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If you're gonna lie (make it worth it)

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When Adrien saw the family doctor leaving his father's office as he descended the stairs, he felt his chest tighten.

 

He went downstairs, trying to figure out what was going on, and waited for the doctor to leave to approach Nathalie.

 

“Did I just see Dr. Durand?”

 

“Yes. He came to see your father.”

 

“Oh.” Adrien frowned. “Is my father sick?”

 

“He hurt his nose.”

 

“He what? How?”

 

“He was trying to kill a bug and tripped, smashing his face against the door. Don’t worry, nothing is broken.”

 

“Ohhh!” Adrien took a deep breath not to laugh. “I understand. Tell him I’m sorry he got hurt.”

 

“I will. Have a nice day at school today, Adrien.”

 

“Thanks, Nathalie.”

 

Would it be wrong for him to thank Marinette for complying with his request?

 

*

 

Adrien couldn’t understand Marinette.

 

Seriously, he really couldn't understand what her problem was.

 

She went to see him last night because she wanted to and took him to see stars. She talked about the breakup, gave him tips about how she didn’t want to break up with him, how she was scared. She had punched his father.

 

And now, at school, she was ignoring him again. It was like he wasn’t there.

 

He was in the middle of the courtyard, trying to pay attention to what Nino was saying, while his eyes were on Marinette, across the courtyard talking and laughing with Alya as if nothing was happening. Like she hadn’t broken his heart yesterday.

 

And then, during class, while everyone was focused on the group assignment the teacher asked them to do, they exchanged glances and she smiled sweetly at him. An accomplice smile, a sweet smile, a smile that made Adrien’s legs soften, sweat drip from his forehead and his heart flutter and—

 

And then, the next minute, she lowered her head and the smile died as if nothing had happened.

 

She loved him, Adrien was sure of that. She loved him so much, just as he loved her. If not, she wouldn’t have made a point of going to him last night to see how he was, to try to comfort him and assure him that she hasn’t broken up with him because she didn’t love him or because she wasn’t comfortable with him being Chat Noir. Yesterday wasn’t a day to patrol, her excuse that she was passing by and saw the open window was a tremendous lie.

 

She intended to go see him from the start. To assure him that she still loved him. He knew his lady. He knew she loved him, he just needed to know what was keeping her from being with him. What was terrifying her so much that she wouldn’t stay with him?

 

Adrien was very suspicious of the reason, and as much as he didn’t want his suspicion was true, he knew that his father had something to do with their breakup. He just needed to find out what his father had said to Marinette and how to get around it.

 

Gabriel Agreste was stubborn and difficult, but Adrien, when it came to his lady, was fifty times more.

 

At the end of class in the morning, Adrien tried to approach Marinette to try to talk to her, but every time he got close, she would walk away before he could approach. When he tried to talk to her, she would respond coldly and rudely and getaway.

 

He was getting frustrated and angry. He was about to turn into Chat Noir, kidnap Marinette, and take her to some building where they could talk without being observed.

 

After lunch, when Adrien entered the classroom, there was no one. He checked the time, seeing that he had arrived half an hour earlier than class time. Sighing, he sat in his seat and took out his cell phone.

 

Her fingers moved on their own, sending messages to Marinette and receiving no response. He asked to talk to her, to try to get along with her so that they could come to an agreement where they could be at least friends because the lack of her presence in his life was hurting too much.

 

Fifteen minutes later, Lila came into the room, smiling.

 

“Ah, Adrien! What a surprise!” from the tone of her voice, Adrien noticed right away that she was lying. She knew he was there somehow and was hoping to be alone with him. “What are you doing here so early?”

 

“I miscalculated the time,” he replied, picking up his cell phone to ignore her. But of course, Lila Rossi wouldn’t accept defeat so easily. She sat beside him, approaching and totally ignoring the concept of personal space.

 

“I heard that you and Marinette broke up. I’m so sorry!” she said, a false sadness in her voice.

 

“It’s just a break so Marinette can solve some problems.”

 

“She doesn’t even know what she's missing…” Lila said seductively, placing her hands on Adrien’s arms. Sighing, he withdrew them slightly. “But I’m finding this wonderful because now you can be mine.”

 

“Lila, just because I’m not dating Marinette doesn’t mean I’m available. First, because I love Marinette. Second, because you don’t make me interested.”

 

Lila gasped in outrage.

 

“What did you say?”

 

“You’re not interesting to me, Lila.” he shrugged. “That simple. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I would like to have my personal space back.”

 

Lila’s expression was priceless. She crossed her arms at chest level, reaching for her purse.

 

“You’ll be very sorry about that, Agreste,” she said, leaving the room furiously.

 

When he was alone, Plagg came out of his bag, whistling.

 

“The energy of that one? Dangerous,” he commented.

 

“I know. But we’re more dangerous.” Adrien said, scratching Plagg’s chin.

 

Plagg smirked, returning to the bag after cheese. While Plagg was fed up, Adrien got a message on his cell phone.

 

Meet me in the locker room after your fencing class. Let’s talk.

 

The problem was that who had sent the message to him was Alya.

                                                                                                       

 

*     

 

 

Marinette saw Adrien go with Nathalie, his expression screaming that he didn’t want to go and didn’t want to leave her behind. She didn’t want him to go either: Ladybug was stronger with Chat Noir beside her and she needed him.

 

But at the same time, she was glad he was gone. So she could tell all the truths about how Gabriel Agreste was such a bad father without hurting Adrien in the process.

 

When they were alone, Gabriel approached. Even scared to death inside, Marinette stood firm, her face raised and exuding confidence that was too small compared to the fear that was inside her.

 

Yes, she wouldn’t bow to Gabriel, but that didn’t mean that it would be an easy task to stand firm before Gabriel Agreste’s icy gaze.

 

“You know, Miss Dupain Cheng, I greatly admire your courage. Few fight back my words.”

 

“I just retaliated because they aren’t fair.”

 

“From your point of view. I see then that you are an avid defender of the heroes of Paris,” he said the last words with disgust in his voice. “Especially the cat.”

 

“Paris is safe thanks to them.”

 

“Paris would be better off without both of them.”

 

“Paris would be better off without Papillon," she corrected. Gabriel smiled coldly, staring at her.

 

“I admire that fire that burns in you when you want to defend something you admire. It’s the same fire I see burning in Adrien from time to time. A surprising fire, but one that must be contained before you get burned.”

 

“So you lock your son thinking you’re protecting him?” she questioned, surprised at her courage to say such words.

 

“I don’t lock my son. He is free. He does his activities and still goes to school. He has free time, even to find a girlfriend.”

 

"And how much did he have to fight and argue to be able to convince you to let him go to school?"

 

Gabriel remained silent, moving even closer to Marinette.

 

“Miss, it’s no secret that I don’t approve of your relationship with my son.”

 

“And it’s no secret that this will not stop me from loving him.”

 

“You and my son have a teenage crush and think this is love. Miss, what you feel for each other is far from love. It’s far from anything stronger than mere attraction.”

 

“You’re wrong, Mr. Agreste. I really love your son. I love him since before I knew what love looks like. When I was still understanding what love was, my heart was already beating for Adrien. I know you don’t approve, but believe my words when I say that your approval or lack of it won’t change how I feel about your son. I make him happy just as he makes me. I protect him just as he protects me. I love him just as he loves me.” she said in a firm voice.

 

“Ah, my dear, I know that very well. Adrien is an innocent boy, he easily falls into well-spoken words. I don’t know how he got carried away by this passion he says he feels for you, but I’m determined to make it end now.”

 

Gabriel put his hands behind his back and moved closer to Marinette.

 

“If you love my son so much as you say, you know perfectly well the thing he treasures most: his friends and school.”

 

She didn’t like where this story was going at all.

 

“And if you really love my son, you want his happiness above all things. If you love him as much as you claim, you would sacrifice whatever you could to make him happy, wouldn’t you?”

 

She swallowed, knowing full well what he would say from now on.

 

“Are you going to make Adrien choose between keep dating me or school?” She said, confused “This is inhuman and cruel, you know perfectly well that Adrien—”

 

“I know my son like no one, Miss Dupain Cheng. I won’t make him choose because he will choose you.” Gabriel commented as he circled around Marinette. “The poor boy is so mesmerized that he wouldn’t hesitate to drop out of school that he fought so hard to have the right to go for you. And since it’s you that I want to get rid of, I’m not going to make Adrien choose.” and he stopped behind her.

 

She swallowed, her fear becoming real.

 

“Who’s going to choose that, my dear, is you. Either you break up with Adrien, or I get him out of school, I forbid him from seeing his friends and you, and I send him to London, far away from all these bad influences.”

 

Lila’s words about how Marinette would be the cause of Adrien’s leaving school, his isolation, how she would be the reason for Adrien’s unhappiness was all true. Gabriel Agreste had just confirmed all that.

 

“I can’t… I can’t do that.”

 

“You can. If you want my son to stay in Paris, you will do that. Either way, he won’t be with you, Marinette. Make a wise choice and at least give my son some happiness. End this relationship, if I may call it a relationship before things get worse.”

 

She was silent, taking a deep breath and trying to contain the urge to cry. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair after finally, after so many years dreaming of be Adrien’s girlfriend, his father wouldn’t accept her. Because his father was a complete idiot who thought he knew what he was doing for his son.

 

“I can’t break up with him. I have no reason to do it, I can’t just break up with him without a reason, I love him and he’ll know if I’m lying and—”

 

“You will tell him that, by your decision, you chose no longer stay with him. Tell him you’re dating him just to get access to me, so I could see your designers and put you in the fashion world, I don’t care. Just make up a lie and make sure my son believes it and doesn’t want you anymore.”

 

"Mister Agreste…”

 

“You have until tomorrow to make your decision, Marinette. If tomorrow, when Adrien comes home and I find out he’s still with you, I’ll send him to London by the end of the night with no return ticket.”

 

She gasped, feeling the world spin around her.

 

“And I will know if you’re lying. If you and Adrien are trying to trick me as you did over the past five months, I will send him to another continent. And I will know, Marinette, because I have spies everywhere. The same spy who told me about your dating will tell me if they see you two close or together.”

 

Gabriel then turned back to Marinette, smiling like a wolf who had just cornered the lamb.

 

“We have a deal?”

 

“If I break up with Adrien, he’ll be unhappy… and I can’t make him unhappy.”

 

“If you stay with him, I will send him away, where besides being unhappy, he will be lonely and miserable. Is that really what you want, Miss Dupain Cheng?”

 

She shook her head and his smile was so cold and scary that she knew she would have nightmares for months.

 

“Make the right choice, Marinette. So? Do we have a deal?”

 

Trying not to puke, Marinette nodded.

 

She opened her eyes, her heart pounding in her chest and the urge to puke so familiar in her mouth. Tikki was above her, his eyes alert and concerned as she looked at Marinette.

 

“You’re sweating and was whining while sleeping. That nightmare again?”

 

She nodded, not knowing what to do.

 

“I can’t stand to dream about it anymore. Either that or Adrien’s expression of despair and hurt when I broke up with him. Or worse yet, I dream about the “my lady” he said when I asked him not to cry!” she grunted, throwing aside her blankets because everything was hot and cold at the same time, she was nauseous and her stomach was wrapped. She didn’t want to go to school and see how she had hurt Adrien…

 

She hugged the pillow and screamed on it.

 

“You need to go to school,” Tikki said.

 

“I know.”

 

“And do you already have a plan to tell Adrien the truth? Your attempt to give him a tip during the breakup didn’t work out, you didn’t say anything at all!”

 

“I know! But when he called me my lady, I lost my concentration. I could only wonder if he knew that I’m Ladybug. And at night, when I went to visit him as Ladybug, he confirmed that he didn’t notice he called me that.” she buried her hands in her face. “Why is everything so complicated?”

 

“It will be all right! You have a new plan!”

 

“Yes. But it will be risky. Are you sure it’s Lila watching over me?”

 

“Yes! She spent all day watching you yesterday, especially when Adrien was around. And I saw her cell phone, she was texting Nathalie!”

 

“Right. So the plan is to talk with Adrien without Lila seeing us.”

 

“Yes. And how are you going to do that?”

 

Marinette looked at her kwami, smiling.

 

“You know I love stealing cell phones, right?”

 

Tikki sighed.

 

 

*

 

 

Convincing Alya to leave her cell phone with Marinette while going to the bathroom, texting Adrien pretending to be Alya, and deleting the records of that message before Alya left the bathroom had been easy.

 

It would be hard to have the strength to face Adrien and tell him half-truths.

 

God, for someone who hated liars, she was lying a lot lately.

 

Saying that she was going to do her homework at the library, Marinette stayed in school until the end of Adrien’s fencing class. When she saw that all the students were gone, she entered the locker room.

 

Adrien was packing his bag, checking his phone every two seconds.

 

“Hey,” she said softly.

 

He looked up, looking toward her as if she were a ghost. Various emotions ran through his face, from longing to heartache. She also noticed the way he tensed as if he wanted to approach her.

 

He even stepped toward her but stopped.

 

“Marinette,” he whispered.

 

She held back the urge to close her eyes and lose herself in his sweet voice as he whispered her name. Last night, both seeing the stars, the longing she had for him…

“Adrien.”

 

“What is happening? Why did you break up with me? Why are you lying to me?”

 

“I— I can’t tell you. At least not yet. Look, I can’t take too long because we’re being watched by Lila.”

 

“Why is Lila watching over you?”

 

“I swear I’ll explain everything to you soon, but you just need to know that while we’re at school, you can’t approach me. Your father has eyes around here, and if he hears that we talk or get close to school, it all goes downhill.”

 

“These secrets are killing me.”

 

“I know.” she held back the urge to cry. She hated, hated to see him like that, but it was necessary. “Look, I need you to trust me, I’m working out a plan that will get us together in the end. But you need to trust me.”

 

She saw the hesitation in Adrien’s eyes and for a moment she thought he would say he didn’t trust her, that they’d better make that break up a truth, and that nothing else mattered, that his love for her wasn’t that big…

 

But Adrien surprised her.

 

He took her by the wrist, thumb stroking her skin.

 

“Do you love me, Marinette?”

 

She expected any questions but that one. Shaken, she nodded and staring at him, she murmured:

 

“Since I was 13.”

 

He closed his eyes and smiled, the same shy smile he gave her when he handed her that umbrella so many years ago.

 

He let go of her wrist and looking into her eyes, he spoke the phrase she expected to hear at that moment.

 

“I trust you.”

 

“Great. Thank you. See you soon.” she smiled and ran for the locker room door. “Ah, Adrien?”

 

“Yes?”

 

“You know that our breakup… it’s all a lie, right?”

 

She left before he could recover, afraid to end up in his arms kissing and risking everything.

 

 

*

 

 

The next day, everything remained the same.

 

Adrien ignored the urge to approach Marinette, pull her into his arms and kiss her until they both forgot their names. She’d said his father had spies at school — and he was betting all his coins on Lila.

 

During morning classes, Marinette and Adrien exchanged glances and Adrien was the first to turn away, afraid Lila would catch them looking at each other like fools in love. Marinette’s words (“since I was 13”) still echoed in his mind.

 

She loved him.

 

The lunch bell rang and he considered sending Alya a message, asking if she could help them meet in the locker room as she had yesterday, but as soon as she left the room, she saw Marinette running into the middle of the courtyard where she hugged someone very excitedly.

 

That someone was Luka.

 

Adrien knew that Marinette and Luka were great friends, the two of them visiting each other almost every day. He’d seen their Instagram posts about their adventures, he’d even enjoyed the video Luka had recorded of him playing the song in honor of Marinette.

 

At the time, that didn’t bother Adrien at all. But now, envy bubbled in his chest. It was unfair. Unfair that Luka could hug Marinette anytime he liked while Adrien, who was more than a friend to Marinette, had to watch everything from a distance.

 

He felt Nino put his hand on his shoulder but ignored him. He even felt Plagg pinch him, but he ignored them both. He missed Marinette’s hug, he missed having her around.

 

It was unfair Luka to be able to approach her when he wanted to while Adrien had to see her in hiding. Then, driven by nothing but envy and jealousy — Adrien didn’t like those feelings at all — he approached Marinette and Luka.

 

Marinette looked at him with a warning attempt in her eyes, trying to make him leave, but Adrien ignored her. He turned to Luka, forcing a smile in his friend’s direction. Luka wasn’t guilty of their situation, but that didn’t mean Adrien was happy to see him.

 

“Hey, Luka. Good to see you.” Adrien felt his mouth boil at the words as he tried to control his breathing. “Why are you here?”

 

“It’s good to see you too, Adrien. I came to take Marinette for lunch.”

 

“Ah.” he felt the smile die and turned to Marinette. “You can have lunch with Luka, but not with me?”

 

“You know why,” Marinette said softly.

 

“Just because we both don’t date anymore, I can’t be your friend? I can’t have lunch with my friend? We can even take Luka, Alya, and Nino with us.”

 

“Look, you two—” Luka started to say, but Marinette cut him off like he wasn’t there, glaring at Adrien.

 

“It’s part of the plan.”

 

“What plan? Finish hurting my heart?”

 

“Adrien,” she murmured, trying to warn him.

 

“We will talk now. Excuse me, Luka. I think your plans will have to be rescheduled.”

 

“Wai—Adrien!” Marinette shouted as Adrien dragged her by the wrist. He knew that soon he would be ashamed of his actions at that moment, but he was too angry to think.

 

He needed to talk to Marinette, alone. Say what was hurting in his chest, how much he needed to talk to her, how much he needed to be beside her. He missed her, though their moments together were so few. A few days had passed since she had thrown them both into that lie, but the pain in his chest was as if they had lived together for years.

 

And they did. Not as Adrien and Marinette, but mainly as Ladybug and Chat Noir. The jokes, the patrols, the complicity. Everyone was shocked that they were together, and Adrien saying that it was five months didn’t relieve that shock at all because everyone said it was as if they had been together for years.

 

But they were. From the age of thirteen, they loved each other and had complicity. Since receiving their miraculous, they were much more than just friends. They were partners.

 

For years, Adrien struggled for him to be loved by his lady when he didn’t need to, she already loved him. And now, he wouldn’t let his father, Lila, his fans or anything else get in the way of their love.

 

He received curious glances from his classmates and the other students at school but ignored them all. He felt Marinette trying to calm him down, but he needed a place where the two could talk uninterrupted.

 

Nino had told him about his and Alya making out sessions in the broom closet and the rule for using it. If there were any hairbands on the door handle, it meant it was busy and people would leave the couple alone.

 

When Adrien reached the door, he almost sighed with relief when he saw that the door handle was without any objects. He turned to Marinette, who was staring at him with wide eyes and flushed cheeks.

 

“If you wanted to make out with me, kitty, you just need to visit me at night,” she teased as Adrien brushed the hair bands out of her hair.

 

“We’re going to talk,” he said, blushing and unable to control the trembling of his hands. He had brought her there so they could talk, not to exchange kisses… not that he was against exchanging kisses with her, but…

 

He shook his head, trying to focus. He placed Marinette’s hair bands on the doorknob, opened the door and pushed Marinette in the closet, then entered and closed the door behind him. The broom closet was quite large for whatever reason. That must be the reason why students use it when they couldn’t control their desires.

 

He turned on the light, finding himself alone with Marinette, her hair hanging loose, in a closet full of brooms. His lady crossed her arms, raised her eyebrows and smirked. He knew she was furious with him.

 

“Did you do that whole show because…?”

 

“We need to talk, Marinette.”

 

“Yes, we do. First, do you know perfectly well that we’re being watched and still drag me all over the school? Adrien, this will surely reach your father’s ears and…”

 

“I don’t care.”

 

“Adrien.” she took a deep breath. “Your father threatened me and Lila is watching us.”

 

“What did he say, Marinette? What did he threaten to scare you like that? What did he promise to take from you to make you pretend not to love me, that made you ignore me like this way?” he begged, desperate.

 

She looked away and Adrien noticed that she wanted to tell him but was avoiding for some reason. He sighed, tossing his backpack on the floor and pulling her by her waist to wrap her in his arms.

 

Marinette hugged him back, breaking every defense she raised. She melted into his embrace, holding him tight against her as if she wanted to merge with him, as if she wanted them to be one, as if the outside world, Gabriel, the threat, Lila, and all other things didn’t exist.

 

Just as long as that hairbands kept them from the world, his embrace had the same power.

 

He kissed her temple, holding her tight in his arms, wanting to protect her from the outside world, especially his father.

 

“He threatened nothing of mine. He didn’t promise to take anything from me,” she said, her voice low. Adrien held her, giving her the time she needed to tell the truth. “He promised he would take it from you.”

 

“What?” He asked, confused. He pulled back a little just to be able to look into her eyes. “What did he promise to take from me?”

 

“Your freedom,” she said, stroking his cheek with her thumb. “He said he would get you out of school and your friends. Said I’d send you to London and I’d never see you again. That he would make sure you never came back to Paris and never got in touch with anyone who is your friend. If I stayed with you, he would take everything away. And I know how much you love school and your friends, I couldn’t—” she took a deep breath. “Luka and I are trying to come up with a plan to expose Lila.”

 

“My princess,” he said, kissing her forehead. “My princess, why didn’t you tell me that? I would have helped you.”

 

Adrien knew he was a touch starved, and since he had been allowed to touch Marinette, he made a point of always being with her or around her. These last days since that she broke up with him had been torture because he missed her touch, the caresses, the kisses.

 

He looked at her, holding her face in his hands and stroking with his thumb the purple shadow under her eyes, a sure sign of her sleepless nights. He kissed one eye first, then the other, her nose and finally a light kiss on her mouth.

 

“Nothing, nothing, will keep me from my freedom. From my friends. From you. I love you so much, Marinette, it hurts to be away from you.”

 

She whimpered, wrapping her arms around his neck and tiptoeing up to kiss him. The kiss was hot and hungry, years of love and pleasures contained, weeks of accumulated desire, their love intensifying the kiss.

 

Marinette pushed him against the closet wall, breaking the kiss. Adrien gasped, trying to control his breathing as she looked him up and down, taking a deep breath.

 

“Why do you make it harder?” she grunted, moving closer and kissing him again. “I was getting a good grip on myself. Staying away from you, unintentionally kissing you until you forget your name until I forget mine. But now…”

 

She began to trail kisses down his neck, nibbling at his skin, careful not to leave marks on it.

 

“But now I can’t control myself. I’ll see you and I’ll want to kiss you, or hug you, or lose myself in the warmth of your arms.”

 

Adrien moaned, squeezing the skin at her waist as she bit his ear, causing him to close his eyes. She was messing with his body, his mind, his soul. He was about to die as sweetly as possible.

 

She kissed him again on the mouth and he couldn’t contain himself. He returned the kiss with the same intensity, the same desire she felt. He hugged her so tightly that not even the slightest layer of air passed between their bodies as he spread his hand in her hair, pulling the strands gently.

 

He made her sigh against his mouth and felt her shiver. He shuddered back.

 

“I love you,” he whispered against her mouth, opening his eyes and seeing her with his eyes closed, surrendered. “I love you so much.”

 

This time, he was the one who attacked her neck with kisses and bites, being careful not to leave marks too. Still not satisfied with the exploration, but knowing he had to restrain himself, he turned back to her face, filling her with kisses until he kissed her mouth once more.

 

His head was a mess and he couldn’t focus on anything, nothing but Marinette. Her kisses, her smell, her touch. The heat of her body against his, the way she fit right in there, as if she belonged there because she did. She was his lady and he was her chaton and nothing, nothing, and no one was going to separate them.

 

“My lady,” he begged against her mouth. “My lady.”

 

“What?” she said confused.

 

“I love you so much, my lady,” he whispered against her ear, biting her earlobe and pulling. She closed her eyes and moaned.

 

“Mon chaton,” she sighed and he almost fainted with the nickname.

 

“My lady,” he said once more and she gasped, putting some space between them. Adrien tried to follow her, bringing his mouth close to hers to try to kiss her again, but Marinette placed her index finger against his lips.

 

“What did you call me?”

 

He blinked and then finally understood the panic in her eyes.

 

“You called me my lady. For the second time.” She said.

 

The shiver of the spine, which was once hot and longing, turned cold as he bit his lower lip.

 

“The chat is out of the bag?” he commented, chuckling awkwardly.

 

Marinette facepalmed, grunted and took a deep breath.

 

“I won’t scream, I won’t scream…” she repeated, turning her back to him.

 

“Mari,” he said, hugging her from behind and placing his chin on her shoulder. “Please don’t scream with me.”

 

“Since when do you know?” she asked.

 

“Ever since you told Chat about the date with Adrien and how fake it was,” he said, brushing his face over her neck. He felt her shiver and melt in his arms and smiled victoriously. She might be upset, but she wasn’t angry.

 

“I should have known,” she muttered, stroking his hands on her waist. “And I should have noticed when you called me my lady during the breakup. You already knew I was Ladybug when I went to visit you last night, didn’t you?”

 

“Yes, I did. And seeing her made me sure something had happened to make you break up with me. And that you loved me.” he gave a victorious smile and she rolled her eyes, smiling.

 

“I do, chaton.” she turned to him and he caressed her face. “I love you so much.”

 

“Good, my lady, because I’m lost without you. Let me fight by your side, just as we fight the akumas. Together we will make my father realize that we belong together.”

 

She nodded.

 

“But until we bring Lila down, Adrien, we need to contain ourselves. She can’t see us together.”

 

“Well, good thing we have our powers to help us, don’t we? How about visiting me tonight? After midnight?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“I’ll leave the window open, my lady.” he kissed her cheek, grabbing his backpack.

 

“Adrien?” she said, looking down at her feet.

 

“Yes?”

 

“You know that what happened between us now… people can’t know we’re together. At least while Lila is watching us.”

 

“You mean, pretend we’re not together yet.”

 

“Exactly.” she agreed.

 

“First, fake dating, then a fake ending, and now pretending we’re not together. How many lies are we going to tell, my lady?”

 

“Well, you know what they say, don’t you, chaton? If you’re gonna lie, make it worth it.” she gripped the collar of his shirt, pulling him to give him another kiss, which made him look silly for a few seconds. “Now, let’s go before they come looking for us.”

 

 

*

 

 

Ladybug looked around, seeing if it was safe when she finally landed in Adrien’s room. He had actually left the bedroom window open to wait for her.

 

It was after midnight when she decided to visit him. When she walked into his room, the light was on and he was staring at the computer screen, distracted and watching some anime.

 

Her non-boyfriend was a weeb.

 

She covered his eyes and kissed his cheek.

 

“Guess who?” she whispered against his ear. Adrien grinned.

 

“The queen of my life?”

 

She put her hands on her chest, feeling her heart beating rapidly.

 

“You know, you shouldn’t do this to me without warning me first,” she grunted as Adrien turned off the computer and laughed. He stood up, pulling her into his arms.

 

“Hello, my lady. It’s so good to see you.” he stroked her cheek. “Destransform. I have cookies for Tikki.”

 

“She’ll love it.” she laughed, saying the phrase to destransform.

 

“Hello, Adrien!”

 

“Tikki!” he smiled, stroking the kwami’s head. “Plagg is on the game shelves upstairs. There are some cookies for you.”

 

“Thank you so much.” Tikki kissed Adrien’s and Marinette’s cheek and disappeared.

 

Then Adrien turned to Marinette. He gasped, placing his hand on his chest.

 

“Adrien?” Marinette questioned, worried.

 

“Is this… is this Chat Noir inspired pajamas?”

 

She looked down, covering her face with her hands later.

 

“Damn it. I forgot what I was wearing underneath.”

 

“My lady has Chat Noir pajamas!” Adrien said in delight, pulling her into a hug. Marinette grunted but accepted the hug and melted into Adrien’s arms. “I don’t know why the shame, buginette. I also have three Ladybug pajamas. And a pair of underwear.”

 

“Oh yeah?” She said, laughing. “Interesting.”

 

“One day I’ll let you see.” he teased, kissing her nose. “So, what do you want to do?”

 

“Actually, Adrien…” she frowned. “I want to sleep. I just came to see you because I missed you so much, but my day today was hectic. I spent all afternoon with Luka trying to find something that exposed Lila.”

 

“Did you find something?” he brushed the hair that fell out in front of her face to the side.

 

“The liar really knows how to lie.”

 

“Don’t worry, my lady.” he gave Marinette a quick kiss. “We’ll find something.”

 

“I know. Anyway, did I tell you I love you today?” she muttered as Adrien scooped her up, bridal style.

 

“I think so, but I love hearing those words coming out of your mouth,” he said against her mouth, walking slowly to his bed so as not to fall.

 

“Well, I love you,” she said, holding his chin in one hand and leaning in to kiss him. “I love you so much, chaton.”

 

Adrien shuddered at those words, still getting used to them coming out of his lady’s mouth. It was great to hear her say them.

 

He deposited her on his bed, smiling as she stretched like a lazy cat, hugging his pillow and tucking it in her face.

 

“Wake me up tomorrow,” she grunted, nestling against the pillow.

 

“I thought it was me you would be cuddling.” Adrien pretended to be hurt as he turned off the bedroom lights and lay down next to Marinette.

 

“It depends. Do you snore?”

 

“More than Plagg? Impossible.” he snorted. “I purr sometimes. If I’m very comfortable.”

 

Marinette smiled, abandoning the pillow and approaching Adrien on the bed.

 

“Oh, really? Can I make this kitty purr?” she asked as she stroked and lightly scratched Adrien’s scalp, trying to contain herself.

 

And he was holding back as well, until the moment she thought it would be nice to kiss his chin. Adrien melted and the purr escaped before he could control himself. Embarrassed, he covered his mouth while Marinette laughed softly.

 

“You are very cute.”

 

“I’m not cute,” he grunted. “I destroy everything I touch, I’m dangerous.”

 

“The most dangerous kitty in all of Paris.”

 

“Ok, I know you’re being ironic.”

 

“Do you think so?” she widened her eyes, pretending to be caught in the act. Rolling his eyes, Adrien pulled her around her waist, moving closer to her as he filled her with kisses on the cheek. “It tickles, stop!” she said, laughing.

 

“Never! Now you will have to face my villain, Ladybug. Tickling hand!” he said in a dramatic voice. “Go on, my little akuma, and bring that annoying Ladybug’s miraculous to me!”

 

“I’m not annoying!” she gasped, outraged.

 

“My lady, the many times you’ve messed up Papillon’s plans in the last few years shows how annoying you are.” he laughed and with his hand began to pet near her ear. Marinette closed her eyes, humming with satisfaction.

 

“If I get such cuddles, maybe I might consider handing you my miraculous.”

 

“I’ve been Mister Bug once, that’s enough.” he shuddered. “I prefer my chaos.”

 

“If you say so.” she opened her eyes, smiling. Adrien was above her, propping his elbows on the mattress so he wouldn’t crush her against the bed, and she had never felt so at home. “This looks like a dream.”

 

“I know.” he buried his face in her neck, giving a light kiss. “It’s like I’m going to wake up and find out these last weeks never existed.”

 

“But they did, chaton.” she hugged him, and Adrien allowed himself to melt and lie over her.

 

“It’s true.” he turned on his side, bringing her with him. They lay on their side, face to face, exchanging caresses and light kisses in silence.

 

“We should sleep,” she said sleepily.

 

“You know?”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“You should visit me more. You belong in my bed.”

 

“It is very comfortable. Especially with this beautiful model with me.”

 

“See? Just advantages.”

 

She laughed, nestling even more against him.

 

“What time do you wake up?”

 

“Six and a half. Nathalie calls me at seven.”

 

“Right. When you wake up, wake me up so I can leave, okay?”

 

“Yes, my lady,” he assured, stroking her hair as she fell asleep. Marinette closed her eyes, sighing tiredly, and Adrien soon noticed that she was sleeping.

 

He kissed each of her eyes, her nose, and finally her mouth.

 

“Good evening, my lady.”

 

Adrien closed her eyes, relaxed in the comfort of his bed and her lady hugging him, and then closed his eyes, sleeping wonderfully well.

 

So well that when his alarm went off, he turned it off without opening his eyes, tossed his cell phone aside and made sure that in five minutes he would get up because he was warm and comfortable under his covers, with Marinette sleeping close to him.

 

The problem is that the five minutes have passed. Ten. Fifteen. Twenty.

 

Thirty minutes passed and neither Adrien nor Marinette awoke.

 

 

*

 

 

Nathalie was surprised by Adrien’s delay and even more his lack of response when she knocked on his door to call him. When she opened the door and entered, she saw that Adrien was still sleeping.

 

Approaching, she saw that Adrien slept cuddling with no one but none other than Mademoiselle Dupain Cheng. The two young teens slept so soundly and so well that it was as if they had nothing important to do.

 

How Adrien had infiltrated his ex-girlfriend unnoticed, and how Gabriel would react when he saw that the girl had broken their treaty, she had no idea.

 

Taking a deep breath, she prepared to wake them and all the confusion that would follow.

 

I’m not paid enough for this.