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We Need Facts

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We Need Facts

Marinette was working diligently on making a present for Adrien for Valentine’s Day. Knowing her luck he would never get to know that the gift came from her, but this time she was determined that she would let him know how she felt about him. She spent weeks thinking about what she could get him – after all he was an Agreste! It was hard to get someone a present who had money and connection to buy or get anything and lived in a freaking mansion.

She remembered though how happy he was with the scarf she knitted for his birthday, so she decided to make something original for him once again. She wanted her present to be personal, something that showed she was his friend, not just another fan of his work as a model. That was what it made so hard to decide what to make for him. In the end she decided that what had to be missing from Adrien Agreste’s life for so long were friends and the warmth of home – so she chose to make him a personalized patchwork quilt. Choosing the right fabrics and designing it took more time than she thought it would and now she only had a few days to finish making her present. So she was tired and a bit cranky, but very determined to give the best possible gift to Adrien to show him how much he meant to her.

“Marinette,” the sweet voice of Tikki broke the constant monotonous buzz of the sewing machine. Her kwami was sitting on a roll of fabric on the right side of her desk watching her work. Tikki’s big blue eyes were fixed on her.

“Yes, Tikki?” she asked softly and her kwami smiled at her.

“You are in time for Valentine’s Day, you should take a rest, you know.” Before Marinette could tell Tikki that she would rest once Adrien’s gift was ready and wrapped up, her mobile started blaring out Clara Nightingale’s ‘Miraculous’ which Alya insisted on being her personal ringtone. It was a big favourite of Marinette herself as it was a song written for Ladybug and Chat Noir by one of her favourite singers and even better was that she and all her friends could take part in the music video for it.

Tikki flew to the sewing machine and turned it off just as Marinette was reaching for the mobile.

“Now Marinette, have a nice conversation with your friend and then go to sleep,” the kwami ordered her, but with her sweet smile and encouraging tone it never seemed like Tikki was bossing her around. (Even though she totally was!)

“Ah, girl!” Alya greeted her once Marinette accepted the call. She leaned back in her seat and relaxed a bit just as Tikki recommended it.

“Hey, Alya, what’s up?” she asked somewhat softly as exhaustion suddenly caught up with her. She was so focused on her project that until now she didn’t even realize how tired she really was. She has been worrying that she wouldn’t finish it in time, so she hardly slept in the past couple of days. It was Adrien – he deserved the very best she could make after all.

“I want to strangle her so bad!” Now that was a strange way to start a conversation. Marinette felt utterly tired, but she thought of herself as a good and supportive friend so she knew that she had to step up now – Alya was obviously upset. Her best friend needed her.

“Who?” she asked curiously. She must have been too tired to make the connection. The only girl Alya ever talked about this way was Chloé, but ever since becoming Queen Bee she became rather bearable, so Marinette didn’t think it was the blonde just now who ruined her friend’s mood.

“Lady Anne,” Alya replied. That sounded like something out of Downton Abbey to Marinette or maybe Pride and Prejudice, but she was most certainly not sure who Alya meant. The only Lady Anne she could think of was Mr Darcy’s cousin in the aforementioned book.

“Who?” she questioned again and her best friend sighed.

“Don’t you ever read the Ladyblog, girl?” she asked and in a second Marinette was reaching for her mouse to open her friend’s Ladybug-focused site. She opened it and was faced with the newest entry titled “WE NEED FACTS”.

Automatically she opened the entire article having a hunch that it would answer her question about who the mysterious ‘Lady Anne’ was.

WE NEED FACTS by the LadyBlogger

11th February

Recently I have received many comments that I should follow the footsteps of LadyN and focus more on the relationship between our favourite superheroes, Ladybug and Chat Noir. As many of you would know LadyN was a long time commentator on the blog until recently when she has started her own one called ‘The Lady Noir’. As a response to the suggestions to follow her example and share more content of LadyNoir on the blog such as fanfictions, headcanons, imagines and fan artwork I have to say that this site is based on facts and not fan fantasies.

While there have been some speculations on such topics as who is under the mask of our heroes, I always tried to stay professional and I hope to do the same in the future, because we need facts, not fantasies and as long as I won’t hear it from Ladybug herself that she is in a relationship with Chat Noir, I won’t turn my blog into a shipping site for them.

“Ah, I remember reading some of her comments,” Marinette replied once she has read the short piece Alya has just recently posted. So, she misheard it and the reason for Alya’s bad mood was not a certain “Lady Anne”, but “LadyN” who started the increasingly popular site, “The Lady Noir”. Marinette herself has once looked up the blog but it wasn’t for her taste. She agreed with Alya that site certainly lacked facts.

“Yeah, she was always so obsessed with LadyNoir, she always drove me mad, but this- this nonsense! Girl, I don’t know what to do, it’s like with Valentine’s Day coming up everyone has gone mad! Just read the comment section and you’ll see...” Marinette scrolled down and started reading once again.

[LB4ever] you GO grl!!!

[LBplusCN] LadyNoir is a fact you know – just need to look at them... You’r obviously blind

[héroïne de paris] reply to [LBplusCN] She is too good for him.

[Katica2000] reply to [héroïne de paris] If you were really a fan of Ladybug then you wouldn’t say that. Ladybug and Chat Noir are partners. Fact.

[LBplusCN] reply to [héroïne de paris] Katica2000, so true!!!

[LClove] LADYNOIR FOREVER!!!

[LadyNoirislife] we need some more LadyNoir actually

[BugAndCat] while i love this blog it does need some more bug and cat love

And it was just the beginning of comments mostly saying that there was not enough LadyNoir content on the Ladyblog. There were quite a few antis and haters who seemed happy with the lack of shipping of the superheroes (though Marinette felt guilty that these posters usually argued that Chat Noir was just not good enough for Ladybug) but the general response was that this LadyN had the right idea.

“You here, girl?” Alya asked.

“Yeah, it’s not so bad,” she lied somewhat, then she sighed. “Look, once Valentine’s Day is over, I’m sure this whole frenzy for LadyNoir will be over. I mean Ladybug and Chat Noir is so obviously not dating.” She was already thinking how she could help her friend. Maybe a quick interview after a battle where she confessed that Ladybug was single and most certainly not in a relationship with her partner? She could just imagine herself saying something along the line as “Ladybug does NOT date strays”. Or not, because she wouldn’t speak in third person – oops.

“It’s not just if they are dating or not, you know – it’s about how it seems my entries are not enough anymore. A fanfic recommendation on The Lady Noir has got today more fan reaction than my article about Ladybug’s recent fighting style. I just... I hate LadyN and what she represents so much!”

“I’m sure it’s really all about Valentine’s Day. You know, most either don’t have a Valentine or he or she is not romantic enough so they instead focus on fairytale romances. Hollywood is nothing compared to real-life superheroes, you know. What’s better than real magic after all?” Marinette replied easily. “I’m guessing most imagine Chat Noir as a romantic sweetheart who under the mask is a handsome prince or maybe the heir of some rich mogul. You know the looks, the heart and the money too.”

“Like Adrien Agreste, you mean? Awfully rich, handsome and sweet,” Alya teased and Marinette laughed out. Chat Noir was of course nothing like Adrien, but she supposed very few other than her could know that. Alya was right, she was fairly certain most of these so called ‘LadyNoir’ shippers thought that Chat was like Adrien – perfect inside and outside as well.

“The worse is that I even ship Ladybug and Chat Noir together, you know,” Alya stated and Marinette groaned. “I just always wanted my blog to be about the truth – is it so bad that I want facts?” she asked a bit put out. Marinette nearly replied how then she shouldn’t have ever posted an interview with Lila, but stopped herself. It was sometimes very hard to be Marinette and Ladybug at the same time. The fact that her best friend was one of the biggest Ladybug fans ever who ran one of the most popular sites on the heroine made things even more awkward.

Marinette then listened to Alya as she complained about LadyN who apparently claimed to be the best friend of Ladybug out of the suit. LadyN went on and on how LadyNoir was not just a fantasy, because she knew for fact that it was real. Marinette just groaned when she heard that, because she really was getting fed up with everyone being her so-called best friend. She was pretty sure she had never even met this LadyN. She found it though oddly entertaining that Ladybug’s real life best friend was the one complaining about it all.

Later that night when Marinette was in her bed and she tried to fall asleep with Tikki next to her on her pillow she voiced a question that has been on her mind since Alya’s call.

“Tikki, did people often think in the past that the Ladybug and the Cat Miraculous holders were together?” In the dark she couldn’t see the kwami, but it seemed Tikki was up too, because she answered readily.

“Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that, Marinette, after all marriage was rarely about love in the past. However, yes, many times those two were speculated to share more than partnership.” Marinette frowned.

The answer didn’t exactly surprise her, but it did suggest that her reassurance to Alya that it was all about Valentine’s Day might not be true. Did she just turn from the symbol of heroism to some trashy romance heroine? Would one day everyone just remember her and Chat Noir as a cute couple instead of brave heroes who were always ready to save the day? It was somewhat frustrating. She always thought of Ladybug as the side of her she could be proud of. As Ladybug she was confident and brave instead of a stuttering and clumsy fool she always was around her crush, Adrien. The idea of Ladybug as no more than half of a couple in a romance story felt wrong.

“Was it just speculation or were all those people right?” she couldn’t help but ask. She rarely asked about past Ladybugs and she usually even forgot the fact that Tikki was thousands of years old if not older. Now though she was curious. She sat up in her bed and leaned against the wall.

“These two Miraculous are always active at the same time, you know – the two holders are meant to be partners, they represent yin and yang, and because of this many of the past holders thought that they are also meant to be together. Sometimes they only were together as heroes, sometimes they found each other in their civilian lives. The fact that you are Ladybug does not mean that you are meant to be with Chat Noir though,” she explained and Marinette felt light-headed all of a sudden. She wandered if Chat Noir ever had been told about the complicated past of the previous holders. Did he know that many of their predecessors got together? Was it the reason he was so adamant that they belonged together?

She couldn’t fall asleep after the conversation she had with Tikki. Her kwami wanted to reassure her that just because Chat and she were partners and holders of the counterpart Miraculous, they didn’t have to get together. However, what really Marinette processed about all of it was that it usually did happen. Suddenly she felt like she was told to be with someone she loved as her partner, but not as her supposed lover. She felt like no one cared about her opinion, like the decisions of her love life were not hers at all. She hated how the universe was seemingly telling her that she was supposed to date Chat Noir – the universe shouldn’t have a say in her love life after all!

She transformed without even forewarning Tikki and she left her room through the balcony. Honestly, she was pretty aimless. When she first transformed she thought of going to the Agreste mansion to see Adrien, but she wasn’t sure playing a stalker would ease her mind just now. So, basically she was just soaring through Paris and every once in a while she rested on a rooftop. She was sitting on one of the highest beams of the Eiffel Tower when to her surprise a familiar form landed right next to her.

“Can’t sleep, Bugaboo?” he asked in his usual flirtatious manner.

“How many times have I told you not to call me that?” she asked with irritation lacing her words. Then she sighed. Honestly, Chat Noir was the person she least wanted to see at the moment. She just wasn’t in the mood. The way he flirted with her reminded her awfully of how according to past patterns the two of them were meant to be, which was pretty depressing to think of. She just didn’t like being told who to love. She loved Adrien, why couldn’t the universe just understand that?

He must have sensed her grumpiness because he remained uncharacteristically silent. She glanced in his direction, but looked away when she noted that those radiant cat-like green eyes of his were watching her.

“Is everything okay, Bug?” he asked softly after minutes of silence. She didn’t answer him. He sighed and inched closer to her.

“Hey, hey – I just want to cheer you up! Imagine if your sour mood attracted an akuma, what would I do if you were akumatized?” he asked a bit dramatically and she couldn’t help, but realize that he was right. She had to calm down a bit or Hawk Moth could use her frustration over the whole LadyNoir question to make her a puppet of his.

“You are right, Chat. I’m sorry,” she replied simply. She concentrated on her breathing and happy thoughts. She imagined Adrien receiving the quilt she was making and the way his green eyes would lighten up when he saw it and the small hesitant smile on his handsome face which would give way to a wide grin. She was then faced with a wide grin from a blonde boy, just sadly a different one.

“Wanna talk about it?” Chat asked as he leaned closer to her. She tilted her head and was about to refuse when it occurred to her that it might not be a stupid thing to talk about this with Chat. After all it certainly involved him and it was a question that might raise problems between them in the future.

“Did you know that in the past many of the Ladybug and Cat Miraculous holders had romantic relationships?” she asked confidentially and if it was even possible Chat’s grin seemed to have widened.

“Why – if I knew that you wanted this cat, you should just have said so, no need for bad mood, M’Lady,” he practically purred. She crossed her arms and looked in the other direction. He must have sensed that she wasn’t in the mood for his silliness, because he continued. “What I meant, LB, is that my kwami might have mentioned it between two rants about needing more camembert and how stupid humans were for wanting more romance instead of cheese.” She met briefly Plagg at Master Fu’s, but it was still strange to know how different the cat kwami and Tikki were.

“I...” She couldn’t ever remember not knowing how to voice her thoughts like when it came to Chat Noir. With Chat she never had a problem with her confidence the way she did with Adrien. Yet at the moment she felt that she just couldn’t find the right words. “I want you to know that just because everyone seems to think that Ladybug and Chat Noir are supposed to be a couple, I don’t want the civilians or even the universe to tell me who to love. What I mean is that I don’t want to be with you based on our roles.” He nodded slowly and to her surprise he looked completely serious if a bit down.

“You know that isn’t the reason why I love you, right?” he questioned her softly. He touched her face softly with the back of his hand and stroked her cheeks. She felt breathless. Suddenly the Eiffel Tower seemed too high and she felt like she was about to fall. She had known for a while that Chat wasn’t just flirting but meant it too. Her recent adventure with Chat as Marinette when she claimed to love him proved it as well. Her father was akumatized because Chat turned her down for Ladybug after all. Still, hearing him so plainly telling her that he loved her was always going to make her nervous.

“Chat, you-you don’t even know my name!” she blurted out. She was furious with him – he was in love with Ladybug, but the Ladybug he adored didn’t really exist. In real life Ladybug was Marinette, a girl who couldn’t even speak around her crush and was always ready to fall over her own legs. She hated that he seemed to see the situation as those stupid LadyNoir shippers! He only saw just the picture perfect idea and not the reality.

He frowned and this time he crossed his arms too. He was leaning against one of the pillars and looked directly in her eyes.

“Does it matter though, Ladybug? I might not know your pet hamster’s name or your mother’s job, but that does not mean I don’t know you,” he insisted and she shook her head.

“You don’t get it! In my civilian life I’m nothing like I am as Ladybug – the heroine you insist you love only exists when the mask is on,” she replied forcefully but to her surprise he laughed.

“Oh, come on! Don’t tell me that you are not just as stubborn, creative and helpful,” he said with a goofy smile and she reached for her yo-yo because she just wanted to get away from him. This conversation was going nowhere and she was just so tired – tired of Lady Noir and of the universe. He reached out with one hand while holding onto the structure with the other to stop her. She reluctantly allowed to be stopped. He was her partner after all and they were supposed to be always in synch. She knew from experience that it was never good to their partnership to leave with unresolved tension between them.

He held her hand in his larger one as if it was made out of glass and he softly stroked it making sure that his claws wouldn’t hurt her. He seemed to have composed himself and smiled softly at her.

“Look, I don’t care about who dated before us, I don’t care who are shipping us, I don’t care about anyone else to be honest. All I know that you are the most amazing girl I’ve ever met. Not because you are a superhero, but because you always think of others first. You are also smart and creative and well, amazingly beautiful too, way out of my league, really,” Chat’s told her softly and she was speechless. At that moment he didn’t behave at all like Chat – he was quiet instead of loud and shy instead of showing off. It was easy to just smirk and laugh it off when he flirted with her, but such a real confession was hard to grasp and she had no idea how to react.

“Chat, I...” she started, but he stopped her. He put his right forefinger on her lips which suddenly felt very dry. She wouldn’t have been able to say anything even if she wanted to.

“I know that there is someone else you like in your civilian life. I just want you to know that I will always be here for you and I hope that one day you might see me in a different way.” Her head started spinning.

“Always?” she questioned him and his smile was small and so unlike Chat that she didn’t know how to interpret it. Oddly it reminded her of Adrien’s smile on the official photo shoot photos, which didn’t help her heart or mind at all. It was bad enough that Chat was making her head spin, she was pretty sure that thoughts of Adrien would just result in falling off the Tower and Chat having to save her like she was a damsel in distress.

“You know I have a paw-fully hard time noticing any girl with you around,” his smile widened at his own pun and she groaned. Now this was more like the Chat Noir she knew.

Still, what he said made her heart start beating faster. Chat Noir didn’t just confess his love but also told her that it was going to be undying and never-ending even if unrequited. Now that was rather frightening but flattering even if honestly she would have felt better if he thought of her civilian self that way instead of her superhero identity. (Then again she had to admit that she was pretty jealous of herself when Chat Noir actually turned up for the date with her civilian self. In a way even in her head it was like Chat Noir was meant to be with his superhero partner. She must have heard too much about LadyNoir...)

“You are incorrigible, you know that, right, Kitty?” she asked with a grin of her own. Chat Noir was her partner and that meant a connection so strong that nothing could ever come between them. She flicked his bell and he grinned at her.

“Only when it comes to you, M’Lady,” he replied swiftly. She just chuckled, but then a question came to her mind.

“Do your friends know that you have a crush on me? If you are really not interested at all in girls why do they think it is?” she asked curiously. She wouldn’t have actually believed him about not noticing girls before he turned her down as Marinette, but after that recent incident it was hard to not acknowledge the fact that Ladybug seemed to be his only love interest and that he was ready to share it with the world.

He looked thoughtful for a moment then he shrugged. “I never really told my friends about how I care for you, because they couldn’t understand as they don’t know my alter ego. They would think that I have a stupid celebrity crush. My best mate has asked before if there was a girl I had my eyes on and I simply told him no. What about you, do your friends know about the guy you like?” His reply was pretty emotionless as was his question. His eyes had a fire in them though that suggested he was more than interested in her reply. She just nodded.

“I’m actually a mess when it comes to him, so yes, my friends would be blind not to know except for him, really. He is also my friend and I don’t think he knows.” She shrugged. He was silent for a moment.

“Are you going to tell him any time soon?” he asked again and she looked at him with raised eyebrows.

“Now, now, Kitty – why so curious? You know what they say about cats and curiosity,” she teased him and he had a teasing grin as well.

“Honestly? I just want to know everything there is about you, M’Lady.” His teasing grin couldn’t hide the honesty in his voice and the pain that was present because they were talking about her crush who wasn’t him. She was just so tired – physically and emotionally as well – that she couldn’t handle it. She inched closer to him and put her arms around him and hugged him, holding him close to her. For a second he stilled, but then he relaxed in the embrace and hugged her back. His breath was warm on her neck, and a lock of golden hair was tickling her nose. She let him go reluctantly and he looked at her in surprise.

“Not that this cat didn’t enjoy that, but what was it for, Bugaboo?” he asked in his usually joking manner. This time she reached for his hand.

“You are a great partner, Chat,” she simply said. “I-I think I could have fallen for you if this guy didn’t have dibs on my heart.” Before this night she never thought she would say those words. To be honest she wasn’t even sure where it came from or why she shared it with him. The moment those words left her mouth though, she knew it was true. Deep down since the Weredad incident she knew that she enjoyed the particular attention Chat Noir had for Ladybug, but it never occurred to her until tonight that she could have very easily thought of her partner as many previous Ladybugs have thought of theirs if it wasn’t for Adrien.

Chat Noir smiled then it widened into a grin. “I should just kill this guy then.” She let his hand go and rolled her eyes.

“That wouldn’t be a very superhero-like thing to do,” she warned him, before once again reaching for her yo-yo. This time he didn’t stop her, instead he said good-bye.

“It was nice to see you, Bugaboo,” he said while kissing her hand. She smiled at him and nodded.

“It’s always nice to see you, mon chaton,” she replied as she jumped off the Tower and headed for her home.

 The next day came too quickly. It was a Monday morning and Marinette hated the entire universe for having to get up. If it wasn’t for Tikki, she probably would have stayed in bed the entire day. Her kwami was rather persistent though and wouldn’t let her sleep in.

Thanks to the little red bug-like creature she loved dearly she was in the classroom before the bell even rang. Alya was not yet sitting at her place instead she was standing with Nino and Adrien. She blushed when she approached the group. She noticed that something was up when she got closer to her friends. Alya seemed upset and angry and Adrien looked – sheepish? This was new!

“Hey, guys,” she greeted them and she received the usual greeting, a “Hey, dude!” from Nino, a “Hey, girl!” from Alya and a “Hi, Marinette,” from Adrien.

“What’s going on here?” she asked curiously once she noticed that Alya really seemed to be angry with Adrien. Adrien looked awkwardly at the others as if he was waiting for the others to explain. Alya was ready to do just that.

“He said he loves The Lady Noir site!” she pointed at Adrien who looked away in embarrassment. Now this was too much for Marinette on an early morning after the rough night she had. “He is a traitor!” Alya continued.

“Chill out, dude – I mean dudes. Ah, chill out everyone. Shipping is so girly,” Nino replied. Then he faced Adrien. “Also, Alya is going to kill you – you are supposed to be Team Ladyblog.” Adrien seemed upset at that and turned towards Alya.

“Hey, Alya, I love your blog of course, I didn’t mean to imply that I didn’t... I just always felt that Chat Noir is purrfect for his Lady.” Marinette looked dumbly at Adrien when he said that.

“That was awful,” she replied automatically, associating such a reply with Chat, not even realizing that she was talking to Adrien. When she realized what has just happened, her eyes widened and she was ready to stutter some sort of apology, but to her biggest surprise he grinned, his eyes sparkling with mischief. She had hardly ever seen Adrien reacting like that – it seemed just as out of character for him as the solemn mood did the evening for Chat Noir.

“You mean paw-ful?” he asked and she groaned. Did every blonde boy in Paris like awful cat puns?

“Now-now, don’t think I’m done with you, Agreste,” Alya turned to Adrien again who looked rather taken aback by her tone. Marinette felt like it was her task to save her crush from her best friend.

“He did nothing wrong, Alya,” she simply said. “I’m sure he is a loyal reader of the Ladyblog.” Adrien once again surprised her when he smiled at her and nodded along.

“Yeah, I absolutely love your blog, Alya – I spend half my life there,” he said awkwardly. His eyes widened as if he just realized what he has said and he blushed. Even Alya looked at him with surprise and Nino looked completely taken back.

“Dude, do you have a crush on Ladybug or what?” he asked and the way how Adrien looked away not meeting any of their eyes certainly proved Nino right. Marinette suddenly felt a bit faint. Adrien Agreste had a crush on Ladybug of all people?

“I don’t get you, Adrien – if you like Ladybug that way then how can you even enjoy The Lady Noir? It’s only trash about the two of them together being impossibly sweet,” Alya spoke up. Marinette felt like this was all a dream, but she couldn’t help but look at Adrien and watch his reaction anyways. He still couldn’t meet their eyes, he was rubbing his neck and he was as red as she usually was when he was around.

“Well, Ladybug... she is just amazing and all, I just... I kind of feel like that at the end she and Chat Noir are meant to be,” he replied completely flustered. Marinette was just as upset as he was flustered – of course, Adrien couldn’t know that she was Ladybug, but still. She hated that everyone thought that she and Chat were ‘meant to be’. Hearing the same from her crush was just too much to handle.

“Don’t you think that they have the right to decide who they want to be with?” she asked angrily. The word order was okay and she didn’t stutter – might have been a first when it came to Adrien. Who knew that she just needed to be angry with him? He was very much surprised by how upset she was and he wasn’t the only one. Nino and Alya looked at her like she has just lost her mind.

“Of course they do, I just meant that I think there is something between them that is real and one day they will both realize it,” he told her and she just shook her head angrily. He was just a fanboy, she told herself, but it still hurt to hear these words from him, knowing that her heart ached for him.

“Wouldn’t you want Ladybug to be with you if you have a crush on her?” she asked not understanding Adrien at all. Alya looked at her like she was crazy. She guessed her friend didn’t get why she would encourage Adrien to be in love with someone else. Adrien looked down as if he didn’t know what to say.

“Of course I want Ladybug to love me, that’s all I ever wanted,” was his only reply as the bell rang. He very quickly took his place. She felt completely shaken up as she sat down herself. She hardly heard a word from any of the lessons that day. Alya was a very supportive best friend who all day tried to mend her broken heart even if Adrien didn’t really break her heart, after all he literally said that all he ever wanted was Ladybug to love him. If only Adrien knew that the girl behind the Ladybug mask has loved him...

She spent the entire afternoon working on Adrien’s gift, hardly talking to Tikki at all and dismissing Alya who wanted to hang out with her probably not liking to see her upset. She once again didn’t even tell Tikki what she was planning knowing that her kwami would discourage her. That night she had a purpose as she flew across the Parisian night skyline – she was going to visit Adrien as Ladybug.

She looked inside his room through the window and was happy to notice that he wasn’t sleeping yet instead he was sitting in front of his computer. He was startled when he heard her knock, but after only a moment of pause he opened the window for her. She wasn’t sure what she was going to tell him as she rarely ever got to meet him as Ladybug. Really, she would have never come here if he didn’t confess his love for her alter ego today.

“La-ladybug?” His surprise was evident; he most certainly didn’t think she would come either. “Is there an akuma attack? Am I targeted?” he asked with a bit of alarm in his voice and she just shook her head feeling a bit silly for even coming here.

“No, I just... I was patrolling at thought of checking on you. You know with Valentine’s Day coming up, you must have broken many girls’ hearts already – might have to save you from some akumas,” she said awkwardly trying to come up with a reason why she was standing in his bedroom. He looked at her strangely for a long moment.

“I don’t think I’ve broken any girls’ hearts recently,” he answered while rubbing his neck as he often did when he was flustered. She noticed that he was wearing black pyjamas which didn’t help her blood pressure at all, because they didn’t leave much to the imagination. He was too perfect-looking for his own good, uh.

“Really? I would have thought many girls want you.” She channelled her inner-Ladybug so she would be able to have a normal conversation with Adrien. Knowing that he had a crush on Ladybug also helped, it was good to feel that for once she had the upper hand.

His eyes widened and only then did she realize that she sounded a lot like Chat Noir did when he flirted with her. To her surprise he grabbed her hand and pulled her to do huge white couch in the room with a grin on his face.

“Are you one of those girls, Ladybug?” he asked in a rather flirtatious tone himself as they sat down on the sofa. He leaned much closer to her than it was needed on a couch that was big enough for five. “Because you are the only girl for me.”

“I...” Her lips were suddenly very dry. His grin widened if that was possible and his eyes looked too bright for such a dark room. Her heart was beating too fast and she felt totally faint. This was a very bad idea and she should have totally let Tikki speak her out of it. She didn’t know why she even came. It was not like she could date Adrien as Ladybug anyways.

Was she just testing if he really liked Ladybug? He obviously did which made her pretty upset because he was the second guy in two days who fell in love with a mask instead of her. Chat at least had the excuse of being her partner. Maybe he didn’t know her as Marinette, but he knew her as Ladybug. Adrien didn’t know Ladybug at all while he knew her as Marinette, he just wasn’t interested in her that way.

“Sorry, I have to go – superhero stuff awaits me,” she said suddenly getting up and pretty much running away before he could even utter a word. As she soared through the city she felt like crying. She should be happy that Adrien obviously liked a side of her, but instead it made her terribly upset, because she had tried to get him to notice her as Marinette so many times. It meant that as Marinette she was not good enough for Adrien – only her amazing superhero alter ego was impressive enough for him.

The moment she landed on her balcony and she transformed back, hot tears ran down her cheeks. Sweet Tikki was there to wipe them away.

“Oh, Marinette, there is no reason to cry,” Tikki told her, but she just shook her head and traitorous tears continued to escape her eyes.

“I-I’m not good enough for anyone, Tikki – only Ladybug is,” she chocked between two waves of tears. Her kwami, the sweetest creatures in this universe, was always there to pick up her pieces though.

“Oh, Marinette, don’t be silly, you are Ladybug – it’s not the suit, but your bravery and gentleness everyone loves,” Tikki reassured her, but it was sadly not enough.

The next day she once again hardly heard a word from what her teachers were trying to teach her, but this time it was because she was so upset and sad about Adrien’s obvious crush for Ladybug. Alya was right this time, she supposed, she was upset because Adrien loved the wrong girl. Her friend tried to divert her attention by telling her about the stupidity of The Lady Noir, but the topic most certainly was not the greatest to cheer her up. It was only after the lunch break that she noticed that Adrien seemed down as well. She wondered if she broke his heart when she literally ran away from him last night as Ladybug. After the realization of how Adrien must have took that, she was even more upset because she caused him grief too.

“What’s up with your gift for Adrien?” Alya asked before their last class. Marinette just shrugged. To be honest she didn’t even feel like finishing it, after all she knew that Adrien would only be happy if it came from Ladybug, and she most certainly was not going to give him in that form. She has learned her lesson.

“It doesn’t matter anyways, he only likes Ladybug,” she replied simply and Alya crossed her arms.

“Come on, that’s a celebrity crush! I loved Ladybug too and yet I’m dating Nino – it’s not the end of the world. I gave you two days, girl, but that has to be enough. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and show Adrien what he is missing!” she told her. Marinette looked at her in confusion.

“What do you mean?” she asked curiously and Alya grinned.

“Look, girl, you only need to finish up your gift and ask him out on Valentine’s Day as you planned – it’s going to be okay. He is not completely stupid, just obvious, he’ll realize in a second that there is no reason to be crushing on a superhero when there is this amazing girl in love with him right in front of his nose,” she encouraged her. Marinette nodded – she wasn’t exactly sure about Alya’s plan, but she had to try. She owed it to herself that she would at least tell Adrien how she felt.

So that afternoon she was once again completely focused on her work and by the time night has fallen, the quilt was ready to be wrapped. She grinned with satisfaction and decided to take a well-deserved break from all the work. She climbed out to the balcony and sat down on the pink striped deck chair. Tikki was inside having fallen asleep while Marinette was working on the quilt. She didn’t want to wake her kwami, so she was enjoying the fresh air outside alone.

She wasn’t alone for long though because a very familiar black cat vaulted on her balcony right next to her. She hadn’t seen Chat Noir as Marinette since that awkward Weredad incident where he thought she was his fan and she thought he knew that she was Ladybug so she surprised him by saying that she was in love with him. After the akuma was purified he said that she seemed like an amazing girl and she told him that they could be friends, but she never thought that he really meant it when he agreed.

“Ah, my number one fan! Hey Princess,” he greeted her as he leaned against the fence of the balcony.

“Hey, Chat – what can I do for you?” she asked curiously standing up from the chair and joining him by the edge of the balcony. He turned towards her with his usual Cheshire cat grin.

“Well, I thought we are great friends now. Can’t I just visit my friend?” he asked dramatically and no matter her sour mood she couldn’t help but smile and giggle.

“Sure. You seem to be in a good mood,” she commented. She hadn’t seen Chat since their conversation on the Eiffel Tower two days ago, but she was glad to see that he didn’t seem too upset about what happened there. Instantly his grin faltered and he fixed his cat eyes on the scenery. “Or not,” she muttered.

“It’s... Wait, you are really over her crush on me, right?” he asked and she nodded with a chuckle. He seemed to calm down at that and sighed. “Right, so it won’t be very awkward if I tell you about my feelings for Ladybug?” She again nodded, though this time she was more solemn. It was after all rather awkward considering that she was Ladybug, and he didn’t know that.

“I feel so lost, you know, Marinette. I-I really love Ladybug, but I just don’t understand her sometimes. She said to me a couple nights ago that if it wasn’t for her crush she could love me and then–” he stopped suddenly and he awkwardly rubbed his neck. Marinette looked at him waiting for more, but he didn’t say anything just pushed himself away from the railing and started pacing.

“And then?” she asked and he looked at her with an awkward grin.

“That’s where it gets kind of awkward, she visited my civilian self in the middle of the night only to flirt with me and then she ran away,” he said and Marinette suddenly stilled. Surely, she heard him wrong, because if this really was Chat Noir then... The only boy she had recently visited as Ladybug was... No, that couldn’t be. There was no way in hell that Adrien Agreste was Chat Noir, right?

But looking at Chat’s blazing green eyes and tussled blonde hair it wasn’t that hard to imagine it. Didn’t Alya once photoshop him into Chat’s suit and mask saying how much the two looked alike? It would also explain Adrien’s strange crush on Ladybug and why he would then ship LadyNoir.

“You okay, Marinette?” he asked hesitantly and she slowly nodded. She plastered a fake smile on her face. She couldn’t jump to conclusions, she needed more information. Another part of her brain was also screaming at her that their identities should remain secret and it would be better if she just never again thought about who could be under Chat’s mask. However, hasn’t Tikki just told her that it happened multiple times that the Ladybug and the Cat Miraculous holders found each other in their civilian lives and became a couple?

Her head was spinning, but she needed to make sure Chat was alright. If he really was Adrien then it was all just a big heap of misunderstandings – a real mess.

“Maybe she figured out who you were and then she freaked out about it?” she offered somewhat awkwardly. Now it was Chat’s turn to still and he paled.

“Wait, you think so? But why would she flirt with me then? I mean I know there is a guy in his life and she isn’t the type to flirt just with anyone,” he said and she tilted her head.

“You are not anyone though, Kitty. She has flirted with you before, right?” He was silent for a moment, and then he nodded.

“That’s the only thing that makes sense. I admit that the first thing that came into my mind is that maybe the guy she likes as a civilian might be me, but surely the world is not that small, right?” he asked her and this time she couldn’t help, but laugh, because indeed the world was that small if he really was Adrien as it seemed so. Even though she had to admit that it was hard to imagine sweet, somewhat quiet and obedient Adrien Agreste as loud and dramatic Chat Noir. Then again in the last few days she had seen both behaving rather out of character – Chat being quiet and solemn and Adrien punning and flirting.

“Did you ever think that maybe Ladybug is always quite close to you – as a civilian too?” she asked curiously and he smiled at her. She remembered pretty well that he joked a few times that they might know each other in real life, but she was curious if he meant it as well or it was just that, a joke.

“Well, in my dreams she is actually always someone I know well, you know a friend in real life too. I always feel like I understand her so well that there is just no chance that I don’t know her outside of the mask, but at the same time I admit I was pretty sheltered for long, so I don’t know many people,” he told her and on her list there was another tick – sheltered, that sounded like Adrien too. By now she was about ninety-five percent sure that her partner was her long-time crush, but she just couldn’t process the implications yet. After all, Chat Noir has confessed his everlasting and undying love for Ladybug just two days ago!

She thought about just telling everything to Chat Noir now – how she was Ladybug and how he was right, he was her crush. However, her head was spinning even from the idea. How would she ever find the right words? Would Tikki be disappointed with her? Surely, if she knew Chat Noir’s identity already it was only fair if she shared hers as well, right?

“Well, you are meant to be, right?” she asked with a sour smile. Chat frowned.

“I thought it was okay to talk about Ladybug, so why the bad mood?” he asked cautiously and Marinette felt awful for once again ruining it all. She didn’t mean anything bad about it now; she just realized what a mess Adrien, she and this way Chat Noir and Ladybug had created. It was like the universe wanted to mess with them.

“It’s just the entire world seem to want you two together, isn’t that strange for you?” she asked curiously. She hoped that she could get a more direction answer from Chat Noir as Marinette than as Ladybug or from Adrien. He seemed thoughtful for a moment and then he grinned.

“I just think that everyone sees what I see and what I hope one day Ladybug will see too. You know, that we are good together,” he simply said and she raised her eyebrows.

“So, because you fight well together, you think you would make a good couple?” she asked curiously still not understanding exactly what Chat Noir/Adrien meant by that.

“It’s more than that Princess. There is just an amazing synch between us that is more than chemistry or even knowing each other – sometimes it seems like we are the two halves of a whole, yin and yang and all that.” His answer was everything what she could have hoped for and more.

 “That sounds... intense,” she said a bit short of breath, because she knew exactly what Chat meant under the sync – he was her partner, and that meant so much to both of them.

“Yeah, and that’s why she is the only girl for me,” Chat Noir agreed. She found it oddly entertaining that Chat had said the same to her before as Ladybug and Adrien told her that too when she visited him. Then his grin widened. “I have to be going, I still have work to do – a Valentine’s Day gift to finish.” That certainly caught Marinette’s attention.

“Valentine’s Day gift? For Ladybug?” she asked and Chat nodded enthusiastically.

“I’m going to prove to Ladybug that I really know her – so, bye Princess!” He said as he vaulted from her balcony. Marinette let out a breathless laugh. Her Kitty most certainly didn’t have to prove to her that he knew her. He has just done that after all...

She wobbled to the trapdoor and lowered herself to the bed. In a moment she was standing in front of her desk again where now Tikki was munching on a cookie. She sat down on her chair as if her legs couldn’t hold her weight.

“Is everything okay, Marinette?” her kwami asked with big eyes full of worry. That was the moment that Marinette remembered that Tikki has known since the Dark Owl incident who Chat Noir was. Now that must have been awkward for the kwami...

“Adrien is Chat Noir,” she said softly and Tikki dropped the cookie which landed on the desk in crumbles. Her kwami didn’t protest which meant that Marinette must have been right.

“God, what a mess,” she muttered and Tikki nodded softly. Then she snuggled closer to Marinette.

“I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you, but it was better for everyone involved if you didn’t just share your identities,” Tikki replied and she numbly nodded.

“It’s my fault entirely anyways, I shouldn’t have gone to Adrien last night,” Marinette sighed.

“You couldn’t have known...” the kwami tried to reassure her, but Marinette just laughed hysterically.

“Yeah, but you did and if I even gave you the chance to talk me out of it, then it wouldn’t have happened,” she pointed out. Tikki nodded slowly.

“Maybe, but it was meant to happen sooner or later, you know. With how close you and Adrien are in real life, it was bound to come out – Master Fu knows it, I knew it and so does Plagg. We agreed that it would be good for you to keep your identities a secret, but I think by now you both learned your lessons and it should be safe enough to know each other as long as you don’t get careless,” the kwami told her much to Marinette’s surprise. She paled.

“So-so you are telling me that I should tell him I know and reveal myself?” she asked cautiously and Tikki grinned and floated towards the finished patched quilt.

“How about sharing two secrets at the same time on Valentine’s Day, Marinette?” Tikki giggled and Marinette couldn’t help but do the same.

Last year Marinette saw as Adrien threw out a Valentine’s Day poem – then it sounded like it was about her expect the ‘strong disguise’ part which she didn’t understand at all and Tikki then told her it must just meant that he wanted to get to know her more. Now it all made sense though, he literally meant that she was disguised. Adrien wasn’t writing a poem to Marinette, but to Ladybug.

This gave her an idea – she was not going to write a poem like he did, but the easiest way to tell him who she was through a Valentine’s card. So she started to work on one. She wanted a card that was unique and one that fitted him. She cut out the card from a green paper and then she painted a black cat on the front with the caption: You are purr-fect for me!

Then on the right internal side of the card she wrote: Wanna hear a bad cat joke? Just kitten!

On the left side she wrote her confession:

Mon chaton,

I have learned yesterday who you are under the mask.

Adrien, I have loved you since you gave me your umbrella. I am sorry to say that you have captured my heart, and stole it away from my Kitty. Knowing that the two boys I care the most about are one is the best Valentine I could have received.

I love you, Kitty,

forever – because Chat Noir and Ladybug are meant to be

With all my heart,

Marinette

This time she made sure to sign it even if her hand was shaking. She placed it in an envelope and wrapped up the gift she originally made for Adrien but she was going to give to Chat Noir.

“Oh, Marinette, he is going to love it,” Tikki squealed.

“Well, he was the one who always wanted to know who was under the spotted mask,” she said somewhat shyly. Tikki seemed very optimistic, but Marinette was a bit afraid that Adrien was going to be disappointed. When she voiced her fears though, her kwami was having none of it.

“Come on, Marinette! You are already friends, so whatever more could he wish for?” she questioned her. Chat Noir literally said that was his biggest dream, but surely he meant someone cool like Alya and not stuttering half-stupid little Marinette?

Tikki was rather forceful though, so Marinette quickly transformed for a moment to leave a message for Chat on his communicator asking him to meet the next evening at eight o’clock on a rooftop they frequently used as a meeting point.

The next morning everyone was in frenzy about Valentine’s Day. Marinette was surprised though that no akuma happened. Was Hawk Moth for once celebrating the day himself or was he just fed up with love-themed akumas? She wasn’t sure, but she admitted that it was great not having to fight any akumatized villains for the last three or four days. While praying for the time to pass, she noticed with a smile that Adrien was obviously somewhere else in mind. She had a hard time concentrating herself.

“So, girl, when are you going to give your gift to Adrien?” Alya asked her once again during a break between the lessons. Her best friend thought that she was once again afraid to face her crush and wasn’t brave enough to ask him out. She was only half-right. Marinette was afraid of telling her feelings to Adrien, but not to her Kitty.

“It’s all planned, don’t worry – tomorrow I’ll tell you all about it,” she said mysteriously.

“I hope you aren’t just playing with me, Marinette,” Alya warned her, but Marinette instead just laughed.

“Believe me for once I know what I’m doing,” she asked and Alya nodded slowly.

“You don’t look like you are about to die from the idea of asking him out,” she noted. Marinette nodded.

“That’s ‘cause I’m not,” she simply replied.

“Who are you and what have you done to my BFF?” Alya asked with a frown, but Marinette just continued smiling.

“Believe me, I don’t know it myself – but tonight I will ask Adrien Agreste out, I can promise that!”

“A promise is a promise, girl,” Alya warned her.

She was there about fifteen minutes earlier than she was supposed to be, but to her surprise the rooftop was already full of candles and hundreds of red rose petals were on the floor. She grinned when she noticed her partner who was standing in the middle of it all with a rose in his hand.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Kitty,” she greeted him as she landed next to him. He eyed her curiously and his face brightened when he noticed a wrapped present in her hand.

“For meow? You didn’t need to, Bugaboo,” he cooed as she presented him with the gift. He took it from her and opened the envelope first which held the card. His eyes widened when he saw the card, but that was nothing compared to his expression when he opened it. He visibly paled and then he looked at her.

“Ma-Marinette?” he asked so softly she could hardly hear.

“Tikki, spots off,” she called out and the usual pink light engulfed her.

“Plagg, claws in.” A green light filled now the rooftop and in the place of Chat Noir, Adrien was standing. It was one thing to know and another to see she realized, and Marinette could hardly breathe when she saw him.

“I-wow, I’m speechless,” he said and then he laughed. “I didn’t know you enjoyed my puns so much, Bugaboo.” He raised the card and wiggled his eyebrows. Even though it was Adrien, the way he was behaving was so-Chat like that Marinette couldn’t help but snort.

“Nah, I just couldn’t find such a bad card in Paris that fitted your pun-mania, Kitty,” she replied as she would in a suit herself. Adrien close the space between them.

“Ah, hey, pigtails,” a small black cat was hovering between them.

“Plagg,” Adrien groaned. “There is cheese somewhere in my bag. Just go away, find it.”

“Right, how about first – I told you so! Ahh, you two were so irritating! I’m not sure if I ever had a more obvious Chat Noir!” Plagg replied. Marinette couldn’t help, but giggle. Plagg was nothing like Tikki and it seemed she was once again the lucky one. Her own kwami appeared right next to her counterpart.

“Come on, Plagg, let’s leave them alone a bit,” she suggested rather forcefully.

“Just because of you, Sugarcube,” Plagg muttered, but followed after Tikki who obviously wanted to give Marinette some space. She let out a sigh and faced Adrien again who was once again rubbing his neck, something he did quite frequently in both forms, now she noticed.

“I’m sorry about Plagg... he is a bit of a handful,” he said awkwardly. “You gave me the best Valentine’s Day gift as well, you know,” he suddenly said. She tilted her head.

“You haven’t even opened your gift yet,” she said questioningly and he blushed.

“While I’m sure it’s an amazing gift, I meant the letter and that you shared your identity with me – that’s all I ever wanted.” It was amazing to see that this time it was Adrien who was blushing. He grabbed her hands and looked into her eyes.

“Well, to be honest you were the first one who complained to me that I flirted with you, so basically you told me who you were,” she teased him and he flushed even more.

“Yeah, we were a bit obvious, huh?” he said and then his eyes widened. “What you wrote in the card is true, right? You liked me as Adrien so that’s why you rejected me as Chat Noir, didn’t you?” he asked lowering his gaze as if afraid of the answer.

“I told you, Kitty – if it wasn’t for the boy I’ve been in love for nearly a year and a half, I would have fallen for you. You were right though, it seems we are meant to be, because under the mask is the boy I’ve been crushing on.” Adrien looked up and his grin widened.

“So, LadyNoir is meant to be?” he asked with a wiggle of his eyebrows and a teasing tone. She groaned.

“Or the universe hates us – I’m still not sure myself. We got ourselves in a right mess after all,” she replied.

“Marinette Dupain-Cheng will you be my Valentine?” Adrien asked her and she bit her lip so she wouldn’t just start squealing, shouting or something equally embarrassing. After a moment or two she felt calm enough to nod.

“Of course!” she giggled. “Silly kitty, it has always been you.”

“Well, M’Lady, you are the only girl for me, I’ve told you that already.” He grinned. “Can I kiss you now?” There was no need for a reply because Marinette was already leaning in and he did the same following her example. The kiss was sweet and long and so absolutely amazing that she felt like she was in a dream, especially when Adrien put his arms around her and pulled her closer.

“I believe you won already when it comes to gifts, but how about mine? You told me that I don’t know you so I wanted to prove you wrong.” She just laughed.

“I’m pretty sure you have already proved me wrong, mon chaton, we are in the same class and your best friend is dating mine,” she pointed it out, but he just winked at her and walked to a corner of the rooftop where she could see a black bag probably belonging to him. He came back with small a pink wooden chest in his hands which he offered to her. She looked at him curiously but took the box. She opened it and on the inside there was the bold white caption of: “50 things I love about you”.

The chest itself was full of slices of paper. She picked up the first one she found and it said: “I love how passionate you are about what you believe in.” She automatically reached for the next one. “I love your ability to succeed at everything you put your mind to.” And for the one after: “I love how you always make me smile.” With every paper she felt like her love towards Adrien was increasing.

“I-I don’t know what to say, it’s a beautiful gift,” she muttered and she felt a traitorous tear rolling down her face. Adrien was there to wipe her tears off though, so it was alright.

“Not as beautiful as you are,” he replied with a grin she so often saw on her partner’s face.

“Uh, you are too much sometimes, kitty,” she giggled.

“Too much love?” he asked with a wink and she couldn’t help laughing – plus she felt an urgent need to kiss him too.

Her Valentine’s Day was like a dream come true. It wasn’t until the next day that she realized that it was just all too good to be true when after a particularly annoying akumatized villian (sadly no, Hawk Moth was not over love akumas, she noted) Chat Noir pulled her closer and kissed her passionately...

... in front of cameras.

Her entire day after was spent with a shrieking Alya and with her headline: “WE HAVE FACTS! LADYNOIR IS CONFIRMED.” To make it worse Adrien didn’t rescue her from her best friend, instead he was just laughing at her, because apparently LadyNoir was meant to be, so she deserved her best friend’s hysteria for denying it.

She really hated the entire universe. However, maybe LadyNoir was really meant to be – at least this Bug surely loved her Kitty.