Adrien Agreste thinks he may have the worst and best luck of all the black cat wielders in existence. A week ago he learned his lady is one of his best friends as a civilian, which, in all honesty, is beyond even his best case scenarios for his reveal. The girl behind the mask is even more incredible outside of it than inside it, what could possibly ruin that?
The boy she loves. That boy could ruin that.
Realizing that Marinette and Ladybug are one in the same had made him fall disastrously farther in love with her, but unfortunately for him, the same couldn’t be said for her.
The other guy still existed and Marinette refuses to tell him who it is.
“Stop thinking so hard, you’re going to burst a blood vessel.” Speak of the devil and she shall appear. Marinette smiles deviously, pushing against his nose with her fingertip as she slides into the booth next to him. Her hip presses against his as she forces to make room for herself and his heart throws itself against his ribcage.
“Ouch princess, ye of little faith.” He banters, allowing her to move him over in the booth. She’s five feet something of muscle that easily moves him, not that he’s surprised any.
“Not to be stereotypical, but you are blond after all.” She teases, blue eyes gleaming mischievously as she leans over to take a sip of his milkshake. He pretends to be agitated, whining as he swats her away from his drink.
“Don’t be a crybaby, kitty.” She snickers, removing her lips from the straw of his milkshake. Sparkles from her lipgloss shine at him from his straw and his stomach twists itself into knots.
“I feel like calling me a baby and a kitty in the same sentence is contradictory. Am I a human baby or a cat baby?” He nervously babbles, tearing his eyes away from his straw. His heart hammers in his chest like a jackhammer and all he wants is to calm down, to stop being affected by her. The last thing he needs to be doing is thinking of the sparkles of her lip gloss on his lips.
Being in love with Marinette Dupain-Cheng is both the worst and best thing that has happened to him.
“Want me to call you a cry kitty instead?” She teases, leaning back against the booth backing.
“Not really, no.” He trains his eyes on the window outside, finding it so much easier to stare there than meet her gaze. There’s a lull in their conversation as she flags down a waitress to order, he takes the time to try to slow his racing heart.
“What were you thinking about anyways?” She asks him softly and the calmness in him is gone, taken over by her. He makes the mistake of looking at her and all he can see is the big blue eyes of the girl who doesn’t love him.
“Are you ever going to tell me about the other guy?” The question falls out of his mouth before he can even process it himself. Shame hits him like a brick wall right afterwards, he knows she doesn’t want to talk about it, and yet he always finds him asking.
Who is he? Is he kind to her? Is he someone Adrien knows? Is he good enough for her? (Whether or not he is the other guy or Adrien, he can’t tell anymore.)
She deflates in front of his eyes, finger toying with the rim of her glass and face ducking down so that her hair blocks his view of her.
“Sorry. Shouldn’t have asked.” Adrien quickly interrupts, trembling fingers tucking her loose hair behind her ear.
God did she really need to wear her hair loose today, too? It’s like she’s determined to kill him.
“Issok.” She murmurs, peering at him with a slight smile.
“I’m never gonna get used to this.” Alya says as way of greeting, setting her large purse heavily down on the table as her and Nino slide into the booth across from them.
Marinette pulls away from Adrien’s fingers like she’s been burned, sitting ramrod straight. He feels like he’s choking on every breath he takes, but he just cracks a smile as Marinette rambles out excuses.
Same here Alya... same here...
Adrien lets himself fall back against the cushion of the booth, head tilting back to stare at the ceiling. If press saw him like this they’d make a field day out of it, his father would lecture him about image for days, but in this moment? Adrien just wanted to feel sorry for himself for just a little bit longer before he had to pretend like everything is okay.
Hours later he finds himself walking down the street with Marinette at his side, cold night air chilling his exposed face. Even now he can’t help the fleeting glances he makes at her, streetlight illuminating her soft features, and casting shadows under her eyelashes.
“You’re really quiet tonight.” Marinette notes, her blue eyes meeting his green ones. Heat flushes his neck at being caught staring, but he just nods in response.
“Wanna talk about it?” She pushes softly, the back of her hand brushing the back of his. Her skin is freezing against his heated skin, even with her wearing twice as many layers as him.
“I’d like to. But you don’t.” Adrien admits, not out of spite or wanting to make her feel guilty. He just wants to be honest with her, even though it seems she doesn’t often enjoy that when it comes to matters of the heart.
She frowns at him, realization hitting her, eyes leaving his to watch her feet.
“I don’t see why you care so much.” She mutters, more so to herself than to him, but he replies anyways.
“I’m curious.” Curious about this guy who has the heart of the girl he’s loved since they were kids. Curious about what he has that Adrien doesn’t. Curious as to if he deserves her at all and-
“You know, they say curiosity killed the cat.” Marinette snarks, sounding so much like Ladybug that it hurts.
“Yeah, well this kitty has a fierce Ladybug to protect him.” Adrien retorts, softly knocking his shoulder into hers.
She trips briefly before righting herself, shooting a glare over at him, “Down kitty.”
“My bad.” He holds his hands up in mock surrender, before putting them into his coat pockets.
They’re safer there, he can’t try to hold her hands if they’re confined.
“Anyways, I wouldn’t worry about that if I were you. I’m working on it.” Marinette says after a few moments of silence had passed.
“Working on what?” He asks, trying to ignore the way his heart leaps into his throat. If she’s working on moving on maybe he’ll finally have a chance with her.
“Moving on. I know he doesn’t feel the same, it’s high time I realize that.”
“I find that hard to believe. Have you confessed to him?”
“I- well- no.” Adrien’s words seem to have shocked her a little, big blue eyes going even startling bigger.
“As much as I’d love to insist you forget about him and let me take you out,” he winks playfully, “I don’t want you to wonder ‘what if?’ you know?”
She rolls her eyes and mumbles something about him being insufferable, but Adrien is miles away in his own head.
It’s killing him not to beg her to try to move on, move on to him, but he wants to be sensitive of her and her feelings.
Feelings that have lead her to tell him time and time again she’s not interested.
Man, maybe he should take a page out of her book and move on.
He chokes on a laugh, waving off Marinette’s concerns as he half-laughs half-coughs.
Him? Move on? Not likely.
Risking a glance at her, seeing her bluebell eyes watching him with cautious concern is what seals the deal.
Ladybug has been the only one for him for years, being Marinette has only made him confident she’s the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with. It’s a dizzying, sick to his stomach realization, but he smiles brightly at her anyways.
His smile seems to reassure her he’s fine as she goes back to speaking a mile a minute about some school drama that Adrien missed at his photo shoot earlier that day. He’s barely listening, unable to hear her over the chant of his heart calling out her name.
Adrien Agreste is a sap at heart, it’s the Chat Noir in him.
“-drien!” He jolts, eyes widening as he begins paying attention. If he was transformed his ears would go straight up and tail ramrod straight, but instead his spine tightens and he stands up taller.
She narrows her eyes at him playfully, gesturing to the bakery they’re standing under- her family’s bakery, to be exact.
“Are you spending the night?” Ever since the reveal, Adrien spent more nights at Marinette’s place than his own. Too easy to feign sleep at the mansion and sneak out under the guise of Chat Noir to curl up on her chaise. It’s easier to breathe with her around, as odd as that may seem to say.
“Yeah, want me to cycle home and come back as Chat?”
She blinks at him furiously as if trying to convince herself he actually said that, “My parents aren’t home, I told you guys that over dinner. I also seem to have read something about your father and Nathalie being abroad so why would you need to circle back?”
His hand quickly finds its place at the base of his neck as he laughs nervously, “I may have not heard a single thing said at dinner- like at all.”
“I can see that now.” She rolls her eyes at him in response and if her voice wasn’t so soft he would’ve been convinced she was mad at him.
It doesn’t take them long to unlock the door and head inside (not before leaving their shoes at the door, of course). Collapsing onto her chaise, Adrien’s legs dangling off the end of it as he watches Marinette rush around. He watches her clumsily rocket around her room, grinning softly to himself as she mutters obscenities under her breath.
“You good, princess?” He asks and she startles from her position tucked underneath her desk, hitting her head against it with a dull thump . He tries to ignore the cackling of Plagg and Tikki’s mutterings for him to stop from the little bird house on Marinette’s window sill.
“ Stupid fucking desk...” she mumbles to herself, pulling herself out from underneath her desk safely, clutching the back of her head.
She catches his raised eyebrow and turns as red as her suit, “I’m okay, I forgot where I put my diary, and I need to do my entry for today.”
His expression softens immediately. Marinette has always been good about keeping a diary, but ever since seeing Master Fu lose his memories, she’s been committed to keeping up with her diary even more so than most people.
“Let me help,” he offers pulling himself off her chaise regretfully, “I have the purrfect vision.”
Marinette deadpans at him, “Adrien you’re literally wearing contact lenses right now.”
“Hey, I never said I naturally have perfect vision.” He defends and she rolls her eyes, going back to her task at hand. Marinette darts up into her loft bed, scaling the ladder in a way that makes him nervous even though he knows she’s perfectly capable. He moves around her room and snickers when he sees that her diary is laying underneath the chaise.
Leaning down, he plucks it out but as he does the book opens and his heart stutters in his chest at something scribbled in the margin of the page.
Marinette Agreste in her fancy print and heart dotted ‘i’ hits him in the face like a barreling train. Ears turning pink, he slams the book closed with more effort than necessary.
The sound alerts Marinette to Adrien with his pink-tinged ears and her diary clutched in his hands, looking ridiculously small for a guy standing well over 6 foot tall.
“You saw something didn’t you?” She asks slowly, and Adrien nervously laughs.
“S-sorry it fell open when I went to pick it up.” He croaks, setting her diary on her desk like it burned him.
Marinette’s eyebrows skyrocket into her hairline at his words, but she makes her way back down the ladder.
He folds back down onto the chaise, wishing for the cushion to absorb him as he watches Marinette sit down with her diary and begin writing.
Marinette Agreste burns into the back of his eyelids.
“Spit it out, what did you see?” She presses sternly after a moment of silence passes, eyes leaving her diary to meet his eyes. His heart stutters in his chest and he unconsciously grasps at the chaise.
“I,” his eyes leave hers to look down at the floor, “well- I prefer Adrien Dupain-Cheng if I’m honest.”
A mix between a gasp and a squeak leaves Marinette’s lips and he looks back up to see her reaction involuntarily. His heart is thundering dangerously in his chest, an excuse on his tongue when she inevitably turns him down or tells him she doesn’t like him like that anymore-
All at once her entire face turns red, eyes large and doe-like as she takes in his words. A hesitant grin takes up his face at her expression.
“What about Kagami?”
His eyebrows furrow and his smile falters, “What about her?”
“Aren’t you guys like... a thing?”
“Uh... no. What about you and the other guy- oh I’m the other guy aren’t I?”
Marinette lets out a half hysterical, half meaningful giggle at his rambling and he nervously begins rubbing the back of his neck.
“Yeah, you are.” She says quietly, a soft smile on her glossy lips.
“We’ve been chasing each other in circles.” He says breathily, quickly realizing what this means.
He loves Ladybug who is Marinette who he also loves that loves Adrien who is Chat Noir who he hopes she loves and-
“You’re going to bust a blood vessel again, kitty.” Her soft smile, the fondness twinkling in her eyes, and the soft pink of her cheeks finally does him in. He crosses the room in record time and scoops her out of her chair, twirling her around in his arms as she lets out guffaws of laughter.
When he gets too dizzy to continue he sets her down, keeping her close to his chest as he presses his forehead to hers.
She giggles, breathlessly in a way almost too girlish for Ladybug, but definitely not enough girlish for Marinette and he feels like he’s falling in love all over again.
His hand slides up from its place on her hip, cupping her jaw gently, “I love you, Marinette. It’s always been you.”
She nuzzles her nose against his and it feels like someone set off fireworks in his chest one by one.
“I love you too, kitty.”
Her lips find his and he feels like he’s going to melt into a puddle in his own socks.
Adrien Agreste found turned to liquid model due to finding out the girl he’s madly in love with is madly in love with him too.
What a way to go.
Pulling back from the kiss, eyes meeting hers, he offers her a grin that’s all teeth and Chat Noir.
“So when can we make good on that name change?”
The tinkling laugh and forehead meeting his chest makes all those years of heartache worth it, he decides, pulling her impossibly close and planting a kiss on her forehead.
Being the one she loves makes him the luckiest black cat wielder in history, he’s sure of it.