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Secret kitten

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Marinette trembled upon seeing those two pink lines. Those two lines that meant her life was about to change completely. She was pregnant. Her knees felt weak at the realization. Adrien was the father. Glimpses of the blond holding her, pulling her close, and kissing her made their way into her mind. It had been the best and the worst night of her life.

Her phone rang, breaking her out of her memories. The bluenette slowly took it out and dropped it after seeing who was calling her. Adrien Agreste's name followed by his picture was displayed on her screen. The call eventually stopped as Marinette picked up her phone from the bathroom floor. Then it buzzed again saying: "You have a new voicemail."

Tikki was just as shocked as her own was, if not even more. She wanted to say something nice and comforting but couldn't think of anything.

The bluenette picked her pregnancy test up and wrapped it in paper before slowly leaving the bathroom. The shame consumed her. She then casually offered to put the trash out for her parents, giving herself the perfect opportunity to throw out the test.

After taking the trash out, Marinette went to her room and threw herself onto her bed. She regretted that night. Chat had just saved her and something in his eyes made her beg him to stay. So he did, even after his transformation ended. A friendly "THANK YOU FOR SAVING ME!" hug turned into a kiss and that turned into this whole mess. After that night things hadn't been the same. Somehow that night only made things more awkward between them.

She could hardly look at Adrien or Chat without thinking of that night. She blushed really profusely sometimes and others, she just flat out smirked back at him. He still had no idea that she was Ladybug because she kept her secret. One of them had to, right?

Adrien and Marinette were still friends, but she  avoided him(or at least being alone with him) most of the time. Alya and Nino had picked up that something had happened, but they had no idea what it was since neither Marinette nor Adrien really talked about it. The blond sometimes would look at her with a smirking smile and she would either run away or give him a slight grin back. She was a complete mess, going from grinning and being playful towards him like she was with Chat to being a complete stumbling mess.

She felt confused about her feelings about Adrien and Chat. She loved him so much and hated him at the same time. She hated the fact that that night seemed to have zero importance for him. How he got her into this mess of keeping her secret along with his, and now thanks to their stupid mistake she was going to have his child. Despite all the reasons, all she wanted now was him there. Slowly and carefully she picked her phone and listened to the voicemail as if listening to him was the same as him being there.

"Hi Marinette. It's me, Adrien. Of course, you know it's me. You can see it on your phone. Anyways, I can't make it tonight with all of you because I have a photoshoot. I texted them but I wanted to talk to you. I meant it's nice to see you. Not that I can see you by call but... what am I saying? ...so yeah, never mind. See you tomorrow, princess. I have no idea why I said that. Maybe it was my feline side ...uh yeah so, I am going to go now. Bye!"

The bluenette slowly got up, remembering that she had plans with her friend. She didn't want to cancel because Alya might get suspicious but she didn't want to go either. Marinette got off her bed and looked at the watch. When she saw the time, she began rushing to get ready. Her mind quickly drifted, momentarily forgetting her pregnancy.

She then rushed down the stairs and ended up tripping. Luckily her father was there to catch her.

"Be more careful next time, I don't want my baby girl to get hurt."

Her father's words. BABY GIRL! Baby! B A B Y! Marinette then touched her stomach remembering her own baby. Then she hugged her Dad between the sobs. What would he think of her when he found out? Tom seemed to see the worry in her eyes and interpreted it as being scared of falling. With a warm smile and a hug he warmly told her: "It's okay Marinette, you didn't fall. Don't cry. It was just a scare! Daddy´s got you."

She smiled.

The bluenette wasn't ready for a kid. Years of babysitting Manon and Alya's twin sisters taught her that kids were hard. Besides, she still felt like a kid herself, crying on her father's shoulder. Being herself and Ladybug was already hard enough, but now being a mom too? She wanted to believe that everything would be okay, but would it?

The night turned out to be a bust for forgetting her issue. Alya's little cousin was in town, so the movie of the night was "The Boss Baby". Surprisingly, a whole movie about a baby didn't help Marinette forget anything. She hoped to talk to her best friend in private and get some advice, but with Nino (she certainly didn't want Adrien's best friend hearing the news) and Alya's cousin there, it turned out impossible. Marinette went to the bathroom several times to cry and throw up.

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Marinette laid in bed rubbing her still flat belly. The idea that a baby was growing inside it was terrifying. She could literally trip in the middle of the air due to her clumsiness. And now, she had a whole human being to protect? It was half her and half Adrien. This made her blush and start to imagine if it would have his gorgeous green eyes or his gorgeous blond hair. Would it be as cocky and confident as he was, or would it be shy like her/his mother?

Her daydreaming was shattered by a sound on her balcony. She didn't even have to guess who it was. Only Chat Noir would show up there.

Without even knowing why, she ran up towards the sound. She was right and it indeed was Chat, but he seemed nervous and almost tripped when he noticed Marinette was looking at him.

"Sorry! Alya told me you weren't feeling so good. So, I am here for a catcall. I mean to check up on you. Plus, you never really answered my call so... but I can leave if you want because I didn't want to bother..."

Marinette smiled at him. It was funny when he was the nervous wreck. He relaxed and smiled back.

"Want to go in my room? I mean do you want to come in?"

Chat nodded and followed her inside. In the room, they both stayed quiet leaving them with an uncomfortable silence.

"Marinette, there's something I wanted to talk to you..."

"Funny because too me... ah, I mean me too." She was prepared to tell him, but she wanted to hear what he had to say first.

"It's about that night."

"Which night?" Marinette played dumb, of course she knew what night he meant. The hard part was forgetting.

"The night where I saved you... and it... and you couldn't resist me, which I don't blame you. Come on! So, we ended up..."

Marinette threw him her pillow out of spite. "Please, you don't need to say any more. I remember perfectly and as I recall it was you who kissed me."

Chat's confidence decreased, and he began rubbing the back of his head. "Yeah! But you were the one that hugged me and gave me that look with your big bluebell eyes."

Marinette blinked in surprise before regaining her confidence. "Get to the point Chat!"

"I've noticed things between us haven't been the same since that night. You avoid me one day, then the next you tease me. We haven't spent any time alone since that night and it feels so awkward between us."

"So?"

"So, I miss us hanging out and being friends. I mean I even trusted you with my secret. And, I didn't do that with anyone else, Marinette."

"Adrien I... I... am..." pregnant. That was all she had to say and then the secret would be out. At least one of them. She still couldn't tell him she was Ladybug. Why couldn't she just tell him she was pregnant? All she wanted was to tell him and get this feeling out of her system "... m-missing our time together too."

Marinette leaned closer for a kiss. She needed him! She wanted him to comfort her and make everything better. She wanted his warm and carefreeness to make her forget about everything else.

Adrien, however, pushed her away gently and with sadness admitted.

"Wow! Marinette, I think you are amazing, sweet, and creative. You are funny and caring but the truth is that while that night was amazing, and I could never forget it since it was my first. The truth is that I am madly in love with Ladybug. And, I was weak at that moment and it was a mistake. I am so sorry. I just came here in hopes that things could get back to how they were between us and not to hurt you. The fact is that I don't want you to feel like you're not special or meaningless but..."

Tears were about to burst out of her eyes, but she faked a smile, something she was surprised that Adrien, the king of fake smiles, couldn't see right through.

"Of course, I understand plus it's not like I was in love with you or anything. I mean it's not like that night matter at all. In fact let's just forget it ever happened."

She began pushing Adrien up the stairs to the balcony.

"Marinette," Adrien said, sounding almost like a plea. But, she kept pushing him and eventually he resigned and climbed the few steps left. He still looked at her hopeful, but her expression told him it was best to leave. So regretfully he closed the trapdoor and left.

Marinette fell on her knees crying. Tikki who had been silently watching this whole scene went to Marinette and comforted her.

"Tikki, what am I going to do now?"

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Adrien used his staff to jump into his room and sighed. This had been the fourth time that he went to check up on Marinette since their fight four nights ago. She had been skipping school because apparently, she was sick, but he knew she was probably just avoiding him. So he decided to go to the building across her balcony and wait for her to show up, then he would try to talk to her and explain but he didn't. Not on the first day or the second or the third and not even on the fourth day.

It was a vicious cycle. Marinette would come to the balcony and stayed there almost every night staring at the horizon for a very long time. Adrien felt like jumping in there so they could talk but he found himself too weak or scared each time. So instead he just stared at her. She didn't seem upset or angry or even sick. In fact, when Adrien looked at her, he recognized hopelessness and loneliness in her. With a mixture of relatability and guilt, he stayed there looking at her while she stared at the skyline. Eventually, the cold would get to her and she would walk inside. Only then would Adrien return to his house with the promise that tomorrow would be different, but it never was.

He never intended to hurt her this way. Adrien understood deeply how she felt since loneliness and hopelessness were his best-sworn friends. There was nothing he could do to change what happened between them, but he would stop at nothing to preserve their friendship.

The problems between them were his fault and he blamed himself for it. He liked Marinette deeply but she was nothing compared to his lady. Sure, Marinette was kind and brave and creative. However, Ladybug was all those things plus more.

There was nothing that could compare to the rush of fighting beside his lady. There was nothing that made him feel the same way when she touched him. There was no one, he could love besides her.

Why couldn't Marinette understand that? Adrien couldn't explain why or how it happened that night. There was just something in her eyes that reminded him of his lady. He wasn't able to resist. The sunshine boy was lost on that ocean of her baby blues eyes that night. Sure she was a friend, but at that moment it felt like they were more. There was a connection that he couldn't explain.

To tell the truth that scared him. He never considered he’d feel this way for Marinette. No! He had to stay loyal to his lady. That was what he was desperately trying to tell Marinette on the night of their fight. They hadn't talked about it before. Adrien knew the longer he waited the worse it would be for all. He had already waited four weeks. Continuing not to talk would be leading Marinette on, and that would be wrong, especially her being the awesome person she was. His only solution was honesty.

Exhausted, Adrien jumped to his bed and went to sleep with his mind thinking of Marinette.

The next day, he woke up early for his morning fencing practice, despite not wanting to go.

Today he was a little off, and that was proven by the many times Kagami had beaten him. Kagami also seemed to notice. "What's wrong with you today?"

Adrien got up of the floor and brushed the dirt off his suit. "Nothing."

"Is this about Marinette?"

"What?" He rubbed the back of his neck confirming Kagami's theory.

"Why would it be about her?"

"Come on Adrien, I am not stupid. She disappears for a few days and you look like a rescue puppy with those eyes."

"Me? Haha! I told you countless times we are just friends."

Kagami grinned before adjusting her epee. "Right! Listen to me! This thing between both of you isn't healthy. To be a good fencer, you can quit or be fierce. My advice is either you quit, meaning you find someone else, or you attack, meaning you go all in. You will lose if you continue this way."

With those words, Kagami attacked, surprising Adrien, and he fell hard on the ground again.

"See? Waiting around and doing nothing won't work. Let go or move forward. It's your choice!"

Adrien got up and watched as Kagami left, already tired of winning.

"So letting go vs moving forward?" Adrien told himself as he pondered what to do next.

 

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Marinette walked through the park under the stars following the weird trail of roses that led her there. At the end of it, there he was, waiting for her in a black tuxedo with a green tie. Adrien in all his glory really had made an effort with the romantic setting. In his hand, he had a single beautiful red rose and on his face a smile so bright that it melted Marinette's heart just looking at it.

He grabbed and kissed her hand gently causing Marinette to blush. Adrien smiled again and stared at her before pulling her tight, causing the rose to fall on the ground. His eyes focused on her and a hard grip on her back. He leaned in, whispering to her hear. "Marinette I love you. I was so stupid not to realize it sooner. You are the one I love. Can you ever forgive me?"

With tears on her eyes, she looked at him before kissing him. "Oh, Adrien! Of course, I do."

He gave a gentle touch across Marinette's cheeks, turning them into a red fiery mess. All was perfect and magical. Marinette could stay like this in his arms forever until finally, Marinette woke up to the sound of her alarm clock. It had been all a dream.

She looked and her room seemed emptier now that all the pictures and reminders of Adrien had been put away. Marinette saved everything in a box and placed it under the desk. She wanted to throw everything away or burn it, but she couldn't do it. Every time she tried, looking at the charm he gave her for her 13th birthday would stop her. Then his umbrella would sneak up on her and make Marinette tumble into tears.

Despite her trying to forget about Adrien, and after five long days of hard crying and trying to forget, she still dreamed about him. The dreams she had were amazing and beautiful, but they were just dreams and the truth was that Marinette was pregnant by a crush that wanted to be friends and at the same time loved her deeply as her alter ego. But, Marinette couldn't tell him her secret for her safety and for his, and now even for their baby's safety. No mattered how much it hurt and how difficult it was, she had to keep her secrets. With Adrien on his way out of her heart slowly, unfortunately not out of her mind, it meant she would have to raise the child alone.

Marinette decided not to tell him about the pregnancy since she knew exactly how he would react. He would stay with her because of it. That was not what she wanted. Forcing him to stay with her because of the baby was wrong. Her love for him was bigger than that. Even if that wasn't a factor they were young and that would ruin his whole life, not to mention Adrien's plan of them staying friends. So it was best not to tell Adrien the truth. Of course, that only made it harder for her because everyone from her parents to her friends would want to know who the father was. How would she even tell them that she was pregnant but didn't want the father to know? How would she even raise a child alone? How would she even lie to Adrien?

Thinking she would have to go through everything alone made her feel lonely and hopeless. She needed Adrien there now, probably more than ever, but that was exactly what she couldn't have. Rubbing her belly gently, "See the mess you caused me, little kitten?" That was the name she decided to call the baby since she didn't know if it was a boy or a girl. However, if it was a girl it would be Emma but if it was a boy it would be either Louis or maybe Hugo. She hadn't decided yet.

Despite everything she still smiled at her belly knowing that kitten was there. Marinette might not know how to deal with this situation, but she knew that she would do anything for her child, just like she would do anything for Adrien. With all those things weighing on her mind, and after so many days, Marinette went outside onto her balcony with the intention to transform, just so that she could feel some fresh air and clear her mind.

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Ladybug watched as Adrien practiced with Kagami. He was losing so much today! Marinette had gone there hoping seeing Adrien in his fencing attire would make her feel better. Most times it worked but not today. She desperately wanted to be close to him but being this close reminded her just how far they were from each other. What a mess her life was! Couldn't be without him and couldn't be with him.

Kagami was giving all of her best. Over and over Adrien would be thrown to the floor. The worse in Marinette´s opinion was that while they were clearly talking, with their masks up, Kagami made a treasons surprise attack throwing Adrien to the ground again.
Then she had the audacity of letting him there as she walked away. Ladybug fought against her urge to help him up and find out why he performed so poorly today. It wasn't anything of her business after all.

She continued to watch as he suddenly blushed before rushing outside the school and onto his limousine. He was a completely different Adrien, inspired and smiling as he got into his ride.

Marinette wondered if that was all because of Kagami. She had left him alone and on the ground but apparently, Adrien felt happy about that. She wished she could light up his face that way too.
Ladybug followed Adrien's ride until it stopped, near a fancy jewelry store.

Adrien rushed inside and she watched curiously but after a couple hours of waiting for him to come out ,she quit. He hadn't even had time to change as he raced there and now he was taking forever inside. Marinette had enough. She was supposed to be forgetting him , not waiting hours just to get a glimpse of him. She wasn´t that crazy fan girl anymore!

Ladybug swung away. She kept going the way the wind took her, not really sure where but anywhere far way seemed like the right place.

After running and swinging her way for an eternity, she began to feel tired. Far away and exhausted, Marinette dropped her transformation. Tikki was tired too probably. While Tikki snacked on a cookie, Marinette kept walking. On her path, she found a health clinic.

Marinette entered it, still kind of lost. At least it looked friendly. What was she even doing there? This clinic was miles/kilometers away from home. Maybe it wasn't so bad. There was no risk of finding anyone she knew there.

It also gave her the opportunity to talk to someone about this other than Tikki. Tikki was supportive, but there was only so much a Kwami could do. Marinette also knew she could count on her parents, but the fear of their reaction made her wait on that.

The receptionist was nice and very smiling towards Marinette despite the terrified look on her face. Her nervousness even made her stutter when they asked for her name. She said, "Brigette," not that it mattered anyway. After telling the receptionist her condition, the receptionist gave her a pitiful look and then asked her to wait for her turn.

Marinette tried to relax while sitting there waiting, but with an impatient crying baby by her side and a loving married couple waiting for their first kid on the other, it wasn´t easy.

The woman of the couple began asking questions to the mother of the crying baby. They began talking about pregnancy and how hard it was. Marinette tried to focus on the outdated magazines, but the conversation between those two women was hard to ignore. They talked about things Marinette would probably learn later, but still preferred not to know at all. Just when she was about to quit and never come back, the doctor called her.

Marinette felt alienated as they took her blood to confirm her pregnancy and asked her many questions.

After the tests result confirmed her pregnancy, Marinette completely lost it. She started crying and ran away from the doctor's office. Listening to the news from a doctor made it feel more real. Marinette didn't notice if it was the doctor or someone else hugging, her but it felt good having someone console her. It took a while for her to calm down despite everyone telling her it wasn't the end of the world. It wasn't the end, but it sure felt like it for her.

After calming down, Marinette was told to return to the doctor. Hesitantly, she did. The doctor was nice and even told her panic attacks were normal. Then, she began giving some advice to Marinette. It was more like a huge list of don'ts. Marinette wondered if being Ladybug would be a part of that list. The doctor also talked to Marinette about the dangers of her pregnancy, what were her options were, and so many other things. Marinette didn't retain much of what she was told during the consult. The only things she kept were two fliers, one about adoption and the other about abortion. Marinette already knew she wasn't going to abort, but could she give up her little kitten up for adoption?

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The sun shined over the golden boy Adrien as he began his day filled with excitement. The truth was that after thinking about Kagami's advice, he had made a decision. Plagg, however, didn't seem to share his master's happiness. He was seriously worried about the huge mistake Adrien was going to make.

The kwami tried to casually play with his cheese and brought up Marinette, thinking the thought of her would stop his nonsense. Breaking from his weird stalker cycle, Adrien had skipped his trip to Marinette's to do something even more idiotic and worse. The moment Plagg mentioned her, Adrien's smile became a frown. Why did Plagg have to break his high spirits mentioning her? The idea that he could lose a friend like Marinette made him frown. He could only hope he could find a way to fix things next time he saw her. He wouldn't give up on their friendship.

His eyes then shifted to his pocket, even Marinette wasn't going to get him down today. This had been his best decision ever! It was completely impossible for it to go wrong. Adrien soon noticed that he was so lost in his thoughts that he hadn't even replied to Plagg, who seemed entertained with his camembert.

"I was too busy with what Kagami told me to check on Marinette. I'll do what I can to fix things, but right now I need to focus on my lady. I choose to move forward with her, Plagg..." Adrien rejoiced as he remembered his plan inwardly. The kwami sighed, still faking disinterest as he continued playing with his cheese. The truth was that he was getting even more worried. His preoccupation was so big that he didn't even have the appetite for the cheese he held in his paw for the last hour.

"Is that why you went and bought that stupid thing?"

Adrien gloated, thinking about his bold and romantic choice to propose to his lady. How much more straight forward could he be than with a ring that big and that beautiful? She would have to see his love with that ring. Taking it out and examining it under the light, it seemed even bigger now than when he bought it in the store.

"This is the 0.68 Carat SI2 Clarity Fancy Pink Princess Cut engagement ring! I am sure she will love it!"

Plagg bit his lip to stop himself from telling the truth. Reject Marinette and then propose to her alter ego? This surely would be a disaster. At least for once it wasn't his fault, unlike so many of the disasters he had caused. It was easier to create a mess than to solve it. Plagg was learning that lesson the hard way, since Adrien seemed convinced his plan was perfect.

The kwami had to keep trying, "Why would you waste so much money on that when you could just use the money to buy camembert? I mean, I love shiny, but for me a piece of camembert beats it every time."

Plagg finished his sentence with a big ending, throwing his cheese in the air before eating it in one swallow. Adrien would be impressed if it wasn't so disgusting to watch. Avoiding looking at his kwami, and with a love stuck goofy smile on his face, he told his kwami his reasons.

"Plagg this ring is to symbolize love. I'm sure when I give it to Ladybug she will understand I meant every time I said I loved her. She will finally see how much she means to me! I will give it to her the next time I see her and we will be together forever."

Was it bad that he wished for an Akuma to happen just so that he could see his lady? He honestly couldn't wait to see her reaction to the proposal.

Plagg rolled his eyes and once more tried to be the voice of reason. "But you two aren't even dating! Isn't that a little too much? Who proposes without even dating? Just buy her flowers. Ladybugs like flowers, right?"

Now it was Adrien's turn to sigh. How could Plagg not understand his reasons? "Plagg, I already tried that! Plus, this means so much more. It's like with my ring. It doesn't just mean I get to transform into Chat Noir and be awesome. It also means the responsibility and duty I have towards Paris. My ring means I would do anything for this city. So when I give the engagement ring to her. It means I would do anything for her .When she accepts it, means she is willing to do the same. That ring also means my responsibilities and my duties are with her. I'm sure when I give her this, she will finally understand how much I truly love her! Plus she has been really warming up to me a lot the last few weeks. I wonder what made her change so much around me these last few weeks?"

Plagg coughed, still trying swallow the large piece of cheese in his mouth. If only Adrien knew the truth.

On the other side of Paris. A certain bluenette was feeling depressed. To make things worse, Sabine was worried about her daughter's so called stomach bug, the one that had prevented her from going to school for six days now. She suggested taking her daughter to a doctor. Marinette panicked! She still wanted to stay home and avoid Adrien. Her plan to never talk to Adrien was now spoiled. With her spirits low, she left her house to what was probably going to be the worse day of her life.

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As soon as Marinette arrived at school, she was greeted with a big hug from Alya. The bluenette had never been happier to see her friend. Alya seemed to share the feeling too. It was hard to know which friend missed the other more.

"Girl, I missed you so much. You know sunshine boy was worried too!" Alya told her, giving her a grin.

"Oh that's cool," Marinette faked interest but she knew the reason why Adrien asked about her was mostly out of guilt.

"Girl, what's wrong? You gotta tell me what's going on between the two of you!"

Marinette sighed, looking into her best friend's eyes. Maybe telling her the truth was better? Well, not the whole truth about her being Ladybug and Chat being Adrien or about their whole night or about their terrible love square or even about their future child? Thinking about it, how could she even begin to explain to Alya the whole picture?

"Nothing's wrong." Marinette lied. She wasn't very convincing, but Alya still seemed to believe it.

"Good! Because the last thing I want is for your birthday trip to be a failure! Do you even know how hard it was convincing Adrien's dad to let him come? He begged for weeks, just for you. His father really was a grinch about it and that was not even knowing we girls were joining too!"

Marinette, with all the mess in her life, had forgotten about the trip they were all taking to celebrate her birthday. When Alya suggested all four of them went to spend a week in a cabin, Marinette was super excited. The cabin only had two rooms and that meant she and Adrien would share a room since Alya and Nino wanted to share a room. Spending time around Adrien and sharing the same room? Back then, it was a dream but now it was a nightmare.

It took a lot of convincing, and lying, to make their parents accept the trip, especially Adrien´s. When he told them he was able to convince his father to let him go, Marinette was pretty sure she was in heaven. Now, however, she wasn't so sure.

While they were walking their way to class, Alya was still talking, but Marinette wasn't listening anymore. She was too lost in her mind, imagining the worst case scenarios happening during the trip, from Adrien hating her after discovering her secret identity to hating her after finding out about her pregnancy. The worst case scenario of all would be if he found out about both and hated her. He hated liars after all, and those were some pretty big lies. At least she still had a week to prepare for the trip.

As soon as she entered the classroom, all the girls ran to her asking how she was. Marinette relaxed, feeling happy around her best friends wishing her to get better and telling her all the things she had missed.

Her happiness was short lived though, as Adrien suddenly arrived. Seeing him enter the room, all of the girls quickly returned to their seats, pretending not to be looking at two of them.

Adrien didn't seem to notice, or comment, about the fact the whole class, not just the girls, had their eyes on them. Instead, he was focused on the bluenette in front of him.

Both of the teens looked at each other expectantly, not knowing what to say. Marinette felt divided between transforming right there and hanging Adrien from the Eiffel tower with her yoyo, and jumping into his arms and telling him she missed him. Neither seemed appropriate, unfortunately.

Adrien was completely tongue-tied too. This was the same thing as him staying on the balcony around hers preparing to go talk to her, only much worse because now she could actually see him. What could he say? Should he wait for her to say something?

Finally, after a while, Marinette spoke, nervously, "Hey Adrien."

"Hi Marinette," Adrien smiled, at least she was still talking to him and being friendly. She seemed nervous, but so was he, plus it was normal for her. Did this mean they were okay? He shouldn't ask, not in front of all the class at least. He had to do say or do something else. Putting his hand on the back of his neck, Adrien also nervously, asked "So how are you feeling?"

"FINE! SUPER! PERFECT! GREAT! AWESOME!" She was pretty sure she was shouting at him, but it wasn't her fault. It was him and his presence. It should be illegal looking that good in the morning.

As a twist of fate to prove her words wrong, the moment Lila came in Marinette felt nauseous. Trying not to vomit all over Adrien, she turned her head hitting, Lila instead. Everyone was shocked, even Marinette who didn't do it on purpose.

Marinette apologized. Lila faked a smile and told her it was okay. The whole class was still watching after all. Then however, she got closer to Marinette's ear and whispered coldly, "You will regret this! I know you did it on purpose. You will pay for this!"

Before Marinette could even respond, Adrien pushed Lila away. Calmly he turned to Lila and told her, "Lila, I think she needs space. Maybe you should go get cleaned up!"

Lila left to clean up with a friendly smile on her face. But inside, she was cursing both Marinette and Adrien. Adrien followed Lila's cue and left too. He decided to take Marinette to the nurse. Apparently, she really was sick. Poor Marinette. Everyone gave her a worried look as she left. This was not what everyone thought was going to happen.
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Marinette lied to the nurse saying it was just a stomach bug. It was good the nurse believed her because the bluenette wasn't about to reveal the truth in front of Adrien. Why did he have to be so kind, refusing to leave her alone? He was so worried that he never let go of her hand. Why did he always have to be so caring and nice?

On her way back to class after the visit to the nurse, Marinette tripped. Thankfully, Adrien caught her. The problem was that it sent both the adoption and abortion fliers along with the others pregnancy fliers flying to the floor. Why did she even kept those on her? Adrien couldn't find out this way! Not this way! This would even be worse than finding out in front of the nurse. She needed to do something quickly before he noticed. So she hugged Adrien to stop him from looking at what had just fallen.

"You are such a good friend. Thank you for looking out for me," Marinette told him, trying to explain the hug.

Adrien seemed baffled but still hugged tighter. With the motion of the hug, plus a little help from Plagg inside of Adrien's pocket, the box with the wedding ring jumped out. Adrien's eyes widened when he saw the box on the floor. He wasn't about to let Marinette see the ring. After everything, she would probably be mad at him again or try to stop him. This wasn't the way she should find out about his possible and likely engagement.

As soon as Marinette let go of the hug, Adrien went to pick up the box while Marinette picked up the flyers. Both sighed relieved. Both their secrets were safe for now.

Adrien's day and Marinette's day went back to normal, maybe with the exception of everyone worrying about Marinette, including Adrien who would turn to look behind himself constantly to make sure she was okay. Every time he did that, Marinette would blush, then smile at him in return. He would smile and then blush as he turned back to the teacher.

At the end of the day, Alya was demanding to take Marinette home. Despite Marinette already insisting she was fine. It was at this moment the blond boy made his appearance, quickly jumping into the conversation.

"I can take Marinette home!" Before Marinette could refuse. Alya accepted Adrien's offer. With a grin and a thumbs up, Alya pretty much disappeared, leaving them alone.

With a smile, Adrien offered his hand and signaled his chauffeur to wait. Both stayed quiet the whole way. The walk was short after all, plus neither knew how to start. It was only when they arrived at her front door that Adrien gathered the courage to talk.

"Marinette, I wanted to tell you I am sorry. I shouldn't have said those things. I was a fool and didn't mean it. Of course, you are special and that's why I got so lost that night with you. I feel that with you I can be free to be myself and that you accept me."

Marinette began to blush at his words. Was Adrien about to declare himself to her? Had he somehow changed his mind? With a glow in her eyes, she kept listening.

"But I know that I could never appreciate you the way you truly deserve because I am in love with someone else. You already know who she is."

That snapped her back to reality. Her heart broke again. She could never compete with Ladybug or Adrien's idea of Ladybug. That crushed her. Marinette was unable to control herself from snapping at Adrien.

"Ladybug is a very lucky girl unlike some of us! Adrien, I love you. But that doesn't matter now does it? It doesn't matter that I fell in love with you due to the kindness you showed me when you have me your umbrella and haven't been able to forget it since. It doesn't matter that we have been friends forever because you can never love me or see me as more."

He looked at her in shock. "You l-lo-lo-ve-ve me?! I'm so sorry. If I had known, I would never have... I swear. I never meant to hurt you..."

Marinette stopped him before he could even continue, "It doesn't matter... because you only see her and no one else. This is all because of HER! Maybe she isn't as perfect as you think."

Adrien interrupted, "I know she isn't perfect, but I still love her. Please don't hate her. Hate me instead. It's all my fault! Besides you don't know her as well as I do Marinette."

"OMG! Adrien!" Marinette exasperated. "You are nice and sweet, but you are too passive, too egocentric, painfully oblivious, and shallow. Also, don't get me started on your lame puns. I mean, who even says stuff like that?" Adrien blinked in surprise, but Marinette still kept going. "So thank you for that night, and for today. Because of that, I finally saw the real you and I don't love it anymore. I really hope one day you find someone that makes you happy."

Marinette slowly turned around and opened her door. But before she could leave, Adrien grabbed her arm.

"I swear I didn't want to hurt you. That was the last thing I wanted to do. You were one of my first real friends. I never wanted things to get this bad between us. Your friendship means a lot to me and I am sorry I messed it up. I always cared about you and thought you were special. I never wanted to lose you, so please don't leave me! I can't lose anyone else I care about."

Marinette looked at Adrien. Her anger towards him went way. Was he about to cry? She had never seen him this broken down before. Usually, he let on a brave face and a smile to hide his true feelings. Seeing him take away that mask to show the real and vulnerable Adrien inside was shocking for Marinette. Did he really value their friendship that much? How could she hurt him like that? She didn't know if it was the hormones or the fact she had just hurt him, but she just wanted to hold him.

"Adrien..." Her voice barely above a whisper. "I am not leaving you. We will always be friends."

His eyes focused on her for a second.

"Always," he said reassuringly, pulling her into a hug.

Marinette hoped he could keep his promise even if one day he learned the whole truth.

Chapter Text

As Adrien sat on the bus going to the cabin, he was lost in his thoughts. One week had passed without any Akumas. Hawkmoth seemed to have taken some vacations. Adrien begged for a little easy Akuma but he had no such luck. He continued to curse the man who was always on his tail and now the only time Adrien could take that as his advantage, the man disappeared!

This cat was so desperate that the idea of faking an Akuma spread his mind. So long without his lady was torture. When would he see her again?

Marinette shifted her head slightly causing Adrien to return his thoughts back to the bus and to her. She looked so cute sleeping with her head on his shoulder. Her cute smile reflecting on his.

This was her birthday getaway. He hoped she liked the present he had for her. He got it especially for her! She was always so thoughtful and sweet that he wanted to repay it.

She even forgave him! Sometimes he felt he didn't deserve such a friend so he promised himself that he would make it up to her. He had been doing small things to make it up to her but now this was his chance to truly make it up to her. So, these days he would solely focus on her. When he got back, he was going back to focus on his lady and the proposal. He already had a plan made and everything.

Slowly and carefully he began to stroke Marinette's hair. She mumbled his name in her sleep. Adrien's smile widened before he fell asleep too, dropping his now heavy head onto Marinette's.

He didn't know how long he slept, all he remembered was waking up to two gorgeous blue eyes staring at him.

"Hey," Adrien greeted her with a genuine smile as he blinked away the last remaining sleep from his eyes.

"Hey," Marinette answered back with a smile and a flustered "We're here!"

The place they picked was perfectly filled with nature and almost completely isolated. The nearest town was 50 minutes away on foot. They were all by themselves, a fact everyone enjoyed. Of course, that meant they still had to carry their bags into the wild to get to the cabin. While Alya and Nino complained about the walk, Marinette was too focused on admiring the beauty of nature. Adrien couldn't complain either as he enjoyed seeing Marinette look and point out every butterfly and bird she saw.

As they continued to carry their luggage into the forest, Adrien's eyes were impressed by some beautiful rose bushes. Taking one of his least favorite shirts out of his bag and wrapping it around his hand, he carefully grabbed the prettiest rose there. Smiling, he sneaked behind Marinette before hugging her from behind and putting the rose close to her nose, giving her the chance to smell it.

"Hey! Marinette, this rose is just for you," he whispered into her ear.

"Foooor mmmeeee?" She mumbled nervously, unable to control her blush.

"Adrien where's my rose? We are friends too!" Alya teased.

"You don't need Adrien to give you a rose." Nino answered back trying to save his bro.

"It's not like my boyfriend gives me roses," Alya shot back at Nino.

"Here, Alya you can have it." Marinette tried to save the situation by giving the rose to Alya.

"Thanks, girl!" Alya smiled to Marinette while giving Nino the death stare.

"No problem. Can you and Nino go ahead I need to talk to Adrien?" Marinette begged as she suppressed a deep sigh.

Nino gave Adrien a look and whispered to him, "Nice, Dude! Cuz of you. We will be both be sleeping in the dog house."

Adrien was going to mumble something but Nino and Alya went ahead. She was clearly arguing with him. Adrien looked at Marinette. He could already tell by her expression a similar fate to Nino's awaited him.

With an irritated sigh, Marinette began, "Adrien this needs to stop! The rose, the notes on my balcony, the gifts? When will it end?"

With a pitiful look, he admitted, "I was just trying to make it up to you. You didn't like it?"

"It's too much!" Marinette sighed, taking pity on his face. With a smile on her face, she admitted, "The CD with my favorite songs was nice. I still play it every day. It's my favorite!"

"The rest was me but the CD wasn't!" He repeated, "The CD wasn't me!" He didn't know if it hurt because the thing Marinette most liked wasn't given by him or the fact that someone else was giving her gifts.

They both stayed quiet. Waiting for the other to continue. Eventually, Marinette extended her hand to him and asked, "Always?"

"Always" had become their unspoken promise that whatever happened between them, they would ALWAYS stay friends. It started after their talk a week ago and now it was becoming a symbol that their friendship could survive anything. He smiled and assured her, "Always!"

With them now holding hands, they continued their walk. It didn't take long for them to start talking normally again. They shared so many interests after all. By the end of the walk, they were so embedded in which character of Ultra Mega Strike 4 was better that the whole awkward incident was forgotten.

Quicker than they imagined, Marinette and Adrien arrived and stared at the cabin. It was small and made of wood, having a rustic warm vibe to it.

Alya and Nino were already in their room making peace. Marinette and Adrien avoiding disrupting the couple and went straight for their room.

As soon as they entered their room, Adrien dropped his bags and jumped excitedly onto his bed. The sound of crick of the springs of the mattress along with the sound of the iron frame of the bed hitting the wall didn't seem to bother Adrien as he happily continued.

"Well you seem excited," Marinette commented, seeing how he went from formal Adrien to pure Chat Noir in seconds.

With a big jump, he did a black flip before stopping and sitting on his bed. Still emitting a joyful glow he told her, "Of course I'm excited. Being far from home and with my friends, it's the best!

His blissful expression suddenly changed to serious as he admitted, "I never had this growing up. Being here makes me feel free, just like when I turn into Chat Noir."

The ending sigh of Adrien's words almost broke Marinette's heart. How could a mere sigh show so much emotion? How could someone like Adrien, who spent so much time traveling to places and meeting interesting people, feel trapped?

"Free? I don't understand," she asked curious of what he meant.

"Of course you don't," Adrien sighed letting his body fall into bed. "Your parents are awesome and let you hang out with your friends, have sleepovers, and do the normal stuff you want. But my father doesn't! I had to beg for these days. I work hard to be the perfect son, but it's never enough. Nothing is ever enough," he coldly admitted. "Most of the time what I get is being alone, even during meals. I spend all of my life around people, but simultaneously alone."

Marinette looked at him, feeling sorry for him. Adrien didn't notice as his eyes looked at the ceiling. "So, that's why you love being Chat Noir so much?"

"Of course! It's just not because of being around Ladybug all the time. When I transform I'm not Adrien Agreste, the boy who, despite eating most meals alone, still uses properly the 3 types of forks, the three types of knives, and the 2 spoons. No! I'm not the perfect son, the kid role model. When I transform I'm just a dorky normal guy who happens to be in a super suit. People see me as more real with a cat suit then as me."

"Wow! I had no idea. You always smile and seem so put together. I never knew you felt that way." Marinette controlled her will to hug him, instead giving a sweet touch on his shoulders.

"I don't want you to feel sorry for me. Because, being with you guys is the best thing in my life, including being Chat Noir."

"Thank you for sharing it with me."

"I never told this to anyone before. I guess now you know all my secrets," he laughed nervously. "I still have to learn yours."

"Mine?" She froze. "I don't have secrets! Me? Please! Why would you say that?"

"Ha ha! Everyone has some. Come on! Tell me you never snuck away? Did something you weren't supposed to? Lied?"

"Hum Hum"

"Calm down! I'm just teasing you!"

Adrien got up and began unpacking. Marinette sighed, finally being able to breathe.

Marinette started to examine their small bedroom more carefully. Despite the annoying loud spring mattress and the iron-framed beds, the room was nice. It had two beds, each leaning against a wall. Adrien was in the bed to the left while Marinette's was on the right. Each had an old fashion side bed table. They had no TV or entertainment. The curtains were very old and heavy. The closet was white. Beyond that, there was only a small red lamp.

After everything was organized, everyone left to explore the woods. They were walking across a dangerous looking part of the woods. Already having enough danger in her life as Ladybug, she opted out and decided to return home.

Without much to do Marinette decided to try on her sparkling pink dress which was meant for her to wear tomorrow at her birthday dinner. Looking at her belly and examining it closely, she felt nervous. What if Adrien could tell she was pregnant? The dress was tight leaving little to the imagination. Why did Alya have her wear something so skin tight?

Tikki, almost like she read Marinette's mind, assured, "Marinette you are only 7 weeks pregnant. No one can tell. At this point, the baby is even smaller than me! Adrien won't be able to tell anything. Relax and maybe… just maybe talk to him."

Marinette slid off her dress throwing it onto Adrien's bed. Tears making their way down her cheeks. She immediately dressed in her pajamas, feeling way more comfortable in them.

Tikki flew to Marinette, trying to hug her as best she could with her small body. Still, it was a nice gesture and even earned a smile from Marinette.

"Thank you, Tikki but I can't tell him. My biggest fear is that he finds out. It's so hard having to keep my secret as Ladybug as well as his secret as Chat Noir, plus the secret of my pregnancy. It's too many secrets. If Adrien finds out about our child or my identity or both. I'm screwed."

Before Tikki could even answer back, a voice coming from the doorway shouted, "WHATTTT????!!!"

Marinette and Tikki looked at each other, both paralyzed in fear.

Chapter Text

A voice coming from the doorway shouted, "WHATTTT????!!!"

Marinette and Tikki looked at each other, both paralyzed in fear.

The bluenette slowly turned her head to look at the very familiar black kwami now facing her.

"Plagg! What are you doing here?" Marinette asked ashamed, her own guilt stopping her from looking Plagg in the eyes.

The kwami stared at her in a mix of surprise and excitement.

"The question here is when will tell Adrien about your pregnancy? The kid deserves to know he's having a kid." He tried to play it chill but the warmness and care he had slipped, slightly, through every word the kwami said.

"No!" Marinette crossed her arms angrily. Her tone was harsher than she intended, but effective.

"No?" Plagg's jaw dropped. Most of his excitement dissipating and being replaced with anger.

Tikki watched Plagg and Marinette. Knowing them as well as she did, she knew it was better not to get in their way. This was a fight the ladybug kwami didn't want to get in the middle of. So, she hid in Marinette's purse, hoping that maybe the black kwami would have better luck convincing Marinette.

With a deep sigh, the bluenette finally ended the staring contest with Plagg. "Look at how messy things are between us. This baby would only complicate our already complicated relationship. He loves my alter ego. I love him but he doesn't really love me. I can't have my heart broken again. I just can't!" Marinette broke into tears. "If I tell him then we would be together for the wrong reasons. I've made my decision! So please you can't tell him!" Marinette let out sobs as she begged Plagg.

His expression softened. "But...but...think about it. This secret identity thing is getting annoying anyway. If you just told him the whole truth about the baby and you being Ladybug, then you two would finally be together... maybe even get married..." The wink Plagg gave as he said those words went unnoticed by the nervous bluenette. Plagg couldn't help to wonder slightly, if she knew about Adrien's plan to propose, would her opinion be different? Hopefully it would be. It had to be because, just like Marinette was set on not telling, Adrien was set on proposing. Hopefully when Adrien proposes, she would come clean. They would get married, have the baby, and everything would be perfect... especially for Plagg who would spend his days eating baked goods from the bakery alongside his sweet sugar cube. Plagg licked his lips, already tasting how sweet the future could be. This would be the best case scenario, of course.

"I don't want Adrien to be with me because of a baby or a mask!" Marinette's response served as a reminder for the kwami that this could also become a great disaster. If Marinette or Adrien screw things up even more, things could get very ugly. It could even break their relationship. That would be so sad, not only for Adrien, but for Plagg himself since he wouldn't be able to be with his sugar cube ever again. Then he would go back to his only trusted companion, camembert. After the sweetness of the other future, this one seemed bitter. Sadly this scenario was just as likely, if not even more so. So, Plagg trying to stop this catastrophe warned, "You know how much he hates lying and secrets, right? When he finds out..."

Adrien stepped into the room unseen because of the fight. Only hearing Plagg's last remark, Adrien asked, "When who finds out what?" His voice seemed to send trembles down everyone's spine.

"Hum hum," was their response. Marinette became pale and numb as if her whole world was about to come crashing down. Adrien grew suspicious as Marinette and Plagg exchanged looks.

"When you find out that..." Finally, it was the kwami that broke first. Plagg took pity looking at Marinette's pleading face. Just like her secret identity or Adrien's plan to propose, this also wasn't his to tell. He hated his position but there was nothing else he could do. Hopefully, things would turn out for the better. With a heavy sigh he continued, "...I ate all the cheese you brought already."

The sunshine boy looked at both. Marinette nervously nodded, seemingly to confirm it. Adrien immediately started laughing. "That's your secret, Plagg? Your appetite, although impressive, isn't exactly news. Let me guess, you were begging Marinette for more, right? Don't worry little buddy. I will buy you more."

Adrien petted his kwami which only added to guilt Plagg already felt. "Thank you, Adrien," Plagg replied.

Adrien seemed to find it strange the politeness and lack of excitement in Plagg. Maybe his kwami was finally maturing. "No problem, next time just tell me. You don't need to make a big secret out of it. See you later Marinette. Plagg, let's go."

"Seeeee yoooouuu laaaa-teerrr," she nervously replied as Adrien left to buy more cheese. Marinette exhaled a deep breath she didn't even know she was holding and her face finally gained some color.

Adrien, on his way back from the store, pondered over how weird Plagg had been since his discussion with Marinette. First, he had been very quiet the whole time. Second, he hadn't demanded the whole store as usual. Third, he had the same disapproving look on his face when Adrien told him his plan to propose.

Weirder still was that when Adrien returned back to his room, he found Marinette crying in her bed. Quickly he jumped to her side, pulling her into a reassuring hug. "Marinette!! It's okay! Don't cry. It's okay."

Whispering soft words into her ear, he kept hugging her tightly and stroked her hair while she cried. After a very long time, her cries slowly began to stop and she was finally able to mumble between sobs. "Adrien I'm... I'm pre... preg..."

Before Marinette could finish her sentence. Adrien's phone rang, clearly displaying Kagami's smiling face on screen. He looked at his phone and to Marinette, then he put his phone on silence before slipping it back into his pocket. "Sorry, Hum... you were saying Marinette?"

Marinette wiped the tears off her eyes and gave him a gentle smile. "You should answer Kagami's call. It might be important."

"Are you sure?" he asked, hesitantly.

"Absolutely. I'll be fine."

"Okay then," he replied hesitantly. Adrien still looked at her before taking his phone out. Slowly and uncertainly he began to dial Kagami's number. Marinette nodded to him, so Adrien reluctantly hit the call button.

"Hey, Kagami," He said as he walked away from the room to talk, not before glancing at Marinette to make sure she was really okay. She nodded once more, giving him the okay signal to continue.

The moment he disappeared, Marinette fell to her bed, returning full force to her tears. She wasn't fine and she would never be. Plagg's words stuck with her, "When he finds out..." Adrien hated liars just as much as she did. This would be the worst lie ever. Her reasons were solid but felt weak as she cried in his arms.

Lucky for her and bringing Marinette back from her thoughts, her phone rang. Marinette didn't want to talk to anyone right now, even with the smiling and chill Luka displayed on her screen.

But with her teary eyes and her clumsiness, she accidentally hit accept. "How's my favorite birthday girl?" The warmness in his voice was enough to bring a smile to Marinette's face. For some strange reason, hearing Luka was making her feel better. His friendship was always important to her and he had a strange habit of making Marinette forget everything around her with his music and chilled personality.

"I'm fine, but my birthday isn't until tomorrow," she retorted with a slight giggle.

"I know, but I couldn't wait. So did you like the CD I got you?" Luka wasn't one to easily get nervous but Marinette could tell he was by the sound of his voice.

"You were the one that got me that amazing CD?" Marinette asked barely able to keep her excitement.

"Yeah! Since you weren't going to be around, I thought I'd give it to you before your birthday. That way, you could really enjoy it on your birthday."

"Oh! Thank you. It was very kind. You are the best! It had all my favorite songs. You know me so well. I loved it." Marinette admitted as she romantically squeezed her pillow tightly into her arms.

"I'm glad. Maybe soon I can play a few of those songs for you, plus some new stuff I have been working on... I know how much you like my songs too. Well, now I... have to go. My girlfriend is waiting for me. You know how she is." With those words came a happy sigh. "Oh, how I love her!" The way he spoke made Marinette jealous. She wished Adrien talked that way about her. Every time Marinette was with Luka and his girlfriend she wished she could have that kind of a relationship with Adrien. The kisses and hugs and afternoons spent eating André's ice cream as he romantically played for his love was everything Marinette wished for her and Adrien. Luka and his girlfriend were relationship goals in Marinette's opinion, with the exception that it was a secret relationship. Very few people knew about it, since her father strongly disapproved of Luka.

"I understand you have to go. I wish we could have talked longer."

"Me too." His sadness mirrored Marinette's, who didn't seem to hang up either. With a hopeful tone and trying to make it easier he said, "We'll see each other around, bye Ladynette."

"I can't wait to see you again. Bye Luka." Marinette replied surprisingly with a smile as the call ended.

"Was that Luka?" Marinette turned her head to the voice. It was Adrien leaning in the doorway.

"Yeah. He called to wish me a happy birthday." She replied with an honest smile.

"That's nice." He commented with a forced smile.

It was nice, so why did it hurt a little inside Adrien? Maybe because he had rushed his conversation with Kagami just to get back to her, only to find her giggling and admiring Luka over the phone. He hadn't heard the whole conversation but in his opinion, he heard enough. The giggles and smiles she gave when she spoke to Luka made Adrien unsettled. He could only imagine Luka doing the same thing on the other side of the line.

Adrien always knew there was a thing between them. It was clear Luka obviously liked her and she liked him back. Why they were never together, Adrien didn't know, but a small part of him was glad they never did get together. His heart feared that the call and the CD were only the beginning of what was, in his mind, inevitable. After all, as far as he knew, they were both single. He was friends with both of them and wanted them happy. Still, he had no idea why the idea of Marinette being with Luka was causing these feelings in him. Slowly he walked away. Marinette watched as he left. She hadn't done anything wrong so why did it feel that way?

Marinette waited for Adrien to come back, but he didn't, not even for dinner. No one knew where he went. Eventually, Marinette grew tired of waiting for him and fell asleep staring at his empty bed. Where was he?

Later, Marinette was sleeping deeply when suddenly, she was startled by screams. She turned her head to see a sleeping Adrien kicking and screaming in his bed. Part of her was glad Adrien was back, the other part of her felt sorry because of his cries.

"Mommy! MOMMY!!!" He sobbed and shook uncontrollably.

"Adrien?" Marinette asked gently as she got up and went to his bedside. She immediately noticed he was really caught up in his nightmare. Petting his hair to calm him down, she told him, "There, there, kitty. It's okay. I'm here for you."

His sobs stopped and his face turned into a blissful smile, his whole body relaxing over her words. "My lady?" Marinette froze. Unable to respond.

A few seconds passed before he screamed anxiously, "MY LADY?!! No, don't leave me, not you too!!!" Slowly, Adrien was going back to the nightmare. Marinette looked around. The kwamis seemed to be asleep. Nino and Alya were probably asleep too. She sighed, with a soft whisper like before, reassuring him, "Yes it's me and I'm not going anywhere!"

He smiled once more, with his hand grabbing hers and holding it tightly. She continued brushing his hair with her other hand softly until she was certain he was calm and the nightmare was over. Certain he was deep into his dreams. Marinette carefully freed her hand and kissed his cheek, with gentle whisper, "I love you."

Then, she went back to her bed, not noticing the blush across Adrien's face. Moments later when Plagg noticed Marinette was back to sleep, the cat kwami whispered to Adrien. "Don't lose that amazing girl because of your idiocy. This whole mess could sort itself out if you just said I love you Marinette."

"I love you Marinette!" Adrien's sleepy, yet warm, words echoed Plagg's, causing the kwami to check if Adrien was actually awake. Sadly, he wasn't.

Plagg sat on the bedside table, in the middle of their beds, staring at one then the other. Slowly, after seeing the whole scene and Plagg's sad expression, Tikki joined him. Whispering to him, "I know!"

Both Kwamis fell asleep there together, cuddling and looking over their chosen. There were no more words between them, just a sense of frustration and sadness.

Chapter Text

The morning came early for Marinette, who was woken up by a blond boy carrying a huge tray of food.

"Good morning princess." His warm tone was enough to melt her heart.

"Adrien?" She yawned. "You're up early."

"Yes. I usually am. I got breakfast!"

"Thanks!" She took a croissant from the tray.

"No problem. It was my pleasure. Happy Birthday," he continued as he took a chocolate croissant and a milkshake, closing his eyes to savor the chocolate in his mouth. With his strict diet, chocolate and highly caloric foods were saved for special days, so he intended to make the most of this day.

Meanwhile, Marinette didn't seem capable of eating, thinking about Adrien's disappearance yesterday. Without directly looking at him, she asked "Yesterday you disappeared. I got worried. I thought that maybe... you were mad at me for talking to Luka?"

Adrien tried to play it off with a laugh. "Me? Jealous? Why would I be jealous? I want you to be happy. You can be with whoever you want." Adrien bit his lip. There it was, the same weird feeling he had yesterday. If Marinette ended up with Luka, he wasn't losing her because she would always still be his friend. Then, why did it feel otherwise? Trying to push his feelings aside with a grin he told her, "Besides you know cats like to stray."

"I never said jealous... but right, what was I thinking?" Of course he wasn't jealous or mad. He most likely didn't care, right? He loved Ladybug, not Marinette. If he was jealous, then she would assure him that Luka was happy with his girlfriend, breaking her own vow of secrecy to Luka. But Adrien wasn't jealous. He would never be!

The blunette sighed and Adrien drifted away into his thoughts. In his mind, for some reason, he began to imagine Marinette in a wedding dress. Her smile making the rest of the world obsolete with her hair loose and mimicking waves of the ocean as she moved. Her hands slowly carrying her bouquet. She would come in his direction making his world stop. Her eyes sparkling his way. His cheeks blushing. Their hearts racing. Then he would turn around and see Luka behind him waiting for his bride. Adrien's world crumbled. The sunshine boy stayed there... numbed, only watching as a best man. She would pass him by and ignore him, continuing to Luka. Adrien's smile dissolving into tears as she did so. No! Why would he imagine such a thing? He asked himself. That idea was too daunting for him and literally made him feel sick. So he forced himself to imagine something different. Something better. This time he would be the happy groom and Ladybug his beautiful bride. In a beautiful dress with her face hidden by the vail, she would walk to him, taking his hand when she arrived at the altar. Then after forcing himself to imagine the whole celebration, it would come the time to kiss the bride. He was glad he would finally lift the veil and see his lady face for the first time. His heart racing in expectation and love. Once he lifted the veil his eyes dazzled over Kagami, he smiled. In his mind Ladybug didn't need to be Kagami. She couldn't be. He had ruled that out a long time ago, but he always imagined bugaboo very similar to her, not in appearance but in personality since both were so determined and strong. Feeling the ring in his pocket he knew it was only a matter of time until his dream came true.

Marinette finally took a bite of her croissant and stared at Adrien, unsure how to proceed next. He seemed completely lost in his thoughts. It was times like this she wished she could read his mind. Why did he have to be so mysterious? She had to admit that after finding out his identity, he had opened up more, and even more during this trip. But there were still these few times she would do anything to read his mind. So many questions on her mind that only he could answer. Was the smile on his face because he was thinking of his mother? She knew his nightmare last night was about her, but were these nightmares frequent? What kind of nightmares were those exactly?

Taking courage, she began innocently trying to get her answers. "So, how did you sleep?"

Adrien blinked in surprise at her for a second. While thinking about his lady and the ring hidden in his pocket, he had forgotten Marinette was there. Her question was odd, but if there’s anyone Adrien would happily confess everything to, it was her.

"I had a nightmare, but then..." He stopped. Probably saying he dreamt of Ladybug wasn't a good thing. He still remembered his fight with Marinette about Ladybug. "...you know what? I can't remember. I just remember that it started terribly but then it became a good dream." That was the understatement of the year. His lady had showed up and hugged him. At the end she even told him a gentle I love you before they ended with a huge passionate kiss. Closing his eyes he could swear he could still feel her soft lips on his. Of all the dreams he had of his lady, that was the most special and the one that felt most real. It was almost as if she was really there with him.

"You miss your mom, hum?" She tried to be more direct.

Adrien coughed almost letting his second croissant escape his mouth. He wasn't expecting Marinette to follow up with that. This question was more personal and harder to answer. His hesitation wasn't that he didn't trust Marinette, quite the contrary. No one ever bothered to ask him that before, so he wasn't prepared. Eventually, with a painful sigh, he broke the silence and spoke. "I miss her every day. Things were different when she was around. Sometimes I dream she's back, but then... she leaves me. I beg... and beg her to stay, but it doesn't work. That's what most of my nightmares revolve around, losing someone I love. She was brave and strong like you... or Ladybug."

Adrien bit his lip realizing he had dropped the L word. Marinette didn't seem as upset as he imagined. Even more surprising, was that she held his hand and gave him an emotional smile. He gave an emotional look back. He had never told that to anyone else. With their hands intertwined he knew he could trust Marinette with everything. It was strange, he didn't have this with anyone else, not even with Ladybug, yet it felt right.

Their eyes slowly caught each other's. Her bluebell eyes completely immersing the sunshine boy in them. She got lost in his forest green eyes with no will to be found. They were drawn to each other. Their lips begging for touch. Adrien leaned closer and closer but he just couldn't do it.

He will soon be an engaged man. He also couldn't play with Marinette like that, not again. His only way out of this was to clumsy fall to the floor.

Marinette didn't realize he fell on purpose, and giggled at him. Adrien, with a Chat grin and quick recovery, got up excited.

"I almost forgot your gift." He ran to get her present. Marinette continued laughing as he frantically searched for her gift.

Suddenly he found it and almost scared Marinette. With a broad smile he gave it excited. She smiled and opened it with delight.

"It's amazing," she said in a whisperer, unable to form any other words with so much emotion.

Adrien smiled, pleased that she liked it. "It's a very special Chinese fabric. While I was in Tibet with my father recently, I saw it and I heard him say so many good things about it that I just had to bring it for you. It's light, fresh, flexible..."

She stopped listening and immediately began appreciating, touching, and feeling the fabric. One piece was bright red just like her ladybug suit, another was completely black, and another was exactly the same green as Adrien's eyes. There were more pieces of fabric, but these were the pieces that got her attention. She could already see herself making so many clothes for kitten using that fabric. Oh! How cute it would be! Realizing Adrien was now quiet and admiring her, she flustered and told him "It's almost like a miraculous suit. It's amazing. Thank you! Thank you!!" Marinette exclaimed realizing Adrien looked shocked at her familiarity with the fabric of the miraculous suits.

"Well yeah... it reminded me of that too. How would you know?"

Marinette coughed, a babble of words escaping her. "You... Ladybug... suits... touch... me... save me... curious... like fashion..."

Adrien gave her a confused look. Usually Marinette's babble made some coercive sense in a peculiar yet adorable way. But this time despite his best efforts, he couldn't make out what she was trying to say. "Hum?? What?..."

Marinette took a breath before retrying. "Every time you or Ladybug save me, I notice how good the fabrics are. I like fashion and am curious about those things, so I just really appreciate how amazing that fabric is. That's why it was the first thing that came to my mind. The suits really are amazing just like this fabric."

Marinette relaxed. Adrien smiled. He believed her. "If you want to study the fabric more, I'd be happy to transform for you." He blushed but continued because there was one thing left. "Besides that, I'm glad you like it because I have an idea on where to use that fabric."

Adrien pulled out another gift. Marinette opened it curiously. It seemed to be framed. "A signed sketch from Gabriel Agreste?!!"

She screamed in surprise. Gabriel never signed anything or gave away sketches, so having that in her hand was impressive. The last sketch made by Gabriel had been 2 years ago and still sold for 7 million.

The interesting detail in that incredible sketch wasn't as much the dress as it was the model. Although the model in the sketch wasn't exactly like Marinette, it was similar enough to see that it had been inspired by her. With the dark hair and bluebell eyes and freckles, it was close enough to understand it wasn't a coincidence. It even had an inscription. "For whom I can only assume will be a great competitor to me someday. May your talent and work guide you in the fashion business Marinette. Signed, Gabriel Agreste."

This was made just for her by her icon. The inscription, along with the model, inspired her so much, it almost made her cry. But the dress was also very impressive, pink with a natural flow. It was gala attire all the way, and Marinette looked at every detail. With so many things, it took her a while before she noticed the pink flowers with black leaves reminiscent of the one she wore. Tears almost formed in her eyes.

"It was my idea and I helped with it some. The hardest part was convincing my father to do this, but thankfully Natalie helped me. The inscription was all his idea. He said that one day he hopes to see you with your own fashion line."

Marinette, compelled by his gifts, hugged him. He hugged back, flustering. Slowly, the feeling they had had earlier returned to their lips as they once more got hypnotized by the other.

The moment was cut short by Alya and Nino barging in and beginning to shower her with gifts and love. Marinette almost cried with happiness from so much affection. This was becoming the best day ever. It only got better because she soon began receiving calls and texts from her friends, including Chloe even though that was probably just to check up on Adrien. The best call came from her parents, which actually made Marinette cry. The second best call came from Rose and the band singing her happy birthday. Rose and the girls had already wished her happy birthday, but apparently Luka's idea sounded brilliant, so Rose joined in again to wish her a happy birthday in a totally rock-n-roll way.

The day rushed by for the bluenette with so much love and care. Before Marinette could tell, it was time to get ready for dinner. Surprisingly, or probably not, they lost power in the house right after Nino and Alya went outside. Being the good friends they were, they went to search for help... not before hinting that they might take a very long time to get it. Luckily, they also had brought candles... a lot of them. Marinette could see through their plan, but apparently Adrien didn't because he offered to go with them. Alya, already prepared for the golden boy's innocence, then reminded him that Marinette shouldn't be alone on her birthday. Adrien immediately had the idea to stay and Alya gave Marinette a thumbs up and a grin as she left.

Marinette enjoyed every moment of this amazing day up until this point... staring at the tight pink dress. She could do this! Slowly, but with her Ladybug confidence, she got ready and waited for Adrien. The dress didn't seem that bad, right? Hopefully he would like it?

Meanwhile in another room, Adrien adjusted his tux perfectly. Using this type of clothing was already embedded in him. His eyes were already trained to look for the tiniest flaws. He didn't find any. Slowly he left, only to see Marinette already waiting for him outside.

Something caught his breath. It was like after years and years of being used to wearing and seeing elite couture, he finally understood why people actually wore those clothes. She looked amazing! He was so lost that the only word able to leave his mouth was, "Wow."

Countless languages he knew, yet at that moment, he was only able to mumble small words. "You look beautiful."

A giggle escaped from Marinette's red lips, almost as red as her Ladybug suit. "You too, I meant handsome."

Both chuckled, blushing slightly. "Alya made me wear this," Marinette admitted.

"Me too," Adrien confessed. "But I am so glad she did."

As they entered the living room, they were impressed. Their eyes finally drifted from each other and onto the room, the lighted candles, the roses spread across the room, the divine smell of the food, and the romantic music playing. Apparently, Alya also brought a CD player running on batteries. Their friends really made sure everything combined into the perfect romantic setting.

Adrien immediately pulled out her chair and, bowing down in an old classic gentleman's way or also in a Chat Noir way, kissed her hand. Marinette sat and giggled at him.
They enjoyed the meal and Marinette even laughed when Adrien exampled how to eat using all the rules of etiquette. He pointed out how silly it was, and how people starving couldn't care less about those rules. He also made some puns and jokes, getting mostly eyes rolls, but occasionally getting laughs and giggles.

They ended the meal and Marinette thought it was sadly over, but then to her surprise Adrien swiftly got up and went to the CD player and choose a song. "This song is my favorite," Marinette said clearly excited.

Adrien focused his eyes on her and gave her his sexy model expression. "Mine too. Will you give me the honor of this dance, miss?"

Marinette blushed so much she was sure no makeup was able to hide it. "What? Me? No... no."

"Come on. I remember you being a great dancer."

Before she could even refuse, with a grin he pulled her close to him. Hiding her blush with her head on his chest, she couldn't see his blush either, but she could hear his heart beating. With the music on, they danced close to each other, slowly closing their eyes. In that moment, Marinette knew this was her best birthday ever. She didn't think of anything else, neither did Adrien. All that mattered was each other and the song.

Plagg, meanwhile, just munched on the leftover cheese on the table. By his side, he had Tikki, but she was hidden of course.

"Tikki come!" Plagg extended his paw to her, inviting her to dance.

"What if he sees me?" The fear in the kwami's voice was clear.

Plagg looked at Adrien and Marinette dancing. "He won't! They only have eyes for each other. It's annoyingly sweet," Plagg announced, faking disgust but secretly cheering.

Tikki flew out immediately. "What? Let me see." Her sweet little heart melted, seeing the two slowly dancing. "Ohh," Tikki squealed.

"Will you give me this dance sugar cube?" Plagg took one of the roses from decoration and gave it to Tikki.

Lucky for Tikki, she was red, otherwise Plagg would have seen her blush. "Only one dance Plagg."

"That's all I need." Tossing the rose to the other side of the room, he pulled Tikki close. Tikki rolled her eyes at him, but slowly enjoyed the dance.

Although both pairs shared the same room and song, they were too lost to even notice the other.

Hours later, Marinette and Adrien were tired of wearing those clothes and dancing. They changed back to their pajamas, but instead of changing in different rooms, they changed in the room they shared. Each facing different sides so not to see the other, but still laughing and talking while they took their clothes off.

Of course, Marinette did give a few quick glances back, but who wouldn't when the model Adrien Agreste is changing behind your back?

Adrien was respectful and didn't look while making his jokes and puns. But when Marinette had a trouble with her zipper, her hero as he put it, was there to save her. She would have thrown a pillow at him for that, if his gentle fingers on her back weren't enough to make her surrender.

Meanwhile, Alya and Nino patiently waited near the fuse box to turn on the lights and make their come back. It would work, or at least it would have to work, since Alya had a pretty high bet against Nino that soon their friends would finally get together. Nino seemed to think it would take more than dinner and a few days in the cabin to make Adrien open his eyes, but Alya had faith in the golden boy. All they had to do was wait and hope.

When they were done waiting they returned home and knew the night went surprisingly well, at least that was clear to the reporter that came to find Marinette and Adrien together snuggled up in his bed. With his covers over them and him spooning with her, having his arms around her waist, not many people would believe they weren't a couple.

Chapter Text

Alya let the two love birds sleep it off last night, but today she was going to get her answers. As soon as Adrien woke up, later than usual, and left the room, the red hair reporter burst into the room and sat near the already woken up bluenette on Adrien's bed.

"Girl so did you and Adrien hit it off last night?"

Marinette blushed as she tugged in Adrien's pillow. "It was great. Thank you for your plan yesterday!"

Alya squealed, "I knew it. Proud of you. I mean I wouldn't have sex with Adrien right away but at least you two are together."

"We didn't have sex!" Marinette threw the pillow at her friend but failed, hitting the lamp instead." We cuddled because of the cold. Without electricity, there was no heat! Someone should have thought of that!" She shouted blushing a little more.

Alya pretended to be sorry but it was clear she didn't mean it. "Oops, but hey at least it was a lucky accident. You should be thanking me."

Before Marinette could argue back, Adrien showed up with breakfast, surprised to find Alya there. The poor bluenette, suddenly feeling nauseous with the food, ran to the bathroom. He watched with pity as Marinette rushed past him. There was something going on with her, she was clearly still sick and there was also the time he caught her crying, not counting that she seemed more nervous than usual... if that was possible. If anyone would know why or what was going on, it would be Alya. Those two were best friends after all. So, since the reporter was there, he might as well ask. "Alya, do you know if something is going on with Marinette?"

Alya, taking some macaroons from the tray, looked at him confused. "Why would it be? Her stomach is probably still kind of fragile from her stomach bug."

Adrien sighed. "It's just not being sick. There is something more. She is acting weird. Can you talk to her? Just make sure she is okay. I'm worried."

As the reporter thought about it more carefully, she quickly realized Adrien was right. Marinette was a little different. So maybe a conversation with her best friend was in order. "Don't worry I will," she assured the blond, who returned it with a smile.

When Adrien was about to leave to go check on Marinette, proud he had spoken to Alya, the reporter let her journalistic side out. "Adrien, what happened between you and Marinette last night?"

Adrien froze, flustered. He looked at her. "Nothing. We danced, laughed, and had an amazing time. Then at the end, she was cold so we snuggled to keep warm. Why?"

Alya looked at the blond. Inspecting him closely, trying to see if he was telling the truth. Her eyes felt like they were truth machines trying to catch him. After an eternity and many sweat droplets dropped by a nervous Adrien, the reporter causally and less threatening started laughing. "No reason, of course, you two wouldn't... how could I even think that..."

Adrien relaxed and looked dumbfounded as Alya left. What did the red hair reporter think happened?

She wanted to go straight to talk to Marinette, but couldn't. She had to go with Nino. They had plans to go up the river and take great pictures for her blog.

Adrien stayed there in the house with the bluenette, refusing to leave her alone. She went to work on her designs and Adrien went on reading his science book at the same time. He was so distracted with particle physics that Marinette felt completely at ease to start on her designs for the baby. The material yesterday gave her so many ideas that she would have to start putting them all onto paper. Suddenly, Marinette began to feel nauseated again. She instantly went and began rubbing her belly, hoping to avoid throwing up this time. She was successful last time, but this time it didn't seem she would be.

Adrien gave her a look and, without any words left, only to return 5 minutes later with a drink in his hand. "Here," he told her comfortingly.

Marinette looked at him and at the drink confused. It matched his gorgeous green eyes, but despite how gorgeous his eyes were, a drink that green isn't exactly the best looking thing. Worse, were the little lumps clearly visible inside. If it looked funny, the smell was even able to top that. Looking at the supposed drink, she couldn't help but think if Adrien was trying to poison her. Noticing her clear skepticism, he explained, "I noticed you looked kinda pale and nauseous. So, I made this for you. My mom used to make me this as a kid when I was sick. Now I made it for you. Trust me. It looks and tastes terrible but I guarantee it works!"

The reassuring smile on his face was enough to convince her. With a quick motion, she swallowed that "drink." She had to fight the urge to regurgitate it, but then strangely, she felt a lot better. "Wow! Thanks. It's terrible but effective." Marinette chuckled.

"Yeah... my mom used to make it for me, but when she got sick, I became a master at making it. She said it was the only thing that could make her feel better."

"Thank you for the drink, and for sharing a story about your mother with me," she admitted before daring to take another sip.

"No problem. I feel that after you discovered my identity and everything since, you are the person I trust the most. I hope you feel that way too. If something was going on, you would tell me, right?"

Marinette almost choked after this. If it was the "drink" or his question she would never know. Lucky for Marinette, Alya returned all excited and showing the pics, distracting them from the conversation. Apparently, the reporter found some ladybugs along the trail and decided to take countless pictures. She even got one of a ladybug posing on her glasses, making her proud.

The rest of the day Alya spent describing their walk, making it seem like an adventure like people read in books. This story was so complete, it even included snakes, according to Alya at least, since Nino told a different story. Marinette and Adrien just chuckled at their friends and the seemingly fun adventure they had.

After dinner, everyone enjoyed their last night together. Early tomorrow, they would have to go back. That didn't upset the group, who was too caught up discussing the topic of presents. Alya had mentioned her favorite was the high-resolution camera given by Nino. And his favorite was a DJ table given to him by Alya. Hoping to get Adrien's attention, Nino asked "Dude. What's the coolest birthday present you ever got?"

Without hesitation and with a smile, the blond admitted, "It was a blue scarf given to me by my dad."

Nino changed looks with Alya before confessing, "Sorry dude, but Mari did that. It's true! My girl told me and made me promise not to tell you. But if it's your favorite, then Mari deserves the credit."

"What?" Adrien asked looking directly at the bluenette. Alya and Marinette both stayed quiet. The bluenette was too busy trying to find a place to hide, and the reporter planning on ways to kill Nino for revealing the truth about the present. Some of those ways involved said scarf. This was a secret, so it should have been Marinette to say something and not her blabbermouth of a boyfriend.

Nino already knew Alya would kill him, so he decided might as well bury himself further. "Mari saw how happy you were thinking it was from your pops, so she didn't say anything. She did that because..."

Adrien interrupted his friend, "Is it true?" He continued to look at Marinette, not even listening to Nino anymore. His face was without emotion. Marinette barely lifted her eyes to see him, but found it hard to read his expression. Was he mad? Disappointed? What was going on in his mind?

She nodded. Just before the bluenette could even lift her head to see Adrien's reaction, two arms wrapped around her. "Thank you, I should have known it was you. You are always the best. Now, it means even more to me knowing it's from you."

"You’re we-lll-comm-mee," she said flustered but relaxing in his arms.

Alya smiled but after an extremely long hug that seemed to never end, the red-headed girl decided to intervene. "Hum hum, Girl you still haven't told us what was your favorite present?"

Adrien let go of the hug blushing, and Marinette still flustered answered, "The best present I ever got was a... hum... a very amazing sketch along with some wonderful fabric. Not only was it special, but it was also from someone very dear to me. I think what I like the most is that it came from him, no one else would have given it to me, or even if they did, it wouldn't mean so much to me."

"Nice dude." Nino raised his hand and made a small pound it with Adrien. The blond didn't even register his interaction with his bro. All that was in his mind, was that his gift was her favorite. Between every present, she ever got, his was her favorite ever!

"Adrien I think Marinette deserves ano..." Before Alya finish her sentence the blond hugged the bluenette again.

"I'm so going to win our bet," Alya whispered to Nino, as Marinette and Adrien shared another hug with their eyes closed. The reporter's boyfriend smiled. He didn't care about the bet. As long as his friends were happy and he had his girlfriend with him, he was good.

After another seemingly never-ending hug, Nino, ordered by Alya, went ahead and took, better yet pulled, Adrien away from Marinette to show him the pictures they got from the entire trip. This would give the reporter the opportunity to talk to Marinette alone.

"Girl, what's wrong with you?"

"Nothing," Marinette said exasperating. "Is this about yesterday, again?"

Alya gave her best "I need answers" look. "Nope, I don't buy it. There is a scoop here and I want to know... So... Girl, just tell me. Don't lie, because you're terrible at it."

The room became silent. Alya giving Marinette her reporter look, while the bluenette struggled to figure out what to do. Facing each other, it was the nervous Marinette to break first. "I'm pre... pre..." Marinette looked deeply into Alya's eyes before continuing. The reporter skills of her friend were showing now, clearer than ever. Was this how she always got people to admit everything? Marinette didn't know, but maybe it was her weakness towards her friend's reporter skills, or maybe it was because she knew Alya would find out eventually, or maybe even because she needed someone to talk to, but she finally admitted "...pregnant."

Finally admitting to a friend, the bluenette felt a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. Sadly, Alya's reaction of immediate laughter didn't help. "Girl, you scared me. I mean good one, but seriously? You can't be pregnant by Adrien already, after one day. I mean, if it happened last night there is..."

Marinette huffed, "Nothing happened last night but sleep. I told you." The bluenette's response showed how annoyed she was that she had to repeat herself because Alya didn't believe her. "Remember me being sick all the time? Well, it's not a stomach bug. It's because I am 7 weeks pregnant."

Alya smile vanished. Her expression went blank. Marinette felt like a ghost by the way her friend stared at her. "Are you sure?" Alya asked, still refusing to believe the bluenette.

Marinette nodded, "I'm very sure."

Alya's eyes drifted to Marinette's stomach, making the bluenette uncomfortable and forcing her to hide her flat belly with her arms around it.

"Butttt... howwww... when... who... I didn't even know you had..."

Marinette was certain she had never heard Alya mumble that way, but it felt good knowing she wasn't the only person to do it sometimes. "It's very complicated. We were safe, but it just happened... Just promise me you won't tell anyone. I also beg you not to go full reporter mode on me, because I really need you as my friend."

"Of course girl. Don't worry you have my word. I'm here for you. Anything you need. When you are ready to tell me everything, I will also be here."

"Thank you, Alya."

"Oh, Marinette," the reporter whispered pulling her friend into a hug, the bluenette almost breaking in her arms during the hug. Alya, unable to control herself, began to ponder on the possible father. She wouldn't press the bluenette on it, but she could make her own assumptions. Adrien was the most likely candidate to be the father. Things seemed weird between those two for the last few weeks. Alya even suspected once that they were a couple, not that long ago. The hypothesis that Marinette and Adrien used the akumas attacks to date had been ruled out, unfortunately. Their lame excuses and showing up at the same time made Alya very certain about a possible hidden relationship, probably because of Adrien's dad. The problem was that theory didn't add up, only because Marinette still found it hard to speak to Adrien sometimes. The way the bluenette was around sunshine boy made the chances they would get that involved so fast slim. Yet, she did share Adrien's bed with him last night. But still, there was no way Marinette would sleep with Adrien and not tell her best friend about it. If that happened Alya wouldn't have to pry it out of Marinette, she would spill it out immediately. She was still the same Marinette who would call her best friend just to tell her about her dreams of that blond boy.

So Maybe Luka? No, he had a girlfriend and was happy. Luka was very respectful and would never cheat. Besides, everyone pretty much knew Luka had given up on Marinette as soon as he realized she loved Adrien more. It was sad, and according to Juleka, it had caused him many tears. But in the end, he did admit it was better than the pain of always hoping for something that wouldn't come true. He loved her, so he let her go, so that she could be happy. There might've been feelings there, but Luka was too nice to act on them and cheat on his loving girl.

Then who? Nathaniel? No, he was also happily in a relationship and his crush over Marinette had been over a long time ago. Slowly, Alya began thinking over every other guy Marinette ever mentioned, trying to make sure she had the whole list. "So, does... does the father know?" Alya asked, unable to control herself.

Marinette took a step back, shaken. "No, like I said it's complicated."

Alya quickly frowned. "It's not girl! You can't hide this forever. You need to tell him. If you want I can be there to help you, and kick his ass if he does anything stupid. Or, I can just kick him for what he did."

"Thanks, but it won't be necessary. I'll tell him soon. I promise." This time she meant it. The longer she waited, the worse it would get. And now, with her friend's support, and also Tkki's, and even Plagg's support surprisingly, she could handle telling him. She could do this.

The answer seemed to satisfy the reporter. "Fine girl. Also anything you need, just know that Aunt Alya is always here for you and the baby."

Marinette and Alya began to talk about names and other baby related issues. The bluenette even went ahead and showed the sketches she made of clothes for the baby. Alya squealed at the designs and claimed that the baby would be the most fashionable baby in the world. They continued talking until late, and Marinette began to get tired.

Next thing she remembers, was waking up in her bed with Adrien getting his things ready. He apologized for waking her up, and asked if she was going to pack. Looking at the time, and in a rush, she began packing too, not even questioning who had brought her to bed. The answer was simple, Adrien. After hearing the same stories several times, and seeing the pictures several times, he went to see how the talk went. Surprisingly, both girls were asleep. Nino took Alya and Adrien did the same, taking her bridal style.

Already at the bus, after almost missing it, Adrien looked at Marinette. According to what Alya told him, nothing was wrong. But, that still didn't stop him from worrying. "Marinette, I need to ask you. Are you really okay?"

She gulped. Now wasn't the time. She would tell him soon, but on a rusty old bus probably wasn't the best place to tell him. So, with guilt she lied. "Who me? Yeah, I'm fine. Totally, super, perfectly fine!"

Adrien was still skeptical, and added, "You were still sick on this trip. You also seemed nervous. Plus, there was the time I caught you crying. You know you can count on me, right?"

She took his hand and assured him. "I know, always."

"Always," he replied, unsure but willing to believe it for now. If Marinette and Alya both said there was nothing there, maybe it was all in his head. Maybe he should just focus on his proposal instead.

On their way home after what seemed like an eternity, Marinette spent the whole drive thinking of ways to tell him. Alya, Plagg, and Tikki were right, she had to tell him. How would he take it? She sighed and looked at him, sleeping so peacefully and occasionally mumbling, "Ladybug."

Chapter Text

A few days after the trip, it seemed Adrien was finally lucky. An akuma was terrorizing the city, so maybe it wasn't the best thing in the world, but at least it meant he would get to see his love.

He jumped across Paris, anxious to find his lady. From a rooftop, he noticed her on top of another building. She was there, but wasn't making any attacks or going after the villain like usual. Instead, she was walking from one side to the other. She seemed busier fighting her own thoughts. He paused for a second to admire her.

Marinette worried about her baby and what would happen if she got hurt. This would be the first time fighting as Ladybug since she found out she was pregnant. On one hand it was dangerous and she was scared of hurting Kitten. On the other hand, Chat wouldn't be able to fight alone. She worried what would happen if he got hurt. Losing him was terrifying. He needed Ladybug! Everyone needed the scarlet heroine! People's screams were a reminder of that.

Turning to face the battle and tightening her grip on her yoyo, this was it! She was going to fight. Wait! No! She had to protect her unborn child. Turning away and putting the yoyo back in place and tugging her arms around her belly. She couldn't do this! But she had to! Why did it have to be so hard?

With all this inner turmoil and sense of insecurity, Chat was able to surprise her by dropping in next to her. Of course his entrance was, as always, over the top. With a wide grin he told her, "Hello my love."

Ladybug gave a deep sigh, at least his presence there was reassuring, even if he was grinning even more today, and flirting more than his usually annoying hero self. "You are surprisingly excited today Kitty."

"Can't a kitty be happy to see his Bugaboo? Are you okay though? I noticed the pacing," he asked, putting his arm around her shoulders as a test.

Ignoring Chat's close touch and recognizing inside that mask was the caring Adrien, she gave him a smile and admitted "I'm fine. Don't worry."

He grinned proudly. "Okay then, let's go. What are we waiting for? The sooner we end this, the quicker we can talk. I have a surprise for you."

"Wait! Chat!" she screamed, but was already too late. She didn't even have time to stop him as he had already jumped off towards the screams and disappeared out of sight.

"Your dad is going to get himself killed, Kitten." Marinette grabbed her yoyo again and actually swung with it this time.

Once she got there, the scarlet heroine was expecting everything but what she saw. The big bad akuma was a giant baby. Both Ladybug and Chat exchanged surprised looks since they thought that, because August was now a toddler, they would be over fighting baby villains similar to Gigantitan.

Sadly, that meant there was still another uncontrollable infant in Paris. Inside, Marinette hoped that never happens to her child. She would make sure Hawkmoth was defeated before Kitten was born. That was a promise! Seeing that poor kid at the mercy of a villain made the bluenette mad and gave her the will to fight and bring him back to normal.

Still looking at that poor, akumatized baby. Marinette huffed. This was so not the akuma to make her forget her condition... unfortunately.

In hopes of reassurance perhaps, she turned her head to Chat who was singing a soft lullaby trying to calm the little boy down.

Her eyes watched in astonishment at how successful he was being. Sadly the noise of some police sirens distracted and agitated the infant that started following the sound.

"That was a great plan, Chat! I think you at least calmed that Akuma down. Who knew you could do more than meowing? "

"Thank you Bugaboo, if you want I would be happy to sing or play to you."

"Another time," she giggled. "Like you said, we have work to do." She winked at him and then swung towards the akuma, leaving a blushing cat on the street.

She went along with his flirting! Oh if it was necessary, he would gladly do anything to make her happy. "I'm going to marry that girl!" he declared before extending his staff to follow the trail of destruction back to the akuma.

Arriving there he found the victim throwing things at Ladybug and her trying to avoiding them. Suddenly, in a quick move, the child was prepared to grab the scarlet heroine. But instead, since Chat got purposely in the way, he was the one caught.

"Kitty!" his lady screamed and he answered with a relieved look. Knowing his love was safe. He would do anything to keep her safe and she saw it on his eyes.

Then everything started spinning for him as the child began treating him like a toy, tossing and turning and tugging, spinning, pulling...

Marinette was getting dizzy just seeing it, so she couldn't even imagine how Adrien must have been feeling.

For his luck, the baby quickly lost interest and let him go. He would have been thankful for that, as soon as the entire city stopped spinning around.

If it had not been for his lady, the blond would have smacked hard against the ground, with his body upside down hanging from her yoyo and very close to the pavement. He was so glad she saved him.

"Are you okay Kitty?" Ladybug asked, worried and running to his side.

Slowly and carefully she released her yoyo and he gently met the ground. He quickly got up and took on a fighting position. "I'm fine, but I think this child needs a real time out." He winked at her before using his bell, trying to recapture the Akuma's attention and distract him from his lady.

"Lucky charm!" Ladybug called out and a shovel appeared.

Marinette examined her surroundings with her special vision and the only things it came up was chat and the shovel. What was she supposed to do with that? Hit the kitty with it? How would that help? In her brain, she began trying to find a solution. She took a good look at the child, the only place possible for the Akuma was the pacifier. Slowly she began creating a plan.

The blond ran high in the skyscrapers and kept the akumatized victim busy as she prepared her plan. When he glanced at her, he would get baffled at how methodical and focused she seemed.

Ladybug threw him the shovel and wrapped around it, was her yoyo.

Screaming at him so he could hear her, she gave him instructions. "Chat use that like a pendulum to distract the child. I will also need your staff."

He nodded, throwing her his weapon and jumping across the buildings. The pendulum seemed to work perfectly. The victim was following it, completely focused on catching it.

Ladybug, meanwhile on the ground, extended his staff and almost tripped, giving herself a heart attack. "Chat, cataclysm now!" she ordered him.

The black hero complied, using his power and breaking the baby's pacifier... setting the butterfly free.

Ladybug immediately threw him his staff and he sent her the yoyo along with the shovel.

Using her yoyo she captured and cleaned the Akuma.

"Bye, Bye, Little Butterfly!" Ladybug spoke as she threw the shovel in the air and the ladybugs repaired everything.

With that, the infant returned to normal and the bluenette nervously yelled at the black hero who was still high up on a building. "Chat, catch him!"

He jumped catching the smiling boy mid-air. In a quick motion and with his staff to help, he caught the baby. Now with the child safely in his arms, the hero came back down and placed himself next to his lady.

The cameras captured them from every angle, but Marinette didn't care. Her eyes were only focused on Chat as he held the small infant in his arms. She noticed the child's green eyes, somehow making it even more endearing to her heart. Her mind couldn't help but wonder if it would be like this when Adrien holds Kitten.

Suddenly, the mother came to get her baby and thanked them deeply for saving her child. The smiling boy even seemed to say a thank you to them too. The blond hero began tickling him and making faces. The infant happily giggled but complained once his mother took him from the black hero's arms. Chat pouted and Marinette giggled at both of their expressions.

Her eyes followed the mother and the child that seemed to be waving goodbye to them, more interested in her counterpart than in her. The black hero waved back but his eyes soon diverted to his lady. Testing her once more, he put his arm around her shoulders. She blushed and looked at him endearingly. The moment their eyes met, something happen as her bluebell eyes began immersing the sunshine boy in them. She lost herself in his ever green eyes.

It felt like déjà vu for both of them, but Adrien was too busy to wonder why it felt so familiar. In his mind, this was a good sign. She must have felt it too. So, with this confidence boosted and upon hearing their miraculouses beep, he grabbed her into his arms. With his staff, he took them away, landing on a quiet, private rooftop. No more cameras or noise to bother them. Ladybug almost immediately jumped out of his arms.

"Okay Chat. What was that?" She scolded him, but not very threateningly.

"I have something I have to talk to you about."

"Okay. It's funny because I have something to tell you too."

Marinette would never tell Chat her identity, but this might be the perfect time to tell him she would have to take some time off soon. She wasn't going to tell about her pregnancy as Ladybug, so that Adrien didn't put the pieces together when she would soon enough tell him about Kitten. She still hadn't found the perfect time to tell him, but she would.

The blond meanwhile continued to look at the love of his life with the same adoring expression. Admiring her, even when with insecurity in her eyes, she was so gorgeous.

Their miraculouses beeped once more, bringing them both back to the present. She hadn't pushed him away and or even complained during the akuma. In fact, she blushed a few times and he knew she had felt the same the moment their eyes met. So now, it was time to put his plan into action. "We don't have much time so maybe it's better if we talk about everything later. Maybe on the Eiffel Tower at sunset?" He asked, hopeful.

She was about to complain, but her earrings beeped, reminding her that he was right. "Fine," she growled, upset that the timer was cutting her chance.

"Promise me you're coming." His voice begged her and his hand grabbed her arm. They stared at each other.

Another beep.

"I promise." With that, she loosen herself from his grip and jumped high and away reaching the next building by luck. It was right there that her transformation ran out.

She looked back to see if he had followed her or seen her, but he was still standing dumbfounded in the same spot she left him. From above and now better hidden, she admired him, despite being so far away. She could still see the goofy, happy smile he had. Suddenly his ring beeped again and he jumped away, towards the opposite direction. As he left, she blew him a gentle kiss.

The boy spent the whole afternoon practicing and preparing for the proposal. Unfortunately for him time seemed to rush by, but the blond convinced himself that it just meant he was closer to spending his life with his lady.

In the final minutes, and before going to transform, the blond checked once more his black coat, his lucky green tie, and his hair, to make sure he was impeccable. Everything needed to be on point, even his cologne was just the right amount. He had high hopes this might be the time of the reveal, and he wanted to look good... not just good, but his most impeccable!

In fact, everything would be fine if not for the kwami on his right shoulder bringing him down. "Adrien, are you sure about this?"

The blond huffed. "Yes. It's time let go or move forward like Kagami said."

"But there are things you don't know." Plagg said as a whisper and a side note, not thinking his owner would hear it. But, unfortunately he did.

"Things I don't know? Like what? What don't I know?"

The blond stared at his kwami, demanding answers, but Plagg just turned his back to him. "I can't say. Just trust me when I say that if you do this, you can't screw up!"

Adrien might have pressed further but he was late... and trying to get anything out of his kwami was the same as trying to get the smell of cheese out of his clothes, impossible.

"I won't! Me and My Lady are meant to be, and I believe she is starting to see it too. She blushed and winked at me. She didn't push me aside. Then there was that moment when our eyes met... it felt like magic!"

"Yeah... yeah... your plan was brilliant. See how she reacts to you and then drag her out somewhere romantic to propose. You really are a master planner." The irony in the kwami's voice quickly disappeared and was replaced with a more concerned tone. "Please, for the love of camembert, don't mess this up!"

Adrien rolled his eyes as he called on his transformation. They had already had that conversation many times before. The blond understood his kwami, who was more like a friend than anything else, was worried and trying to protect him. However, Adrien just knew and felt they were meant to be. Barely containing his excitement, he went to set everything up on the Eiffel Tower.

Meanwhile, Marinette was so entranced into making her sketches of clothes for Kitten, she didn't notice the time. Was it really that late already? It was only Tikki that saved her by reminding her of the hour. The bluenette really was lucky to have a great friend like her. Staring at the clock, it was a good thing all she had to do to get ready was say her transformation words... otherwise, she would be late and she didn't want that, especially after promising him.

Upon getting there, Ladybug was meet with the red roses and candles while soft piano notes played on Adrien's phone. The music, with the decorations, as the last beams of sunlight illuminated the city of love just below their feet, created the perfect romantic setting. At that moment, she realized this was a date. Unfortunately, before the scarlet heroine could swing away and avoid Chat, he was already there kneeling at her feet. She quickly took a step back, but he responded by moving closer.

Chat was on one knee and had a beautiful jewelry box in his hand? This had to be some crazy dream. Marinette was sure this couldn't be real until she felt his shaking hands grab hers. Nervously, he began his declaration of love.

"Ladybug, I know this seems crazy. But love is crazy and unexpected. I never imagined that I could love someone as much as I love you. You are my everything, the other half of me..."

Marinette began to blush under her suit. This was happening and he was proposing. Slowly his excitement began rubbing off on her. His loving expression along with the words she so longed to hear were like magic. It was definitely insane, but marrying Adrien was always her goal. So maybe it was all too soon, but who cared as long as they were happy? They would have each other. In her mind, she could already see their kids running around and playing. Kitten would be the oldest, and probably the wisest. They could be happily married and with kids. It was real but it sure felt like a dream.

Chapter Text

Chat continued to talk as she kept imagining their amazing future together. She daydreamed of Kitten playing with Adrien while she baked sweets for them, then he would sneak up on her and steal some fresh baked cookies. She in return, would steal a kiss from him. They would all live in a big house with Kitten, and their hamster... in her mind she already had a very well painted picture of how perfect their life would be... could be...

Wait! She realized she had to focus and hear him. This was, after all, the story they were going to tell Kitten and its siblings someday.

Chat nervously, but gently, grabbed her hands, "...nothing stops us when we're together because we balance each other out. You are the yin to my yang. You are my everything and without you, I'm nothing. There is no one I'd rather spend my life with than with you, My Lady."

Adrien smiled. Deep down, he was so nervous and scared. But at that moment, none of it mattered, because she was there... because after today, she would always be there. Taking a deep breath to calm himself, he continued, happy to see the glow in her eyes.

"All we've faced together was worth it, because it has brought us to here and now. We are ready to finally be together. The two of us can do anything, including building a life together. You're the love of my life, and I hope you'll feel the same. I know it's risky, and that it would mean we share our identities, but I believe it's time we know each other for real. In and out of the mask, no more secrets. Even if you're scared to do this, just know that I will love you... with or without it."

Adrien stopped. He was thrilled by the look in his lady's eyes... until then. She seemed as excited as he was, it was almost as if they shared the same happiness about the idea of being married. He could swear she was thinking of saying yes. But now, there was a shift in his lady's attitude. Her smile faded and her expression went blank... almost horrified. Ladybug's hands let go of his. Her well pinked face became pale white and her limbs became stiff.

It was the most painful realization ever... a reveal? Inside her mind, Marinette wanted to yell and scream and kick. She was just as crazy as he was, to consider saying yes. It was risky and dangerous, and she knew her duty to save Paris spoke louder. At the least that was the lie she began telling herself to explain why she couldn't do this. But the biggest and more heartbreaking reason was, that he didn't love her. He loved the idea of her alter-ego. That's to whom he was proposing. How could she ever forget that? The bluenette couldn't let herself get fooled and mix her daydreams with the cold, harsh reality of it. He didn't want the just-a-friend, plain Marinette to share his life with it. He wanted the amazing superhero, Ladybug. But that, was only created by the mask. Without it, Marinette wasn't like her alter ego... at all. Instead, she resembled more of a real ladybug, small and insignificant, not to mention... unnoticeable.

Despite his words, he didn't love her, even if she knew he meant every single one of them. The many times he rejected her were a painful proof that he was wrong and she was right. She couldn't let him marry an illusion. That's not what a friend would do. Full of pain, and on the verge of breaking, she rejected him. "I am sorry Chat but I can't marry you. It's not because of the boy I used to love, but it's because I'm not the girl you love."

His eyes went wide expecting her to tell him it was a joke, but when he realized it wasn't, he began to panic.

"What? Of course you are the girl I love. I even bought you this ring. You can't say that! I did all of this for you. I love you. We belong together. What more can I do to show you? Please tell me!"

He opened the box as a final plea, a pink shine immediately reflected on Ladybug's face as she admired the gorgeous ring. It was probably the nicest and prettiest thing Marinette ever saw, but that couldn't change her answer. "I'm sorry... I'm really sorry... that I can't be the girl you bought that for..." she said sobbing and lashing forward with her yoyo, leaving him crying on his knees.

The scarlet heroine ran for her life, not daring to look back, afraid he was behind her.

"LADYBUG!" She heard his loud sobbing scream echoing across the city. Her head turned back. But then, with a heavy sigh, she continued running away, picking up even more of a pace and finally releasing the tears overflowing her blue eyes.

Never in her life had she fled so fast. When she finally felt it was safe and her legs became too tired, she let go of her transformation and went to the only person capable of helping her.

On her way she bumped against someone. She didn't care who, as she just kept walking, and crying, towards Master Fu's home. He would help. He would find a way out of this mess. He would know what to do.

If she wasn't so distracted and had looked up, she would have seen the person she bumped against was Lila. She also would have noticed the resentful red head started following her. The girl still held some grudges against Marinette for throwing up all over her, and just for the bluenette's justice-driven personality. Maybe this would give her the leverage she needed.

Meanwhile, a broken Adrien kept crying, still on his knees still on that roof, letting the shadows of the night engulf him as pouring rain washed his tears away. He had cried many times before, for example when he felt alone and when he lost his mother, but never in his life had he cried this way.

Lila hid, intrigued as the teary bluenette looked around before knocking on a mysterious door. Soon, an old man opened and she entered. The Italian girl was curious to say the least. "Well, I don't know how, but I believe that you just gave me the key to my revenge, Marinette."

Inside, Master Fu listened quietly as the bluenette spoke. She explained everything, and at the end, broke into tears once more in his arms.

"Marinette, what you told me is very serious. I am disappointed you learned his identity and haven't come to me. This could be very dangerous."

"I know Master, and that's why I'm here. I don't believe I can be Ladybug anymore. I failed..." She took off her earrings and placed them in her hand, waiting for the man to take them. It hurt not even saying goodbye to Tikki, but facing her kwami one last time would just be more painful.

The old man, with an understanding smile, closed her hands. "You didn't let me finish. I'm also very sad about the way things have developed, but I can't take those. I totally understand you need to take your time, but I trusted you with the miraculous to do the right thing with them. I think you are only doing this because of you and Chat. The child is perfectly safe, that suit is practically indestructible, and any damage would disappear once you use your lucky charm, so you don't need to worry. Plenty of ladybugs have done it before... You also didn't fail because you know his identity. One way or the other, it was something always possible to happen... I can't say I'm thrilled by it, and it is risky, but that's nothing that removes your right to be Ladybug. When the time does come, where you aren't able to be a hero anymore, I believe you will give them to the right person. I have faith in you."

Marinette nodded. "Master, then how do I deal with Adrien?"

Serving a cup of tea, he began. "Everything happens in the right time. And, I believe when the time is right, the universe will give you an answer. My advice is to stay calm and, for a few moments, don't worry so much about him. It's not good for you or the baby. But he does deserve to know."

Marinette sighed. She expected a different and clearer answer. "How do I tell him that I'm pregnant after he just proposed to what he thinks is another girl? How can I destroy his world after I just broke his heart? This is a catastrophe... because if I tell him the whole truth, then he will never forgive me for keeping my identity, and Kitten, a secret... and then for even refusing his proposal." Marinette let herself curl over. "But, if I don't tell my secret, then I will forever be the second choice, the baby momma to his child. Either way, I am doomed! I should just have said yes and came clean." With that, she began to uncontrollably sob.

Master Fu began petting her on her back. "Marinette, breathe. You answered what your heart told you. Again, everything happens at the right time. I promise it will get better." He spoke to her in a soothing manner. "First, start by telling your parents. Maybe with their support, you'll feel more confident and sure how to handle this. And then, tell Adrien."

Marinette nodded and looked at her hands, finally deciding to put her earrings back on. The kwami immediately returned, and smiled upon seeing the bluenette. Master Fu also seemed pleased at her choice. "It's not the end of the world. It's not going to be easy, but if anyone is able to do it, it's you. After all, I choose my prodigies carefully."

"Thank you Master." The master let her stay there a little longer and they finished their tea in silence... and surprisingly, without any more tears. His presence, and Tikki's, were enough to reassure the bluenette.

Later, Marinette already on her way back, was asked by Tikki, who had been silent so far, but finally gathered the courage to speak, "What do you plan on doing now?"

Marinette sighed. "Move to an isolated island and live there with Kitten on nothing but fruits and coconuts." Tikki threw a skeptical look at her friend. "Okay. Maybe I was exaggerating. But, I can't tell Adrien about the baby. I know what you and Master and Plagg and Alya said, but I was right when I choose not to tell him... and none of you will change my mind this time. He was so in love with my alter ego that he proposed. Imagine the shock it would be knowing he will be a father. I can't hurt him, or myself, anymore. He doesn't need to know, and if it is up to me, he will never know... I'm doing what's best for me, for Kitten, and even for Adrien."

The kwami gave Marinette a disappointed look, but the bluenette missed it and continued, "However, Master Fu is right about telling my parents. If I won't do this with him, then I'll need their help. From now on, it's mind only on the baby, and not on Adrien. I can do this."

Tikki gave a heavy sigh. It took her, Plagg, and Alya to convince Marinette to tell the truth, but now it seemed there was no way to change her mind. Chat had really screwed things up. Oh just why did he have to do something so stupid? How was he even doing? Tikki surprisingly felt sorry, and angry, at Adrien right now.

Inside the great guardian's house, the old man prepared chamomile tea, trying to calm himself down after the events of the day. His kwami knew this amount of tea usually meant his master was a little nervous. "What do we do now Master?" asked Wayzz, flying to the old man and sitting on his shoulder.

Taking a deep breath and a sip of his tea master Fu calmly spoke, "We'll have a talk with Adrien, of course."

Chapter Text

It was a beautiful Sunday morning. One of those where the birds sang, inspiring both lovers and poets. Couples blissfully walked outside as the day encouraged love everywhere one looked. It was the perfect day to be one of the many so lucky to be a victim of the Cupid's arrow. At least for most, it was. Some just resentfully looked outside the window, envying the others' romantic successes.

Adrien barely slept after last night. How could he? Every time he closed his eyes, he remembered the painful rejection. Her expression as she broke his heart into pieces hunted him in his deepest nightmares. Now, all the boy wanted was to never leave his room. He closed his window, tired of the view outside... seeing what he would never have. Perhaps, if he had never transformed into Chat Noir or went to school, his heart wouldn't have shattered. This might have never happened if he had just stayed home.

He never imagined thinking his father could possibly be right having kept him locked there. But at this moment, he understood why. He was just protecting him from pain. The blond always felt being alone was hard, but being rejected hurt on a whole new level. This was more than a simple no. This was more serious. This was the rejection to end all rejections.

What more could he do? What more should he do? He was desperate, because what else could lead someone to do something like that? Years and years of neglect, mixed with a need for love, made him hope that plan would work.

His arms hugged her picture, soaked in tears. He cried over it, but she still remained the same... always with that goddamn beautifully encouraging smile on her face and those bluebell eyes that made him a man lost at sea. He loved her so much, and it still wasn't sufficient for her. He was never enough, not for her, certainly not for his father, and perhaps not for anyone.

Deep down, he felt like he wasn't loved. He was all by himself in this cruel world, and he could see it right now. To make it worse, he had no one to talk too. Marinette wasn't an option because he didn't want to tell her about proposing to another girl. That would certainly be an awkward conversation. Plagg would've been another possible choice, but Adrien was afraid of the big, I told you so, he assumed he would get from his kwami. There is also a fact his little friend probably wouldn't be able to focus on their conversation long enough to be helpful. Speaking of which, for some reason his tiny friend hadn't said a word, but the blond didn't want to push his luck. All this meant, he was truly all by himself since he couldn't tell anyone about his identity or his romantic trouble.

Suddenly Nathalie walked in his room. In the process, she didn't notice his tears, or choose to ignore them. She told Adrien his Chinese tutor was there. The blond didn't even consider talking to Master Fu because he didn't even know where to find him. Just another unfair thing Ladybug had done to him.

The great guardian assumed, based on his talk with Marinette the previous night, it was already too late that day to talk to the blond, so he came here first in the morning. The heartbroken boy didn't want to receive anyone, but according to Gabriel's assistant, the tutor had to push forward a class. Adrien agreed to have his lesson now... not that he had much of a choice even if he wanted so deeply to refuse.

Adrien figured that, if Master Fu was there, it was because something happened or maybe he learned about his failed proposal. Either way, he knew it wouldn't be an easy conversation.

"Hello Adrien." The wise man smiled at the teen, who despite knowing the man was coming, still felt unprepared for his arrival.

"Hello, Master." The blond calmed down and faked one of his photoshoot smiles as usual.

Pretending not to see right through that smile, and the redness in the boy's eyes, Master Fu asked, "How are you?"

"I'm fine. Did Ladybug talk to you? "Adrien tested, a little scared of knowing the answer.

The old man nodded. "I wanted to listen to your side of the story too." Master Fu sat and looked at the boy, waiting for him to begin.

Adrien started to speak, holding back his tears. "I love her, but she says I don't. How can she know how I feel? For years I have given all of myself to her and how does she respond? First, there was this guy she liked. Now, it's because I don't love her? Which isn't true. I proposed and everything. I worked so hard to show her how much she means to me, but it's never enough! Nothing I ever do is! She is just playing with my feelings."

Master Fu realized at that moment just how messed up everything really was. The more Adrien chased Ladybug the more she retracted away because she thought he loved her true identity less. She was right when she admitted he was blinded by her mask. The problem was that the only way to change this was for her to reveal herself, which she wouldn't do until he realized his feelings for her. This, in turn, wouldn't happen since he seemed to focus on his love to her alter ego. This was a vicious cycle needing to be broken. All of this could be considered an example of yin and yang out of balance.

"I see," was all Master Fu managed to answer, but it didn't seem to please the teen.

"No, you don't understand Master. What more can I do to show her my feelings? She doesn't respect my sentiments. If she said no, I could understand it. It would hurt, but deep down I knew it was a possibility. But... saying I don't love her! It's just to mess with my head. Worse, it feels like it worked. Why does she do this to me?"

The great guardian knew they were meant to be, he just didn't expect things could get this complicated. Hopefully, with his help, it would make things start to flow and resume a natural balance. The first thing to do and break the cycle was to shift Adrien away from Ladybug and towards Marinette. This was necessary for the good of them... and their child. "Ladybug only wants what's best for you, I'm sure she never meant to hurt you or anything like that. I can assure you, it wasn't easy for her either. Let me tell you, she cares deeply for you."

"Doubt that," Adrien replied while holding back an eye roll.

"The reason she rejected you, isn't because she doesn't believe you love her as Ladybug. She is just scared that she isn't the one you expect her to be behind the mask." Master Fu did his best to tell the truth without exposing any secrets, and it wasn't easy.

"I told her I would love her either way. Those are just excuses! No offense Master."

"I guarantee they're not." Adrien actually rolled his eyes slightly this time.

"If she didn't want me, then she could have said no instead of telling me I don't love her!"

Master Fu opted to ignore the eye roll and Adrien's comment. Instead, he opted to continue with his point. "I'm here because I think that maybe chasing her isn't ideal. She isn't always as she seems to be to you, and she isn't ready to accept your love. So, maybe try to focus on someone who is. Someone more reachable. It can be a person you trust and who was always there for you. Perhaps a close friend?"

"I don't really feel like loving someone else." Adrien huffed slightly.

"You are a young boy, and you are strong. I think Ladybug isn't the only girl you have your heart set on. You love her, but maybe there is someone else just as amazing as her?"

"I can't have my heart broken again! What if that person toys with my feelings too?"

"You will never know unless you try. Perhaps, after so long, it's time to change. Go more slowly this time around. No proposals or anything! Just a date or a movie. That won't hurt, right?"

"I guess?" Adrien spoke with a little hint of uncertainty.

"Let the relationship build. Without masks, it will be much easier for you to get to know that person better... and for her to accept you." The teen didn't seem convinced, but Master Fu kept trying. "Are you going to keep chasing Ladybug forever?"

"No!" He replied quickly, before stopping for a bit to think. The guardian could tell his words were finally getting to him. Still, in an insecure tone, the blond asked, "Chase another girl as amazing as Ladybug?"

"Yes," The great guardian answered, trying his best not to say it too fast.

Adrien seemed a little embarrassed and began blushing slightly. He knew a few girls and a couple had made an impression on him, but only two... and only those girls came immediately to his mind. Only two of them seemed like a viable love interest.

He considered going for Marinette or for Kagami. Kagami was just like Ladybug and it went along with Master Fu's suggestion for the blond... about going after someone with similar traits to what the scarlet heroine had that made him like her. That wonderful fencer possessed some of the same qualities that made him fall in love with Ladybug in the first place. Her eagerness for justice and for her beliefs made her so similar to his lady that it was uncanny. On the plus side, she never let him down or hurt his feelings... and there were no masks between them.

Master Fu, and Kagami also in a certain way, gave him the same advice. The plan to move forward had failed, so the advice from both turned out to be the same... find someone new. The fact both had said the same thing made Adrien believe it might be a sign she was the one. She was brave and strong and fierce... and he liked that. They even had little backs and forths during the fencing lessons. Although to his dislike, Kagami might be a worthy opponent with her sword, but she didn't even come close to LB's wits with words.

On the other hand, there was Marinette. Just saying her name brought a warm feeling to his heart. She was the opposite of his bugaboo. Despite this, she was still was amazing on her own, but in a totally different way. Her differences with the scarlet heroine made it seem weird how deeply he felt for her. It seemed silly, thinking of her this way... but at the same time, it also didn't. They did have that night after all, but it was more than that. He wasn't sure, but maybe someone contrary to Ladybug was what he needed?

She also never let him down, and no matter how bad things got between them, she always forgave him and always made it feel like home. She, unlike Kagami or even Ladybug, accepted him for himself. She was more caring and definitely more entertaining than the other two. With her, he could be free. He had opened up to her more than anyone else. She was also the perfect amount of dedicated and delicate. Sure, she might be insecure and clumsy and stumbled with her words, but those weren't defects... mere quirks that made her more funny and special. For Adrien, there was nothing more impressive than when she got focused and left her fears behind... because those were the moments where she would truly shine.

Her friendship was the one he valued the most. He wanted to keep that, even if anything possibly romantic failed. It wouldn't be easy because of that night between them. So with her, he had to be careful... after last time and how bad things got between them... and also because she was more fragile than Kagami.

The question now was if his feelings for either were of love or of fondness. He was very confused about these emotions, but the most important thing was that neither he nor either of them got hurt in the process. He already had been on both sides, and wouldn't let himself be put in that position anymore.

He had been too blinded by his lady to consider anyone else, but not any longer. He decided he would go on a date with each, trying to understand his feelings for them while also trying to move on from his lovely lady. After the dates, he would choose one... or even choose neither, choosing to stay single waiting for the perfect girl.

Part of him was eager to discover what his feelings were. The truth was that being able to love someone else felt freeing and terrifying... still, he had held on for too long. He wouldn't continue his chase for Ladybug's feelings. He had these newly discovered feelings he wanted to explore.

Master Fu smiled proudly, seeing the glow of love in the blond's eyes. After their talk, he was convinced Marinette was willing to tell Adrien... and now with the blond finally on the right track, everything seemed to fall into place.

"Well, I guess my work here is done. Call that girl, after the lesson of course." The tutor added that last part, but knew the blond was barely listening anymore.

Adrien's spirit was lifted after his talk with Master Fu. The whole class flew by, even if the blond got distracted many times thinking about the girls he was going to ask out. Master Fu didn't seem to mind, repeating countless times the lesson... even if he knew there was no chance the blond would remember any of it later.

After the class ended, a little sooner than it was supposed to, Master Fu left feeling good about the breakthrough.

Two bluebell eyes from the Ladybug picture stared at the blond as he grabbed his phone. He flipped the picture with determination. If Ladybug wasn't interested, then it was time to move on. Kagami and Master Fu seemed to agree it was better, and to be honest, Adrien's heart still ached from her final rejection.

Sadly the blond had been persistent, trying for almost 5 years to win her over. While he could argue he made some small progress, it still wasn't enough. This proposal had been his last attempt to hopefully show her his love, but it was all in vain. Maybe this was a sign it was really time to move on. So Adrien prepared himself to do so.

Confidently began dialing, "Hey Kagami. I was wondering..." He started blushing and was completely nervous. Stay calm, be cool he told himself. All his confidence went down the drain as soon as she picked up.

"Adrien I'm afraid I'm too busy. I have a competition coming up and I need to be on my top game." The blond could hear her mother in the background complaining to her for being on the phone. Sometimes the blond wondered if Kagami's parents weren't worse than his, forcing her to practice nonstop during the time before competitions. Still, she seemed to like it, so maybe they weren't as bad as he assumed.

Adrien rubbed the back of his head nervously. "Cool, so I was thinking if you wanted to go somewhere..." What followed was silence. Maybe this wasn't a good idea after all? What if she broke his heart too? He was being stupid of course. She would say no. Probably, she would even laugh in his face.

To his relief, Kagami spoke. "So, things didn't end well? Then it's settled. Next month on the 16th at precisely 9 PM, you can pick me up. We are going to the prestigious 'Amour Chassé-Croisé'. I'll take care of the reservations. I recommend you wear a black suit and also a blue tie to match my dress... and bring me red roses."

His heart beat in a mix of excitement and fear. "Sure. I would be..." Suddenly, the line went dead and he fell onto his bed. He went back to feeling his enthusiasm vanish in a blink of an eye. He hoped that talking to Kagami and moving on would make him feel better, but he still felt sad and empty inside. He hoped Master Fu was right, and that when he found the one, things would be better. He looked around his room. He still needed to find a way to ask Marinette.

The walls of his house now seemed to trap him. This wasn't what he wanted anymore. Looking around he needed to go somewhere nice. Somewhere to forget his lady and just enjoy time well spent. He didn't want to be alone and in that place any longer. His first and only idea was obviously Marinette. She somehow always made him feel better and he hoped this time worked too. It hadn't worked with Kagami, but Marinette never failed to make him feel at home.

This also gave him the chance to begin his task to understand her better, and what she meant to him. Was she a friend... or more? One thing was certain, every time he remembered her, it brightened his day. Seeing her was like rainbows, and he recalled her lips tasted like newly baked cookies. He blushed at this memory.

With a hopeful smile, he transformed, grabbed an anime DVD, and jumped out of the window to the only one capable of helping him.

Chapter Text

Chat reached her balcony filled with excitement, but sadly... she wasn't there. There also didn't seem to be any light in her room, so he resigned to remain outside, sitting with his legs crossed... waiting patiently.

Just downstairs was a very nervous Marinette, fearing to confess to her parents about her pregnancy. After yesterday's disaster, she figured this was a good idea. First, it would lift a weight off her shoulders. Second, it gave her something to think about that wasn't Adrien. As long as she was freaking out about revealing the truth to them or their reaction, she didn't dwell about refusing the proposal or how she decided she would never tell him. Third, it was about time.

She had reasons to do it. The question is if she had the strength. The bluenette invited Alya over just to have some emotional support, because she just didn't know how to break the news to them. For them, she was always their little girl. How would they even take it once they learned of the new crazy plan she came up with? How would they react to her pregnancy, and the fact the father would not be around? A single teenage mom! What would they think of her? What would people think of her family?

Her blue eyes glanced at them from the hall, before turning to Alya and declaring "No! Perhaps I'll tell them another day. They're busy right now."

The redhead stared behind the bluenette at her parents. Sabine and Tom were sitting and relaxing, playing video games. This was the most chilled she had seen these two bakers in a while. Frowning at her friend, she ironically stated, "Yeah. They seem really busy, maybe we just wait and let the baby tell them while we're at it."

"Good idea!" Marinette replied quickly, already beginning to climb the stairs.

However, before she could go further, her friend grabbed her arm. "You've waited long enough! If you won't tell them, I will!"

"But Alya!" Marinette pouted trying to persuade her friend, but it proved to be ineffective.

The reporter seemed unconvinced by the bluenette. "No buts. You asked for my help. So you have to do this." The bluenette huffed in annoyance. Despite the ultimatum she was just given, she still appreciated the fact she didn't have to do this alone. Alya tugged her friend into a hug and reassured her. "Don't worry. I'll be by your side all the way. You can do this." After that sweet gesture, she pushed Marinette awkwardly into the living room before she followed her friend.

The parents were startled by the commotion. But knowing their daughter so well, they quickly resumed their calm state... but this time with the game paused and their attention on their daughter. Sabine with her motherly love asked, "Everything alright, Sweetie?"

"I'm pregnant," Marinette blurted out knowing if she waited she might not have been able to do it.

"Well that was quick," Alya commented and the room became silent. Her parents exchanged looks and then stared at her. The bluenette looked to her friend pleading for rescue. The tension rose and Tom was the first to break it with a smile.

"This is something unexpected! Not exactly the right timing in your life, but there's going to be a little one running around. I will definitely teach him or her to bake. Wait! We have to childproof the house and maybe use the backroom as a nursery. I can't believe my baby girl is having a baby. I'm going to be a grandpappy?"

Marinette just nodded to her father while her mother proved a little more apprehensive. "Sweetie, are you sure? Being a mom, it's really hard work and... at your age... it won't be easy. Your father and I will be here to help, but still..."

Tom argued with his wife, "A child is always a blessing... and this one will be too. She might be young, but she has us and the daddy. My little girl can do anything... and I won't let anyone judge her or the baby." Turning his back to his wife and towards his little girl, he began excitedly, "Do you think it's a boy or a girl? Do you have names already?"

Sabine knew her spouse too often got overly excited with these things, but there were sides he wasn't seeing. "Tom, don't you think you are overreacting? I know you love the idea of grandkids, but this? This is..."

Marinette's father didn't seem to pay attention, as in his mind he was already beginning to build his daughter and grandchild's future in his head. "I can imagine you and the daddy running around trying to catch the baby once it learns to walk. It brings back so many memories." Tom, clearing a tear from the corner of his eye, proceeded to grab a picture of Marinette as a toddler from the shelf, remembering when she was little. "You never stopped when you were younger. Even if you fell, you were always running and dancing and jumping. Those moments make the best memories in the world. You and the father will be so proud over every little thing. Speaking of which, maybe he could join our family business. That way, we would all be bakers, including the child... once he or she gets old enough. If he doesn't know how to bake, we can teach him of course. This is a family trade, so he would be welcomed to join us. I mean, he already is part of the family in a way."

Alya, understanding this was a hard topic, choose to hold Marinette's hand. This seemed to give her a friend some strength. "The father doesn't know about the baby," the bluenette finally intervened, trying to interrupt the constant talk about kitten's dad... and the pain it caused in her heart.

"Well, that's okay. You'll tell him soon and he will be so happy." Tom spoke, hugging her closely. And at that moment, she broke into pieces. She turned into a kid crying in her father's big arms, feeling reassured knowing he was there.

"Sweetie." Sabine came closer and joined the hug, trying with her petite frame put her arms around her daughter and her husband. "Who is the father?" Her mother asked, in a tone displaying nothing but affection for her daughter.

Alya adjusted her glasses, expecting to see if her assumptions on the paternity on her best friend's baby were correct.

Marinette froze for a second. "The father is... is... is... not around. Actually, he is very, very, very, very, far away from here." In her mind, it wasn't exactly lying because according to Adrien's schedule, he was probably home studying... or more likely, pouting (if she had to guess). So, that meant he was relatively distant. With tears in her eyes, she continued and she admitted to her parents, "And, he can't be a part of this child's life."

"He needs to know." Alya spoke before the bluenette's parents could say a word.

"He can't. Things between us are so complicated. Don't you understand?"

Sabine and Tom looked at each other, confused and trying to come up with words... but they didn't even have the chance since the redhead beat them to it.

"I don't! You assured you me you would tell him." Alya fired back. She had given Marinette time and was being supportive, but she couldn't let her best friend go through this alone.

"How could he do this to you, and not be a part of the baby's life? The daddy should be by your side." Tom spoke... and inside Marinette's fears he turned into Weredad. He at least showed the same anger and sadness as last time he was akumatized, but hopefully Hawkmoth wouldn't do such a thing. Although inside, he suffered in a similar way to when Chat Noir broke Marinette's heart.

The bluenette, not wanting to give time for one of those evil butterflies get to her father, began to explain, "We made a mistake. It wasn't all his fault. We were safe and everything, but it happened. So please don't blame him. I know it's hard to understand, and I swear it hurts me to do this, but it's better if he doesn't know. Please trust me. It's not that he doesn't want to be a part of my baby's life, it's more that he can't."

"But, he is the daddy so he has to be around!" Tom retorted.

But the bluenette quickly jumped into his arms begging, "Please Daddy! Believe me!"

Her father seemed disappointed, but tried to understand since she was his little girl. He might not comprehend her reasons, but he trusted her. Very slowly, his mind drifted from that sad topic as he once more began to wander back to the baby... and the excitement of being a grandpa.

Her words might have done the trick with him but the others didn't seem convinced. "But what about your life? What about the child's life? That baby deserves a father." Sabine spoke and Alya's reporter side seemed to agree with her.

"I can't... He can't. No!" The girl replied with sobs. Sabine looked at her daughter and could tell this was painful. So, she decided to change the subject. There would be a better time for that conversation, preferably one where her daughter was calmer.

Sabine placed her hand on Marinette's stomach, and asked, "How far along are you?" Alya proved disappointed with the change of topic, but could understand why Sabine did that.

"I'm about 8 weeks." The bluenette replied, thrilled with the change in topic and smiling at her mother's touch.

"Do you have a plan on how to deal with this?" Sabine endearingly asked.

Marinette took a deep breath before confessing what she intended to do. "It might seem crazy, but I actually was thinking I could live with Grandma Gina in Italy when I'm further along. I'll come back later and raise the child here in Paris. Simple, right?"

"Sweetie, that makes no sense," her mom pointed out, still confused as she was not expecting that kind of answer.

"Say what? Why would you do such a thing?" Alya snapped at the bluenette.

"Because it's what I plan to do. It would be nice for the baby to meet its great grandmother. And besides, that way, there wouldn't be so much of talk... and Italy is really beautiful." The truth was much simpler, but also had to remain unspoken. Adrien would be going to university relatively soon, so all she had to do was stay away and avoid him knowing until then. Afterward, it would be easier. Of course, that meant being far from her parents and her other friends when kitten was born, but that was a price she was willing to pay for her secret.

"We won't be there at the beginning of our grandchild's life?" Tom spoke, desolated. So far he had remained almost silent imaging many happy futures for the newest member of the Dupain-Cheng family, but this brought him back.

Marinette didn't look at anyone but her father. In his eyes, she found disappointment and sadness. He seemed even worse than when she admitted she couldn't tell the father. She also wanted them to be there, but while Adrien was in Paris, they couldn't be.

She dropped a few tears, and sobbed, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry." She sprinted upstairs, not turning back.

Alya rushed after her friend, but Sabine stopped her just before she opened the door. "Give her time. This must be incredibly hard for her. I think she needs some alone time to calm down. I think we all need it."

The reporter seemed unsure, but knew her bestie probably needed to recompose herself. She couldn't stop feeling a little guilty for not being more helpful. "If she needs anything, or if I can help in any way, call me."

"Will do. Marinette is lucky to have a friend like you."

"Thank you. I just hope we can find a way to get those crazy ideas out of her mind. I didn't even know about that plan."

"I'm sure we will convince her otherwise... with time and patience."

Alya nodded and left. Sabine went to her husband, trying to comfort him and discuss possible ways to help their daughter.

Meanwhile, already in her room, Marinette cried. Grabbing one of her posters of Adrien, she held it close to her chest... only to toss it away. It swung a little in the air before finally resting over her bed.

"I can do this!" She reassured herself before falling back to bed. "No... I can't," she whispered, admiring the image of Adrien by her side blissfully smiling. If only he knew.

In the midst of her sobs, she suddenly began hearing a strange sound on her balcony. While wiping the tears from her eyes, she climbed up there... soon realizing the noise was actually snoring.

Once up there she found Chat. He was so peacefully asleep, he didn't see Marinette coming close to him until she poked him. "Adrien, what are you doing here?"

He opened his eyes and rejoiced at her presence. His smile was short lived when he noticed the still fresh tears on her face. "Are you okay?"

Marinette nodded affirmatively. "What are you doing here?"

"I really wanted to see you." He examined her closely, that reddish tint in her eyes meant she had been crying. All his plans of asking her out went away. His new primary goal was to comfort her. "You seem like you could use a friend. Want to tell me why you were crying? Maybe not here, but inside your room?" His worriedness slipped into his words and he barely resisted the urge to hold her close. He just wanted to make her feel better.

"Chat, I don't think it's a good idea!'

"Marinette, please! You can talk to me about your problem. That's what friends do! Let me be here for you," he begged her.

Her problem was staring at her and refused to leave. The bluenette didn't want to talk to anyone right now, especially the one guilty of everything. Her voice unwillingly echoed her anger and sadness. "ADRIEN! NO!"

He stared in shock at her. She rarely treated him this way. Marinette was always welcoming and kind and good. These were some the reasons he liked and trusted her. He painfully turned his back to her and prepared to leave... however before he did, there was something he had to say.

"Great just another thing to add to this day. I hoped we could talk and laugh over the anime I brought over. I was hoping that being with you would make my day better, but now seeing you were crying and I can't do anything to help... I guess it's just my luck for things to get worse... and that I can't do anything right. Sorry for ruining your day. I didn't want to bother you. I hope things turn out for the best."

He sounded bitter... a bit more than he usually sounded at least, and certainly more than he should have. But that was because he really needed her. He waited for her and everything... just to see her with her lovely smile.

She didn't deserve to be all by herself. She shouldn't cry alone. At least let him help her. The minimum she could do was let him be there for her, because right now that was all he wanted. He didn't care about his broken heart or love troubles as long as he could fix whatever made those bluebell eyes fill with tears

Marinette sighed regretting her harsh tone. He deserved it, but at the same time, it wasn't fair... since he had no idea what he had done. She also still had guilt for breaking his heart with the rejection.

"Wait! Just come in already, before I change my mind." Adrien jumped inside smiling and sat on her bed with his legs crossed. Shaking her head she followed him. She noticed his eyes were focused on her.

"So want to tell me why you were crying?"

"Nope! All I want to do is watch that anime you brought. Do you want to tell me what happened for you to come here?" She grabbed the poster from her bed and carefully stored it. Marinette faked not knowing, but her best guess was that it was still because of the proposal.

Adrien's blissful smile vanished as he asked, "Did you ever fall in love with someone, but they didn't seem to understand how much you loved them no matter how you tried to show them?"

Her theory was right so it was about her alter ego. Still, Marinette froze. She could tell by his eyes he meant it. She understood perfectly. She had the same problem with Adrien. After so many years of trying, he never seemed to understand her love for him. He was too blinded by his love for Ladybug to see it. She should hate him, but just couldn't when he was so sincere.

Grabbing his hand nicely, "Let's watch the anime. I think that might make me feel better." She gave him a weak smile.

He had more to say. For example, he was ready to move on and that he wouldn't make the same mistake again. But after spending so much time weeping and talking to Master Fu, he didn't want any more weeping. What he really wanted, was a smile on her face.

Nervous about his choice in entertainment he began, "I don't know if you'll like it or not. The truth is, it's one of my favorites. It's not mainstream, so I never can find anyone to watch it with. But since you like anime too, I thought maybe you could give it a try?"

Marinette looked at the box and smiled widely before pulling a pillow with the main characters out of her closet. "Guess what? I'm a fan too!"

Adrien could barely contain his enthusiasm. "Really? So you'll watch it with me while we eat macaroons and chocolate croissants? That would be a great snack if you could get us some."

He was energetic because he had some actual company... and Marinette seemed to be better. In turn, it was his presence along with his excitement for being the main reason she wasn't with her face down on her pillow.

The bluenette sighed at glutton Chat before discreetly heading downstairs to pick a full plate of baked goods. She went very carefully, getting the different kinds of sweets. Her parents were distracted talking about her and the baby, but she didn't want to hear it. She wanted anime and macaroons and Adrien. Nothing else existed at that moment but that.

By the time she came back, he had already set everything up and was cuddling under her blanket. Marinette sat near him and Adrien immediately covered her under the blanket too. She placed her head on his shoulder and the tray on his lap.

"Are these passion fruit macaroons?" He asked picking a wrapped macaroon.

"Yeah. I know you didn't exactly ask for them... but since they're your favorite. I brought some."

His eyes sparkled. "Marinette, I love you." He grabbed the pastry and began eating it before finishing his sentence. "yo... your macaroons. They are so good!"

It was almost a slip of the tongue... and Adrien hoped it wasn't too on the nose. It was a mere reaction of her bringing his favorite sweet. How much more awesome could a girl be than that?

Marinette didn't notice and rejoiced knowing he liked it.

With her head firmly on his shoulder and both cuddling under her blankets... and him feeding her macaroons, which surprisingly were staying in her stomach... she felt comfortable and happy. For a few brief seconds, as they watched and laughed together, she almost forgot everything around her.

After a while, Sabine did come up to check on Marinette. But, since she didn't hear any crying (hearing laughter instead), she presumed her daughter was talking to Alya. So, she decided not to come into the room and interrupt.

The teens watched the anime until it was completely dark outside. Sadly, it felt like it was over way too quickly and they had to wait for the next episode to be released. Still, that didn't stop Adrien from being upset with the way things ended between the two protagonists. "How can he reject her so many times? He clearly loves her! Just look at those two so close together. The way he looks and acts around her shows that. So why can't he just admit it's love when it clearly is? This show is so frustrating! If he just opened his eyes, he would see she is his soulmate." Marinette nodded in agreement as Adrien feed her some more snacks.

The bluenette was as addicted to the show as the blond, so she commented, "Yeah! And how can't she see that he does love her? Just because he is dumb and can't say it? He is so frustrating, but she isn't any better either... with all of those secrets. I mean it's obvious there's something there between them. She needs to pay more attention to his actions. Get some courage and tell him the truth. Those two are so meant to be, so why are they the only ones not seeing it? Just get together already!"

Both huffed in annoyance before Adrien continued, "They are both so oblivious. They love each other and could be such a perfect couple. But in retrospect, this is a show with magic, Giant T-Rex's, flying dragons, monsters, and full of clichés. I mean it's nothing like our lives, so it can't be realistic."

"Agreed. But it's still fun." She admitted as she fed him a passion fruit macaroon. With that, they went to watch something else playing on the TV. It didn't matter what... as long as they could remain like that for a few more seconds.

Eventually, Marinette was barely able to stay awake with him petting her hair. He was even more tired. "This feels nice," he spurted out... getting more sleepy every second.

She nodded in agreement, too tired to speak. She would miss this and his touch and his smell and his gorgeous smile and everything about him... even his lame jokes. This was for him too, she wished there was a way he could understand.

She, slightly more awake then he, whispered, "I'm sorry," before giving a kiss on his cheek and placing her head back onto his shoulder. He opened his eyes slightly, blushed, and blurted out some incoherent words before completely dozing off. She soon followed his cue... in her dreams, she knew she would find him.

With them both in dreamland, neither noticed her phone buzzing with a message from Luka. "Hey Marinette, have you ever heard of this place called 'Amour chassé-croisé'? I was thinking... if you wanted, you could check it out with me? I'm planning a huge surprise for my girlfriend there, and I could use your opinion on the place before I take her. It needs to be absolutely perfect. It has to be unforgettable, so I was hoping I could count on your help. I went ahead and got a reservation next month on the 16th at 9 PM because it's so hard to book it. Hope you don't mind of course. It would mean so much if you help me. Kisses Luka."

Chapter Text

Ladybug breathed heavily, her body still filled with the adrenaline of the last fight. She and Chat Noir shared a victorious enthusiastic split-second smile. Happily and proudly she extended a fistbump and a pound it to her partner. The blond quickly frowned and didn't even look at her as he turned his back and went away. Ladybug sighed. It was moments like this she was glad he didn't know.

She didn't have time to worry about immature Chat since she was late for her appointment. Rushing quickly, she discovered a close hiding spot which allowed her to detransform. Not very soon after, Sabine found her and gave her a small hug. "Oh sweetie. I was so worried. Where did you run off to?"

Marinette paused for a second. She heard the cries of help because of the Akuma and immediately went for it not even trying to find an excuse. It was a dangerous one, especially since it was going after her civilian self. But luckily with all the chaos, she managed to sneak away and transform to save the day. All of this meant she didn't have time to come up with an excuse. "I was just scared, so I hid."

It seemed credible and her mom accepted her answer, showing relief. "Well I'm just glad you and my grandchild are safe. Are you ready?" The bluenette nodded slightly. After facing a dangerous Akuma like that, she wasn't scared. So she walked through those doors full of confidence… only to lose it all once inside.

There she sat in the waiting room waiting for her turn. The bluenette only focused on her mom next to her. Tom couldn't make it because he had to keep the bakery open, but Marinette swore to him to tell everything after she returned; she made the same promise to Alya, who even offered to skip classes to be there. A whole week had passed since she told her parents and they generally accepted it. The bluenette sometimes felt they were ready to bring up the subject of the father or of the crazy plan to go to Italy, but she always found a way out of the conversation... most of the time it was going to Alya's for an important school project.

This was the second time she was going to a doctor, but it was the first she didn't go alone. When Sabine and Marinette were there to schedule this appointment, they were told they would get to see the baby for the first time. This was the reason why she was simultaneously excited and super nervous. With all of this weighing on her mind, she didn't notice her name being called. It was her mom who nudged her. Marinette blinked and followed behind the nurse with her mom always by her side, smiling reassuringly.

Inside the doctor's office, was the very nice and rather joyful doctor... who insisted on being called Debbie instead of Dr. Martin. Marinette could tell she was friendly. Well dressed and with a kind tone, this woman was impeccable and didn't seem to have any judgment. Instead, she opted to be pleasant and reassuring all the way. She started off with many questions and Marinette wondered if Alya wouldn't want her as an assistant. She also answered all of the bluenette's own questions no matter how silly they seemed. This time Marinette paid attention to every single thing she was told and became fascinated with all the things going on with Kitten at just 9 weeks.

Next, they weighed her and did all kinds of tests to make sure everything was going as it should. Debbie then gave some details and advice, mostly the same as the other doctor. She also confirmed the due date and also offered her personal phone number just in case. After all of this, it was finally time to see the baby.

Marinette laid down and adjusted the way she was ordered. It took a few moments before the doctor happily declared, "Found it!" Marinette and Sabine immediately gushed over the spot the doctor pointed out. "Here's your baby... more precisely fetus if you want to be technical. The size is roughly that of a green olive, about 2.5 cm (1 inch). There is the head and, as you can tell, the tail bone is beginning to disappear... so it's getting more human every day. All seems to be good and that baby appears to be healthy."

As soon as the picture formed and the doctor pointed, the bluenette couldn't stop the glow in her eyes. Despite everything between her and Adrien, there was their child ignorantly and blissfully growing. It was still small and weird, yet Marinette couldn't stop loving every little tiny detail of small Kitten. If her heart already melted while the baby was so small, then she couldn't help but wonder how much more she would adore it once it was born.

Just when the bluenette thought she couldn't get even more impressed... it happened. A memorable moment that Marinette would never forget because, for the first time, she heard the beating of Kitten's heart. It was perfect and she could put that on replay forever.

The sound was so fast and captivating she didn't noticed the tears spilling out of her eyes as she listened. It began as a single drop from her blue eyes that was soon dissipated in the sea of joy leaving her eyes. Her mom began holding her hand causing the bluenette to glance at Sabine, thanking her for the support.

Her mom had a warm smile and she wished she could see that type of smile on Adrien's face. She could imagine him making one of those adorable and love fill expressions. She pictured it would be similar to the face he used to make every time he saw her as Ladybug or every time she offers him her macaroons and he practically glows. She could also see him being proud. She figured it would be the same look he wore when he told one of his jokes and someone actually laughed. In her brain, she convoluted so many expressions and emotions he might express that it was hard to get a complete picture. All of them were positive and many were the same she felt. She wished to share this moment and emotions with him instead of alone. It was on these exact moments, she regretted he didn't know.

With her mom wiping the tears from her eyes, the bluenette quickly returned her attention to the screen. As soon as she got home, and after showing everything and telling all to the proud grandpa Tom, she got a call from Alya. "How is my nephew or my niece?"

Marinette laughed at her friend's excitement. "Alya, the baby is perfect and so tiny. It's indescribable and... the heartbeat is just... so amazingly captivating and melodical. Want to come here to hear it?"

"Absolutely! It's going to have to be later because, right now, I have to follow a story about Ladybug and Chat Noir. Apparently, they had some lovers quarrel and I want to know what happened between those two. Please tell me you understand?"

Marinette sighed. "It's okay, don't worry. Speaking of Ladybug and Chat, you do know they aren't a couple, right?"

"They aren't a couple, yet!"

"Whatever is going on, I bet it's nothing but just a tiny fight." At least, that was what she hopped!

"Maybe, but I just wish they can overcome whatever it is."

"Me too!" She admitted. "Anyway, I should probably go."

Marinette almost threw her phone away the moment Alya hung up but didn't because she noticed a text from Nino. "Hey dudette, are you okay? Anything you need, your best bro Nino is here for you."

The bluenette was curious about why he sent her a message since he was way more the type to send memes or jokes. Still, he was being nice so she decided to ignore the reason and just replied back. Exhausted, Marinette then placed Kitten's first picture on her desk and Tikki immediately flew out to look at it. "I have never seen a baby this small. It's incredible what they can do now."

"I wish Adrien could see this and listen to the recording of the heartbeat," the bluenette admitted as she pulled the ultrasound close to her chest.

"You could always tell him."

"We talked about this. Adrien cannot know about this baby. I would die of shame. I love him so much but I just can't get my heart broken a third time. He proposed to Ladybug a week ago and now you want me to force him to move on and have this baby with me? Or worse... be like: hey I know I rejected your proposal as my superhero self, the one you can barely talk to or look at, but I'm pregnant... which I also didn't tell you before... so, how about we get together, forget everything, and just raise our child?" With those words and a feeling of sadness, she then placed the ultrasound down.

"Well maybe in different words, and if you explained..."

"Tikki! I don't want him to be with me because of Kitten and I'm done waiting for him. I want him to be happy. And let's face it, I'm not the girl that is going to do that. I spent years waiting for him to see me."

"Marinette, what's going to happen when he learns the truth?"

"Well, I managed to keep my Ladybug secret from him all this time. So, I think I can keep this secret too."

The ladybug kwami was about to refute that but a knocking sound came from the trapdoor and both the kwami and the bluenette knew it meant it was him.

"Come in Kitty," Marinette answered while signaling her kwami to hide. Tikki reluctantly obliged.

"It's so sweet when you call me that." Chat Noir says this as he enters the room carrying videogames and a beautiful pink rose. The moment he gets inside, his confidence shrinks and he somehow is barely able to let out a shy and nervous, "Hi."

"Hi, what are you doing here?'"

"Just came here so to make sure you were okay."

He then lays some video games right in front of the ultrasound. Marinette squeaks but he doesn't notice since he is so nervous. Completely feigning confidence, he gives her the rose, making them both blush. Admiring the flower, the bluenette barely resists the urge to smell it. "Thank you for this rose and for checking on me. But, was the only reason you came just to make sure I was safe?" She asks while looking at the incredibly beautiful, yet still very pink, flower.

"No problem," he replies with his classical grin and a wink but then begins to rub the back of his neck "Okay you caught me. The truth was that I... I..." He stopped with the words trapped inside him. With a clearing of the throat, he was able to continue. "I wanted to spend time with you. I mean... playing video games because you are so cool. I mean... good. Look I even brought all your favorites. I also have the new installment which includes new characters like Icarus. They say it's too OP but that's exactly the kind of character I need if I want to win against you. You also have..." He knew he was rambling on but he just didn't know how to stop.

The bluenette continued panicking hard from seeing the games so close to the ultrasound, she only catches the end of what he is saying. "...so I was thinking that we could we start with Ultimate Mega Strike 3 to warm up then we can do UMS 4 and end with the fifth installment, sound good?"

He asks and it takes the bluenette a couple of seconds to realize he is waiting for her to answer. "Wait. You have the fifth? It hasn't even come out." She quickly grabbed the box, not wanting to believe he has the newest, yet-to-be-released edition. She does this, while taking this opportunity to hide the ultrasound carefully away from view.

"A boy has connections. Come on. Let's be the firsts to try it out. I bet I can beat you."

"In your dreams," she answered picking the boxes to see the games. With laughs and crazy jokes, time really flies between them. Marinette wins the matches, but he doesn't mind since she also gives him tips. "I won again!" She celebrates her victory by looking Adrien straight in the eyes.

"Wow, you're amazing and wonderful. Marinette, what I'm trying to say is... is..." His body leans closer and she blushes while losing herself completely in his green eyes. Adrien was sure he drowning in those blue eyes and his only hope was her pink lips, because only they could give him the air he so much needed.

"I am?" She asks completely lost in him.

"You are..." He speaks again, his whole body leaning towards her. Suddenly a phone rings and they both take a step back. The bluenette, still flustered, sees it's her phone and that it's actually Luka calling.

"Oops! Sorry, but I have to take this." She apologizes and Adrien notices Lukas smiling face on her phone.

"We can continue this... I mean the games later."

The second she leaves. Plagg flies out in front of Adrien "What were you waiting for? Ask her out!" The black kwami practically demands. "Just tell her you love her and all those cheesy things you humans do." After this Plagg places the red rose, Adrien was too scared to give, in his master's hands.

"I can't! I know she wouldn't hurtfully reject me like Ladybug, but I'm terrified she will say no. Worse, what if she says yes and I mess it all up? What if I lose her?"

"You weren't this scared with Kagami."

"First, I was mortified, and second, Marinette isn't Kagami. I have to be sure of my feelings and intentions towards her because Marinette is... she is..."

"Listen kid, if it were me, I would get to her." Plagg grabs the rose from Adrien's hands and throws him his best seductive look. One that the blond recognized being the same his kwami uses every time he sees a slice of camembert. With an endearing voice, his kwami began, "Marinette, you are as sweet as a sugar cube, shiny and pretty like a diamond." With those words, the kwami delicately gives Adrien the rose. The blond was speechless and merely nodded along, impressed with how romantic his kwami could be. Sadly, we were still talking about Plagg and it didn't take much more before things went down the rails. Still in a poetic tone and with those adoring eyes he continued, "Just like cheese, you melt my heart... and your socks smell just as good as the finest camembert."

There was the Kwami Adrien knew and adored. "Plagg, stop it. I appreciate it. But if I say those things, I am pretty sure I will be single for the rest of my life." Adrien almost laughed at himself for being so close to following dating advice from his kwami.

Before the kwami could answer back, Marinette returned and Adrien instantly blushed as he hid the rose behind his back. The black kwami returned to the blondes pocket and began using his master's phone.

"Sorry about that. It's just Luka was just having a nervous meltdown." She apologized with a smile.

"The calmest man in the world was freaking out?" Adrien asked, trying to forget his jealousy for a bit. Did she talk a lot to him? Was she the one he came to every time he needed solace? Worse, was he the one she went to for comfort? Were they already a thing?

"Well yeah, the truth is..." Marinette stopped herself. She couldn't tell Adrien the reason why the blue-haired boy was so nervous. It was a secret. "... something about a new project." She lied, covering Luka's secret.

"Okay," Adrien replied, not wanting to talk anymore about the blue hair boy. What follows is complete silence. Sure, sometimes they would get focused on the game and be quiet... but this felt very different. Adrien, wishing to end it, asks, "How was your day?"

"Nothing special. I just had to help in the bakery because it's been crazy busy, I also had the flu. So that's why I went to the clinic today, where I met that crazy woman who then got Akumatized. Then, she came after me. So, you know, just an absolutely normal day. I am sad I had to skip classes."

"I missed you today at school." He blurted out calmly, but secretly hoping to see her reaction.

He swears she whispered, "I missed you too," before mulling it over and turning to him, asking, "So, what did you do today?"

So, Adrien began to explain how he lost during fencing... and that he would have to improve if he wanted to be at the same level as Kagami. Then he followed by excruciatingly demonstrating to her how he bravely fought for her safety against the akuma. Marinette giggled when he almost tripped, so he decided it'd be safer to just to tell the rest. He also told her about the rest of their friends. Nino made some new mixes and showed them to everyone during lunch. People asked about her, including Nino. Chloe obviously didn't... and she was still her clingy self. Luka actually canceled the band's practice, and went with Juleka to take care of something very important. After telling a few more stories, the blond couldn't help but add, "The only difference today is that you weren't there."

The way he says those words the bluenette can't help but slightly blush. The moment is interrupted with a notification from Adrien's phone, telling him that he got a text. He opened it and sees it's from Kagami.

"Hope after today you don't get too tired for our date. I know it's going to be memorable. Just remember, all the indications I gave you, hugs."

Adrien, despite his blush, opts not to answer and sees just below a notification that dirtysocklovescheese had sent him a copy of "Healing a broken Heart in 30 Days" and also a copy of "Mysterious Clues." He looked annoyed at his kwami for two reasons. The first reason was the name of the books, and second reason because this hadn't been the first time Plagg had gone online shopping without his permission. The good part is that with the books, his room wouldn't stink of cheese for months.

Plagg chose the first book to help Adrien heal his heart after Ladybug, so that he could truly fall in love with Marinette. The second was supposed to help improve someone's puzzle solving capabilities. Adrien needed that so that maybe he stopped being so oblivious about everything. The black kwami faked innocence while still proud of his choices. Still, for his own safety, he chose to put some distance between himself and Adrien. So, with the red rose in his paws, he began his own quest to find Tikki.

It takes a few more matches, but eventually Adrien is a few blows away from a win." I am the greatest superhero!" He shouted excitedly... finally starting to get close to Marinette's level.

The bluenette smiled, not scared by the claim of victory, and takes this chance to bring up what happened earlier. "Speaking of heroes, how are things between you and Ladybug?"

Just like that, Marinette gave the final blow both literally and figuratively. Adrien seemed as shocked as his character. Marinette won, but you wouldn't be able to tell that by looking at her. Her eyes merely tried to piece together his reaction. His eyes meet hers, and he knew he couldn't lie to her... no matter how much he wanted to.

"It's complicated. Me and her are just partners and that's all. But just so you know, I am more than Ladybug's sidekick. So you don't have to ask me about her every time it's hero related stuff." He tried poorly to hide the disdain in his words.

"I know. It's just that Alya told me you guys seemed mad at each other."

He takes a heavy sigh. "I assure you, that what happened or happens between me and her won't change my responsibilities towards Paris... because I would never ever let anything happen to you... or any civilian, of course. Marinette I want you to know, I will always protect you... even if today I couldn't. I want you to know that I will always be your own personal hero and you can count on me."

Marinette's eyes go wide at what felt almost like a love confession... and she blushed. "T-Thank yoooouuu . Thatttt's..."

He pretends he doesn't see how red her cheeks are and acts normal despite being nervous. "No problem, but there is something I wanted to tell you."

"What?" Just that small word leaving her mouth was enough to make him surrender. He couldn't do it. It would be risking too much. Not right now.

"I just wanted to say... I still have time for one more game." He then notices the time on the clock and panics. "... or not! I'm actually an hour late for my piano lesson. I am so screwed!" He frowned... upset that time went by so fast, but quickly gains a mischievous grin. "Can't say it wasn't worth it..."

He then begins to open the latch to the balcony, but Marinette stops him. "Wait! Adrien," her eyes drift to the place she hid the ultrasound.

"What?" He asks and Marinette, as his attention drifts to the pink rose he gave her.

"Hum... Hum..." She mumbled before grabbing the boxes of video games. "You almost forgot this."

He smiles. "Keep them. This way I have an excuse to come back and play a rematch with you." He grins before quickly transforming. He winks at her and then leaps out to the balcony using his staff as lever, because the stairs were too normal for him.

Marinette, with that exit, tries to keep herself together... but fails. She blushes. Her legs shake so much it's hard to know how she is still standing up. How is it possible he still has that effect on her?

The ultrasound falls on the floor and the memories that came with it. It hurt that Adrien would never get to see that. It pained her that he would never hear Kitten's heartbeat. The most amazing sound in the world and he would never get to listen to it. She reminded herself it was for everyone's good.

Almost like she read her master's mind Tikki shows up and cuddles with Marinette. "Here. Take this red rose. I know it symbolizes romance, but keep it while you and Adrien aren't together... and yes I do believe it's only a matter of time before you are. In the meantime you can have it to make you feel better."

Marinette was about to refuse, but instead, she smiled and let the intoxicating smell of the flower take over. "Thank you, Tikki."

Chapter Text

Marinette finally reached her second trimester. Her morning sickness was better and she seemed to have more energy. The check-ups she made told her she was fine and now she was counting the weeks up until her next ultrasound so that she could see her kitten again, She also had not spoken to Master Fu ever since their talk about Adrien, mostly because of safety reasons. She didn't want anyone to see her with him.

Things with the blond remained sadly the same. He was still a little spiteful towards Ladybug, on the other hand, his relationship with Marinette had improved significantly. Now it didn't matter if it was anime or game or even movie night, because it was a special part of their daily routine that they both loved. She knew she had to stop it at some point, since soon her pregnancy would become more apparent but she always accepted that stray cat home.

She promised herself not to think about him today. She started to prepare for this important day right after talking to Alya for an hour and calling Nino to assure him she was fine and didn't need anything. His concern was evidenced by the many times during the last weeks he asked Marinette how she was and if she needed any help. It was weird, but she didn't take it further than that. He was just being friendlier than usual and she wouldn't complain.

Besides, on this wonderful day she had to focus on helping Luka. This was the most important thing. He picked her up way too early, and they went for a relaxing walk along the Seine until it was time for dinner.

Meanwhile, Adrien started the day excited because today was finally the day of his date with Kagami. Not that he had to put much work in the matter... since she chose and booked everything. All he had to do was to wear what she told him, give her the flowers, and be his best charming self. It would be easy. So he wasn't scared, not even a bit... He was terrified.

He held his breath once she showed up at his house. She looked stunning and upon seeing her the blond's heart skipped a beat. He was amazed by her and couldn't take his eyes off her. Nervously he gave her red roses, she asked for and tried to make a joke. "I'm glad we're not fencing right now... because I would already have lost with the way you touched my heart."

She smiled a little. "Thank you? It's just a matter of priorities. Today, I made my priority to show you my best." To be honest, he only registered a few details of what she said next. He heard her stories and nodded along, but the only thing in his mind was how pretty she looked. She constantly hid under her fencing equipment, or her school uniform, but not today... clearly. She seemed gorgeous with that red dress and lipstick. Unlike what he was expecting, her dress was anything but traditional. With a strong scarlet tone and a v-shaped neckline, the dress did wonders for her already amazing figure.

The blond was so mesmerized with her! From the moment when she picked him up and until the restaurant, she was the only one on his mind. Those red lips called for him, making him wonder how it would feel to kiss them. He couldn't stop thinking about how lucky he was. His body leaned forward in Kagami's direction. Their eyes dazzled by each other's. He desired to kiss her, but then he heard that laugh... and everything changed. It was as familiar as it was sweet. Addictive... like a fresh batch of cookies and enchanting... just like its owner. It definitely belonged to Marinette. Among the reception line and all the people, he began searching for her. Soon his green eyes found his treasure, but it was with someone else... Luka. Both were wearing casual clothes instead of fancy ones like him and Kagami. However, she looked so beautiful in anything... especially when she was wearing that bright smile.

Marinette and Luka were having too much fun. First, she was scared she wasn't well dressed enough, but he immediately assured her she would be the most fashionable woman there... because she was wearing her own designs and no one was a better designer than her. She giggled and blushed at his comment. Just why was he always so nice?

Kagami cursed herself. If she hadn't picked the venue and time she could have sworn it was on purpose. This bluenette noticed immediately when her date turned his focus from her to the other bluenette. The moment his eyes saw her they never let go. Luckily, Marinette and Luka were now being seated and hadn't noticed them back there. How could they, when they were so entertained by each other? Adrien kept looking as Marinette disappeared to the dining room. Kagami, who hated jealous people, found herself in that position for two reasons. One was because Marinette's date was obviously going better than hers, and second because that girl also seemed to have stolen Adrien ́s complete attention.

After a few moments in a heavy silence and awkward looks, while the couples ahead were seated, it was finally their turn. Unfortunately, their table was in direct view of the other couple... with Marinette facing their direction. This would be a long night for Kagami. So, when the waiter asked if they wanted anything, she demanded a bottle of their strongest and finest wine given she had recently turned 18. If she was going to get through this date, she was going to need a drink. Adrien was only 17, so he asked something else. Besides, he wasn't really a drinker. He was underage, and the few times he had occasionally tried it, he hated the burn it caused in his throat. He always wondered how and why people drank alcohol. The waiter came back and asked something, but the blond didn't even bother responding since he was too caught up watching Marinette. Overall, he counted she had laughed seven times, giggled eight, blushed nine times, and given Luka five touches of hands and twelve whispers to the ear.

Suddenly, she got up and walked their direction... to go to the restroom. Both Adrien and Kagami hid their faces with the menus. Adrien didn't want her to see him there with another girl. He not only hid his face with the menu, but also curled his tall body in the chair risking his perfect model posture in hopes she wouldn't see him. Kagami also concealed her face so that she didn't get any more humiliated.

After the bluenette passed them, and the menus were put down, Adrien returned his focus to Kagami. "Were you listening to me before?" She asked, opting to ignore them almost being caught by Marinette.

Adrien nodded, he hadn't been that obvious, right? "Yes. You were talking about becoming the youngest champion by the age of 5 and how hard it was."

"I was... on the way over here," she spoke clearly irritated, "I thought you had moved on."

"I did." He admitted, referring to Ladybug and forgetting about how Kagami thought he had moved on from Marinette. At that exact moment, Marinette passed by them again and returned to her table. She might have noticed the fight between the other couple, but she was too focused on Luka to pay attention. The way he smiled at her melted her heart.

Kagami waited for bluenette to get back to her seat before continuing the argument. "You clearly haven't stopped looking at them. You still love her, don't you? You know what? Just go and ruin their date too. You already ruined ours."

"Wait! Kagami..." With that, she left passing... Marinette and Luka on the way out. Adrien sighed. He really had messed up. Now he faced a dilemma, should he say or do something? His eyes focused on them again. Apparently, Luka was giving her a box. Adrien knew what kind of box that was. He had one just like that at home and also knew what belonged inside... an engagement ring.

To shock the blond, even more, she hugged her date and even seemed to be crying as he showed her the ring. Did she accept it? Was she going to marry Luka? Was this really happening? Suddenly it all made sense, the fancy restaurant and date were all to propose to her? Adrien stared at his drink and then at Kagami's. Both cups were filled. Reaching his hand, he grabbed her drink and finished it. It wasn't like she was going to finish it anyway. Then he walked away letting the burn of it wash over him as he left. He heard Marinette whisper "always" as he passed them by.

Marinette was having a lovely time with Luka today. He was being funny and kind and understanding. After she returned from the restroom she couldn't contain a smile just by looking at him. He was always very caring and understanding. With a genuine tone, he told her, "Thank you for trying out this place before I bring my girlfriend here. This is the place where I want to propose and it needs to be perfect. She is the most important person in my life. I hope once her father knows I mean it, he will let us be together. We have talked about this before and I think this is the next step on our relationship."

"No problem. I'm sure you two will be together. She is very lucky to have you, besides being out and not thinking about certain things is also good for me." Luka didn't even have to ask who she was referring too... because she had the same dreamy face she always had when she talked about Adrien. He almost asked but opted not to pry... and she also didn't seem to want to talk about it.

At that moment a pretty bluenette wearing a gorgeous red dress walked by, crying. Marinette didn't really get a good glimpse of her face. Not thinking much of it, but still feeling sorry for that poor soul, she returned her focus back to Luka. He spoke first, after the silence of them both watching that woman walk by... completely heartbroken. "So, what do you think of this restaurant?"

With a smile, and taking a chance to admire the place, she was impressed with how lovely 'Amour chassé-croisé' was. "You made a great choice. This place is fantastic! Romantic and beautiful. She will be impressed."

"It really is a nice venue, but that's not all. I also composed a song for the violinist to play as I propose. They will also put the ring in her champagne glass. I will wear a suit and bring roses. Can you even imagine me dressed like that? I hope it's enough," he said calmly... but she could tell he was nervous.

The idea of Luka with a suit was funny, and she couldn't quite picture it since he was always in less formal clothes. Still, the fact of all the trouble he was going through just to propose, made her sure the answer had to be yes. "She would be crazy to say no. Trust me, she will accept!" She reassured him before excitedly asking, "Can you show me the ring? You called me so many times asking for advice on it that, now I kinda have to see it."

Luka nodded as he grabbed the box and open it. Marinette was thrilled looking at it. The ring wasn't as big or as beautiful as the one Adrien had for her alter ego, but it was still gorgeous. No! She wouldn't compare. It was breathtaking and Luka's girlfriend would be so glad. Anyone would be happy with a man like him by her side. Feeling content with the news, Marinette jumped into a hug while crying tears of happiness for her friend. "Congratulations! It's gorgeous." She was just so happy, he was happy.

"Thank you, Marinette. It's so good to have you here with me." He said tightening the hug.

"Always," she replied wiping a few tears on the way.

At that moment, a young blond heard her as he passed them going to the exit. Marinette and Luka were too joyful for him to see them anymore. With that empty feeling inside the broken teen left. As he paid, Adrien's eyes glanced one last time at her. She radiated joy and love as usual.

At that moment he knew he lost her. The worst part was, she had never been his to begin with. Now he knew for sure, he loved her. But, she loved someone else and that left him without knowing what to do next.

Chapter Text

Adrien was feeling heartbroken and angry. He was used to pushing these feelings aside, but this was his breaking point. After that scene at the restaurant, he transformed and ran across Paris... trying to forget... but he couldn't. Why couldn't he have what she and Luka had? Why couldn't he be happy?

Even running at full speed he just couldn't out run his pain. In his head he heard her voice saying always over and over again . What was once a reassurance that she would always be his friend now was just a reminder that she would never be more than that .

What was the point of living a fully controlled, supposedly good life if it meant being alone throughout most of it? He always imagined he would find someone to be with him. For a long time, he hoped that someone would be his superhero partner... but she always said no while her actions indicated otherwise.

This was all her fault. If he hadn't been in love with her for so long, he would be with Marinette right now instead of her being with Luka. He would make his former hero partner pay for rejecting him and for causing him to lose his chance with Marinette.

It was at this moment that a kind voice made him an offer that was hard to refuse. "Bring me yours and Ladybug's miraculouses and you will never ever get hurt again. I know a thing or two about losing the one you love, but do as I say and she will forever be yours."

Without a second thought, he agreed. Immediately his black suit was replaced by white and he became Chat Blanc. The first thing he did was return to the restaurant to cross paths with Marinette and Luka. Just as he expected, he found them... laughing and extremely close.

"Isn't this beautiful?" He snarled ironically.

"Chat Noir?" Luka looked confused.

"Not anymore..." He grinned while Marinette flinched.

"What happened?" She asked, nervously.

"You..." He accused her... and she trembled. Slowly, the former superhero walked towards her... but was stopped in his tracks.

"You aren't getting to her." Luka warned him, standing between the blond and the bluenette.

"I was hoping to have some fun! Cataclysm!" Immediately, the white Chat walked over and his hand touched Luka, who disintegrated into dust instantly.

"LUKA!" She screamed as she was grabbed and pulled away from the place where the guitarist used to be.

Chat Blanc took her without much of a fight because of her shock. With tears spilling out of her eyes and sobs, she demanded, "Why did you do that?"

"So that you can be mine forever." He stopped and gave her a kiss on the lips.

She pushed him away and he whispered to her ear, "You will never leave my side and we will be together forever."

She tried once more to push him, but he held her too tightly for her to escape. She begged, "Let me go. You are hurting me!"

"Never! Marinette, you belong with me and not with Luka."

"I am not with Luka and this isn't you . I love you but not this way... not this way. I want the old you. He is the one I want."

"Doesn't matter anymore if you were or weren't with him. Because after I get that bug's miraculous, nothing or no one will get in our way. This is the new me and I'm sure you will learn to love it just as much as I do." Then he grabbed her and continued jumping across Paris.

"Where are you taking me?" She asked, refusing to meet his face.

"To see an old friend."

"Who?" He didn't answer and Marinette began imagining all the people Akumaztized Adrien could go to. Unfortunately, her list didn't include Master Fu. As soon as she saw the old man, in the Hawaiian Shirt, her fears rose to a whole new level.

Master Fu looked at the teens. "Chat Noir?"

"That's not my name. I am Chat Blanc!"

"Why are you here?" Master Fu asked, trying his best to stay calm.

"Ladybug and I have personal business to deal with. It wouldn't be fair if someone else was to get involved. So, I will destroy the miracle box... making sure it's just the two of us."

As Chat said this, the bluenette was about to make a run for it, but he quickly grabbed her and forcibly sat her down. "Marinette, stay here while I take care of this guy. See the extent of my new power."

However before the fight started, Hawk Moth talked to him, trying to avoid the fight. "What are you doing? You were supposed to bring me the box, not destroy it!"

"Shut up, Hawk Moth. I am done being bossed around by you, Master Fu, Ladybug, or even my dad. I said I would give you mine and Ladybug's miraculouses, not everyone else's... and I will keep my word. Anything else wasn't part of the deal."

Master Fu used this opportunity and called on his transformation, to which the Akumatized Adrien responded by assuming a fighting position and ignoring Hawk Moth.

Marinette was about to freak out watching this scene. Without much of a choice, the bluenette began saying, "Spots..." But the guardian shook his head, signaling her not to do it. He also spoke, "I don't need Ladybug to defeat you. I can take care of you on my own." She sighed, she had gotten the message and hopefully Master Fu could handle it.

The guardian attacked first and Chat Blanc fell to the floor. Both Marinette and Master Fu exhaled with relief, but that was when the blond shot back. The bluenette flinched seeing the old man being violently thrown around.

The fight continued with Master Fu getting struck time after time, but always somehow getting up. The bluenette at this point was frozen and numb seeing this scenario repeat itself.

Eventually, using one of the times where the guardian was down. Chat Blanc called on his cataclysm and destroyed the box. This caused the bluenette to scream, which made the great guardian regain his senses.

Chat walked slowly, prepared to give Master Fu a final blow, when Marinette finally regained control over her senses, moved, and got in between them. "Stop it. Please... You won. Ladybug won't have any more allies. Don't do anything else. Please!"

"Marinette, get out of the way!"

"No!" Somehow it became a staring match. They were at a standstill. Eventually, he gave up and settled for taking the miraculous bracelet from Master Fu and crushing it with his hand.

"Thank you." Marinette exhaled in relief.

"It's fine, but don't ever test me again. Next time, I won't be so nice."

Marinette shook in fear. He grabbed her and took her to the Eiffel Tower. He forced her to sit, and then cuddled around her, playing with her hair.

They stayed there, doing nothing for hours. She had to come up with a plan to save him. Hopefully, as long as she was there, he wouldn't harm anyone else. That would give her time to think. Unfortunately, it was at that moment he spoke. "That bug! It seems I didn't get her attention! I guess I'm going to have to go and have some more fun."

She needed a plan, fast. "Chat Blanc, you have to hide me."

"Why?" He asked with a hint of suspicion.

"Ladybug will be mad that you took away her allies. She might come after me. You don't want her to keep us apart, do you? I am sure she is planning ways to take me far away from you right now."

He didn't answer her. Instead, he took her in his arms. As they travelled across Paris, she knew her words got to him.

Suddenly, she saw the Agreste Mansion in sight and it didn't take long until he left her in his room, with the widows locked and all the doors closed. He left her alone. But before going, he parted ways from her with a strong kiss. The moment the window he jumped off of closed behind him, Tikki appeared. "What are you going to do?"

"I am going to save him and destroy Hawk Moth for what he has done to the love of my life!"

Then it happened as expected, Marinette transformed and went chasing after him. She imagined it would be hard to find him, but it was exactly the opposite. He had created a huge trail of destruction, all pointing to the Louvre. This was the biggest trap she had ever seen, but unfortunately she didn't have a choice.

"Listen Chat, I don't want to fight you." She warned, looking around trying to see where he was hiding.

"Too bad. I was hoping to have some fun, but I'll settle for knowing I took your miraculous." He admitted as he casually appeared out of the darkness.

"I won't let you do that! Please, listen. This isn't you. Don't let Hawk Moth control you!"

"And let you control me? Make me the fool? I gave you my heart, and all of me... even refusing another awesome girl... and it still wasn't enough for you. You broke my heart, but luckily this time I won't let you do that. This time, I will give Hawk Moth mine and your miraculouses... and me and Marinette will be happy forever... and there won't be anything you can do to stop it."

"Do you think this is what Marinette wants?"

He growled. The talking was over as he attacked, sending her across some rooftops and making her hit a billboard painfully hard. Just as she was about to get up, he grabbed her and slammed her hard on the billboard again.

Marinette thanked the powers that Tikki gave her because they were protecting kitten and stopping her from getting any broke bones. Despite Tikki's help, she couldn't take the force of the impact. She was now in and out of consciousness, and he was about to take her miraculous.

Using all her strength, she used her yoyo and wrapped it around his legs. When she pulled, he fell over. Using this chance, she got up, grabbed his staff, and pointed at him.

"I don't want to hurt you. Please."

"Too bad. You already did." He answered angrily... and in a quick and swift move, freed himself while regaining his weapon. With his staff, he made her fall to the floor. Feeling triumphant, he said, "You really shouldn't use a staff if you don't know how to use it. Let me show how it's done."

He lifted his weapon, and was about to swing it downwards, when she kicked him. This distracted him long enough for her to get up and run away. Where she was going, she didn't know... but this wasn't working and she needed a solution.

Unfortunately, he was already chasing her and it didn't give her much time to think. There was only one way out, and she knew it. Desperately, she called her Lucky Charm. When the object fell into her hands, she couldn't help but exclaim, "A pacifier?!"

He laughed, "What are you going to do with that? Put me to sleep with boredom. This is going to be easier than I thought."

"No, not happening," she whispered to herself. It didn't take a genius to understand what her power was suggesting, but she wasn't going to do it . It was too risky and definitely not the best way to tell him. So she threw the pacifier away and forced herself to find another solution.

Meanwhile, the blond was still laughing hard. "I have more power than ever before . Not only do I have stronger cataclysms, but also an infinite number. Your lame one shot Lucky Charm thinks a pacifier is what will stop me? It's hysterical!"

"I won't even need it to win. I can defeat you perfectly fine on my own."

His laughter died off and his eyes screamed for her to bring it. Filled with adrenaline, she cleaned a little blood from the corner of her mouth and went to attack. As they battled, he taunted, "You know why I am going to win?"

"Why?"

He smiled presumptuously. "Because, this time you are on your own, bug. This time, you don't have me by your side and that is exactly why I am going to get your miraculous."

She growled and wrapped her yoyo around him... to which he quickly escaped. The fight remained fair and balanced out. Neither held anything back. Marinette didn't want to hurt him, but she was willing to do it if it meant saving him in the end.

Sadly, while his power could go on and on, the beeping of her earrings told her she couldn't. It was a slip up moment that gave him the upper hand, and allowed him to knock her over. "Ladybug, I won't just take your miraculous, I will make you hurt the same way you did to me. Cataclysm!"

His hand glowed with the power of destruction and she felt powerless. She tried to move but he had her trapped. There was nothing she could do but beg. "No! Chat, stop! Please!" Not even the sobs and tears on her face seemed enough to reach him.

"Beg all you want." His hand got closer and closer. Once more she looked around desperately for a way out but there was none.

"You are going to hurt our child!" She blurted out desperately, already dreading for her, and more importantly, for Kitten's life. There were many things the suit could protect her from, but his power wasn't one of those.

To her relief, he stopped. If she didn't happen to be sucking in her stomach he would already have touched her... that was how close his hand was to her. This meant she wasn't even able to give a sigh of relief after he stopped.

"What kind of game are you playing? You think coming up with lies will save you?" He laughed at her.

"I´m telling the truth, Adrien. Tikki, Spots Off!"

He closed his eyes tight because of the light, but held his hand steady. How did Ladybug know his name unless, "Marinette?" He sounded shocked as he stared at her.

"Yes," she admitted, completely full of guilt. Tikki meanwhile just hid, eating her cookie and preparing for the next transformation to clean the akuma.

"No... No. No, you can't be Ladybug. No, you can't be pregnant. It can't be you. It's all a lie. You are tricking me." He repeated to himself, while quickly jumping from on top of her.

He was so confused and shaken he almost took his hands to his head. Luckily, she stopped him in time. Forcing him to meet her eyes. She admitted, "It is me, and everything I said is true." She then pulled the ultrasound from her purse and gave it to him." This is our kitten right there. Can you see it?"

No one will ever know if it was looking at his own child, or if it was Hawk Moth releasing the akuma that made him return to normal. When Chat Blanc vanished, in its place appeared Chat Noir, who quickly reverted into Adrien.

The bluenette immediately transformed back and cleaned the akuma. The moment she did, Adrien tumbled over. Thankfully, She caught him in her arms and held him tight. Then she released her transformation and waited for him to wake up.

Adrien opened his eyes, confused and unsure of what was going on. All he knew was that he woke up in Marinette's arms and that he had an ultrasound in his hand. "What's going on? Marinette, what are you doing here? What am I doing here? Why am I holding this?"

Instantly, she began sobbing in a mix of relief, nerves, and emotions. He didn't understand what was going on, but he held her tightly and petted her hair, trying to calm her down. Eventually, she was able to speak. "Adrien, you were akumatized and came after me and Luka. You thought I was going to marry him."

"So you aren't?" She shook her head and he continued, "Then, what happened?"

"Then I had to fight you, but you won and I had no choice but to come clean."

"Fight me? Come clean? What are you talking about?"

"Adrien..." She sighed, preparing herself for his reaction. "I'm Ladybug, and this," she said grabbing the ultrasound from his hand, "is our child. I ́m so sorry I didn't tell any of this to you sooner. I´m also sorry I refused your proposal."

In that moment, Gabriel left his office. Natalie was waiting outside.

"Did using Chat Noir work? Do you have the miraculous?"

"No, but I now know both their identities."

"That's great. It will make them easier to defeat. Who are they?"

"It's my son and his girlfriend, who happens to be pregnant with my grandchild."

Natalie's well trained attitude paid off because, without even flinching, she asked, "What are you going to do about it?"

Meanwhile, Marinette waited for Adrien to say something... because he so far hadn't said a word. After she confessed everything, he had pushed her way and only settled to look at her stomach or look at her face, probably imagining it with the mask on.

Eventually, and with fear of the answer, he asked, "Did akumatized me hurt you?" Marinette could see the sorrow in his eyes.

"No." He could tell she was lying and was about to say something but she continued, "Me and the baby are fine, so don't worry. Besides, the suits protect a lot and my power made it all go back to normal. Everything that happened today is Hawk Moth's fault... and a little of mine for not telling you things sooner... keeping these secrets. So don't blame yourself."

"Hawk Moth knows everything. You blew it all away because of me! I put you... our child... in danger. I screwed everything up."

"No. I was the one failed as Ladybug, and as your friend and partner, and even as Kitten's mom."

Adrien had many feelings and questions, but seeing Marinette and how close she was to freaking out, he just hugged her. "My Lady... I made lots of mistakes too. I promise, whatever comes next, and whatever Hawk Moth throws our way, we'll face it together. No more secrets or being apart. From now on, we are a team. You, me... and our kitten."

"This is exactly why I need you." She somehow relaxed into his arms.

"That being said, I still have many questions."

She nodded and sat there in his warm embrace, trying to answer his many doubts .

Chapter Text

Marinette refused to open her eyes, afraid that it would all be a dream and Adrien wasn't really with her. She was scared that if she moved too much it would cause her to wake up. It took seconds, minutes, or maybe hours (who knew). But finally, and half expecting it not to be true, she dared to open her bluebell eyes. To her surprise, he was really there and was looking at her with such endearing expression that her heart was about to melt.

"Do you really love me?" she whispered, cuddling even more in his arms and wanting to enjoy this moment to its fullest.

After her explanation on why she refused to marry him as Ladybug, he realized just how insecure she was. It was strange seeing his lady with this level of self-doubt but at the same time, it wasn't unusual for Marinette. Seeing the nervous look on her face and the hesitation in her words, he reassured her "For the one hundred time. Yes. I love you Marinette."

She felt relief at his words. He then let his lips on hers be the proof to lessen her fears and show his love.

Suddenly and breaking away from his kiss she asked: "And it's not because I'm Ladybug or because of the baby?"

"Those are just bonus. I love you, Marinette, with all my heart," he said, resuming the kiss.

They kissed for a while before going back to cuddling.

Feeling a draft of cold air, she snuggled even more into him. The only way to describe this moment was: perfect.

As they stared into the night sky she admitted, "I wish we could stay like this forever."

She should have been quiet because it was at this moment that Adrien's phone rang. The blond gulped, it was his father. Slowly he accepted the call. "Hello father."

"Son, how was your date with Mrs. Tsurugi?" His father asked with his usual stone-cold tone.

"My date with Kagami? It didn't go exactly well."

Marinette gave him the death stare and Adrien whispered, "I'm sorry," to her.

With a deep sigh, the elder Agreste, still on the line, said, "Then I suppose you are on your way home then."

"Yes father, I will be home soon."

Gabriel ended the call and Adrien did not find it strange. For him, his father hanging up or not even returning his calls was sadly the norm.

Gabriel Agreste usually only cared about what he wanted and everything else became second. Even the blond was usually left behind when the man had other important issues to attend to. Adrien promised himself to be different from his father and give Kitten all the love and attention in the world.

As soon as the call was over, Marinette didn't even give Adrien time to say anything before immediately firing back. "So you were on a date with Kagami?"

That was a tiny detail he might have forgotten to mention in between their talk about his akumatization, Luka, Kitten, and the rejection of the proposal. But there was no way to run away from it now.

So he admitted, "Yes I was with her... but when I saw you with Luka I couldn't think of anything else. It's you and only you. I swear. Are you mad?"

"No," she said while pouting a little her lips.

Adrien knew his lady and Marinette well enough to know that she only did that when she was angry. It was a similarity he never picked up before, but now made sense. "I find that hard to believe," he confessed.

She sighed, "I'm just tired. You did admit you planned to ask me out, and I kinda rejected you when you proposed, and we weren't actually together, so it's fine. We're fine. Everything is fine. I'm okay with it." She ended her words with a soft peck on his lips before transforming.

Just as she was about to leave he grabbed her arm. "Are you sure it's safe for you to go transformed? Maybe I should take you?"

"Don't worry. Me and kitten will be fine... besides it looked like your father wanted you home. I'll see you tomorrow my sweet, worried kitty."

And with that, she jumped off and ran fast across the Parisian streets. Adrien resisted the urge to go after her and instead went to his house. Trying to contain the smile on his face, he entered his home and was surprised to find Natalie still there and likely waiting for him. "Where's my father?"

In her monotone voice, she answered, "He was feeling unwell. So, he took a walk in the garden to see your mother's statue. You should go to your room. It's getting late."

"Thank you Natalie," he said with the driest face possible. His date had gone terribly, so he should not be smiling. Not that he even believed his father or Natalie knew what a smile was... or recognized one that wasn't plastered on a magazine.

Happily and joyfully he ran upstairs to his room. He should be a little sad about Kagami, and was going to apologize obviously... but not even that was enough to bring him down.

It was hard to believe he even considered Kagami for so long. Sure, at some point, his feelings for her had been greater than for Marinette, but they were never greater than his love for Ladybug. So, in a weird way, Marinette/Ladybug had always been his one true love.

He sat in his bed rethinking all the interaction he had with Marinette, and all the near misses, and all the times he had "saved" her. They were always so close, yet so far.

It was hard to imagine someone as incredible as her even existed, and he was lucky to have her as his girlfriend, mother of his child, and one day his wife.

He had been a little disappointed she refused his proposal, but after seeing how insecure she was about his feelings he tried to understand. Nevertheless, he wasn't going to let that ruin their moment or their relationship.

The most amazing girl in the world loved him. She had picked him over Luka, or any other boy. He was going to have a family with that girl.

With a blush and whispering it like the secret that it was, he said, "I'm with Ladybug. I'm with Marinette. They are one and the same, and she loves me. She picked me! She loves me!"

This became Adrien's mantra for a while, the blond repeated this so many times that was ruining Plagg's eating ritual. "I knew you would be all lovey-dovey, but it's too much. So much romance makes me sick... and I can't eat my cheese!"

Plagg, despite his complaints, was thrilled that those two were together and was already counting the hours until he could see his Tikki again. Not to speak of all the fine pastries Marinette could bake for him. It was worth putting up with the whole goofy Adrien.

The blond, registering the complaint of his kwami, did the usual for these situations and gave Plagg his cheese. Of course, he didn't even notice he was giving the double of what the kwami generally ate. Said kwami also didn't mind and as he chewed the portion whole.

Cleaning his whiskers, Plagg said, "You are definitely going to be a great dad." Now, the black kwami was over the moon. His kid was happy, feeding him extra cheese, and he would see sugar cube soon... and they still say black cats have bad luck. He was proof otherwise.

He continued to look at the blond who seemed to have a whole new mantra. "I'm going to be a father," he whispered happily as he fell to his bed. This love-struck expression only lasted a few seconds as the realization kicked in. "I'm going to be a father!" He repeated once more, but this time in full panic mode. He had no idea how to be a parent. His mother was gone and his father might as well be, considering the lack of time they spent together.

Adrien didn't doubt Marinette would be an amazing mother. She had a very warm and nice family and she herself wasn't any different. Always looking out for others and sharing so much love and positivity, she was going to be the perfect mom.

But he didn't know if he would be even a good father. So far, he had been so love struck with Ladybug being Marinette and her love for him, he momentarily forgot about their kitten. He didn't know anything about babies or how to raise a child.

Feeling insecure he searched the internet. The pages he found didn't ease his fears... and instead increased them. There was so just so much he didn't know. Some pages said things that sound simple and obvious, but he still copied those fearing he might forget. Others contradicted themselves and others were just old wives tales, but even those seemed to make sense at some point.

He was freaking out completely, and was on the tenth page of don'ts when Plagg saved the day by flying in front of the screen and typed on the keyboard. The screen was soon replaced with the cutest pictures of babies. "Trust me kid, you will do just fine. Babies cry and poop. It's easy to take care of them. You feed them, change them, and give them lots of love."

"Yeah... almost what I do with you." Adrien snickered and once more over fed Plagg with a double portion of camembert.

The kwami happily ate and then, partially offended by the blonds joke, pointed out, "Just tonight, you fed me almost a whole day's worth of cheese... and you didn't even notice. If you are as distracted with the kid as you are with me, I don't know how you are going to do it."

Plagg obviously joked, but the blond seemed to believe it. "You are so right. I'm so going to mess up. I need to go back to researching..."

The kwami sighed. "I so wish Tikki was here since pep talks are usually her thing. Anyway, you will do fine, I was just joking. Let me tell you that every Chat freaked out in some way, but then they all did great work. Seriously, relax and calm down. I know you and know how much of a good caregiver you are. You have a big heart and, despite your impatient personality, you still find patience for me when I mess up... and that means a lot. If you tell Tikki, or Marinette, or even Master that I said this, I will deny it... but you are one of my favorite chosens, and I think any baby would be lucky to have you as dad."

Plagg then flew into Adrien's pocket and retrieved the ultrasound that Marinette had been kind enough to let him have. Slowly, he gave it to Adrien. "Oh, Plagg," the blond said, petting the little kwami on the head and pulling him into a hug.

"Yeah... yeah... that's enough for tonight. Now go to sleep, or buy baby stuff, or something... just anything besides research. I'm full and need my sleep, so goodnight."

With the kwami of destruction going to bed and the ultrasound in his hand, the blond decided to follow his kwami's advice and buy stuff for his kitten. There was no way he could sleep right now with how energetic he was.

Looking at baby things was a whole new world of fluff and adorableness. He found the perfect Chat Noir onesie and a tiny Ladybug dress that was just spot on. He clearly bought both. Even if Kitten was a boy, they could always save it in case they had another child someday.

Adrien didn't even notice the time go by as he proudly searched and bought things for Kitten. A few hours later, the blond lifted his head from the computer yawning, and checked his clock. Was it morning already? He just couldn't wait to show Marinette all the things he learned, and also show her the incredible things he bought.

He was prepared to go to school all excited when something strange happened. Gabriel Agreste was standing in front of his bedroom door, clearly waiting for him.

"Father?"

Chapter Text

Gabriel walked in his son's room and marched straight to the window, ignoring the dumbfounded blond in the process. Adrien was baffled and was about to speak when his father ordered, "Sit." Nervously, he obeyed. He didn't understand if his father was mad about something or if he was just being his normal, controlling self. Either way, he was too scared to ask. "I came here to talk to you," Gabriel said, finally breaking the deafening silence between the two.

"Am I in some kind of trouble?" Adrien rubbed the back of his neck nervously.

Choosing to ignore his son, he began, "You know you mean so much to me. You are my only child after all, and I want you to understand that everything I do is for you and for our family."

Slowly he turned to face Adrien directly and stared at his ring. "Father, what's going on?" The blond asked worriedly, not noticing his father looking at his miraculous.

Gabriel had come prepared to demand the miraculous. His plan was to force his son and Marinette to surrender. Natalie begged him to wait until morning so he would have time to calm down and prepare. There was no way to predict how his son would react to the truth of knowing what happened to his mother, or his father's identity. This could easily become a battle for the miraculous.

It all went down the drain when he looked at his son though. Adrien's eyes mirrored his mom's. It was as if Emilie herself was looking at him. In hopes of forgiveness, he visited her last night and apologized for what he would have to do to their son, and to their grandchild in order to save her. Memories of promising Emile to bring her back along with vowing to keep Adrien safe played over and over in the older Agreste's mind. With those green eyes staring at him, he knew he would have to find a way to honor his wife's wishes.

But now, finally seeing the worried expression on his son, Gabriel assured him, "Everything is fine. Don't worry son. I haven't been giving you the attention you need, but that will change. From now on, I promise to be here for you and to always do what's best for you. I want you to know I'm here for you son. From now on, I will be a better father to you." Awkwardly, he pulled his son into a hug.

"Thank you father," the blond replied with a smile. Adrien was truly happy. His father was making an effort to be better? His father hadn't come to make his usual demands or to remind him of his obligations. Instead, he was there to be a better father, and that was all the blond ever wanted. Could his father actually be changing for the better? He really hoped so.

Adrien was thrilled, but years of knowing his father made him suspicious. So he asked, "Where is this coming from?"

"Do I need a particular reason to care for you? I'm just doing what any good parent would do. It took me a while to recover after what happened to your mother, but that's no excuse for how I have been treating you." Gabriel seeming a little offended, but that quickly dissipated seeing his son's joyful expression.

Seeing that wide smile in Adrien was almost enough to make Gabriel forget the negative emotions he felt in his akumatized son. That anger and sadness and loneliness in Adrien made Gabriel think that maybe he truly didn't know how much he meant to him. He knew his son felt neglected because he had felt it first hand during the akumatization. Chat Blanc wasn't only about a broken heart, instead it was about a heart aching for love and affection. "Adrien, you are the most important thing in my life, but I haven't been treating you like that. I'm sorry." Gabriel gave Adrien a sincere smile.

The blond, seeing some good in his father, somehow smiled even more and pulled his dad into a short, yet warm, hug. This was the moment Adrien's driver showed up, indicating it was time to go. The blond happily grabbed his backpack and went to school with the happiest expression Gabriel had ever seen. "Have a nice day at school!" Gabriel shouted out after his son as the blond left.

The moment his son was gone, he sat at his son's piano. Natalie entered Adrien's room very casually, but her presence seemed to go unnoticed by the Agreste in the room. "What about the plan?" Natalie asked, gently touching Gabriel on the shoulders and making him aware of her presence.

She had followed him this morning and eavesdropped onto the conversation, since he could very well need her help as Mayura. She was surprised that he hadn't demanded the miraculous or told Adrien about his mother. With her soothing touch, he was able to admit, "It changed. I just couldn't do it. If I must do this... then my son must not know the truth... He must not know what happened to his mother or the consequences that my wish will bring upon his child. It would break him. I have to protect him from that."

"What would break him? What happened to his mother or the consequences the wish would have on his child?" Natalie absent-mindedly pondered these thoughts out loud.

He let out a heavy sight that was soon followed by his response. "It won't matter! Once I get their miraculous, my son will be completely oblivious to the existence of those wretched jewels. Everything, from his friends to that girl, and the child itself, shall also be gone from his mind."

"Are you sure this wish will cost your grandchild?" Natalie questioned, remembering their conversation from last night.

"They say the final wish requires balance. One life for another. It should be sacrificed for my family. My son can have other kids in a faraway future. Once he is an actual adult and married, of course."

"Are really sure about going forward, sir? Whatever you chose, I'll support you." Natalie knew him quite well and didn't feel his usual determination in his words.

Unsure if to prove it to himself, or to her, he declared, "Yes, I'm sure. Can you imagine what would be of my son if he was a father at such a young age? This is not the life Emile and I envisioned for him. I failed as a parent, but I won't do that anymore. Not when this chance is so close. Nothing is going to stop me from doing the best thing for him. I can't let anything stop me from getting my family together!"

"Nothing will stop you, sir. But what about the girl? Will she remember anything?" Natalie now felt his heart was completely set on the goal.

"No, she will be as clueless as my son. And for that, I'm glad. After all, she has given me nothing but trouble for years. Helping my son disobey me, throwing my son into danger during the fights, Stopping me from getting my family together, stealing the miraculous book, defeating all my akumas, messing up all my plans..." Gabriel was obviously a little frustrated.

Stopping her boss from continuing his rant, she asked, "What do you want to do about her?"

"... and lastly, forcing me into this awful position!" He finished his rant, only to answer to Natalie. "But my son really loves her. I felt it when I akumatized him. So I will not harm her on purpose. If I do this right, there won't be any need to do so, because he will bring her to us. Still, she is resourceful and smart. Too bad she's our enemy. So, to avoid surprises, make sure our ally keeps a close eye on her and on my son. Worst case scenario, our ally becomes Plan B."

"Are you sure getting Lila involved, in any way, is the best solution?"

"Absolutely. Maybe if I had listened to her warnings earlier about Marinette, this whole mess could have been avoided. I want to know where that girl eats, who her best friends are... all about her. I won't let anything else slip by me. My son hid his secret from me for years, and now with this news, let's just say, I don't want anything to mess up our goal. One way or another I'll have my perfect family... the way it used to be." He took a heavy sigh when he noticed the poorly hidden ultrasound and his whole tone changed. "Is this all my fault? Should I have been more strict on him?"

Natalie feeling him tense, assured him, "Adrien would be hard to control. He got that from you, sir. This happened, but there's still time to fix everything. We will go back to the past and won't make the same mistakes. This time, Emile will be saved and all that happened about becoming a villain or him a hero will be pointless. You are doing what's best for Adrien."

"Am I?" He whispered to himself, but his assistant still heard it. She had seen him broken, sad, and determined. But for the first time, she believed she was seeing him insecure. She wrapped her arms around him to give him the reassurance he needed.

"Master. This is your grandchild we are talking about." Nooroo nervously flew out of his hiding, in hopes that his master could be convinced otherwise. However, Gabriel's fists smashed against the piano keys making it complain in a form of unbalanced keys and scaring the poor kwami.

With an assertive tone, he admitted "'It's a sacrifice that needs to be made. This is the right thing to do! Even if it's hard, I have crossed many lines to get this far and this is just another line. I have never been so close to finally succeeding. Soon Emilie will be with us. It's going to be like nothing ever happened... like this never happened. She will be by my side. Our family will be happy together. And that is all that matters. I can't fail now."

Grabbing Gabriel's aching hands, Natalie assured him, "You won't fail. This time, the miraculous will be ours."

They stayed silent together, in each other's comfort until Natalie asked, "If you won't demand their miraculous from them, then what will you do?"

"Slowly try to win more of my son's trust while acting normal as Hawkmoth. I want them to feel like I haven't changed my plan, make them think they are safe and nothing has changed. Meanwhile, I'll wait until I have the right opportunity to catch them off guard as Gabriel."

"They won't even see it coming or realize what is happening. It's genius!" Natalie allowed herself to demonstrate how impressed she was.

"Genius isn't the right word, but it's what needs to be done for my son and my family. I don't like it, but it's our best choice. Go set up a meeting with Lila. Her help will be crucial if we want to stay one step ahead. Now, please go. I need some time alone."

Meanwhile at Collège Françoise Dupont, everyone waited for Marinette. Some wanted exclusives on why Chat Blanc went after her. Others wanted to know if she was okay after that akuma... for example, Luka, Juleka, Rose, and Nino. Alya wanted to make sure her friend was okay and also get her scoop, while Lila just wished the cat had at least managed to hurt the bluenette. To make the liar even angrier, Marinette had managed to get everyone's attention. But as long as Adrien didn't fall for that. She wouldn't do anything.

Missing Adrien already and not predicting the crowd waiting for her, Marinette went to school early to be with him. The moment she arrived, even before she entered, Juleka's brother found her and immediately pulled her into a tight hug. "I was so worried about you. Worse than the pain of the cataclysm was being helpless to save you."

"I'm fine, really." She smiled. Despite her reassurance, he didn't let go of the hug... and instead... hugged her even tighter as if he was afraid she would disappear. It was at this exact moment that a not so smiling Adrien arrived and walked to Marinette, not noticing the angry look on Lila's face.

Controlling his jealousy, he asked, "So what's going on here? Why is everyone around Marinette?"

Nino stepped in to explain, while Marinette freed herself from Luka's embrace. "Dude, you haven't heard? Chat Noir was akumatized last night. He went after Marinette and cataclysmed Luka... and a few other people along with some buildings. It was horrible, and the videos of the fight between him and Ladybug are hard to watch."

"What?" Adrien was genuinely surprised. She had not mentioned him using his cataclysm, or how much damage he really caused. When he asked her, she made it seem like it wasn't worse than the typical akuma.

Alya intervened breaking the blond from his thoughts. "Thankfully, Ladybug bounced back and saved the day. Too bad, there isn't footage of that scene. I bet it was epic."

"I bet it wasn't a big deal. I mean, it was just another akuma fight. No need to keep talking about it." Marinette tried to not make Adrien feel guilty about what happened. She didn't want her boyfriend to blame himself over it.

"No big deal? This is our two heroes against each other. Just see how hard the fight was for Ladybug. It was hit after hit." To prove her point, Alya had the not so brilliant idea of showing the images of Chat Blanc painfully throwing Ladybug around.

As he saw the images, Adrien reached his hand for Marinette, but she quickly pulled back. He didn't understand if it was fear because of the memories of the akuma, or if she was second-guessing their relationship.

"Is everything okay with us?" He whispered, not only feeling insecure about their relationship but also feeling extremely guilty for his actions as Chat Blanc. Had those awful images changed her mind about being with him?

Chapter Text

The battle still continued to play on Alya's phone as Adrien painfully waited for Marinette to answer him. Between everyone around them, she had barely heard his whisper. "Is everything okay between us?"

She saw the fear in his eyes. The bluenette wanted to explain the reason why she pulled him away. She wanted to take that fear right away but couldn't, not with people around. They shared a look and he understood her immediately. That was the advantage of working as a team for so long. They knew how to communicate and read each other like no one else could. The blond quickly relaxed, understanding her underlying message of "I love you and we will talk about this later."

In the meantime, he was forced to see himself hurt her on the screen. It was horrific to see that fight, yet he found himself unable to take his eyes off it. Wishing to see for himself what he had done. Looking at those scenes he wanted to beat himself for it. He knew that in the end, she won, as usual, and he came back to normal, but that didn't stop the uneasy feeling he had while watching that battle.

Lucky the bell rang stopping that whole "view party" and everyone went to class instead. The queasy feeling of those scenes still weighed on him. The rest of the morning he acted as normal as he could, and she did the same, but neither could resist staring too long or blushing while looking at the other.

During lunch was the moment the bluenette finally got her chance. Careful not be seen, she pulled him into an empty classroom and locked the door. She not only wanted to be with him, but more importantly, to explain why she pulled him away.

The second the door was locked. He immediately grabbed onto her, holding her tightly and apologizing. "I'm so sorry. You and Kitten are my everything, and I can't believe I hurt both of you like that. Granted I didn't know, but still. I should never have let myself get akumatized. I was so horrible to you."

With her hand reaching for his blond locks and a warm smile, she tried to calm him down. "It's okay Kitty. It's not your fault..."

But he interrupted. "If it's not my fault then why didn't you tell me about what I did to Luka yesterday, and to the city, and more importantly to you. It was so awful. Why did you hide all those atrocities?"

"I didn't want you to blame yourself. Chat Blanc wasn't you. I know you and he wasn't you. The only one responsible for this is Hawkmoth. It's his fault."

"If you really think Hawkmoth is to blame, why did you look so scared when watching the fights?"

"No. I wasn't scared." She lied. She was a little terrified remembering those moments, but who wouldn't be? However, she knew that the one in the video wasn't her Adrien. She knew her kitty was the one in front of her and that she had no reason to fear. "Hawkmoth is the one responsible for this, not you." She answered truthfully this time.

He was happy that she didn't hold any of it against him. "I still can't believe that video. I need to know everything that happened. Please tell me all that akumatized me did." He was practically begging.

Marinette sighed before explaining everything in great detail. She told him how he used his cataclysm on Luka, and then went after Master Fu, and ended by telling how he would have used his cataclysm on her if she hadn't told him about Kitten and her identity.

Small tears began to form in his eyes, and he became shocked to know how close he was to losing her and their child. "I'm so sorry." He apologized, feeling no words could ever be enough. He almost tried to cataclysm her, after all. How could she even look at him? What would he even be without her?

"Stop apologizing. Hawkmoth is the guilty one not you." She told him in hopes he would cease blaming himself.

Adrien finally understood she was right, but that didn't change the fact that since he lost his mother, he was scared of losing anyone else, so he cherished and protected everyone in his life. Now the thought that Marinette and Kitten were so close to being cataclysmed away was enough to make him tremble. The love of his life and his child were almost gone, and it would have been Hawkmoth's fault.

Looking at him, she could see the horrified expression on his face. It showed his fear of losing her and his anger towards the villain. Holding his hand to bring him back from his thoughts, she assured him, "Adrien, it's okay. You were saved. Me and Kitten didn't get hurt. Paris is back to normal and we are together, and neither me nor Kitten are going anywhere."

"But..." She quickly silenced him with a kiss. Another "But..." escaped his lips that was also silenced in the same way as the one before. Under her soothing touch and kiss he felt at home. Slowly he pulled her closer. He wanted to hold and protect her in his arms. He knew at that moment that he would not let anyone hurt her or Kitten, and that Hawkmoth would definitely pay for akumatizing him.

Feeling safe in his tight embrace, she decided this was the right moment to explain why she kept her distance from him earlier. "I'm sorry if I scared you out there, but yesterday Chat was all over me, and now the day after, I'm suddenly with Adrien? I didn't think the exposure would get this big. If we admit our relationship now, people will easily find out your identity and then it's only a step away from knowing mine."

"Don't you think it's too much? People won't know. Besides that, does it even matter? Hawkmoth almost surely does. Why can't we just tell everyone, so we can be like this without worrying if someone sees us or not."

She sighed, "We have to be careful. He can come after us, our families, friends, or even Kitten." She rested her hand on her stomach, and both of them shared a frightened look. Hawkmoth coming for Kitten had not been something Adrien even considered up to this point and was something Marinette feared a lot. The bluenette, moving beyond the serious danger on their child, continued, "I spoke to Master yesterday before going home, and we agreed it would be easier to protect everyone if the identities remained a secret to everyone else even if Hawkmoth already knows who we are. He also told us to be extremely cautious, he wanted our miraculous, but I convinced him we could handle it. I gave him my word."

Marinette was speaking, but all he heard was Ladybug. It was incredible how he hadn't noticed how similar they were. Right now, he saw the strong determined Ladybug in the amazingly sweet and delicate Marinette. "You're so right Bugaboo. We have to be careful for our families, friends, and especially Kitten. Besides, if people knew I was also Chat, then I would have double the attention on me and I'd lose my freedom. But it still makes me sad that I can't scream at the wind that I am dating the most amazing girl in the world."

"It sucks that we have to keep us a secret for a little while longer. Until this whole Chat Blanc and Marinette fiasco blows over, we have to be sneaky." She gave him a teasing poke on the nose.

"I hope it doesn't last long, so I can properly call you my girlfriend." He pulled her into a tight hug.

After giggling at his actions, she stopped and stood still in his arms. She admitted, "I just wish there was something we could do instead of waiting to see what Hawkmoth does. I wish we could just handle him so that everyone, including us, could be safe. It would be great if we could defeat him, so we didn't have to live in fear. Just be able to be us, and Kitten, and happy."

He felt the same way as her. There was nothing more he wanted than to send the villain away from their lives. He wanted him gone, especially after Chat Blanc. "Don't worry. I promise that he will be defeated." His tone was deadly serious. "I also vow to protect you and Kitten against anything. No one will come close to you or Kitten without going through me." He assured her, "If Hawkmoth even dares to lay a finger on you, he won't know what hit him."

They kissed, letting themselves forget about the world around them. It was just the three of them, and it was perfect. There were no miraculous, no Hawkmoth, no teen pregnancy, and no secrets. All they felt right there was love.

Under his strong and powerful embrace, she felt protected. It was old fashion, but she really felt like a princess around him. "I love you My Kitty. And as your reward for being so perfect, I brought you and Plagg some snacks." Marinette took the treats out of her bag.

Immediately reacting to the mention of food, the black kwami launched out of Adrien's jacket at superspeed. "Don't ever let her go," the kwami said as he devoured the food.

"I won't Plagg." Adrien assured his hungry kwami, who seemed too distracted to care. The black kwami had stayed silent during that whole sappy talk, but now that food was on the line, he couldn't resist.

"Leave something for Adrien." Tikki flew out of Marinette's bag and reprimanded her counterpart.

"Don't worry. I'm used to it." Adrien laughed "I got the short straw on the kwami side."

"Don't say that. Plagg is also amazing." Marinette defended the small cat kwami.

"You bet I am." The black kwami defended himself and flew immediately to the bluenette, who began petting him on the head. "I'm like cheese. I'm an acquired taste. Some people just don't appreciate my exquisite flavor." The cat kwami snickered as he swallowed a macaroon whole.

"You know I appreciate you, Plagg. You're my best friend." Adrien said in his favor.

"Don't worry. Plagg is just on his sugar high. It'll blow over." Tikki reassured the blond as she sat on his shoulder.

Not to be outdone by Tikki, Plagg flew out and sat on Adrien's shoulder also. "Of course I'm on a sugar high. My sugar cube is next to me and she is right, I'll forgive you Adrien, but you have to let me stay in Marinette's bag with Tikki for the rest of the day." Adrien nodded, giving his kwami permission to stay with Tikki. The red kwami sighed while Plagg smiled with glee.

"We should get going now," Marinette said, opening her bag for the kwamis to enter.

"Fine," he pouted, sad that they couldn't stay a little longer.

She unlocked the door and looked around before leaving the room. He soon followed behind. Unfortunately, they weren't as careful as they would have hoped since both Alya and Lila saw them leave. The whispering between Marinette and Adrien along with the looks between them had not gone unnoticed by either of the girls. So, each on their own, had followed the two. Alya was thrilled by her friend while Lila was completely enraged. This only magnified her desire for revenge. It wasn't enough that Marinette had thrown up on her and that she got all the sympathy, but she was also taking Adrien away? This wouldn't go unpunished. Her revenge had been put on hold since she was still trying to investigate more about that old man in a Hawaiian shirt. He had to be important to Marinette since she went to him when she was broken down and crying. So, Lila expected to use him for her plans, but so far, he seemed to be just a boring and useless man.

While Lila burned with rage, Marinette and Adrien rejoiced with the happiness that comes with a new relationship. Despite him trying to stay away as he promised, he still spent the afternoon texting, whispering, and sending notes to Marinette to know if she was feeling too cold or too warm, if she had been sleeping enough and eating enough, if she still remembered he loved her, and if she knew how much he loved her.

Marinette smiled at him and always answered back, adding as many hearts and drawings of kisses as possible. Neither paid attention in class. It was all back and forth of the secret messages and looking around to make sure they weren't caught. It was as exciting as it was romantic.

At the end of the day, and after most of the students left, the only ones that remained in the classroom were Alya, Nino, Adrien, and Marinette... while Lila, still consumed with anger, stayed at the doorway eavesdropping.

Inside the room, Alya and Nino both prevented Marinette and Adrien from leaving. "So, are you and Adrien together now? And does he know?" Alya asked, holding nothing back.

The bluenette paused for a few seconds to think, but eventually decided that there was no point in hiding it from Alya. It was against her plan, but with her best friends reporting skills, there really was no point in hiding it from her.

"Yes, we are a couple and he does know I'm pregnant." This was not a shock for anyone in the room but was for Lila. Her rage only grew hearing the news of Marinette being with pregnant with Adrien's kid.

"Dude, so you are the father?" Nino said surprised and looking at his bro. He already knew about the pregnancy but had no idea his friend was the baby's dad.

"Yes," Adrien replied completely shocked his friends knew about Kitten before he did.

Marinette seemed surprised that Nino knew and quickly turned to Alya " He knew" 

Before Alya had a chance to speak, he clarified "She didn't tell me, Dudette. I happened to hear you talking to Alya. It was an accident."

"Nino. Why didn't you tell me anything?" Adrien finally managed to ask his friend.

Nervously, he explained, "Because I didn't know it was yours, bro. I figured it was most likely Luka's. After last night, I even considered Chat Noir to be the father." Alya's eyes went wide as if she had a revelation, but that went unnoticed by her boyfriend and her nervous friends. Nino continued his conversation unaware of the storm racing inside Alya's mind. "I never figured you and Marinette would go that far. I also wasn't supposed to know, so I couldn't tell you. Still, I tried to be supportive with Marinette. I tried being a good buddy to her, so she knew she wasn't alone."

"Thank you, Nino, for being such a good friend." Marinette smiled at him appreciatively.

With a pout, Adrien said, "I still can't believe you told Alya first, and that even Nino knew before me."

"Doesn't matter now sunshine boy. What matters is that my assumption on the father was right, and that you and Marinette are together." Alya said with a smile and regaining her composure and trying to act normal. It was only an assumption, and she was a professional, so she could not let that shock her. Although her assumption on the baby's father was right, so this one could be too.

"Yes we are." They both said together as Adrien placed his arm around Marinette. When he did that, Alya took the time to compare their height differences and overall body posture. This was it. It matched. She was absolutely sure she was right, but she had to test it out. "This is all very great, but the only thing better would be if Chat Noir and Ladybug also became a couple. How funny would that be?" She noticed the slight exchange of looks between Adrien and Marinette. It had to be true. Her best friends were likely Paris most famous superheroes.

Nino asked, "How soon are you going to start telling people?"

"We aren't sure," Adrien said remembering Marinette wanted to keep it a secret. "My father still doesn't know, and we want to keep us a secret for a while to avoid his wrath and the media." He covered brilliantly.

Marinette calmed down. Alya and Nino were easier to fool than she expected. She felt bad for not telling the truth, but it was safer this way. How would they react to knowing their best friends were heroes?

Sadly, to break the moment, Adrien's phone buzzed reminding him it was time to go home.

Alya, Nino, and Marinette decided to use the time to talk and go for a walk in the park. Not noticing Lila was behind them. Eventually, even they had to go, leaving Marinette alone to watch the happy families playing with their kids. She couldn't wait to be able for her and Adrien to play with Kitten like that.

"I noticed you and Adrien today. You guys seemed very close." Lila's voice broke the bluenette out of her happy thoughts.

"Me and Adrien? No! There isn't anything between us!" She tried to cover.

"Are you sure? I think there is a lot going on between the two of you." Lila's smile as she looked at Marinette's stomach, made the bluenette gulp. Somehow she knew.

Marinette slowly began walking backward as Lila got closer. "You don't think he actually loves you, do you? He is too good for you. And between us, we both know why he's really with you." She taunted Marinette and rejoiced to see the stairs that were right behind where the bluenette was walking.

"You're wrong!" Marinette argued.

"Am I? How about we test it out?" Lila took another step closer and Marinette found herself on the edge of the stairs. She didn't have a way out but down and she had a bad feeling that Lila was willing to push her.

"Everything okay, here?" Nino's sudden question was enough to startle them. The bluenette's heart was racing, and with Lila's overconfidence, neither had seen him approach them. Without a second to think, Marinette rushed past Lila and next to him.

"We were just talking," Lila defended herself as she swiftly made her exit. "See you later Marinette."

"Are you okay?" Nino asked, noticing the pale look on Marinette's face. She nodded, but he didn't seem to believe it. Seeing this scene, he was happy he had to come back.

"Can you walk me home?"

"Sure." He made sure Lila was completely gone before asking Marinette, "What was happening here?"

"Nothing." She lied. She knew that if she told the truth, Nino might not believe her... or most likely, he would believe her and go straight to tell Adrien. She knew that if her boyfriend knew, he would get worried and overprotective. She didn't want to worry Adrien.

Not very far from there, and still upset that she had been stopped, Lila monologued. "She got lucky this time! But I will get my way! She and her child will be destroyed, leaving Adrien for me. Having him will be both my revenge against her, and also my reward." Suddenly, her phone rang with a call from none other than Gabriel Agreste's number. She accepted the call, knowing he would be the ideal person to help her.

Chapter Text

After three weeks of patiently waiting for this, Lila found herself in Gabriel Agreste's office. With her rehearsed lines, and before even giving him the chance to speak, she began, "I was so glad you arranged this meeting because I seriously fear for Adrien. This Marinette girl has been after him and I'm afraid he will fall for her traps. She might even be out for the money. I had to warn you before it was too late."

Gabriel was not pleased with Lila being the first to intervene. But his ego aside, this was good. She wanted Marinette far away from Adrien as much as he did. "I assure you that I'm aware of my son's courtship with Miss Dupain-Cheng. That was the reason I scheduled this meeting in the first place. I need to know, what can you tell me about her?"

Faking concern, she continued, "She collects boys like trophies. I'm scared Adrien will just be another for her. She has dated almost every guy in class and a few not in class. The best thing is to send her far away from your son." With a grin, she followed up by showing pictures of Marinette and Luka close. She also showed pictures of Marinette with Nino, Nathaniel, Marc, and even some of Chat Noir sitting with the bluenette.

Gabriel stared at the pictures and then at all the information he had about Marinette, including her medical files. He had paid a lot to his investigators for it. In the end, he couldn't let all of his plan to depend on Lila's abilities. What the documents told him didn't match what she was telling him. They described the bluenette as friendly and social, smart, overachieving, and hardworking... nothing indicating she was a gold digger. Although he wished otherwise, the truth was that the bluenette was most likely not lying about the paternity of the child.

Additionally, he was also quite familiar with the personal feud between Marinette and Lila. Still, despite everything, he didn't particularly care about it or the lies he was clearly being feed. Nothing he knew would change the plan he had. "You know what happens when a man loses the woman he loves?"

"No." Lila failed to see how that related to breaking up Marinette and Adrien and sending away the bluenette on a one-way trip.

Staring at Emilie's painting he confessed, "He loses himself and is only able to live in the memories of her. He exists and his heart still beats, but he is as dead as she is. He can never love again. He doesn't know how."

"Is this about Adrien's mom?"

Refusing to answer, he abruptly turned his attention back to her and explained, "My point is that it won't work. Eliminating her or forcing them apart wouldn't help. It would only hurt Adrien and make his adoration for her to grow."

She had surprisingly not considered that. Her anger had, for a moment, clouded her judgment. "What do you suggest then?"

"Find what breaks them. Learn what makes them tick. We have to know what divides them. But for that, we need intel."

Immediately, she understood he was counting on her. It wasn't exactly what she wanted out of this meeting, especially when she spent three weeks just counting on his help, but it was a great start. He was right, and the best part was that if Marinette and Adrien broke up, then he would be heartbroken... making him so much easier to conquer. "You can count on me."

A smile creeped out of Gabriel's mouth "Good. I believe he is at Place des Vosges, likely with her right now. Go get started on your work."

With the meeting over and with both parties happy, Lila left... already prepared to begin her spying. The moment she closed the door though, she heard a squeaking voice talking. "Don't do this to your son! What would he say?"

She found it weird since she was just there alone with Gabriel. So, to find out what was happening, she opened the door.

In front of the designer was a weird flying creature, but he didn't seem impressed by it. Instead, he looked annoyed as if he'd heard that too many times and, with all honesty, he had. He looked at Emilie´s picture knowing there was nothing he wouldn't do for his family meaning her and Adrien. To presumably silent the creature, he transformed, and Lila could barely hold in a gasp. The man she already took as her future as father-in-law was Hawkmoth ? It was almost too good to be true.

Meanwhile, Adrien enjoyed a nice day out with his friends at the park. This was just more proof that his father really was changing. The blond almost felt like his father was pushing him out of the house, which was an improvement over keeping him locked in.

"And that is why Ladybug and Chat Noir both owe me 234 interviews each," Alya explained... bringing the blond back to that moment. Previously when Alya brought up the subject of the superheroes, he and Marinette were scared, but now they were just amused and shared knowing looks. "Or, they could just tell me their identities so that I can forgive him them. I wouldn't post it on the Ladyblog and would keep their secrets. They can trust me." Alya looked at Marinette and Adrien to see if they would break.

Marinette's face turned serious because she never played with secret identities. "You know they have to keep their identities a secret in order to save Paris. The less people know about them the better!"

Before Alya had a chance to say anything, Nino argued, "I get it, but it would be fun to hang out and share an ice cream with them... or just chill in the park with them."

Adrien pointed out, "You can all of that with us. We are not superheroes but we're your friends." Alya almost wanted to smack her friend in the head for his words. Were they seriously not getting the not so subtle hints she was throwing their way? Not only did they not tell her, but acted like it wasn't any of her business? This was really getting under her nerves.

Marinette noticed Alya seemed quite annoyed, probably by the fact that the heroes couldn't reveal themselves. So, the bluenette once again tried to explain, "Alya, I know it's annoying not to know, but they are doing it for yours and everyone else's good. It's not that they don't trust you or worry that you will tell anyone. They don't want you to be in danger. It's their job to keep everyone safe, especially the ones closest to them even if sometimes it hurts them or forces them to lie. That's a burden they accepted when they put on the suit and that it never ends."

Alya understood what Marinette meant. when she was given the fox miraculous, she also didn't tell Marinette in order to protect her. she felt bad at the time, although maybe now, knowing it was actually Marinette giving her the miraculous, she felt a little better but still it was painful not being able to share or talk to anyone about it. It was a huge responsibility and having no one to share it made it even worse.

She could only imagine how many times Marinette and Adrien felt that way. How did they even deal with the pressure? She and Nino always used them as guides, but they themselves had no one to tell them what to do during battles. It was literally the fate of Paris in their hands every day.

Immediately feeling guilty for the pressure she was putting on her friends along with all the pressure they already dealt on a daily basis, she pulled Marinette into the tightest of hugs. "You're right. I can't imagine how hard it must be for them, but I hope that they understand that if they ever need me, I'm here for them... both me and Nino are."

Marinette was surprised and smiled. "They know."

Adrien looked confused at his girlfriend, feeling there was something he wasn't getting. Seeing his expression was when she remembered that she still hadn't told him the identities of Rena Rouge or Carapace. She would tell him later.

It was during the extremely long hug that André showed up with his ice cream cart. With his singing and with the sun shining brightly over them, this was the best thing that could have happened. "They say his ice cream is magical!" Alya mentioned, while finally letting go of her friend.

With a smile, Marinette admitted, "I'm not sure about that, but it means a lot to my family. My father actually asked my mother to marry him with ice cream from André and it was so romantic." And with that, she got a little emotional. She just loved her parents' engagement story so much. It was simple but sweet, just like them.

Adrien and Nino didn't need any more encouragement than that to get up and go buy ice cream for their girlfriends.

On his way there, Adrien couldn't get Marinette's words off his mind. That's how her father proposed and she loved it. It was simple yet heartwarming... and a nice story to tell Kitten later. So, he immediately found himself looking for the ring and cursed when he realized he had forgotten it in his house. Maybe it was better that he did... because they hadn't discussed marriage. Last time he proposed, she had turned him down. Granted it was different this time, but he didn't want to risk their relationship.

Nino faced his own dilemma, not knowing if he should talk about Lila or not. Eventually, he decided it was time to talk with his buddy about it. "Dude, did Marinette ever tell you about what happened with her and Lila?"

Adrien's happy thoughts were broken at the mention of Lila and Marinette in the same sentence. "No. She didn't tell me a thing. What happened?"

Seeing Adrien's worried and almost angry expression, the DJ almost regretted bringing it up. "It's probably nothing. It's just I saw them a few weeks ago talking and got strange vibes. I know Lila would never do anything bad... but still, Marinette seemed pretty shaken up about it and, to this day, she still avoids Lila at all costs."

Adrien had noticed Marinette seemed more careful and worried, but he guessed it was about Hawkmoth. Lila was also dangerous in her own way, so it was safe to assume Marinette was just being more cautious in general. Speaking of the devil, it was at this moment he saw Lila was hiding on the other side of the park and looking at them.

He didn't like it one bit, especially if she had been around Marinette before. He wasn't a fool and he knew the kind of liar she didn't even need to know what happened for his protective instincts kicked in, He was very good at being calm and giving people a chance, but not when it put the people he loved in danger. His eyes drifted to his lady knowing there was nothing he wouldn't do for his family meaning her and , after giving a lame excuse, he went straight to Lila.

The moment he reached her... he didn't wait for her to talk as he immediately warned, "Lila you have to stay away from Marinette."

"Whatever she told you is clearly a lie."

"She isn't like you."

"Isn't she? Tell me, weren't you the last to know about her pregnancy? Are you sure it's even yours? It could be Luka's. They are really close... or maybe it's Chat Noir's."

His eyes fumed with anger and his voice ordered her, "I'm not playing games. You stay away."

Lila was enraged. Marinette had Adrien in the palm of her hand, and it was all because of that brat she had in her belly. Feeling the very strong and dark emotions around, Gabriel did what he had done for years in this situation and released an akuma... knowing full well this would be one of the most powerful.

Chapter Text

Adrien's heart was filled with rage and he was already constantly worried about what Hawkmoth would do. So, he definitely didn't need the stress of wondering what Lila would do. His fear came with the anger that neither of them seemed to let him just be happy with Marinette. However, based on the still fresh experience, he knew better than to let those feelings consume him. So, he forced himself to focus on the love of his life. She was smiling and laughing with Nino and Alya. Her blue eyes met his and sparked in response. He couldn't help but smile like a fool when she looked at him like that.

Lila growled seeing the blond sitting next to Marinette. The bluenette immediately having the audacity of laying her head over his shoulder. Just like a hunter that found its prey, Lila snatched the akuma from the air and placed it on her earrings. "Hello Hawkmoth. I accept the deal! Just give me the powers."

Gabriel was very happily surprised with her enthusiasm. "Very well then Truthteller. Remember to bring the miraculous. May I just suggest not hurting Chat Noir or..." After a long pause that even Lila began to wonder if he was going to continue or not, he finished, "...or Ladybug. No harm needs to be done to them, right?"

Not listening to his advice, she just asked, "What is my power?"

"The strongest of them all," he assured her. Satisfied with his answer, she quickly let herself be engulfed by the akumatization. Her clothes were replaced with white. Her hair changed slightly to an almost fiery red tone. Her skin became deathly pale, contrasting with her hair, eyes, and lips. Her once green olive eyes became tainted with a violent angry scarlet tone that only seemed outmatched by the even bloodier tone of her lips.

As Adrien laughed along with everyone, he suddenly got a queasy feeling in the back of his head. It was in the split-second he saw the fearful expressions of Alya and Nino he, by instinct, ducked over to protect Marinette. Something passed him by, too close for his comfort. Unexpectedly, Truthteller jumped in the middle of the group. "How sweet. You trying to protect her?"

While still protecting Marinette, he warned, "Lila, you don't want to do this!"

"But I do. I really do." She began to prepare her attack.

Taking advantage of her being distracted, Alya wrapped the wire of Nino's headphones around her while he covered her eyes with his cap.

Marinette and Adrien were still recovering from shock with the akumatization and with her friends quick thinking, when Alya ordered them, "Both of you go. We will hold her off as long as we can. Hopefully until Ladybug and Chat Noir come." The smirk that came with her words was missed by Marinette and Adrien as they immediately took that opportunity to run away.

Alya and Nino struggled hard as the villain tried to free herself. Both gave their best. Eventually it was enough as they managed to survive until their friends were out of sight. The second Truthteller broke free, she growled in frustration. She took one look at them and eventually decided they weren't worth her using her powers on.

Happy to still be alive and to be able to fight an akuma without any powers, Nino celebrated. "It's so cool that our daily superhero partnership couple training has been working." Alya smiled seeing how proud he was. Without needing to say anything, they both bumped their fist and exclaimed the famous, "Pound it!"

Meanwhile, Adrien and Marinette tried to catch their breaths after their sprint. Lucky they were now safely hidden. With the adrenaline still pumping in her blood, she began calling her transformation but was interrupted by Adrien. "What are you doing? You aren't really about to transform, are you?"

"Not this again!" She exasperated. "I already told you that the suit protects me and Kitten. Besides it's not like I'm the one that goes around and likes to be hit." Her expression showed how tired of having this conversation before every single akuma she was... and his face showed exactly the same expression.

Trying to make it even clearer, he obviously explained, "You're pregnant. You must stay safe and hidden. Let me handle this one."

"Whatever happened to we're a team? We are in this together?"

"We are. But we can still be together if let's say one goes to fight while the other stays here where it's safe?"

"I can agree with that," she said with a mischievous smile that didn't ease Adrien at all. His suspicions were proven correct by the fact she called her transformation and immediately began running towards the akuma. "You'll be the scaredy-cat then while I go save Paris," she shouted as she continued full speed towards the akuma. He exasperated before transforming and following her.

Red eyes met blue as Truthteller faced Ladybug. Immediately the heroine tried to wrap her yoyo around the villain, but it didn't work as Truthteller easily untangled herself. Responding to the attack, she sent a bean of white light out of her hands and into her opponent's direction.

Luckily, Chat realizing his lady would not have enough time to dodge, stepped in just in time to deflect it with his staff. Truthteller growled furiously and increased her efforts to hit either of them by sending bigger and more powerful beams. Chat still protected his lady a couple times and she did the same, but it was hard to protect the other while avoiding being hit at the same time.

After pushing him away from what would have been a certain hit, she got blasted by an unexpected second beam. All the cameras and people in Paris froze. Horror reflected on everyone's faces, especially on Chat's. The attack only lasted seconds, but it felt like a lifetime as the tension became palpable across the city. So far, no one knew what the rays did, so everyone watched in terror. "My lady, are you okay?" Chat asked completely terrified.

With panic in her eyes and looking at her body to certify she was still intact, she answered, "Maybe? I don't know! What if that hurt our child?" The moment she said those words she knew what Truthteller's powers really were. She couldn't lie or deflect. Anything she thought came out of her mouth.

Everyone gasped in surprise realizing Ladybug was pregnant. She just hid her face in her hands trying not to panic with the fact that now everyone, especially the media, knew. Chat, trying to calm her down but also trying to make sure she wasn't hurt, decided to pull her into a hug.

Truthteller complained, "That's it? She didn't get zapped or anything?"

Talking directly to her, Hawkmoth defended his choice of powers. "As a professional at bending the truth, I would expect you to understand the power that not being able to lie would have." He wasn't heartless and just because he was doing this didn't meant he wanted his child, or even his grandchild, in unnecessary danger. His akuma victim didn't seem happy about it, but he didn't care.

"I can't lie!" Ladybug confessed to Chat and he took a sigh of relief, while she kept panicking.

Largely unhappy, Truthteller began shooting her beams at civilians, almost hitting a certain blue haired guitarist and his fiancé. Chat let go of his lady to protect the people, while she still tried to compose herself. Realizing this opportunity, reporters began circling Ladybug and asking questions from how far along she was to if she had names yet... and the cleverer ones went straight to asking her and Chat's identity.

Just as she was about to answer, two hands covered her mouth. She looked at Alya there. She had pushed her way and toppled over a few people just to save her friend.

Repeating the same words Marinette had told her earlier, "The less people know about them, the better."

Looking at her friend, Ladybug's eyes went from thankful mode to I know what to do now. Taking Alya's hands away, she told Chat, "Hold the akuma off while you can." He nodded in agreement as she quickly made her way to Master Fu.

The black hero continued to face the white villain. "Can't you see Hawkmoth is just using you?"

"Please! You don't know him. He is so powerful. And for him, I'm an ally while you are just an annoyance and an obstacle." She mocked not realizing how Chat was preparing his move.

"Right back at him." Chat snickered before painfully pinning her to the ground and adding, "Tell him his time is coming and that he will pay for everything he has done. That's a promise!"

With a pit a fear, but mostly because he wasn't able to listen to this anymore, Hawkmoth ordered, "That's enough Truthteller! Focus more on the battle and stop bickering with my... my enemy." Even the word felt wrong coming out of his mouth, but it still wasn't his fault that he and his son were on different sides.

Before Chat even had time to figure out what the akumatized object was, Truthteller kicked him in the shin. The pain of her kick, along with her beginning to prepare her beam, forced Chat to get some distance from her.

Feeling like this was going nowhere with the constant routine of attack and defend and realizing that she still had to find Marinette and Adrien, she decided to just mess with Chat to see if she could get him to lose. "You talk a lot about Hawkmoth, being evil and akumatizing people. But you were akumatized also, right?" He didn't say anything, but his response time was slower, and she could see this was getting to him. "Tell me. Was it because of Marinette and Adrien being together?"

"I have nothing to do with Marinette." He tried to cover.

"Liar, Liar, leather pants on fire. Tell me. Was it just kissing, or did she actually let you into her bed?" She smiled mischievously. His only response was to attack... unfortunately, failing and barely escaping from being hit. "We could work together. Join me and Hawkmoth by giving me Ladybug's earrings and we would let you be with Marinette. Isn't that a good deal?"

"Shut up," Chat growled at the same time. Hawkmoth grew tired of Lila's behavior and decided to reinforce his role by causing some pain on Truthteller. She yelped both from the hero's direct hit to her face and from feeling Hawkmoth drain part of her powers.

"Focus!" Hawkmoth ordered, and so she did. She responded in fury, sending beam after beam hitting countless civilians and in the end Chat.

Hawkmoth closed his eyes, not being able to see his son get hit. From the safety of his lair, he refused to continue to look at the fight anymore. He knew his son wasn't hurt, but he still begged Emilie for forgiveness before checking in on what was happening. When he came back, he was surprised to see Ladybug had returned.

"That isn't very nice, but neither are you." The scarlet hero fired back both figuratively and literally as she used her yoyo against the akuma victim. "Are you okay kitty?"

"I'm fine, my lady. You know I never lie." The grin he sent his lady was enough to ease her heart.

Hawkmoth sighed in relief, seeing his son completely unharmed. He sent Truthteller another message. "Try to get Chat to talk about his family, it might help narrow down his identity."

As a man of opportunity, Gabriel decided to use this in his favor. He had been waiting for his son to introduce him to Marinette for weeks now, and so far, nothing. He also wanted to know if his son was suspicious of him. This could be the chance for him to get the answers that he wanted.

Truthteller asked, "Couldn't I just ask who he is under the mask?"

"Do as I tell you," Hawkmoth ordered.

Turning to Chat, with a mischievous smile, Trutheller asked, "Tell me Kitty. Is it father issues or mother issues that turned you into a black letter hero clown?"

"Neither," he answered angrily.

"Spoken as someone who has both," she commented out loud.

The blond was ready to attack, and even called on his power, when Ladybug stepped in his way. "It's not worth it. She is just trying to mess with us. Don't listen to her. She is a liar."

"Mrs. I left my partner to save Paris all by himself has the nerve to talk."

With a grin and slowly walking to the villain, Ladybug explained, "I didn't abandon him. I went to get reinforcements."

Rena Rouge and Carapace jumped out of their hiding spot and surrounded the villain.

"I suggest you surrender and give us your akumatized object," Chat spoke extending his glowing hand to receive it.

"Surrender? Never!" After those words, she pulled him in, and in a quick motion, overpowered him, slowly putting him to his knees.

Both Hawk Moth and the heroes exclaimed, "No," as Truthteller almost forced Chat to use his cataclysm on himself.

"Stand back or Chat is dust," she threatened, moving his hand even closer to his body.

Carapace and Rena Rouge looked at Ladybug for their next move.

Chapter Text

Being ordered by the villain, Chat unwilling got up. In front of her, his tall body served almost as a shield. Slowly and following her pace, he began walking backwards and further away from the other heroes.

Ladybug analyzed her surroundings. Her brain immediately conjuring what would be the perfect plan if it didn't mean Chat had to take the hit. He knew his lady, and based on her expression, he understood her dilemma. "My lady. Just do it! My cataclysm won't kill me and we both know it. It will hurt a lot, but I don't mind if it means we finally get to defeat this..."

Truthteller didn't let him finish as she intensified her grip on his arm and forced his hand even closer to his rib cage. It was a warning for him and for Ladybug that she wasn't playing around. Gabriel held his cane tightly, unsure of what to do. Even if he released the akuma, there was the chance Truthteller could, accidentally or not, still cataclysm his son. It was too much of a risk for him to take!

Staring into her partner's green eyes she admitted, "Kitty I can't... sorry," before turning to the other heroes and ordering, "Lower your weapons. We do as she says."

Gabriel let out a breath he didn't even know he was holding. He watched as Truthteller released Chat Noir and he fell. Automatically, his hand went straight to the ground to give him support. His power was immediately released and most of the neighborhood shook. Luckily, it didn't cause too much damage... but the chaos was still enough to give Truthteller the chance to run away.

Back in his lair, Hawkmoth owed his biggest enemy for his son not getting hurt. Despite being alone, he whispered, "Thank you, Ladybug." He leaned on his cane once more, still debating whether or not to strip Lila of her powers. His first instinct after she released his son was just to end this... but it would raise suspicions.

In the meantime, Lila had been able to outrun the heroes and was now targeting Marinette and Adrien instead. She wasn't able to find them, but luckily, she found someone that she hoped would drag them out. With a mischievous grin, she used her power directly on Luka before snatching him and dragging him to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Clara Nightingale watched in horror as her fiancé was taken.

"What do you want from me?" Luka asked while staring at Paris below him and hoping not to fall.

Truthteller made a quick glance around to make sure none of the heroes were onto her before answering, "Just trying to drag your girlfriend out of hiding."

He clearly became confused, "What are you talking about? My fiancée was right there with me."

Truthteller's surprised expression about Luka and Clara quickly became one of laughter. That prickled Luka's feelings. With slight anger, he answered, "Our hearts were made to play as one. I don't expect someone with such a dark melody to understand it."

The villain seemed unmoved by his anger or his words. Serene as ever, she asked, "Tell me, does she know about the duet going on between you and Marinette?"

"She knows I would never cheat on her."

While Truthteller continued to play around with Luka. The heroes had split up in hopes of finding her faster. However, before each went their own way, Ladybug entrusted Chat with the snake miraculous. She had brought it along, just in case it was necessary. Master Fu seemed unhappy, but with Lila as the villain, she wasn't taking any chances.

Just as the leader hero made a quick recon on the ground. She found herself ambushed by reporters. It was Nadja who found her first, and while the cameraman pointed not so discreetly to Ladybug's middle section, she asked, "Is it a boy or a girl?"

"I don't know, and I also want it to be a surprise," the scarlet heroine unwillingly answered. She still tried to cover her mouth, but it didn't work since she couldn't deflect. The moment she uncovered her lips, the words just poured out.

Happy with the scoop, Nadja prepared the next question, "How far..." but before the reporter could finish her question, her mouth was covered by Ladybug's hand.

"Sorry, but it's mine and Chat's personal life and no one has any right to barge in on it. I'm not a celebrity and I don't like the pressure all you reporters put on me. So, please, just leave me alone."

It was at this moment that the bluenette felt a soft touch on her shoulder. She hoped it would be Chat, but it was actually Rena. "Girl I think we have other priorities now."

Holding back an apology to all the times she pressured her friend, the fox hero pointed to the Eiffel Tower where Truthteller could be seen dandling a very distinct blue-haired boy. "Not Luka! Why does every akuma have to go after him?" Ladybug was already at full speed, swinging towards him.

It seemed Chat had also gotten the news and was there, just a few floors below. Ladybug and Rena joined him. They stayed still, trying to find a way to save him. Luka and Truthteller were close, and while all heroes tried to figure a way to save the guitarist, they heard his words.

"Of course I love Marinette. She is like the first summer breeze during spring, warm and friendly. I tried for years to capture the song in her heart but couldn't! A melody so pure and perfect like hers could never be completely captured."

"Oh, Luka," Marinette whispered.

He continued, "But I learned to move on. I realized there are other songs for me to play. Me and Clara are the real duet. That, however, doesn't change the fact that I won't let you hurt either of them."

Adrien watched as his lady seemed swooned by Luka's words. Not waiting for his jealousy to grow, and against his lady wishes, he jumped in, "I'll save him, so you won't have too, Bugaboo."

He threw his staff as a distraction towards Truthteller. That led her to let go of the blue-haired boy. Using his feline senses, Chat jumped in time to catch Luka. He then was able to extend his staff and land safely on a roof, thanks to an angry Ladybug throwing his staff back.

Still with the memory of being destroyed by a cataclysm from Chat, but also aware that he just saved his life, Luka extended his hands to the hero, "Thank you."

"No problem. It's the least I could do after... you know. Sorry for using cataclysm on you. I was akumatized."

The guitarist smiled and they shook hands. "I understand. I know what it's like to love Marinette. It can be painful, but let's be honest. It's not like any of us had a chance against Adrien. Their songs are completely different and special on their own, but when they are combined... it's the perfect symphony. I know he will make her happy."

"I know that too," Chat admitted, feeling a little bad for being jealous of Luka in the first place.

Startled by the sudden beeping of his ring, and forgetting he had the snake miraculous with him, Chat jumped off of the building, anxious to get back to battle. However, as he made his way, he couldn't help himself from screaming to the blue-haired boy. "Congratulations on you and Clara. I wish you both the best!"

Luka, although confused on how Chat knew about him and Clara, still smiled and waved goodbye.

When the feline hero came back, the battle had moved so it still took him a while to find it. Eventually, he finally reached it at the Grand Paris Hotel.

Truthteller was the first to greet him with a not so warm welcome. She pinned him to the ground, but he quickly pushed her away. She smiled while he unknowingly followed the choreography she planned and between attacks managed to lure him just where she wanted.

On the second floor and in the middle of the battle, he heard Ladybug's voice from a storage room. "Chat?"

With a swift attack, he pushed Truthteller away and went straight into opening the storage room. He was quick with his claws but still slow enough to give the villain time to recover. The moment he opened the door, he was shoved in there. He tried to force the door open, but it was locked.

"My lady. I think we are stuck here." It was at this moment that his transformation ran out and her earrings beeped indicating that she, at some point, had used her power.

Fearing the worst and falling in his arms, Ladybug admitted, "Trutheller broke my lucky charm before I could use it and I have no idea what happened to Rena or Carapace."

Holding her close, he assured her, "It's okay. We'll find a way out. We always do. For now, we should just recharge our kwamis."

She nodded and a smile crept on her face. Only he could make her feel better in the worst situations. She believed him, and with him by her side, she felt confident.

Outside and juggling the key in her hands, Truthteller admitted proudly to Hawkmoth, "Gabriel, it seems today is our lucky day. The miraculous are yours."

Hawkmoth was too much in shock to notice the use of his real name by Lila. He wasn't expecting this. He was just trying to use his luck and maybe get the miraculous, reverting to Plan B since Adrien was taking his bloody time bringing Marinette to him. But now, he felt surprised that it had really worked. Slowly the shock wore off because, even though the suit gave him superpowers, he felt like his whole body weighed a ton. It was proof that he did have a conscience and that, although extremely small, it was heavy enough to weigh him down.

Meanwhile Rena Rouge and Carapace appeared in front of Truthteller. They had taken a huge beating but now they were back. Lila was hopeful those two were tired. With a certain arrogance, she turned to Rena, "You know? I would do a much better job as the superhero Volpina than you ever could as Rena Rouge. Too bad Ladybug sucks and that I decided to join the better side."

"Don't talk about her like that!" Rena defended her friend while at the same time doing a direct attack on the villain's torso.

Stuck together waiting for their kwamis to recharge, and unsure of what was happening outside, and unable to control himself, Adrien confessed, "If you think about it, Hawkmoth knew about our kitten before I did."

"What?" Part of her couldn't believe they were having this talk right now, but part of her also knew that since they were both hit by the "honesty beam" neither could stop it.

With a frown he explained, "you told akumatized me and Hawkmoth heard it. I only found out after I was deevilized. That means your parents, our friends, and even Hawkmoth knew before me."

"I'm sorry." She apologized, feeling guilty. "I swear, I never wanted it to go that way." He smiled at her, somehow it felt good to let this all out. Also, unable to control herself, "Speaking of my parents, I want them to know about us. Alya and Nino already know, and I feel bad that Mama and Papa don't. I know it would go against my rule, but they can keep our relationship a secret. I want to share us with them."

"It will be scary facing your parents, but it won't be worse than facing my father. He has been getting better, but I'm sure the moment he knows, our little bubble of happiness will blow. That's the reason I'm not as thrilled to tell him."

Marinette pulled him into a hug and tried to reassure him. "He can't be as bad as you paint him out to be. He might be cold and neglectful, but I'm sure he has a good heart. He raised you, didn't he?"

"Sure. If by that, you mean filling my schedule with activities so that I had no time left to see he was missing. I may not know the kind of father I will be, but at least I know the kind of father I don't want to be."

"Oh kitty," she said affectionately. Their moment was stopped by someone trying to open the door. Unsure if it was friend or foe, they looked at their kwamis. They were as ready as their masters were. Prepared for anything, both transformed and watched as the door finally unlocked.

Luckily, it was Carapace and he got them out just in time for them to see Rena Rouge pinning Truthteller to the floor. "... and that is why Ladybug choose me to have this miraculous," the fox hero said with a wink to the other heroes.

Seeing this as being almost over, they began to surround Truthteller. Suddenly she began laughing euphorically. The reason became clear when all the heroes saw Hawkmoth. She was sure he would save her. Unlike her expectations, he ran, and Chat followed him. Lila wasn't too happy about being left behind, but at least she managed to get free with all the confusion. Tired of this never-ending battle, Ladybug called her lucky charm and to her surprise got a mirror.

Adrien didn't care about Truthteller anymore as he had only one goal... defeat Hawkmoth. He threw his staff almost like it was a boomerang, passing very close to his enemy. "Stop! You have nowhere to run. I'll chase you to the ends of the earth!"

Gabriel took a long breath, preparing to face his son. "I'm not particularly interested in fighting you. Let me go."

"Well, if you didn't want to fight, then you shouldn't have become a villain. You hurt people constantly. So, tell me, why would I ever let you go?"

Gabriel held back the 'because I'm your father and I ordered you too.' Not wanting to fight, he tried to approach it with his business side, "I'll release the akuma."
Chat chuckled. "What's the point if you are just going to do another akuma tomorrow? This ends today!" Without any more delay, the hero took a strong hold of his staff and launched himself towards Hawkmoth.

Gabriel remembered teaching his son to try to catch his opponent distracted, but never in a million years imagined it would end up being used against him. While the first attack was a direct hit, the others weren't so effective on Chat's part. Forcing so many attacks was tiring for the blond. Gabriel also became exhausted. It proved to be harder just to avoid the hits then to just fight back. More as a piece of parental advice than as an enemy, he pointed out, "It's your emotions that betray you. I can read you like an open book."

This made Adrien even angrier, Hawkmoth was taunting him while not even dignifying him with a proper fight. He called his cataclysm which he could see his opponent wasn't expecting. Without much of a choice. Hawkmoth fought back and after a few moves was able to force the cataclysm onto a wall. Seeing his son was not joking, he forced himself to make a few attacks with his cane, hitting the blond twice before finally being able to pull Adrien's ring off. "It's over! I won!" Gabriel exasperated tiredly as he pinned his son down.

"Not yet," the blond answered before calling his transformation into Aspik.

The flash of the transformation was enough to startle Gabriel. After recovering his vision and miraculously escaping an attack, the ring fell off his hands and ended up going across the floor, stopping only on the ledge of the building. "You really don't know when to quit, do you?"

"It's one of the few things I learned from my father," Adrien admitted and Gabriel was left speechless. True to the Agreste manner, his son went straight into round two and continued not to hold back anything this time. It was a hand to hand fight, that due to their high training and superhuman abilities, any split second could make all the difference. Gabriel was more experienced, but Adrien was faster.

Suddenly, as the older Agreste pulled the snake miraculous from Adrien wrist, he immediately fused it with his miraculous. The exhaustion of the fight along with the merge was enough for him to fall on his knees. Fearing the worst, he immediately called the snake miraculous power which allowed him to turn back time starting from that point. The blond seeing his archenemy on the floor, went straight to grab the miraculous.

"Don't do this, son," he whispered, and Adrien's eyes went wide. As much as he wanted to say it didn't make sense and was impossible, the blond just couldn't. Hoping that it was a lie, he ripped off the butterfly brooch. Gabriel still had the transformation of the snake miraculous but without the butterfly mask, Adrien could see his father behind it. Getting up from the floor, now a little stronger and seeing the shock in his son, he explained, "I did it for your mother, for us, and our family."

"You're a monster," The blond whispered with tears falling out of his eyes.

Gabriel watched the look of betrayal on his son's face, "I'm the monster? I'm doing what I can for my family. The real bad guy is the master that entrusted these jewels of destruction and creation to teenagers. They did nothing but hurt our family, and they will do the same to you and Marinette. But it doesn't have to be that way. I can make everything right if you just join my side. I can bring your mom back and all will be in the past."

Gabriel tried to reach out but the blond, still in shock and horror, slowly began walking backward. "No. No. Get away from me!" He screamed as his father tried to move closer. Not noting the ledge of the building. Adrien tripped and began falling.

Gabriel rushed over and watched in horror as his son plummeted. Without delay and before the blond hit the pavement, the old Agreste used the power of the snake miraculous and went back in time. It worked as he hoped. Adrien was safe and sound but was also coming for him. He was weak because he was now back to having both miraculous. However, he focused all his energy and this time he was able to stop his son from taking the butterfly miraculous. Needing his strength back, Gabriel pulled out the snake miraculous of his wrist.

The flashing light from the detransformation was enough to startle the blond, which gave Hawkmoth time to flee, aware that it was only a matter of time before his son transformed back and went after him. Gabriel decided it was better to check in on the fight against Truthteller. He watched as the fox hero used herself as bait. "I know who Ladybug is," the hero declared for all Paris to listen.

Wanting to know the identity of her enemy, Truthteller sent a beam against Rena. Ladybug smiled as she jumped in front of Rena with the mirror and the beam ended up reflected onto Lila. Her plan had worked perfectly. "I can't believe you fell for a lie. Rena doesn't know who I am!" Ladybug declared proudly as she made her way towards Lila.

"You are just as annoying as Marinette. I want to push both of you down the stairs, but luckily, I have an even better plan. With Hawkmoth on my side, both of you will be dust." Truthteller confessed causing Rena Rouge and Carapace to gasp.

Ignoring the threats and focusing on how close Lila claimed to be to Hawkmoth, Ladybug couldn't help but ask "Do you know who Hawkmoth is?"

The villain did her best not to say it, but the words slowly began pouring out of her mouth, "He is Ga..." however before she could finish, he removed her powers. Ladybug and the other heroes watched as the akuma got sucked out of the earrings and simply flew away as a white butterfly.

"Who is he?" Carapace asked.

Lila laughed, "why should I tell any of you?"

Slowly getting up and staring directly into Ladybug's eyes, Lila whispered, "I will do everything in my power to make sure he wins. You may think you won the battle, but we have only just begun."

Carapace held his girlfriend back from doing anything. Ladybug smiled and strongly gripped Lila's arm as the girl tried to make her exit. "I'm not scared of you or Hawkmoth anymore. Today proves good always wins and that sooner or later, both of your evil days will end."

Gabriel watched the white butterfly he had just freed pass him by. He then heard footsteps so he ducked, hoping his son wouldn't find him. Chat landed close and he was barely able to breathe. Fortunately for him, the blond missed him and quickly continued his search just a few buildings away.

Chapter Text

As the last beams of the day whispered goodbye and the Parisiens returned home a few were lucky to see their famous hero's soaring through the sky. Ladybug led the way with Chat not too far behind. The way they moved and ran was mesmerizing and people cheered as usual.

It had been a week since the last akuma , who also happened to be the most famous of them all: Truthteller. She was famous not only because of the revelations she forced out of Ladybug but also because, shortly after the akumatization , she was exposed as a liar and as a Hawkmoth sympathizer. Not that she ever got to comment on that since she disappeared before anyone could question her.

During this seemingly peaceful week, Ladybug along with some help had been trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Lila and what was her connection to Hawkmoth.

Ladybug knew it was just another one of those patrol nights. She and chat were supposed to be searching .... but with the air flowing through her hair and ... the feeling of being in the clouds, add that to the fact that people asked her about the baby when she stopped and It all made Marinette want to keep going. Adrien, as her loyal partner, went along her.

At some point, he gave up on telling her to slow down and instead smiled seeing how she happily and freely she jumped across the city.

He and his lady landed on the Eiffel Tower waiting. The sun was now completely gone and the only light they had came from the tower and of the city below them.

“ I love this view “The bluenette explained. She knew she was supposed to be on duty but with all the stress and worries in her life. it felt good to just stop, for this moment and enjoy it.

Slowly Adrien walked up to her, wrapped his arms around her and asked “Of all the places I have seen, would you like to know which one is my favorite? “

“ Yes “she answered immediately. He traveled constantly to some of the most amazing places on earth thanks to his father's business. Not to forget he was also Chat noir which allowed him to go places most people could only dream.

Slowly he pulled her slightly closer and whispered to her ear“ Anywhere that I'm with you “

She should roll her eyes at how sappy that sounded but couldn ́t. Not when he looked at her with those piercing gorgeous green eyes. Sure, he was a romantic goofball but he was her romantic goofball.

Teasingly she rang his bell. He didn't wait for a second and went straight to trying to kiss her. That´s when Rena showed and interrupted their sweet moment.

“ Don't forget about us “ she protested

The fox and turtle duo had been in charge of covering the other side of the city for any signs of Lila or Hawkmoth or clues as to her whereabouts. They unlike some,  had stuck to their mission.

Clearly flustered over being caught red-handed, Ladybug asked “ Any sign of Lila ?”

“ Nope. Hawkmoth has her well-hidden “ Carapace answered

With a sigh, Alya continued after her boyfriend “ That or she gained some sense and went back to where she came from. Maybe having her lies exposed publicly by the brilliant reporter Alya was enough to drive her away. I ́m tired of spending my time looking for her. She doesn't deserve it “

while Ladybug and Chat seemed interested in knowing where Lila was. They took her as the clue that could drive them straight to Hawkmoth. Alya didn ́t believe that finding the red-haired girl was the solution. Sure she could lead them to Hawkmoth but he was also dangerous. .To her,  it was better if the liar was far from her friends, Same applied for the butterfly villain

Her love for adventure and heroes was outweighed by her love for friends and for having them safe, especially her pregnant best friend Marinette. Lila had personally threatened her friend and there was no way she wanted her bestie in such danger. “ Lila is evil and maleficent and searching for her it's like looking for trouble. She might be even worse the Hawkmoth as far as know.” Alya tried once more to convince them

Ladybug agreed that Lila was indeed a hazard but she still couldn't see her as a big of a threat as Hawkmoth , so she answered “I still believe Hawkmoth wins the danger factor but just because he has a miraculous “

“ what if gives her his ? or if she steals it? She was one of the most dangerous akumatized ever. So if she had access to that power I can ́t “

Feeling the fear in his girlfriend, Nino placed his hands on her shoulder in hopes of calming her down and added “it's okay babe. I think you are getting way off track. We don't even know if he has her. All we can do is be prepared “

Her boyfriend was right and she hated him for it. Whether she liked it or not, her best friends were superheroes and danger came with it.

After Rena seemed calmer, Chat continued “ Carapace is right, we should be prepared. Even if she's with Hawkmoth or not, finding her is still better than letting her roam free”

“ We can always do another round “ Carapace offered and Rena nodded. She wasn't completely on board with this but she wasn't about to let her boyfriend do this alone.

To Alya ́s content Ladybug explained “ No can do, me and chat have somewhere to be. Tomorrow we continue. “

“ My lady ́s right. We have somewhere to go and now if you excuse me I have to go get ready. This kitty can ́t be looking like a stray tonight“

His attempt to straighten his bell made Ladybug roll her eyes at him, Carapace show him a thumbs up, being the only supportive one and Alya smile. Knowing it was Adrien doing those silly things only made it funnier. She never expected him to be the clown in the group

With that and adding one extravagant exit, Chat noir disappeared into the darkness of the night.

“ I have to go too so please hand over your miraculous “ Ladybug asked. They nodded and followed their leader into an ally where they both detransformed . With sadness, Rena and Carapace respectively gave the reckless and the bracelet back.

“ Thank you for your help, “ the red hero told them before zapping her yoyo and disappearing through the night.

“ You think we'll know their identities someday ?” Nino asked

Doing her best innocent expression Alya said “ Don ́t know about that but I do know that André is close and it's my turn on paying for the ice cream”

That was enough to lift his spirits and ease some of Alya ́s guilt for lying.

While some ate their ice creams. Others stood in front of Marinette's house. Holding his hand tightly, she assured him “we just go in and tell them, it's easy "

" Okay," he said frozen there and not moving ,even after Marinette walked inside. He seemed scared and to be honest, he was. Tom was a very big and intimidating man.

Pulling him inside her home she assured him " Don't be afraid. My parents aren't going to kill you "

Semi jokingly he answered back" Are you sure? On rainy days I swear I still feel a broken rib from the time when he got akumatized and I had to fight him. All of that was only because I rejected you . I can't imagine what he will do to me now. "

" The big superhero Chat Noir is scared of a simple baker ?" She teased him

" No. Adrien is." He admitted while playing a little with his tie. Maybe he shouldn't even have brought that one, Green wasn't nearly as professional as the classic grey. Should he have come without a tie? He wanted to make the best impression possible. He didn't know how much of it was possible considering he was the guy that got their daughter pregnant. They were going to hate him once he admitted to be the father

" My father is harmless. My mom is the one that knows martial arts “she teased him a little more.

Great.Now he could see both of Marinette's parents killing him. Seeing the nervous expression on Adrien ́s face and feeling sorry for him, she gave him a reassuring smile. She still remembered how nervous she was when she told her parents about the baby and she could tell he was nervous,

Seeing her reassuring smile and those loving bluebell eyes, he followed her inside. He was always ready to die for her anyway.

Holding each other's hand , both entered the living room and looked at Sabine and Tom. They seemed calm and too entertained playing video games to notice the teens.

“I'm the father” he blurted out quickly and trying to do this as fast as possible .it was like ripping a band-aid, right?

Wrong, it felt slow and painful. Anticipation rose as Tom dropped his controller, got off of his chair and went straight to the blond. Sabine stood there watching her husband without any idea of what he was going to do.

“There is only one thing that I need to know? “He said with a threatening voice and moving to close for the blond ́s liking

Adrien gulped scared because of the large man in front of him. Deeply afraid he somehow still managed to ask " what is that ?"

Without blinking and with a very serious tone Tom asked " Do you promise to take care of my Marinette and that child? Do you also promise that you will always be by her side no matter what ?"

Adrien allowed himself a deep breath. This were easy questions " I do !"

“ Good “Tom seemed pleased and his face softened as he made the most important question “ And do you love my daughter ?"

" More than words allow me to say " The blond admitted with his eyes slowly drifting to Marinette. It was at this moment that he noticed that she was still holding his hand and If not the tension of this situation he would have kissed her

Suddenly Tom's ended his menacing act and his serious expression turned into a huge excited smile. Warmly and tightly, he pulled the blond teen into a hug ." Then welcome to this family, son. “

“ Thank you. It means a lot to me” Adrien said with tears in his eyes since being accepted by the Duppain family was all he ever wanted. .Although those tears could just as likely have been just because of the extremely tight hug. He would definitely have to be checked for broken bones after this

Even Sabine seemed to approve of him by giving the smile to the blond.

After finally being released by papa bear's claws and Adrien had some time to breath . Tom clearly more enthusiastic asked" One more thing. Son, how do you feel about baking? "

Insecure and unsure of what to say, he admitted the truth " I like sweets and pastries but I'm not really good with baking. "

Tom was shocked but quickly went back to his smile" Doesn't matter. I can teach you .”

With that, he basically dragged Adrien downstairs. Marinette held a laugh seeing those two go and the “ help me “ expression on her boyfriend.

“ So it ́s Adrien “ Sabine said and getting Marinette´s attention

“ Yes, Mamam. Sorry I didn't say it earlier but “

Marinette ́s word ́s were stopped by her mom reassuring her “It's okay, Sweetie. I understand and I ́m relieved it's him. He is a great guy .”

“He really is and I love him “

Sabine pulled her daughter into a hug. Happy that her little girl had found someone that she loved. Unlike with Tom ́s parents, she promised herself she would be supportive. Marinette´s happiness was all she wanted and she could tell Adrien made her feel that way

Meanwhile downstairs in the bakery. Tom explained " See. Baking a cake is a lot like taking care of a family. You need a solid foundation. It also needs love and lots of hard work "

Adrien nodded impressed with the baker´s abilities. The way he cut and shaped the cake was amazing. Unexpectedly Tom handed over a knife and cream to the blond. With his big smile, he explained to the blond to spread it across evenly so that the fondant could later settle smoothly. The blond began nervously but after a few minutes , he worked up more confidence

“ Great job, your a natural, son” Tom commented and it made Adrien a little proud.

The teaching continued with several advices on marriage, family, Marinette was so lucky to have such a sweet and caring dad. They hadn't been there that long but with Tom ́s overall warm attitude, Adrien had no doubt that this was the kind of parent he hoped to be.

Nervously and after considering whether or not to ask, the blond somehow did " Do you think I have what it takes to be a good father ? Sometimes I worry that I mess it up or that something happens "

The blond didn't dare to look up and focused on mixing the dow for the croissants. Maybe he had crossed a line? To his relief, he heard Tom laughing

" Trust me. I asked myself the same when it came to Marinette. For the first few days of her life, I was scared to completely leave her side just in case she needed me”

" What made you change ?" Adrien asked

" Who said I did? I may not always be by her side anymore but it doesn´t change that I´m always there for her "

Time seemed to fly and soon the whole family was enjoying a special dinner. The main dish was extremely light to make up for all the pastries Tom and Adrien had brought for dessert.

Some of the croissants were burned, others undercooked and some surprisingly both. For some surprising luck, a few survived and by the end, the blond even dared to say he was getting good at this. Not as good as Tom, obviously, but it was still enough to impress everyone at the table, especially his lady.

Adrien knew Marinette had a wonderful family but seeing it and being part of it really made him feel privileged.

They even talked at the table which surprised him. It was just so different that the dinners he had at home. The talk flew so casually and openly as they discussed whatever topic it was relevant for the day. Today it was news of Luka ́s and Clara ́s wedding. It was supposed to be the biggest event ever seen. France seemed to support the two and Marinette couldn't help but smile at that. There were even rumors they were going to do a tour together.

Everyone was excited and happy but mostly Marinette not because of the tour by Adrien enjoyment of a simple family dinner.

Her good humor was gone when the tv on the other room began covering Ladybug ́s pregnancy. Marinette tried not to get upset with the news and gossip but when the reporters questioned Ladybug ́s ability to lead thanks to her “condition “ it was too much. Slowly the bluenette walked out of the table to watch.

She felt anger and tears rise on her as the interview went on. The hormones and stress along with her personal fears and insecurities all seemed to pile up and made Marinette questioned if they were right. Had she failed Paris? Would she be able to keep everyone safe including Kitten?

Noticing his lady distress and fearing Hawkmoth could sense it, Adrien pulled her into his loving arms

Meanwhile at the Agreste dining room and while enjoying his quiet peaceful meal, Gabriel ́s miraculous began beeping with what was definitely the strongest emotions he ever felt and that included Lila.

In that cold room, the beeping echoed endlessly and the red-headed girl in front of him stared viciously and with curiosity to his brooch.

Placing carefully her silver spoon on her plate, she asked “ Explain to me how it works “

Far from there and back to safety. Marinette relaxed on her kitty ́s arms and he switched the channel. All of her emotions dissipated into one or two hot burning tears.

Sabine and Tom watched from the doorway the teens. The didn ́t understand what got their daughter so upset but they did comprehend and were happy that Adrien was there for her. They didn´t want to interrupt because the blond seemed to be a great job calming their daugther.

 Tinny tears also formed on Tom's eyes, Adrien was the one that was there for Marinette now.