that it had only occurred a short time earlier.
Adrien floundered. “Uh, it was from a- a cat. Yeah, that’s right.”
“Why on earth did it bite you? You’re, like, the cat whisperer,” Nino said.
“Not with this cat,” Adrien muttered under his breath.
“The cat whisperer?” Marinette asked in a small voice.
“Yeah, Adrien has this freaky connection with cats, like he can make friends with all of them.”
‘That sounds like Chat Noir,’ Marinette thought idly.
“Um, anyway, he wanted me to give him some cheese and I didn’t and so he, um, bit me,” Adrien said.
“How did it get up on your neck?” Alya asked, fascinated.
Adrien rubbed the back of his neck. “I was… hugging it?”
No one said anything.
“What?” Adrien said defensively. “I hug cats occasionally!”
Nino laughed. “Dude.”
“Tikki, transform me!”
Ladybug swung through the air, yoyo in hand, and gently landed on the designated meeting place for herself and Chat Noir.
“Plagg, transform me!”
Chat Noir bounded across the rooftops, whooping wildly, and silently landed on the roof where he and Ladybug were supposed to meet. Ladybug was already there, looking out over the shimmering lights that was Paris.
“Hey Chat,” Ladybug murmured, not turning around.
“Hi my Lady.” Chat walked to stand next to her.
“How was your day?” Ladybug asked, finally looking at Chat Noir.
Chat pouted. “Plagg – my kwami – bit me,” he said.
Ladybug choked. “Come again?”
Chat unzipped his suit slightly. He peeled back the leather and showed Ladybug the twin holes marring his smooth skin. “I refused to get him cheese, and he… well… decided to eat me instead.” Chat laughed.
“Cheese?” Ladybug whispered, staring straight at the mark.
Chat snorted. “For some reason Plagg doesn’t eat anything but cheese. It’s a nuisance really.”
Ladybug looked distracted. “My… my kwami – Tikki – eats cookies.”
“Hey, are you okay?” Chat asked concernedly.
“Yeah, I-I’m fine,” Ladybug stuttered. “Just… well…”
Chat placed his hands on her shoulders. “You can tell me! We’re partners, right?”
Ladybug muttered something indiscernible. Chat frowned, and Ladybug said it again, clearer this time.
“You’re… you’re not a vampire, are you?”
Chat gaped. “What?”
Ladybug blushed. “It’s just- one of my friends- we joked that he was a vampire- and found a website- just-”
Chat, by this time, was out of breath from the laughter. “You think I’m a vampire?” he gasped. He grinned, then said in a cheesy accent, “I vant to drink your blood!”
Ladybug pushed him away. “Oh god, Chat, I can’t believe you!”
And they spent the rest of the night in this way, Chat breaking out into giggles as soon as he caught sight of Ladybug’s red face.