Today should be Her Blond Boys Left Her Day.
Adrien was gone, but she was going to see him back in Paris. Yes, she wished he wasn’t gone, that he was here with her, reliving all those magical moments again, but he was gone. She had watched as his car had driven away in the rain, and through the tightnes in her chest, all she could think was that at least she would see him again.
She would probably never see Chat again.
Marinette didn’t think she was breathing. Her chest ached, and her eyes were burning as her body had frozen with indecision. She had wanted to chase after him, grab him by his stupid tail, pull him back and ask him how dare he because really, how dare he leave her; it was supposed to be him and her against the world.
And now she was alone.
How was she supposed to do this without him?
The tears finally fell as she turned to her side to bury her face in the pillow. She could feel Tikki curled up on the side of her neck, and Plagg was there too, restlessly twitching in her hair. It only served to cause more tears as she felt the sob building in the back of her throat; here she thought she was all cried out.
Plagg didn’t belong here, he belonged with Chat , wherever he was. How was she supposed to find a new Chat Noir? She didn’t want a new Chat Noir. She wanted the one with shiny blond hair that turned silver in the moonlight, who kept punning incessantly, with that stupid smug smirk on his face.
And she’d told him she didn’t trust him.
Well, in that moment, she hadn’t, and she was
not to mention,
about the happenings in Paris. She had left because she needed to cool off before talking to him again, and she
intended to talk to him again! They were supposed to talk it out, come up with a better way of communication so there wouldn’t be a repeat of this. How could he have thought she didn’t
Maybe she’d been a bad partner. It was true that she tended to lose her head every once in a while. But she hadn’t meant it that way and he did not know that.
Marinette moved in agitation, and felt a soft purr against her cheek. “It’s okay, baby bug.”
“No, it’s not,” she sniffed, turning to the side to see Plagg curled up in front of her face on the pillow. “I let him down. Plagg, I don’t want another partner.”
“I don’t want to find another wielder either,” admitted Plagg quietly.
“I’m so sorry,” she said, voice cracking as Plagg reached out to touch her nose comfortingly.
“We’ll figure something out,” he said quietly.
“I don’t want to if that means finding a new Chat Noir,” she cried.
There were a few minutes of silence as the two of them mulled things over. Plagg was still purring quietly, but as seconds ticked by his purring lost its sombre quality and he almost started to buzz with excitement.
“Well, we’ll just have to find the old one, won’t we?” Plagg said, eyes glowing slightly as he rose off of the pillow.
Marinette blinked, sniffling as she sat up, waking up Tikki as she did so. “Wait, really? I… He renounced you. Shouldn’t we respect his decision?” she asked unsurely.
“Do you want to, Pigtails?” asked Plagg slyly.
“No,” Marinette muttered, leaning into Tikki as she settled on Marinette’s shoulder. “I really just want my kitten back.”
“So we’ll get him back,” said Plagg resolutely.
“ How ?” asked Marinette miserably. “I don’t even know who he is.”
“ I do. And we’ll find him, when we go back to Paris,” said Plagg, arms crossed as he started to scowl. “And knock some sense into him. I will threaten him with a cataclysm if I have to.”
Marinette sighed, reaching over to rub Plagg between his ears. “It’s ultimately his decision, Plagg. If he wants to give this up, I….”
“The kid doesn’t know what he wants,” muttered Plagg. “He has… Feelings of inadequacy, thanks to that no good father of his.”
Marinette sniffled miserably. “I made it worse, didn’t I? I am the worst.”
“Little bug, it’s okay to feel things and react,” said Plag. “What he did was wrong, but sometimes circumstances are beyond control.” He paused, carefully considering his words, shooting a nervous glance at Tikki who had now nestled into Marinette’s hair. “It’s just a downside of not knowing identities.”
“ Plagg- ” started Tikki sternly, but Marinette cut her off.
“He’s not wrong, Tikki,” sighed Marinette. “None of this would have happened if I’d known who he was. If he’d known how to contact me.”
“It’s dangerous,” said Tikki quietly. “You saw the future, we don’t know-”
“Hold on, what now?” demanded Plagg. “What’s this about the future? I knew I sensed your miraculous cease to exist for some time!”
“Bunnix had come when-”
“ Marinette !” cried Tikki. “The less number of people who know about the future, the better it is!”
“Ladybugs shouldn’t hide things from their black cats!” scowled Plagg, glaring at Tikki.
“Some things are too dangerous !” hissed Tikki. “The future is not one to be meddled with-”
Marinette let out a frustrated sigh, tuning out the bickering kwamis as she swung her legs off her bed and walked over to the window. She rested her elbows on the sill, looking out at this strange, foreign city, still teeming with life.
The moon was bright against the inky night sky, and she felt herself smile a little softly at the thought of Adrien, but that didn’t last very long as she felt that familiar sinking feeling in her gut now.
He was gone, she’d had to remind herself again; but… She’d see again in Paris, though. She’d see him again in Paris so she could be a very good friend to him. Maybe even tell him she was sorry for shutting down completely when he looked at her with those expectant, hopeful green eyes. She could tell him that she had wanted to ask him to stay, but her throat was too dry to form words because she’d just lost her partner, and she’d been feeling lost and hopeless.
She could tell him all of that and more, when she saw him again in Paris.
But Chat… She might never see him again.
She would never be able to explain just how much he meant to her. That she only pretended to hate his jokes because it was just the sort of role they’d slipped into, and with time, his jokes were the only thing keeping her from spiralling during the dire circumstances of the increasingly hazardous akuma attacks.
Her heart clenched, and she felt her knees weaken a little. How was she going to handle any of this without him? How was she supposed to face Paris after leaving it undefended, without him by her side?
She’d have to patrol alone now, would have no one to take baked goods to, no one to tease when startled like a cat. No one to hug her and comfort her when she messed up so bad that it felt like the end of the world, the weight of which was becoming too much for her. No one to tell her that it was them against the world.
That was what she should have told him. But instead she had stood there like a coward as she listened to his fading footsteps as he walked away from her, because “secret identities” and when Marinette felt something, she felt it to its full capacity, even if it was fear. What good did that do anyway now, she would probably never see her chaton again.
Hysteria seeped in as she realised she was exactly where she had been when this evening started, trying to come to terms with the fact that he was gone and how had she even relaxed for even a little bit when he was out there, hurting, thinking she hated him?
She loved him so much, and he didn’t even know .
Her heart hurt again in full force.
She loved him, and she would never see him again, and-
“I told you we’ll find him, baby bug,” came Plagg’s quiet voice from next to her face, and her focus was jerked into the present when she felt Plagg’s butt his head against her cheek gently.
“You promise?” she sniffled, hands coming up to catch him in her palms.
“I promise. On every piece of camembert that has ever been made, is being made and will ever be made,” he said solemnly, making Marinette giggle as she gave him scritches.
She turned around to see Tikki hovering with pursed lips, glaring at Plagg, who was nonchalantly ignoring her. She remembered them arguing about identities, but found that at this point, she didn’t really care about what they had concluded right now. That conversation was for later.
“Great!” she said. “We have one little kitty cat to find and love.”
Plagg quirked a brow, as Tikki forgot her annoyance for the moment and gazed at Marinette’s face with wide eyes. The attention had her blushing and she laughed nervously.
“To nobody’s surprise, I’m in love with him.”
Tikki chirped excitedly, while Plagg groaned with fake annoyance. “ Oh , he’s going to be insufferable. ”
Adrien stared at the empty spot on his finger where his miraculous used to rest. Never in his wildest dreams had he thought that this was how it’d end.
He hoped Ladybug wouldn’t be too made at him for breaking his promise of always.
His eyes were on the empty seat in front of him. Even in the plane his father wouldn’t sit with him; the space was so small but his father was busy with… something. Adrien felt too much of… Well, nothing , to be bothered to ask after him.
The plane suddenly felt stifling as the weight of what giving up his ring would mean, settled on him. This was all his life would be now; no more feeling the wind in his hair, no more vaulting over the buildings and joking around with Ladybug. He was going to go back home to an empty, stone cold room, with no way to get out, no Plagg to whine to.
He was already regretting it, but it had been the right thing to do. He’d made a mistake that could have killed someone, and it was only fair that he sacrificed something in return. While he wished his lady and his freedom weren’t it, it was also all he had.
Sighing, he leaned his against the window of the plane, heart heavy in his chest as he tried to breathe deeply to calm himself. He supposed what was done, was done. Nothing to be done about it, he’d just have to deal with it, trying to feel secure in the knowledge that Ladybug would find someone in whose hands the black cat miraculous would be safe.
At least he still had school he could go to.
The one thing he still had that hadn’t been stripped away from him.
He felt like he should regret coming to New York, because really, wasn’t that what had started all of this? But he couldn’t find it in his heart to do so, because the fact that he had been there, meant there was someone who cared whether he came or not; so much so that she had faced his father for him.
At least he would see her again.
Whom he had danced with against the freakin’ sky. He had held her in his arms, and embarrassingly enough, breathed her in; cookies and toffee.
Marinette , who had looked at him with the saddest eyes he had ever seen on her as he had gotten into the car. Who he had wished would ask him to stay, as he had looked at her imploringly. He had stood there for a few seconds, wishing she would say something, anything. It shocked him how much he wanted to stay, and how much he was holding his breath for her to say that she wanted him to stay too. He hadn’t even realised how much he was hoping she would ask him to stay till she didn’t.
He couldn’t help but wonder what he would have done if she had asked him to stay. Tried to plead with his father, he supposed, but he knew if she had just asked he would have tried harder. Maybe he would’ve succeeded, maybe he would’ve failed, but he definitely would have tried. If she had said something.
But she hadn’t.
It had disappointed him a lot more than he knew it should. He had kept his phone on him, just in case , she texted something, anything , but she hadn’t.
He gazed out at the full moon, hovering above delicate puffs of gray clouds. His chest felt so hollow, and he yearned for the warmth he had felt when he was dancing with her, so carefree, her hand in his.
He couldn’t help the soft snort that came out of him, at the thought of what Plagg would’ve said if he had said this out loud. Probably would call Marinette his ‘girlfriend’ again and hinted not-so-subtly that he had feelings for her.
“Ugh, all this love sickness is making me sick.”
H-He wasn’t lovesick , Adrien would claim.
Marinette was a friend, a very good friend, who went out of the way to make him happy. And she did. Make him happy, that is. He was at ease when he was with her, and well, while it stung that she was apparently not as much at ease with him as he was with her, it was what it was. She meant a lot to him, his first friend. Shy, but brave. Sweet, but also with her no-nonsense attitude.
She was a good, good friend, who he couldn’t afford to have feelings for because - he remembered that time with her as Chat - she was already in love with someone else. Probably Luka. And he’d seen the soft looks Luka gave her, he knew enough to know that Luka was in love with her and that the feeling was… Well, mutual on her part.
There was Ladybug, who didn’t love him the way he did.
He didn’t want Marinette to be part of that list too.
He… He had Kagami. Who cared about him. He could see himself care about her that way too. He already liked her, she made his heart flutter a little. So there was something there wasn’t there?
So, it didn’t matter.
Besides, he thought bitterly, he probably wouldn’t ever see her again.
But Marinette… He would see her again. She sat behind him.
And she did not care about him that way.
If she did… Well, if she did...
But she didn’t .
He swallowed thickly, chest tight at what he deemed an intrusive thought.
If she did, he could see himself walking with her under an umbrella in the rain, laughing with their hands linked at their elbows. He could see himself on her chaise lounge, watching as she went on about her designs. He could see himself walk with his arm around her shoulder as they had lunch during the winter, her tucked into his side because Marinette was oddly susceptible to cold. He could see both of them staring apprehensively at automatic doors, before laughing at the memory of it all in New York.
He groaned, burying his face in his hands.
Turns out Marinette was on that metaphorical list, and he didn’t even remember writing her name down. How had he let this happen?
He wished Plagg was there to make fun of him, he wished he could confide in Ladybug about this shocking discovery, he wished he didn’t feel this way because the idea of what it would mean for his newly blossoming friendship with Marinette was terrifying.
He wished he didn’t feel this way because now he would inevitably hurt Kagami, because she deserved better than this.
He had thought, at first, fixing his relationship with Ladybug while trying to move on with Kagami would be a step in the right direction. He wouldn’t have been wrong about it, especially now that he wouldn’t see Ladybug anymore, and maybe despite the regret and sense of longing of jumping over rooftops, he would’ve gotten over Ladybug seeing her with a new Chat Noir, but with Marinette… He saw her everyday, and she was his closest friend.
This wasn’t fair.
As Paris came into view, he felt anxious in a way he hadn’t in a long time, because that city now held proof of a broken promise and a potential to two broken hearts, one he would probably have a hand in breaking. He was not looking forward to this.
Through a fortunate turn of events, he was teary-eyed with joy as he saw a scowling Plagg flutter through his window, ring in hand.
“Ladybug wants to talk to you. 9 p.m. sharp .”
Plagg’s facade didn’t last much longer, as he flew into Adrien’s face to hug his nose and made him promise to never do that again. Ever. And then, Adrien had admitted that he had finally moved on from Ladybug, at least somewhat, to Marinette.
He wouldn’t understand Plagg’s wail of, ‘Noooo, the cycle is supposed to end, not reverse, how will I deal with more moping’ until at least a two years later.