Ladybug smiled as she remembered how Adrien's laughter had bubbled out if his throat and into the air earlier in the day as she waited to Chat Noir to join her for patrol. She'd found him looking down that day before class, and needed to do something. She decided to think, 'What would Chat do?', and of course she knew he would pun. So she'd said, "Blue isn't a good look on you, it doesn't match your eyes."
She hadn't expected him to laugh so much, especially since it wasn't even a great pun. But he'd laughed so hard he started to tear up as he held his sides. Seeing him like that had caused her stomach to errupt in butterflies and her heart to swell with affection for the boy. She still remembered his words once he'd caught his breath,
"Hue got that right!"
Beside her, she heard the thump of boots, signaling Chat Noir was there. But something was obviously wrong. Usually he was there before her, and if he wasn't, he'd land lightly on whatever rooftop they chose. She would usually barely hear him. So what was wrong?
She turned around to find his ears flat against his messy, blond locks, his entire body drooping, his shoulders hunched. When he saw she was staring at him, he tried to gather himself, managing to stand up straight and push his shoulders back. He even almost gave her a good smile, but she'd already seen him, and even if she hadn't, she knew him well.
She stood up and gathered him in her arms, holding him close. "What's wrong kitty?"
He wrapped his arms around her, mumbling into the top of her hair, "My father wasn't there for my fencing tournament, even thought he said he would be there. I shouldn't be surprised, I shouldn't have thought he'd keep his word, but I still hoped." He sighed, "It doesn't matter, I didn't even win the tournament."
What kind of parent does that to their child? Say that they'd be somewhere, only to never show up? And based off what Chat was saying, he was usually not good at those things, meaning he'd done so enough times to keep Chat Noir's expectations low. Who does that?
Anger built up in her chest, but she pushed it down, opting to try for another pun. Maybe she could cheer Chat up too. She didn't know much about fencing and fencing terms, but she tried anyway, "I guess he thought he'd be saber at home."
When Chat Noir didn't react, she pulled away from the hug, about to apologize, just as he burst into a fit of laughter. Laughter so loud, so amused, so joyful, that she stood there, stunned for a moment before she joined in. Chat held his sides and wiped a tear out of his eye before saying, "That's what I forgot to think bout!"
Her laughter and smile faltered. Why did he look to familiar? Green eyes shining from a fit of laughter, a wide grin showing off his pearly whites, blond hair covering his eyes, hands holding his sides tight... It looked a lot like--wait, could it be--
Sensing something was off, Chat straightened his smile slipping off his face. "M'lady, are you alright?"
"...Adrien?" She hadn't realized that had came out if her mouth until it hung in the air between them.
Chat froze, clearly panicked before frantically trying to cover it up. "Who's, uh, who's Adrien? Which... one? Uh," he tried, his voice trembling nervously.
"You're Adrien Agreste."
She said it simply, as though it were the most obvious fact, and, suddenly, it was. She ran a hand through her bangs. How did she not see it before? It made so much sense! Who else had eyes that green? She'd seen them for herself when he was Mister Bug. And who else would be as selfless and compassionate as him? Who else would be as silly, who else would make such terrible puns, and who else would love to be free so much?
She started laughing. She started laughing because how could she have been so blind? This boy in front of her, the one who loved her and was always there for her, the one who she kept rejecting, was the same boy she was supposedly madly in love with. "You're Adrien Agreste," she whispered, as though it was the most hilarious thing.
The boy in front of her stood uneasily, ears flat, eyes concerned, and a hand hesitantly reaching out for her. "Ladybug, what's wrong?"
She shook her head, smiling with tears blurring her vision, "Nothing. Everything is absolutely perfect. The boy I love is my best friend and there's nothing more I could ever wish for."
"Wait, love?" he asked.
Then she called for Tikki to release transformation. Being the person he was, Chat's (Adrien's?) eyes snapped shut immediately, causing her to laugh a little more. With Tikki behind her, Marinette walked forward, gently placing a hand on his cheek and delighting in the way the skin flushed under her touch. "It's ok, Kitty, you can look," she smiled.
Slowly, he opened his eyes, then he gasped, "Marinette." A grin wider than the one he'd worn earlier spread across his face. Then he started laughing, "Who would've thought the girl who made my day earlier would make my day once again?"
"Who would've thought?" she shrugged, "I guess you got lucky."
His smiled turned soft and tender as he wrapped his arms around her waist and gently coaxed her closer to him, resting his forehead on hers, "The most beautiful and amazing person in the world loves me back and I'm the luckiest cat alive."
"And it's all because of your laugh."
"No," he murmured, his voice low, "it's all because of you."