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“Tikki, what if he just drops in? I understand that he’s good about knocking, but he also has night vision and really good hearing!”

Chat paused, fist outstretched towards her skylight as Marinette’s high-pitched whine reached his ears. Who was Tikki? Did she have a friend over? A friend that she felt comfortable enough talking about his visits with? Before he could run through more questions, her voice rose again.

“What if he comes right when I’m heading towards an akuma? Like oh hi Chat Noir, surprise, your friend is… missing? What would I even tell him!”

Well that certainly threw a wrench in his current speculation. Why would Marinette be heading towards an akuma? At school she was always the first to run to safety. It was something he appreciated immensely, especially since rescuing Alya became just another part of fighting akumas. Why would she need to say that she herself was missing?

“It’s not like I could just go, ‘oh sorry, I’m ladybug!’ can you even imagine?”

Chat, as it turned out, could not imagine. He dimly recognized his hand was still outstretched prepared to knock, and let it fall to his side. Why… why would Marinette tell him she was Ladybug? Her voice continued to reach his ears, but the details of her words were lost to the swimming thoughts that occupied his mind.

Was Marinette Ladybug? That would be the obvious conclusion, unless she regularly cosplayed like Chloe did. Chat had trouble imagining her doing that, but less of a hard time imagining her taking down akumas, sassing both himself and their opponents as they fought.

He had almost no trouble imagining his Lady sitting at a desk, lip jutting slightly as she worked on a project. Imagining her laughing as he modeled the fabric that had just been in her hands… it was too easy.

Once the images started, he couldn’t stop them. Marinette poised on one of the spires of Notre Dame, Ladybug grinning in the dim light of a movie on her computer, a mask and civilian clothes, a bare face and supersuit. He gasped loudly, causing the steady flow of sound to suddenly cease.

The skylight opened, and wide green met suspicious blue.

“Chat?” Marinette called, eyes narrowing.

“Hi my Marinette! No Princess Lady! I mean-” he babbled, letting his voice die as Marinette’s expression morphed into shock.

“You heard…”

“Heard what? You talking? I did not! I just showed up, I mean, psh, that would be so rude for me to eavesdrop even if it was a complete accident.” Chat’s hand flew to the back of his neck as he studiously avoided his friend’s gaze.

“Tikki!” Marinette called, voice wavering near the top of its possible range.

A red form flew out of the room below them, and its round eyes quickly surveyed the pair of teens before emitting a loud sigh.

“Your charge has the worst timing, Plagg.”

Adrien felt his kwami pull out of the transformation causing the whole balcony to wash with green. He heard Marinette’s gasp as the last of his magic fell, but kept his eyes trained on the flower pot next to him.

“Are you kidding, this is hilarious!” Plagg said, laughing.

Adrien and Marinette sat in tense silence, each frantically trying to come to terms with the situation as fast as possible. Marinette went through several stages of red, ending up somewhere closer to a peony than a firetruck, which was about where Adrien’s ears seemed to be stuck.

“Fuck,” Marinette eventually said.

It was enough to break the coil winding in Adrien’s stomach, and he let out a loud laugh. Soon enough she had joined him, and the pair kept at it till the ache of their lungs outweighed the absolute ludicrousness of their situation. Soft bashful smiles were shared. Long talks were to come, but in the moment their silent agreement was enough.