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candy sweet lovin'

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It was a Wednesday, and Marinette was very happy. 

She probably shouldn’t be. She really shouldn’t be. She’d wrapped herself into a stupid situation that was going to end up with her hurt. Or Lila claiming something horribly untrue and everyone believing it. 

But it’d been a long couple weeks since Lila returned from her “Trip to Achu”. And finally, something good had happened. 

Her nights weren’t as lonely as her days anymore. Ladybug had noticed how sad Chat had been, and like a good friend, sent him straight to the Dupain-Chengs. 

Who then tried to adopt him. 

Marinette was grateful for their enthusiasm, really, but she found herself with a fledgling crush on her partner in crime. So as much as she wanted him to have a better family, she didn’t want her parents to adopt him. Because that would be weird. 

Tuesday had become Family Night. Time to spend with family and be loved and above all, be over the top and dramatic. 

Falling asleep curled up with Chat wasn’t planned. But it was really nice to wake up in his arms. She was absolutely sure her parents had taken pictures, too. 

So she was pretty cheerful. Waking up in your crush’s arms tended to do that to a person. 

School had been less of a hell with something to look forward to, and Chat was very easy to be excited about. 

Between the nights he spent with Marinette and her family and the nights he spent patrolling with Ladybug, it was rare for her to not see him every night. 

It also meant there was no room for her to spaz out over her crush. It was Chat. She knew Chat. More importantly, Chat knew her. He’d notice if she spazzed out. And her walls, no longer covered in pictures of Adrien or worse, pictures with her former friends, were easily filled with selfies and pictures from BugOut!, the alternate blog for superhero information. 

BugOut! was better at fact-checking but also provided fashion advice. Both were pluses in Marinette’s book. And they didn’t try to reveal identities or spread gossip about how Ladynoir had to be canon, instead hunting down Hawk Moth’s identity, offering links for akuma-related therapy, and spreading the few selfless akumas’ causes. So BugOut! became Marinette’s (and therefore Chat’s) main source of Miraculous news. 

Marinette wished she could still support the Ladyblog, but with Alya’s attitude, it just wasn’t possible. 

It was strange to think that Alix and Adrien had become her best friends, but it worked. Somehow, she’d made it through Lila’s threats and made two new friends. Friends who wouldn’t betray her. 

 

Lila rushed into class last minute, like Marinette used to. She was clearly dishevelled, and Marinette was selfishly hopeful that something had gone wrong with her lies. But no. Her dishevelment was clearly purposeful, as was the hickey on her neck. Marinette would bet ten euros that it was fake. 

“Girl, you look like you had a wild night,” Alya teased. “You might wanna cover up that hickey.”

Lila’s eyes widened and she blushed, slapping a hand over her neck. “Oh no, I knew I forgot something.”

Alya laughed and slid her concealer across the table. “Spill, girl. Who’s the lucky guy?”

Lila smiled demurely as she dotted concealer over the mark. “I really shouldn’t say. I don’t want to get him in trouble, he’s not supposed to date. There’s this girl who’s really possessive of him, she has all these rules, but he can’t get away from her.”

“I won’t tell anyone, I swear!” Alya said, curiosity filling her eyes. Marinette pities her. From the back of the classroom, she can still make out the hope in the blogger’s gaze. 

Lila looked around, hesitant, but then leaned over the desk and stage whispered (read: at normal volume) “I spent the night with Chat Noir .”

Adrien, from his seat next to her, laughed. “You know, I really thought you’d get tired of telling lies that Marinette can disprove in an instant, but you just keep doing it,” he said dryly. “Sorry, Lila, but next time choose a celebrity who Marinette’s not dating.”

He winked at Marinette. 

Choosing to tell her friends about the superhero her parents wanted desperately to adopt was a good idea. Adrien had always been busy when Chat Noir showed up, or vice versa, but they apparently hung out sometimes. Alix, being Alix, showed up on Marinette’s balcony sometimes just like Chat, and was also quickly immersed in the family. 

“What- what are you talking about? Are you calling me a liar?” Lila asked, crocodile tears forming in her eyes. Alix snorted. 

“Well, you did claim Marinette’s boyfriend gave you that hickey,” they said. “The night Sabine couldn’t stop gushing about how they fell asleep together. Meaning he was with her. All night.”

Alya glared at Alix. “Do you have proof?”

Alix held out their phone, showing the stream of texts from Sabine. 

7:29 pm

[Sabine Cheng] You’re welcome to come over, we’re having a movie night.

[Alix Kubdel] i’m busy, sry

[Sabine Cheng] Chat says hi, he’s sorry you can’t come

[Alix Kubdel] tell that dumb cat i’m telling him he needs to eat more

[Sabine Cheng] We’ve got plenty of pastries, don’t worry. You know he can’t resist them.

10:34 pm

[Sabine Cheng] Mari’s fallen asleep on her cat, we’re only halfway through this movie

[Sabine Cheng] Now he’s asleep too

[Sabine Cheng] [image]

[Alix Kubdel] awww, precious lil mar and her kitty

[Sabine Cheng] [image] [image]

5:51 am

[Sabine Cheng] [image] I almost feel bad about waking them up. 

[Alix Kubdel] you should wake mar up first and watch her realize who she’s sleeping on

[Sabine Cheng] [video]

Alix clicks on the video, watching Marinette bury herself into her sweatshirt in the corner of the classroom as it starts to play. “Aliiiiix,” she complains, and Adrien snickers. 

Tom Dupain is gently trying to rouse his daughter. She starts to stir, but so does Chat Noir, unconsciously pulling Marinette closer with a cute little inhale. The phone shakes with Sabine’s laughter. 

“Marinette, honey, you have to wake up,” Tom cooes. Marinette’s eyes blink open, and one hand snakes out of Chat’s embrace to grab her phone from the desk. She blinks at the time and flips her parents off before burrowing further into Chat’s chest. Tom and Sabine are clearly laughing. 

Chat’s eyes open suddenly. He glances down at Marinette, a fond smile pulling over his features. Tom points at the digital clock on the oven, and Chat makes a face. He shifts, trying (and failing) to pry Marinette off him. “Mar, I have to get home,” he says. Marinette makes a noise of displeasure. “C’mon, Princess, someone’s going to realize I’m gone.”

Marinette wrinkles her nose and rolls off Chat Noir’s chest, almost falling to the floor before he catches her with a lazy swing of his arm. “G’morning, minou,” she says sleepily. The video stops. 

The class is silent. 

And then they’re swarming Marinette, leaving Lila ignored. Luckily, Mme. Bustier walks into class just in time, calling for order quickly. 

 

By lunch, Alya’s posted it on the Ladyblog. Chat Noir is dating Marinette Dupain-Cheng. Alix starts fuming.

Chapter Text

When Marinette gets home, she’s exhausted. Chat Noir is waiting on her balcony, but for once, she doesn’t want to face him. Sabine takes one look at her daughter and sends her upstairs with hot chocolate and pastries. 

Alix is sitting with him, and they sit up when Marinette emerges on her balcony. “I explained the situation,” they say. “It’s up to the two of you what happens next. Sorry, I really have to go, Marc’s waiting for me.”

“See you later!” Marinette calls with a smile. The smile feels like a lie. Chat lifts an arm to wave goodbye at Alix as Marinette sits down across from him. The farthest away possible , her traitorous brain whispers. 

Alix swings over the railing and clamber down to the ground safely, waving goodbye. 

There’s a long silence in their absence where they awkwardly sip hot chocolate and munch on pastries. 

“I’m sorry you got involved in my petty squabbles with Lila,” Marinette says, trying to break the ice as she dissects a croissant half heartedly. Chat shakes his head.

“Being upset that someone is lying about a person you care about isn’t a bad thing, Princess,” Chat reminds her. “I’d rather not have Lila spreading rumors about me sleeping with her.” He shudders. “Ugh. I’d rather date Alix than her.”

“Alix is too ace for our shit,” Marinette snickers, then takes a long sip of her hot chocolate. “Alya’s not going to let our ‘relationship’ go anytime soon.”

Chat shrugs. “Then we roll with it. Fake date.”

“Kitten, I don’t know if you know, but fake dating always ends in disaster.”

He smiles mischeviously. “Well, I’m in love with Ladybug, she’s in love with her mystery boy, I’d totally ask you out if I didn’t love Ladybug, this is all an excuse to make out with a super cute girl and not break her heart because I’m in love with someone else.”

Marinette throws her head back and laughs. “Sure, kitty. We can pretend to date.” She spots Alya staring up at her balcony, and subtly gestures towards her. “I spot a Ladyblogger. Wanna give her something to talk about?”

Chat snorts and sets his mug of hot chocolate down, wrapping an arm around Marinette’s waist to pull her closer. She falls against him, giggling, and he cups her cheek and leans in to kiss her. 

She can taste the chocolate on his lips, she realizes. It’s easy to forget it’s all fake when she can taste him, and she can’t place what he tastes like. Something like moonlight. Whatever it is, it’s intoxicating, and she doesn’t want to stop. 

He’s smiling, she thinks, and then they have to pull away because they’re both smiling too much to keep kissing. 

A quick glance reveals that Alya is in fact streaming, and possibly screaming. 

“Ladybug’s a lucky girl,” Marinette breathes, grinning. 

“Well, she is Lady Luck for a reason,” he hums, wrapping his arms around her contently. “That was my first kiss,” he says. “I’m glad it was with you. Well, first non-akuma-related kiss.”

“Same,” Marinette replies. Chat Noir leans down and presses a kiss against her cheek, a fond gesture that makes her heart ache. 

Oh , she thinks. I love him .  

Oh SHIT. I’m in love with Chat Noir .

 

Chat is waiting on their roof when Ladybug heads out to patrol. He’s blushing, running a finger over his lips absentmindedly. 

She can still feel the phantom touch of where those lips had been on her own only a few hours ago. 

Shit

“You’re early, Chaton,” Ladybug says, enjoying the way he jumps. “Thinking about your girlfriend?” Her tone is teasing, as if she really thinks they’re dating. 

“My lady!” he hops up, eyes lighting up- then dulling. Because of course. Ladybug thinks he’s dating someone else.

“I don’t blame you, Marinette’s really awesome,” she continues. “As the Guardian, I should probably remind you that we’re not supposed to interact with civilians that much. But I trust you. If you want to date a civilian, I trust you to not date someone like Lila Rossi. You can’t do much better than Marinette Dupain-Cheng.”

“Yeah,” Chat Noir agrees, a little reluctantly. Ladybug quickly realizes that while they were distracted, she never talked to him about who they’re going to tell that they’re not actually dating. “Marinette is purretty amazing.”

Ladybug rolls her eyes at the pun, holding back a smile. “So how did you two get together?”

Chat’s eyes light up (she knows he loves storytelling, but Ladybug isn’t supposed to know that. Marinette knows that). “Well, remember when I was having a really horrible day? And you sent me to the Dupain-Chengs, because they’re paw some? I’ve been visiting them every Tuesday and Friday night since then. On Tuesdays, we play games or watch movies, and Fridays I hang out with Marinette. Sometimes Alix would join us too. And I just- I started noticing all these little things about her. Last night, she fell asleep on my shoulder during the movie we were watching, and I think I must’ve fallen asleep too, because I woke up with her curled up on me while her parents tried to wake us up. And I realized I wanted to wake up like that every day. She’s- she’s amazing , Ladybug. She just cares so much. So when I heard Lila was lying about dating me and Alix and Adrien had lied about me dating Marinette instead, I really wanted it to not be a lie. So I told her that, and-”

“And then you kissed her!” Ladybug exclaims, acting the part of the shipping friend and hoping the darkness hid her burning cheeks. 

She really wished that was how it went. 

“Yeah,” he said, blushing hard enough that Ladybug could tell in the low light from the streetlamps below them. “And I kissed her.”

“Oh my god, you’re blushing,” she pointed out gleefully. “That’s so cute. Awww, my little chaton is all grown up!” His blush darkened. “You’re lucky. The only boy I’ve ever kissed is you. Stupid Dark Cupid, no girl dreams of her first kiss being to save her life.” She wrinkles her nose. “I guess you got it worse, not even remembering your first two kisses. At least I remember one of them.”

Chat snorts. “Any luck with mystery boy?”

“Mystery boy is one of my best friends now, nothing more, and there’s another guy but dating him would be… complicated to say the least,” Ladybug sighs. “Damn, I should’ve asked out mystery boy before I fell out of love with him. Now he’s just a friend, albeit a really hot friend that I wouldn’t mind making out with.”

“And I thought I was the unlucky one.”

“Says the one with a girlfriend.”

Chat elbows her. “We should actually patrol instead of gossiping like Ladybloggers.”

“We should .”

“We’re not going to patrol, are we.”

“Nope!” Ladybug plops down on the roof and drags him down with her. 

 

They end up eating ice cream on the top of the Eiffel tower. It feels a little like a date, but Ladybug can’t bring herself to care. She wishes it were a date. She’s pretty sure he wishes it were a date too. But that’s not possible. 

Some part of her belatedly realizes that fake dating him as Marinette is a really bad idea, because now she can’t actually date him as Ladybug. 

Oh. 

Oh shit .

Chapter Text

Marinette couldn’t decide if she was in heaven or hell. On one hand, she got to kiss Chat Noir all the time. On the other hand, well, she was fake dating him. 

Anyone could tell you that fake dating never worked out. 

Never

But she’d been backed into a corner. Lila could spread harmful rumors about Chat Noir cheating on her with Ladybug if Marinette hadn’t proved her wrong. She couldn’t not stop that. And she hadn’t even started it! Adrien had. So she had no choice. 

Getting to make out with her crush couldn’t end up that badly, could it?

 

Of course, Marinette’s luck never held. 

It was easy enough to get to school and sneak past all the reporters flocking to the school to interview Chat Noir’s girlfriend, but it was more difficult to deal with her classmates. 

Mme. Mendeleiev’s physics class was, for once, a relief. She didn’t tolerate any off task behavior, nor did she care who her students dated as long as they weren’t a) adults, b) criminals, or c) young children. 

Chat Noir was none of those. So Mme. Mendeleiev didn’t care about Marinette’s relationship. 

It was a relief to finally have someone who didn’t care. She told Adrien the same story that Chat told Ladybug, and refused to tell anyone else anything. 

Alix probably already knew everything anyways, they always knew everything.

It was just as she was sitting down for Physics that the akuma alert went off on all their phones. Marinette froze. Of course. The one class with a decent teacher would be interrupted by an akuma. She quietly checked the location on BugOut!- then frowned. 

It was near Adrien's photoshoot. 

"Silence your phones, class," Mme. Mendeleiev said. "As the akuma is not affecting this class, I will continue my lesson. No, Mlle. Cesaire, you can't skip class to go put yourself in danger. No one is leaving this classroom unless the akuma directly affects us."

1:56 pm

[Adrien Agreste] um mar there’s an akuma

[Adrien Agreste] mar you there?

[Adrien Agreste] shit is your phone on silent?

One missed call from [Adrien Agreste].

[Adrien Agreste] you’re in physics aren’t you

[Adrien Agreste] there’s an akuma. it’s after you.

[Adrien Agreste] it’s heading for the school dammit

[Adrien Agreste] mar!!!

[Adrien Agreste] stupid photoshoot. mar get somewhere safe!

[Adrien Agreste] please stay safe

Marinette remained blissfully ignorant of the texts her phone was receiving. 

 

Chat Noir slammed into the window, crashing through it and sliding across Alix's desk. He sat up among the glass shards long enough to see Marinette, say “oh, hey princess,” and pass out. 

Alix looked at him and smacked their forehead. “Mar, get your boyfriend somewhere his identity isn’t going to be revealed to a girl who can’t keep a secret and a girl who’d blackmail him with it.”

Marinette set her pencil down with a sigh and stood up, stretching. She sauntered over to her partner and scooped him up in a bridal carry. “Don’t you dare challenge the akuma while I’m gone, Lix.”

She effortlessly carried her fake boyfriend out of the class, smirking at the jaws dropping at her strength. 

 

Adrien blinked, lazily opening his eyes. The last thing he remembered was crashing through the windows into Marinette’s classroom, and now he was detransformed in complete darkness. 

Alone. 

Detransformed. 

Plagg wasn’t with him

Adrien’s eyes shot open all the way. 

A crack of light appeared and Adrien scrambled to his feet. Plagg zoomed inside. “C’mon, kid, you’re lucky your girlfriend is strong enough to leave you here. The akuma’s gone, I helped Ladybug fight it.”

Adrien sighed in relief, his shoulders slumping. 

“Kid, you thought I would leave you? Oh shit , I didn’t even think about that!” Plagg flew over to Adrien, hugging his charge’s cheek. “Kitten, you’re my kitten. I’m not leaving you ever, and neither is Ladybug. Or Marinette. Alix is probably going to stick around for a long time, too.”

Adrien let out a deep breath and exited the closet. 

 

Ladybug was lingering in the courtyard, half hoping Chat Noir would show up. Just so she could reassure herself that he was okay. Because she knew she’d be freaking out all day about it if he didn’t. 

She didn’t have much time left before she detransformed, but she had to wait. Just a little bit longer. 

“Ladybug! Do you have time for a short interview?” a blonde girl asks. 

“I have a little time, yes,” Ladybug says. 

“I’m Mireille and this is Aurore. We’re the moderators of BugOut!, a fashion and Miraculous themed blog,” the girl next to Aurore eagerly blurts out. “We’ve found that the Ladyblog, while Paris’s main Miraculous news source, is quick to draw conclusions without proper confirmation.”

“Can you confirm or deny that Chat Noir is dating Marinette Dupain-Cheng?” Aurore asks. “And are the pictures of them kissing on her balcony, are those real?”

“Yes, they’re dating, and judging by my partner’s blush when I asked him about the pictures, I’d say they’re real,” Ladybug grins mischeviously. 

Mireille giggles. “There’s been quite a few rumors that Marinette is causing a rift between the two of you, or that you and Chat Noir recently broke up. What do you have to say about these?”

Ladybug gives a light smile. “Chat Noir is my partner. Our relationship is admittedly beyond professional, but nothing beyond platonic. He’s one of my best friends and vice versa. I trust him to choose who, if anyone, he wants to date, with or without the mask.”

“Oh good , I was really hoping you guys weren’t dissolving your relationship because of a girl,” Mireille breathes a sigh of relief, and Ladybug laughs. 

“Like I said, I trust him. If we’re going to fight over something, it’s probably going to be over something dumb like cat puns.”

 

Adrien was a mess. 

He was fake dating Marinette as Chat Noir. He was in love with Ladybug, and Marinette knew this. Ladybug thought he was actually dating Marinette and was happy for him. 

Ladybug who trusted him. 

He flopped backwards onto his bed. It was almost winter break, and Adrien was running a lot warmer than he should be. But he didn’t have any other symptoms of sickness, so he hadn’t bothered Nathalie about it. No need to be pulled from school to ‘recover’ when he felt fine. 

And because of his photoshoot, he had missed half of his classes and had completed all of his homework. 

A knock on his window made Adrien bolt upwards. His eyes widened as he spotted (hah) Ladybug hanging from something (what was she hanging from? some sort of ledge?) so she fell against his windows. He darted over to the windows, unlocking them and quickly pulling them open. “Ladybug! What are you doing here? Is there an akuma?”

“No, nothing like that. I guess I’m a little bored, that’s all, and you looked bored too,” she says, swinging her legs over the edge of the windowsill smoothly. “Also, I remembered you have a ton of arcade games in your room.”

Adrien laughed, feeling far too breathless. “Superhero reflexes versus years of practice? Sounds fun,” he says, and Ladybug smiles brightly. 

Oh right. 

There’s the smile he’s so hopelessly gone for.

Chapter Text

Adrien cracked his eyes open. A glance at his digital clock told him it was near three in the morning, and Ladybug was curled up on the other side of his couch. Her breathing was harsh, angry. 

“Ladybug?”

She looked up from her yoyo. “Yeah? Sorry, I have no clue how to open your fancy windows or I’d have left as soon as I woke up.”

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s nothing,” she said unconvincingly. “Just some stupid rumors on the Ladyblog”

“It’s not stupid if you’re upset about it,” he reminded her gently. “So. What’s wrong?”

She sighed. “Something about me trying to steal you away from Lila just because I can’t have Chat Noir.”

“Yes, please steal me away from Lila. I totally support this. Get me as far away from her as possible,” Adrien replied, and he was rewarded with a soft laugh. “Besides, weren’t you the one who kept rejecting Chat Noir? What, do they think you were just playing hard to get the whole time? It’s been what, four years?”

“Three going on four,” Ladybug corrected. “I was thirteen when I got my Miraculous.”

“See? There’s no way you were just playing hard to get for that long,” he says. “If you really want to prove them wrong, get a significant other. Plenty of people out there would love to date Ladybug!”

“Yeah, plenty of people would love to date Ladybug , but no one really wants to date me for me. Besides, I’m in a really, really weird situation with the guy I like. I don’t want to lead anyone on just to stop a bunch of rumors.”

“Then pretend to date someone,” Adrien suggested. “Someone you trust enough to not want to date you for fame, but also has a good reason to go along with the lie. Someone you wouldn’t mind kissing for pictures. Maybe someone who’s used to some media attention?”

“So… you’re saying I should pretend to date you.”

Adrien’s heart skips a beat. “I mean, I’m not opposed to that, but why did you jump immediately to me, though?”

Ladybug giggles. “C’mon, don’t tell me you haven’t been dying for an excuse to throw Lila off your arm next time she latches on.”

He grins. “I like your logic very much. I’ll do it.”

“Not gonna lie, my reasons are totally selfish.”

“And? So are mine!”

“Fair, fair,” Ladybug laughs. “Thanks, Adrien.”

“So... wanna practice?” he says, wiggling his eyebrows. She rolls her eyes but leans in to kiss him anyways. 

Kissing Ladybug is everything and nothing like kissing Marinette. She takes the lead, pushing for a deeper angle, completely in control. She tastes like strawberries and the wind whipping through your hair, something wild and free and intoxicating . He’s never going to get enough of kissing her. 

Oh, he thinks. Oh no

She’s not his. She’ll never be his. But he’s so, so far gone for her. 

 

Later in the morning, he wakes up to Nathalie staring down at him disapprovingly, feeling like the dead. 

He finds out why when he looks in the mirror, finding a smear of ladybug-red lipstick on the corner of his mouth, his clothes rumpled. Right, he thinks. 

That happened. 

A secretive smile tugs across his face. 

He walks to school in a haze, somewhere between a dream and a nightmare. 

Ladybug kissed him.

She loves someone else. 

But she kissed him!

But she loves someone else. 

His mind is going in circles, reliving the kiss then how she’d been so happy he had Marinette. 

“Dude, you look like hell,” Nino says not unkindly, and Adrien barely remembers that he has to respond. 

“Yeah,” he replies eloquently. He focuses enough to sit down, cringing away from Lila as she tries to attach herself to his arm again. Just a little longer , he reminds himself. Just until Ladybug announces it. 

Marinette slips into the classroom quietly, and Adrien raises his other arm to wave at her. Lila digs her fingernails into his arm and he winces, lowering his hand. 

Marinette frowns, mentally moving up “accidentally” mentioning Adrien on her timeline. She can’t stand to watch him suffer like that. That’s why she’s doing this, she reminds herself. That’s why she’s complicating things even farther. That’s why she’s throwing away restraint and living life dripping in Ladybug-red confidence. 

Rrright. 

Confidence. 

“Lila,” she says, sickeningly sweet, and Lila practically snarls as she looks up. 

“Yes, Marinette ?” Lila hisses, poorly concealed venom filling her voice. Marinette almost laughs. 

“Would you mind letting go of my best friend for a minute? I have a gift for his girlfriend ,” she replies, and Adrien’s brow wrinkled. 

“Oh, Adrien, I didn’t realize you had a girlfriend,” Lila cooes. “What’s her name?”

“I didn’t realize you knew about her,” he says to Marinette. She grins. 

“She came over to my place around four in the morning ‘cause she forgot concealer and we have the same shade skin,” Marinette continued with a growing smirk. Adrien blushed, and she laughed. “Got anything to say for yourself, Agreste?”

“Wait, why are we interrogating Adrien?” Alix asked, sliding into their seat. “Did he do something dumb again?”

“You’ll see, Alix,” Marinette said sweetly, handing Adrien an envelope. “You’ll see.” 

Alix only shook their head. “I miss knowing everything about everyone,” they lamented. Adrien laughed. 

 

Confidence has finally got her back. Or maybe it’s Chat. It’s probably Chat. She’s always loved patrol, which, though unnecessary, was fun. And they did stop some petty crimes whenever they came across it. So it had some use. But it was mostly just fun. Time to get to know each other and play games and train and generally be teenagers. 

After patrols first started being a thing, they found themselves even more in sync than before. 

So there was a purpose to it!

Obviously the purpose wasn’t to skip around and smile at everything and laugh at Chat’s puns instead of rolling her eyes and hiding a smile, but still. She was really, really happy. 

She was pretending to date two beautiful blonde boys who were both unfairly good at kissing. Her crush liked her back and she just had to say the word and he’d come running to her side. Sure, things were complicated, but couldn’t she just be happy for a while?

She’d gotten Adrien an out for when Lila set her sights on him. She’d created a master plan to stop people (read: Lila) from lying about Ladybug, Chat Noir, Adrien, or… anything, really. 

She couldn’t stop smiling. 

For about the fifth time that patrol, Chat gave her an odd look. “My lady, are you feline okay? You seem… energetic.”

Ladybug grinned widely at her partner. “I’m great , chaton. Today has been pawsome and also I’m running on about three hours of sleep and that’s pretty bad and oh my god , I wish I could tell you my master plan but it’d spill my identity and Tikki still says that’s Bad so I can’t but anyways my crush likes me back but that’s all complicated and oh yeah, I have a boyfriend now his name is Adrien I’m dating him as Ladybug so I can tell this one liar to fuck off next time she tries to cling to him and, Chat, your girlfriend is a godsend I swear,” she rambled. “We have the same skin tone and was up, at like, five in the morning when I left my boyfriend’s house, and she let me use her concealer, which, please thank her for that next time you see her-” she took a deep breath, still smiling, and looked back at Chat Noir. He was listening intently, his face staying worryingly neutral. “Chat?”

He slow blinked at her, then blushed. “Yes?”

“Are you okay?” 

“Yeah! Yeah, of course I am,” he said, but Ladybug still frowned. 

“Are you sure ?”

“I’m feline fine, my lady.”

Chapter Text

“Bye bye, little butterfly.”

Chat Noir helped up the redhead who had been the akuma, jumping as his ring beeped and gave Ladybug a panicked look. She held out her fist, and he smiled gratefully. 

“Bien joue!” He vaulted away, and Ladybug sighed when her own Miraculous beeped. She turned to the redhead, then did a double take. 

Ondine? ” she said, surprised that the cheery girl had been akumatized a second time.

Ondine deflated. 

“Are you okay, Ondine? What happened?” Ladybug asked. “If you’re ready to talk about it, of course.”

She sighed. “It’s not very important, Ladybug.

“Well, considering you got akumatized over it, it’s important to you . That means it’s important to me, too,” Ladybug said, gently pulling Ondine over to a park bench to sit down. “I’ve got three minutes. Anything you say remains between the two of us.”

Ondine nodded gratefully. “Kim broke up with me.”

“The dense jock boy you liked?”

“Yeah. I just- I know Marinette, you know? She used to be a friend of Kim’s. And I’m happy for her! It’s just- it’s a bit of a sore spot for me. Her happy relationship is everywhere and mine just crashed and died,” Ondine grimaced. “I’m sorry, I sound like such a bitch. I really am happy for Marinette. I just want to be happy for myself, too.”

“Ondine, right?” Ladybug looks up, smiling when she sees who said that. Adrien . “I don’t think I’ve ever met you, but Kim talked about you a lot. And let me reassure you him breaking up with you had nothing to do with you.”

“What do you mean?” Ondine asked, and Adrien slid onto the bench next to her. 

“There’s this girl that joined our class a while ago. She lies a lot, but everyone seems to believe her without question. It’s getting worse, actually,” he starts. “Recently she started to get closer to Kim. And… well, she’s been tearing apart relationships for a while.”

Ondine’s shoulders slumped. “Poor Kim…”

“Most of her lies could be disproved by a simple Google search,” Ladybug snorted. “It’s his loss. You deserve better than someone who’s going to dump you at some other girl’s pretty lies.”

Ondine nodded slowly. “Yeah… yeah, you’re right. It’s time for me to move on.”

“Do you have a way to get home? Because if you do, I’ve got a relationship to announce and shove up that liar’s ass,” Ladybug said rather passionately. 

“My apartment isn’t that far from here, I can walk,” Ondine laughed. “Thanks, Ladybug.”

“Anytime!”

Ondine stood up, and hurried away, waving at the hero with a bright smile. Adrien winced when she knocked someone over, then quickly helped them up. He squinted. Was that… Kagami?

Ladybug glanced around. “I spot a Ladyblogger.”

“Good,” he said, then pulled her into his lap and leaned down to kiss her, letting her close the distance. She was quick to pull him closer, and oh god it would be so easy to imagine this was real. That she loved him, Adrien-him , that there was no one else. 

Alya’s squeal brought him back to reality. 

This was all 

just 

show. 

 

Alix stared at the Ladyblog in faint horror. 

What the fuck was going on?

Adrien was dating Ladybug? Marinette was dating Chat Noir? Did they know ? Worse, did they not know? 

What was happening ?

They shook their head, utterly confused. Maybe they should just give upon meddling with their best friends’ love lives. 

This was fine. 

 

Marinette settled down on her balcony, wrapped in a fuzzy pink blanket with a mug of steaming hot chocolate in her hands. She glared down at her sketchbook, the hateful object only bringing her more misery. 

Artist’s block, the bane of every creator’s existence.

It had been far too long since she’d had actual time to design something for fun, and now that she had the time, she had none of the inspiration. 

Marinette sighed, picking up her glittery gel pens (the ones she’d never use for designing unless for Manon or Alya’s little sisters). She could at least doodle, maybe she’d think of something good. 

It quickly became apparent that all she was drawing were sparkly black cats with gleaming green eyes. 

How did she even make glitter pens gleam with mischief like that? 

Oh. 

Oh

Inspiration.

 

“You’re going to see your girlfriend now ?” Plagg complained. “But I’m still digesting my Camembert!”

“C’mon, Plagg, just for a little bit!” Adrien replied, smiling at the pictures on his walls. He loved the pictures with Marinette a lot, but the few patrol selfies were by far his favorite. Marinette was a great friend, and he was lucky to have her. 

As a friend , Adrien reminded a voice that sounded suspiciously like Plagg. Marinette was his best friend! He cherished the moments at Ladybug’s side, but Marinette beat her for best friend the day she broke into his room to kidnap him from having to spend an entire gala with Lila. Instead, the two of them watched anime and ate chocolates in her room while Paris panicked about Adrien disappearing. 

“You saw her at school today!”

Marinette was awesome, of course he wanted to spend time with her. 

“Plagg, claws out!” he cried, ignoring his kwami’s protests. He’d give him extra Camembert later. 

Chat Noir slipped out of his window, vaulting along the rooftops with practiced ease. Wind spiraled around him, blowing auburn leaves in the golden light before sunset. The days were getting shorter and colder, and according to Plagg, his temperature was rising to make up for Ladybug’s low cold tolerance. 

Chat Noir stopped on the rooftop where he’d met Ladybug, a little disappointed in the clouds hiding the sky from his eyes. He’d hoped to stargaze with Marinette tonight, maybe see if Ladybug was busy and hang out with her. But clouds weren’t very fun to stare at when they covered the sky like a blanket. 

Chat Noir found himself staring at Marinette’s silhouette, framed by fairy lights and a sort of aura of warmth. He grinned, then winced. It was cold outside, even with his transformation, and Marinette liked the cold about as much as Ladybug. 

He drew closer, unsurprised to find her hunched over a sketchbook. Glitter gel pens littered the table around her, and she’d wrapped herself in a fuzzy pink blanket to ward off the cold. 

Like always, she was off in her own world. He carefully stepped onto the balcony, trying not to scare her like he had a few days ago in class. 

“Hey, princess,” he said, smirking when she jumped, flailing wildly and nearly knocking over her hot chocolate mug. 

“Chat!” she smiled, scooping up the pen she’d dropped. “What’s up?”

“Just wanted to see my favorite civilian,” he replied, peering over at the drawing she’d been working on. 

Marinette grinned. “ I’m your favorite civilian? Wow, what an honor ,” she said, overexaggeratedly twirling her hair around her finger. 

“What, did you think Alix was my favorite?”

“I mean, I did beat you up in every single game I own…” she trailed off, and Chat wrinkled his nose at her. 

“I take that back, Alix is definitely my favorite,” he flopped down on the chair across from hers. “How long have you been out here?”

She winced. “I’m not sure. I was having trouble thinking of anything to draw, then inspiration hit and I lost track of time.”

“It’s getting cold, you should head inside,” he said, standing up to wrap the blanket tighter around her shoulders. “What are you drawing, anyways?”

Marinette’s face lit up and she slid her paper over to Chat Noir. 

And of course, because Marinette was never one to half-ass a drawing, there was a detailed, shaded, completely glitter-pen drawing (who was he kidding, it was a masterpiece) of him sitting on the edge of her balcony laughing. 

Chapter Text

Ladybug was glaring at the sunset again. 

Chat Noir had found her there, sitting on that lonely roof, staring frustratedly at the sunset every few weeks since he had started fake dating her. It was well into winter break now, and Plagg kept reminding him that Ladybugs hibernate in the winter if they didn’t have their Black Cats with them. 

Today, she was shivering, but hadn’t seemed to notice. He frowns, creeping closer. She still doesn’t react, and he gives up on trying to hide his footsteps. 

Chat Noir plops down onto the roof next to Ladybug. “‘Evening, my lady,” he greets, and she jumps. 

“Oh! Hey, chaton. How’s your winter break been so far?” She unconsciously leans towards him, looking away from the sky to grin at her partner.

“Could be better. My kwami won’t shut up about how Ladybugs don’t do well in winter,” he says casually, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. She opens her mouth to protest, then sighs and melts into his arms. 

“You’re warm,” she mumbles into his chest, and he smirks. 

“My mother-figure thinks I have a fever, but Plagg says I’m just that hot,” Chat uses his other arm to scoop up Ladybug’s legs and pull her fully into his lap. “Also, he said you’ll hibernate if you get too cold.”

“Mhmm,” Ladybug squirmed closer to her partner. Within minutes, she was fast asleep. Chat hummed softly under his breath, closing his eyes peacefully. 

 

Chat Noir reluctantly pried open his eyes, shivering as the cold winter air washed over him. Ladybug shifted, curling up tighter in his arms, and he smiled down at her fondly. 

She looked so peaceful in her sleep, not stressing over a thousand things she couldn’t fix. 

Chat snagged her yoyo from her hip and flipped it open, swearing softly under his breath when he realized what time it was. Ladybug moved, nearly rolling off his chest, and he grimaced. He didn’t want to wake her up, but he couldn’t leave her here. It was too cold and anyone could find her. 

Well, he did know a safe place to keep her warm. But… taking her back to his room while she was asleep would be creepy. 

At the same time, where else would Chat Noir think to take her? Marinette’s balcony would probably be fine, but he didn’t want to wake up Marinette, either. His room was the best option. 

No matter how creepy it seemed. 

He shifted Ladybug in his arms so he could grab his staff, vaulting over the familiar rooftops towards his house. He slammed the window open, hopping over the edge and setting Ladybug down on his couch. He checked the clock on his nightstand. 3:39 am. 

Ladybug sleepily clung to his hand, pulling him back towards her. Chat smiled fondly. 

Plagg, claws in, ” he whispered, waving at Plagg to be quiet. 

Plagg stares at him expectantly, clearly judging him, and Adrien pointed to the mini fridge with a sigh. The kwami emerges from the fridge with cheese as quickly as he disappeared, and looks at Ladybug. He raises his eyebrows. Adrien glares back and flips him off.

He’ll think of something later. Now, he grabs a blanket from his bed and covers Ladybug, closing his windows silently and sitting down next to her. 

He can hear Ladybug’s breathing, and feel her heartbeat.

It feels like life

 

Ladybug wakes up to Adrien gently shaking her. 

For a moment, she sees green eyes and thinks it’s Chat. Then reality hits, and Ladybug’s eyes snap open fully. 

The last thing she remembered was falling asleep in Chat’s arms. 

Shit

Adrien smiles warmly. “Chat Noir said you fell asleep on him during patrol and he didn’t want to wake you up.”

Ladybug relaxes. “Thanks, Adrien. What time is it?”

“Sometime around six. I wanted to let you sleep longer, but I have a photoshoot soon and didn’t want you to wake up here and panic.”
Ladybug wrinkles her nose. “Well, now that I’m up, I should head home.” Her eyes light up. “Oh, my friends are going to think the world has ended when they realize I’m awake this early.”

Adrien laughs. “Have fun messing with them,” he says, swinging the windows open. She blows a kiss and hops onto the window sill. 

“I will!”

 

There was a new picture on Chat Noir’s Instagram, of Ladybug fast asleep on Adrien’s shoulder as he gazes at her lovingly. 

Marinette prints it out and adds it to her Hero wall. 

 

Ladybug became a lot closer to her fake boyfriend after that night. 

Being able to talk to Adrien about her superhero difficulties made everything so much easier . Was it abusing her powers? Well, yes. But then again, she was using her powers to pretend to date him, too. Which Chat totally started. 

And, well, who else could she talk to? Alix? Alix was aroace and not really the best when it came to crushes. 

So she found herself laying on Adrien’s giant white couch, absentmindedly throwing a rubber ball up in the air while Adrien worked on homework. “I have a dilemma,” she said, catching the rubber ball and throwing it up again. 

Adrien made a noise of acknowledgement. “A hero problem or another “you panicked and lied badly again”?” he asked, ducking to dodge the rubber ball hurled in his direction with a shit-eating grin. 

“Worse,” she groaned. “I’m in love.”

“O-oh?” Adrien asked, and she sighed. 

“Yeah. It’s worse than my last crush, because at least I barely knew my last crush! Now I’m in love with my best friend,” she dragged herself upright to look at Adrien. “He’ll notice if I act differently, he’s been my best friend for nearly four years.”

“Your best friend wouldn’t be Chat Noir by any chance, would he?”

Ladybug draped her arms over the edge of Adrien’s couch and pouted. “Am I really that obvious?”

Adrien choked out a laugh. “Not really. Just a guess.”

Ladybug twisted, letting her torso fall over the edge of the couch so she could stare at Adrien upside down. “It took me three years to get over my old crush and now he has a girlfriend. And Marinette is the best and so I’m stuck.” She pauses. “Don’t tell anyone about this, I’ve had enough of the rumors Lila spreads even without any truth behind them.”

Adrien nods, his eyes wide. “I’d never give away my fake girlfriend’s secrets, I mean, I’m one of them!”

Ladybug giggles. “Thanks, Adrien.”

She stays there for a long time.

Chapter Text

Ladybug leaned against a cold beam of the Eiffel Tower. Running over the rooftops was more than enough to keep her warm, but if she stayed still any longer, she’d start shivering. 

Chat was late. That wasn’t very uncommon now, and he’d mentioned having trouble getting away from his civilian life recently. 

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry my lady I feel asleep and my kwami just woke me up,” she heard behind her, accompanied by the thump of Chat Noir’s boots on the metal. 

Ladybug jumped, spinning around to smile at her out-of-breath partner. “Don’t worry about it Chat. I was a little worried, that’s all.”

He nodded, this breathing slowing to a normal rate. “It’s still light out. We can probably afford a few minutes before we paw trol, anyways.”

Ladybug sighed. “Yeah, that’s definitely a good thing. We need to talk.”

Chat froze. “What about?” he asked cautiously, his tail flicking back and forth nervously. 

“Well, as far as I know, your relationship with Marinette was revealed because of some drama surrounding Mlle. Rossi, again . It was necessary to preserve your reputation. Mine was… similarly revealed. Mlle. Rossi had been sexually harassing Adrien and he needed an excuse to politely shove her off of him. And I was getting tired of the rumors that you left me heartbroken. So, we both had valid reasons to potentially endanger civilians, right?” Ladybug paced back and forth, looking up to catch Chat Noir’s eyes. “It was justified.”

“Yeah. Um, about that…” Chat Noir fiddled with his ring, twisting it around his finger. 

“But that’s only what should be happening. I talked to Marinette last night, you know. Apparently the two of us had the same idea.” Ladybug smiled. 

“What- what do you mean?” Chat’s eyes widened, staring at his partner. “What did Marinette tell you?”

“Well, we both decided to fake date civilians because of Lila Rossi’s lies, for one,” Ladybug giggled, and Chat Noir relaxed slightly, letting his hands fall to his sides. “And-”

“Ladybug! Chat Noir!” Aurore called from below, and Ladybug’s anxiety morphed into professionalism in an instant. She easily swung down to meet the reporter with a calm smile, Chat Noir right behind her. 

“Aurore, it’s a pleasure to see you again,” Ladybug demurred, landing easily on her feet. “Do you need something?”

“I was wondering if you could spare a few minutes for an interview. It’s been, what, a month? A month since you were first seen kissing Adrien Agreste, yet no reporter or tabloid has managed to interview either of you. And Marinette Dupain-Cheng is a friend of mine and asked me to try to keep the paparazzi away from her,” Aurore said eagerly. “Not live, of course, we can edit out anything you don’t want us to keep in it.”

“Of course,” Ladybug nodded. “Thank you for helping Marinette keep her privacy.”

“So, you were first seen with Adrien a month ago, after the akumatization of a young swimmer,” Aurore recited, glancing down at her notes. “When did you two start dating? And how?”

“We became friends after his cousin, Felix Graham de Vanily, tried to impersonate him and ruin his reputation. He was lonely, and I decided to drop by and check on him. I mean, I’d encountered Felix pretending to be Adrien while looking for the Punishers Trio, the joint akumatization of Refletka, Lady Wifi, and Princess Fragrance. It was not a pleasant experience. After that, Adrien asked me out about two months ago. I couldn’t tell my civilian friends, of course, so I went straight to Chat and I’m pretty sure I freaked out for a couple hours. I have no idea why Chat puts up with me, honestly. I was so overwhelmed that I hadn’t even said yes. I just ran. I mean, I’d been asked out exactly once before this, and it was a guy I barely knew and wasn’t interested in at all. To have one of my close friends ask me out? And my cutest friend? No offense, chaton.” she grinned cheekily at him.

“None taken, my lady.” 

“Anyway, Chat helped me get my shit together. Sent me right back to Adrien so I could actually answer him. I kept stumbling over my words so much that I just decided ‘screw it’ and kissed him.”

“And Chat? How did you get with Marinette?” Mireille asks, peeking out from behind her camera. “And when?”

Chat’s eyes gleam. “Ladybug was mad that I was too skinny so she dragged me to the Dupain-Chengs, who tried to adopt me, and it really wasn’t that hard to fall in love with Marinette. By the time LB came to patrol screaming about her crush asking her out, I had fallen for Marinette. I was perfectly happy helping my bestie figure out her disastrous love life. We… well, we never really made it official. Tom and Sabine were very persistent matchmakers and so when Mlle. Rossi started lying about me and Alix corrected her by saying that I was dating Marinette, I was a little surprised they thought that. So I officially asked her out on her balcony and she kissed me. Everyone else thought we were dating before we actually were.”

Aurore laughs. “Well, you guys are adorable together. There’s a large, rather vocal group of fans who refuse to believe you two aren’t dating each other and seem to be convinced Adrien and Marinette are lying. What do you have to say to them?”

“Honestly, get a life,” Chat said bluntly. Ladybug snorted. “Seriously. We’re real people. I don’t mind being shipped with Ladybug, I really don’t. I don’t mind Ladynoir fanart and fanfiction and whatever else our fans create. I mind when the fanfics demonize Marinette and Adrien. I mean it. They are real people. We are real people . Ship whoever you want! I really don’t mind. But don’t tear apart anyone to justify your ships.”

“Agreed,” Ladybug nodded, grimacing. "Wait, no. Don't ship us with adults or children please. Or Lila Rossi."

Aurore nodded. “One more thing: Chat Noir said M. Dupain and Mme. Cheng actively tried to matchmake. How did M. Agreste react upon learning of your relationship?”

Ladybug’s face darkened. “It… wasn’t something I’d care to repeat. Gabriel is quite an asshole when it comes to Adrien having healthy relationships with people his age. I’ve had to pick fifteen different locks because he keeps changing the window locks to keep me out.”

“Oh.” Aurore’s brow furrowed. “That sounds awful. I mean, we’ve all heard the horror stories about Adrien’s attempts to hang out with his friends, but changing the window locks? That’s bad .”

“LB, it’s getting dark. We need to patrol, remember?” Chat places a hand on Ladybug’s shoulder and smiles warmly. “I hope you’re satisfied, Aurore.”

She nods and lets Chat pull his partner away from her, waving as the two vault onto the rooftop nearest to them. Ladybug waves back with a smile. 

“So, what were you going to tell me before Aurore interrupted?” Chat asks as they start running, and Ladybug shakes her head. 

“Let’s find somewhere quieter. I don’t want to be overheard,” Ladybug insists, and they set off across the rooftops.

Chapter Text

The two heroes settle down on a lonely roof. Ladybug quickly shifts closer to Chat Noir as she shivers in the cold wind. He doesn’t complain, quick to pull her closer to his side. 

Ladybug smiles warmly up at Chat. “You’re the best, minou,” she says softly, and Chat Noir grins. 

“So, what did you want to say?” he asks, his smile fading into a more serious expression. “Before Aurore interrupted?”

Ladybug’s face falls a tiny bit, and Chat Noir instantly tenses. “Did something happen?”

“No, nothing like that,” Ladybug sighs. “I’m just… needlessly nervous. I planned everything out and made sure there was absolutely nothing that could go wrong and I’m still terrified. Everything is overcomplicated and that’s how my brain works best but I’m always nervous.”

“You’ve got this, my lady. Whatever you need to say,” Chat hugs Ladybug, and she relaxes a little bit more. 

“Thanks for the vote of confidence. Might as well get over this. So you know how I mentioned that I talked to Marinette? Well…” Ladybug trailed off. 

Chat Noir paled, suddenly realizing exactly what he told Marinette. “What did you talk about?”

“You, mostly,” Ladybug admitted softly. Chat stiffened. 

“So what did she say?” he asked, his voice strained as he realized how this conversation was probably going to go. 

A detailed explanation of why they couldn’t be together, because they were both pretending to date someone else and besides, Hawk Moth was still at large, and secret identities were of course a risk. 

Ladybug shrugged. “Oh, you know, just that you’re as crazy about me as I am about you.”

Chat Noir whipped around, staring at Ladybug with wide eyes. She giggled, kissing his cheek innocently. “Marinette isn’t stupid, chaton. She waited until after my fifth lovesick sigh to mention my feelings were reciprocated.”

“Oh,” Chat Noir said faintly. “I uh. Give me a minute to process.”

Ladybug gave a patient smile, lacing their fingers together and bringing his hand to her lips. “Take all the time you need.”

Chat Noir’s face flushed a dusty crimson, and he slowly stood up on unsteady legs, Ladybug getting up with him. A sparkle of curiosity shone in her eyes, fixed with adoration and a hint of anxiety. Chat gently tugged Ladybug closer, cupping her face and pulling her into a sweet kiss. 

Ladybug leans in eagerly, threading her fingers through his hair and tugging lightly on the strands, tasting midnight and moonlight and freedom and promises of forever on his tongue. It’s the same and so different as kissing him as Marinette, because now there’s no voice in the back of her head reminding her that it isn’t real, it’s all a ruse, that he’ll never love her. It’s real, she screams back to the voice. It’s real now. It’s not a game. He loves her. This her. And he’s twice as addicting now that he’s hers. 

She chose him. And she can’t bring herself to regret it. No matter what happens next, no matter how long Hawk Moth terrorizes the city, she chose him . And she’ll keep on choosing him. 

The two heroes lose balance and topple to the ground, giggling as they collapse into a pile. Ladybug leans over and presses a soft kiss against the bridge of Chat’s mask, rolling so she’s laying on top of him. His breath catches and she smirks, torn between wanting to know exactly how far down that blush goes and knowing they have forever. She opts to tuck her head under his chin and just hold him, revelling in the warmth and comfort she finds in his presence. 

It feels like home, lying next to him. She never wants to leave his side. 

“So…” Chat Noir starts after a few minutes, absentmindedly looping his arms around her waist. “What happens with Marinette and Adrien?”

Ladybug pries herself upright, leaning over him with her elbows propping herself up on his chest. “What about them? Obviously, we can’t date in the public eye anytime soon. And I’m sure Lila would love to twist breakups into her favor. We keep fake dating them, and, um, we can just secretly date on the side.”

Chat Noir nods, reaching up to pull apart Ladybug’s pigtails and run his fingers through her hair. “Is that what you want? To date me?”

Ladybug blinks shyly, cheeks going pink. “I- I never really thought about what I want other than you.” Her eyes regain a familiar gleam, and she leans down to whisper in his ear. “You’re mine now, minou. Whatever you want to call us, I’ll just call you mine.”

Chat Noir shivers at the intensity of her voice, twirling a strand of her hair around his finger. “I like the sound of that,” he says, feeling like his heart is going to burst. 

He loves her so, so much, this girl. 

Ladybug hums and kisses him again, letting herself relax into his arms. Chat Noir fights the smile trying to play across his lips, trying to memorize the strawberry sunshine taste of Ladybug. 

They part for air and she rests her forehead against his, reclaiming her hair ties from the ground and slipping them onto her wrists. “I should head home,” she says, almost apologetically. She pulls herself up and offers her partner a hand, which he takes gratefully. “I have to be up early tomorrow. You should probably go home, too, minou.”

Chat Noir doesn’t let go of her hand, pressing a kiss against her knuckles. “Do you think Marinette would still be up?”

Ladybug considers her options. She has to get up early to help at the bakery, but she doubts she’ll get any sleep anyways. Might as well have company. “She’s always been a night owl, couldn’t hurt to check,” Ladybug tells him, and Chat nods pensively. 

Ladybug stands on her tiptoes and yanks him to her level by the bell, kissing him passionately and nearly pulling him off his feet. She drops back down to her heels and lets him go, grabbing her yoyo and swinging away with a grin. 

Chat Noir’s knees give out and he falls to the ground dramatically, taking a few moments before getting back up and vaulting away to the bakery, brimming with excitement. 

He lands with a gentle thud, not loud enough to wake Marinette but loud enough to draw her attention. As predicted, her head pops up from underneath the trapdoor, and she smiles brightly. “Chat! You’re up late.”

“Says the girl who is also up,” he retorts, and Marinette giggles. “You look happy.”

“And you are glowing . What did you do, get laid?” 

Chat Noir turned a brilliant shade of red. “No! I didn’t- I just- Ladybug kissed me!” he spluttered, and Marinette wiggled her eyebrows. 

Finally! Gonna tell me all the juicy details?” she playfully pulled Chat Noir into her bedroom. “Actually, wait, do I want to know?”

“We didn’t do anything , Mar!” he protested, and at her skeptical stare, he conceded. “We just… made out on a rooftop for a few hours.”

Marinette silently pumped her fist in victory. “Maman and Papa are already in bed, otherwise I’d have us all celebrate together. So, tell me everything . Did one of you confess? Who kissed who?”

Chat Noir sighed fondly and braced himself for the interrogation, while Marinette listened to his side of the story intently, her eyes lighting up as she watched her partner beam as he recounted the night.