When Marinette was 15, she became Ladybug.
Her partner, Chat Noir, took every opportunity to flirt with her. Unfortunately for him Matinette had a crush on a different boy, a very handsome boy, called Adrien. It was only circumstance that lead to her giving Chat Noir her first kiss, and he didn’t remember it anyway.
When she was 16, Marinette was still tuning down the advances of her partner. Despite her unrequited crush on Adrien gradually dulling into a casual friendship, she knew that she could never be with Chat Noir. A real relationship would require them to reveal their identity to each other, and that was something that Marinette could not bear to happen.
At 17, Ladybug and Chat Noir finally began to date other people. They laughed together over crushes and held each other after messy break ups. After years of working together their trust was solid and their friendship strong. Ladybug knew without a doubt that she could go to Chat with anything, and he felt the same way. There would never be any judgement from their partner, only support and compassion.
Chat Noir nearly died when he was 18. The Akuma was part snake, and had been seconds away from biting Ladybug. He’d covered her with his body just in time to be bitten himself. After that, all he knew was that his body was burning from the inside out. His muscles were all cramping, his body arching off the ground in pain as he screamed. Finally, he passed out.
He woke up in the apartment that Adrien bought “as an investment” but that Chat Noir and Ladybug used as a base for private meetings and performing first aid on each other after fights. Ladybug herself was asleep in a chair that she’d pulled up next to the bed. She was untransformed, but wearing one of the masks that they had stored here after too many close calls with transformations running out. Sometimes they needed more time for important conversations or if they had been more seriously injured, so Ladybug had brought over some replicas of their own masks. They were a lifesaver.
Adrien raised a hand to his face, noticing that she had put his mask on for him too. He could just see Plagg on the couch at the other side of the room, curled up with Ladybug’s Kwami, Tikki.
“Ladybug.” He called softly as he took one of her hands in his. She startled awake and then started to mother him, asking if he hurt anywhere and fluffing up his pillows. Eventually she started smoothing his hair as she filled him in on what had happened.
Apparently he had made a gruesome sight, his body contorting as he screamed uncontrollably. With no other way to help her partner, Ladybug had to defeat the Akuma by herself and use her cleansing light to remove any sign that the Akuma had ever been there. Luckily, it had included the poison coursing through Chat Noir’s veins. The pain had caused him to pass out, and so she had brought him here were it was safe and put on the mask before his transformation wore off. Plagg, she said, was also in desperate need of a long rest.
Part way through her explanation, Ladybug had started to cry. She’d continued with the rest of the story through tears as she joined him on the bed, both of the Miraculous users clinging to each other. Marinette, because she would forever be haunted by the sound of his screams. Adrien, because that could have been her, and Chat Noir did not have a cleansing light. That could have been the end.
Her tears slowed to a stop, but they remained wound around each other. Chat murmured reassurances that he was ok, that she had saved him, that he did not blame her for his pain. Ladybug stroked his face and gently reprimanded him for putting himself in danger, and not for the first time either. What was she supposed to do if she lost him, she asked. Ladybug and Chat Noir were a team, but they were also each other’s closest friends. The only ones who knew their secret.
It started with soft kisses on his face, an expression of love and joy at his return to health from his Lady. Chat had moved just enough to catch one on his lips. While she paused in shock, he had moved in. Kissing her softly, slowly, right on her slightly chapped lips. After all the stress of the day, and the pure relief of her partner making it through such a traumatic event, she could not resist him. She melted into his kiss, each pulling the other closer.
Their kisses were desperate, their hands grabbing and pulling and demanding. At what he felt was the point of no return, Chat pulled back.
“I’m sorry.” He said, panting for breath. “If this goes on for any longer… I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop.” One of her smooth, ungloved hands came up to cup his cheek.
“Then don’t stop.” Ladybug’s eyes were more intense than he had ever seen them, shining bright blue with her pupils blown wide.
“Ladybug…” As her most trusted partner, Chat was well aware that Ladybug had lost several boyfriends after being unable to bring herself to sleep with them. She wanted to, but every time she’d get uncomfortable with being so vulnerable and push them away.
“I trust you, Chat Noir. More than anyone else.”
And so he made love to her. Slowly. Gently. Passionately.
Her 19th year was spent working on her design portfolio.
Chat Noir had been incredibly understanding about her continued reluctance to reveal their identities, and thus finally have a real romantic relationship. She had begged him to understand that her issues lay with her own poor self-confidence, and he was not to blame at all. He was perfect.
Ladybug, however, was terrified at the prospect of her partner finally seeing reality. She knew that even if he was disappointed with her real identity, he would no doubt stay with her and pretend to love her out of sheer loyalty. And that, she could not even stand the thought of. Chat Noir needed to be free.
They continued to date other people, but when they were both between lovers it was so easy to fall together. All it took was the heat of a particularly dangerous fight, or few weeks of separation, and they’d sprint back to the apartment desperate for each other’s touch.
One day, when she’d been replenishing the first aid kit and emergency food supply, she had found Chat curled up in the apartment by himself. He’d been dumped by his girlfriend, he said. His best friend was away on a holiday, and his only family was away on business again. He couldn’t stand to be in that house by himself. The empty rooms only echoing his loneliness.
Ladybug had known for a long time that Chat Noir did not do well when he was alone. He’d confessed his neediness to her one evening, begging her not to leave right after the Akuma was defeated. He was desperate for some company, and their conversation that night had painted a picture of a bleak childhood.
Seeing him now curled up in the bed that they often shared, tear tracks on his cheeks, she could not bring herself to leave. Instead, Ladybug did her best to show him how much she cherished him.
Ladybug had him roll onto his stomach, and then slowly worked the knots out of his back. When he was finally relaxed, she laid a kiss at the small of his back where she had just finished massaging. He hummed happily as she lay a trail of kisses up his back, over his shoulder and neck, along his jawline, and finally on his lips.
Chat rolled over again and tugged his partner down to join him. Their lovemaking that night was incredibly tender, with Ladybug constantly reassuring him that he would always be precious to her. She even stayed to hold him afterwards. They did not often stay at the apartment after their lovemaking, the masks not being very comfortable to sleep in, but today she would support him in every way that she could.
In the morning she had several text messages from her worried roommate, but the grateful smile on her partner’s face was well worth Alya’s concerned tirade later in the day.
Shortly after her 20th Birthday, Marinette was offered an apprenticeship with a designer who was based in America. It was an amazing opportunity, and despite the sadness of having to move away from her friends and family, they all encouraged her to take it.
She cried on the day of her flight, terribly nervous and unsure about this big step in her life. Her parents wept with her, as did her friends. Chat Noir saw her off with a smile and a kiss on the forehead. He didn’t know the details, but he knew that this was a big step in her career and it was what she had been desperately working towards for years.
He only allowed himself to cry after she left.
Marinette spent a every moment that she could sewing and designing when she was 21.
At 22 she met David. His family ran a business servicing sewing machines, and he thought she was beautiful. He asked her out on a date when she returned to pick up her machine. There was only so much companionship to be felt through phone calls with her friends and family in Paris, and she was tired of being lonely. She accepted.
Marinette worked incredibly hard during her 23rd year. It was the last year of her apprenticeship.
When she was 24, her apprenticeship had ended and Marinette could finally go home. She stayed though, because David had asked her to marry him.
The wedding date was pushed back a few times due to various circumstances, but at 25 they finally moved in together despite still being unmarried.
It had been wonderful at first. They’d wake up together every morning, and fall asleep together every night. He kept moving her fabrics, and she would forget that he didn’t like dirty dishes left on the kitchen bench, they had to be in the sink. These were small quirks though, and they worked through them.
Marinette continued to work hard as she designed her first professional collection while also maintaining a part time job to pay for her share of the bills.
On the day before her 26th birthday, he broke up with her. She was not what he thought she was, he said. She was too independent, she didn’t rely on him enough. She was strong enough to be on her own, he didn’t feel like she needed him.
Marinette’s friends had all been met through David, and they sided with him. With no fiancé or friends to hold her back, she packed her things and returned home.
Much like when she’d left Paris, she cried at the airport and again on the plane when she returned. The feeling of coming home was so overwhelming that Marinette couldn’t stop smiling even while she was weeping. She had cleaned herself up just before the plane landed but her welcoming party engulfed her in an embrace as soon as they set eyes on her, effectively setting off another wave of tears.
Their reunion carried on back at her parents’ house with a huge spread of all her favourite home cooked meals. Her departure from America had been sudden, and she was glad that everyone was there so that she would only need to explain the break up with David once.
Alya was furious and wanted to give him a piece of her mind, but Marinette’s mother and father’s reaction was more subdued. They were glad that he had ended it before they were married. The man was clearly not worthy of marrying their daughter, and it saved her the pain of realising this later in life.
Marinette went to bed in her old room that night feeling surrounded by love and familiar things. Tikki was also pleased to be back home, as hiding from David had made life incredibly boring for the last few years. They had put off telling him about Ladybug until after the wedding, but now she was glad that they had never gotten that far. Like Marinette’s parents had said, David was not worthy.
The next two days were spent looking for an apartment of her own as well as a shop space for her first ever clothing store. After realising that she couldn’t yet afford a shop front, Alya helped her set up a website. Between Alya and her mother, who she’d almost forgotten was very experienced in running a business, they set out a plan to make her collection, have professional photographs taken, and then take orders through her new website.
Along with helping Marinette set up her online store, Alya was invaluble in keeping her from wallowing in her rejection. She'd dragged her out to all their old favourite places, and thankfully put a stop to Marinette cutting off her hair in a fit of residual anger.
"Who cares if you grew it out because some jerk asked you to, you obviously love it! Cutting it off now would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face." The bespeckled girl insisted. And she was right. Marinette loved the way her silky blue-black hair swished around as she walked. It now fell all the way to her bottom when it was allowed to flow freely. She usually had to tie it up in a huge bun at work, so she'd been enjoying being able to wear it down lately.
"If you want to feel a bit more like Parisian Marinette and less like American Marinette..." Alya grinned and held up two hair bands. Marinette hadn't worn pigtails in years, they weren't really mature enough for a grown woman. But hell, she had no one to impress. Why not?
The pigtails were making her feel nostalgic, and after two days of hard work Marinette felt like she deserved a treat.
“Tikki?” She called her Kwami, who was currently sorting through her collection of buttons. Once Marinette had her attention, she smiled widely and called out “Transform me!”
Tikki squealed in excitement and flew into the Miraculous earrings. They had not transformed since leaving Paris, and this felt like the last piece of home slotting into place. Or not quite, there was still one thing missing…
Ladybug leapt over roofs and swung her way around buildings, peals of laughter ringing out over the beautiful city as two long streams of dark hair whipped behind her. Her joy was contagious, and soon people were running out into the streets calling her name. Ladybug has returned! They cried out to each other. Years after going missing and leaving Chat Noir behind to become a solitary hero, their Lady of luck was back!
After only 15 minutes of enjoying the beautiful city, a familiar form came racing towards her like a rocket. Chat Noir stopped before her, staring in utter disbelief.
“You’re back?” His voice was hoarse with emotion.
“I’m back!” Ladybug called out happily before strong hands wrapped around her waist. He easily lifted her into the air and spun around as he whooped with joy. When she was finally placed back on the ground Chat wrapped her up in a hug, burying his face in her hair.
After a moment of enjoying his embrace, she stepped back. “Come on, Kitty. I haven’t done this years, let’s go play!” Ladybug turned and raced off, yelling “Catch me if you can!”
She leapt and swung and ran until she was exhausted, revelling in the feeling of freedom that she hadn’t realised she'd missed so desperately. When Chat finally caught her, and she was sure that he could have easily caught her right from the start, they were standing up high on a roof with a whole crowd of people watching them.
The people of Paris were still cheering and celebrating her return when Tikki’s voice whispered in her mind. “After so long, I have a lot of magic built up. Let's do something a bit special. Perform Lucky Charm, but call out Lady’s Blessing! It’ll bring luck to everyone in the area.”
Ladybug had never heard of this move before, but she trusted the Kwami.
“Lady’s Blessing!” Ladybug’s voice rang out over the crowd, seemingly amplified. Her yoyo was thrown up into the sky and tiny pink hearts sailed down towards to the people. Each member of the crowd felt a rush of warmth as a heart touched their skin and vanished.
“I wish you all a day full of Ladybug Luck!” she called out again as they resumed their cheering.
Chat, not wanting to share his Lady with the masses any longer, swept her up into a princess hold.
“Sorry folks, I’m afraid I’m going to have to steal my Lady back for a proper reunion.” This only brought on a wave of cat calls and whistles, making Ladybug flush bright red as she struggled in his grip.
“Put me down, Chat Noir. Put me dooaaaaaahhh!” She screamed as he leapt off one building and onto the text, picking up speed until he was moving at an incredible pace. He was much faster than she remembered him being, and it wasn’t long until they reached the apartment. She was touched that he had maintained it and hadn’t just sold it off.
“Ladybug… tell me you’re staying.” Chat begged. He couldn’t take it if she were only here to visit. It would be like being given an oxygen tank when you were drowning, only to have it taken away.
“I’m staying.” A red gloved hand caressed the man’s cheek. And he really was a man now. At 20 he could still easily pass as a teenager, but at 26 Chat was unmistakably a fully mature and confident man. Ladybug almost felt bad for staring, but he was staring right back. Taking her in.
“You are as beautiful as ever, my Lady.” He kissed her hand, and it was all so familiar that it made her feel giddy.
“I feel like I’ve stepped back in time.” She admitted, causing him to grin.
“Well, I know an activity that we were very fond of in the past. We could have another go, for old times sake.” Chat wiggled his eyebrows at her, and she blushed and giggled like the young girl she had once been. No one had flirted with her so openly for a very long time.
“Unless…” His fingers skimmed over the fingers on her left hand, searching for a hint of a wedding ring.
“I was engaged.” Her smile faltered “But he broke it off.”
Chat dropped the flirtatious attitude and pulled her onto the bed with him, where they curled up against each other. She told him about it all, and somehow it seemed easier this time. Each time she thought about her ex-fiance the feeling of grief would become weaker as it was replaced with relief. David hadn't been the one for her, she was lucky that he had realised this and broke it off.
Chat, only hearing this story for the first time, felt more strongly about her situation. The thought of someone being so lucky as to be engaged to his Lady, and then to leave her was unfathomable.
"He was a fool if he could not appreciate you. The kind of relationship that he wanted, where you would depend on him for everything, is incredibly unhealthy." He paused to pull her into a more intimate embrace. "I'm so glad that you're here."
Ladybug felt the last bit of stress and depresson finally leave her as she relaxed into his arms. "So am I." She let out a shaky breath. "I never feel more like myself than when I'm with you."
He tightened his hold on her in a brief squeeze before leaning in to kiss the woman that he had missed so dearly. She arched into his touch, moaning gently as Chat Noir kissed his way down her throat. They paused briefly to detransform and put on the masks that Chat had kept here for all these years before continuing where they had left off.
Untransformed, Chat now had access to considerably more skin than their Miraculous suits allowed. He picked up his trail of kisses and continued his trek down her body, only stopping to pay attention to all of Ladybug's soft spots.
She had not experienced this kind of attention, this worship of her body in so long... "No one makes love to me like you do, Chat Noir." she said breathlessly.
"No one knows you like I do." he replied, looking up at her through his lashes from where he had been nibbling on her right hip bone.
And they were both right. His knowledge of her body was only part of what made whatever they had so perfect. He knew what every twitch of her muscles meant, he knew what her strong points and her weak points were, and he respected her. He respected all of her, and she trusted him with everthing.
Their lovemaking was explosive that night. It set a precident that would be hard to live up to in the future.
Luckily, Chat Noir always ensured that he met or exeeded expectations.
Weeks went by and Marinette settled in to her new flat and launched her online business. She already had orders thanks to Alya plugging her on the Ladyblog while it was having a surge of activity from her reappearance. Each customer meant new product photos for her website and word of mouth spreading even further. Despite being kept busy, Marinette ensured that she made time for her parents, Alya and some of her other old friends that she had reconnected with, and of course Chat Noir.
With no Akuma to fight the heroes didn't really need to patrol anymore, but they both found it freeing to race around Paris and put a stop to any small crimes that they came across. Patrol often ended with Ladybug letting Chat Noir drag her away to his "cave" and make love to her.
She had never been so happy. Even when she caught a bug that was going around, Marinette didn't let it stop her from enjoying being back in her home city. She simply asked Alya to avoid any restaurants on their escapades, as the strong smells were making her feel nauseous, and everything was fine.
Her continued passionate nights with Chat Noir were more than fine.
After a few weeks passed and her best friend's sickness didn't improve, Alya was concerned. When Marinette had a dizzy spell right in front of her, she'd had enough. Marinette was bundled into Alya's tiny car and taken to the doctor. The girl in question just rolled her eyes and said she was fine.
But she wasn't fine when she heard what the doctor had to say.
She didn't know what to do. Marinette had been to the doctor to get the results back from her last visit, and it was not what she had expected at all. She had been carful. How could this have happened to her? What was she going to tell her parents, or Alya, or Chat?
"Marinette?" Tikki floated in front of her, the concern obvious on her sweet face. She had been in the woman's purse when the doctor had given her the news. "Are you ok?" Marinette nodded silently, even as tears slowly ran down her face. "Is this a bad thing?" The Kwami asked hesitantly.
Two pigtails swished as Marinette shook her head. "No Tikki," She couldn't bring herself to regret the events that had brought her here. "It's just going to complicate things." That was taking it lightly. This was going to change her whole life, and maybe someone elses.
"Are you going to tell your parents?" The Kwami asked as Marinette covered her face with her hands. "Soon, this isn't something that I can hide. But Tikki... What what should I do?" Her voice was anguished. "I don't know if I can do this by myself, but I don't want to pressure anyone else into helping. And god, what about being Ladybug? I just got back, Chat would be heart broken if I disappeared again."
The Kwami just shrugged. "You wouldn't be the first Ladybug that needed to take a break. As for Chat Noir... Marinette, Hawk Moth is gone. There is very little danger in sharing your identity right now. Don't you think that he has waited long enough?"
Marinette considered this, and nodded resolutely. "You're right, Chat has been nothing but patient."she took a deep breath "It's time to let him decide if I'm really what he wants, or allow him to finally move on."
It didn't take long for Chat Noir to find Ladybug, it never did. It was like he had a sixth sense, or at least a google alert set to tell him whenever there was a Ladybug sighting.
"Good evening, my Lady. You're looking particularly beautiful tonight, if I may say so." He kissed the back of her hand in greeting. She only smiled slighty in reply, unsure if it was nerves or her condition that had her feeling so queezy. Chat moved closer to her, examining her face carefully.
"Is everything alright?" He frowned. Ladybug sighed and leaned into his warmth. "Can we skip patrol tonight and head straight to the apartment?" She couldn't help but crack a smile as the leather clad man wiggled his eyebrows. "Not like that, we need to have a serious conversation."
Chat's demenor changed, his ears drooping instantly. "You're not leaving again, are you?" His voice was low, as if he could barely voice such a thing. "No..."she paused "I'm not leaving but I am going to need to take a break from being Ladybug for a while."
One black gloved hand reached out to take her own, it was trembling ever so slightly. "For how long?" Green eyes bored desperately into blue. "This isn't a discussion for here." They looked down from the rooftop to see civialians milling about, some watching them curiously. He nodded in understanding, and the heroes made their way to their private retreat.
As soon as they were safely inside Ladybug was wrapped up in strong, leather clad arms. "Don't leave me." He begged her. "I can't take being alone again." The woman frowned as she pulled him over to their shared bed.
"Chat, did you date at all since I was gone?" Ladybug couldn't decide what answer would be worse, that he'd loved other women or that he'd been alone and pining for her for years while she was off getting engaged and almost married.
"Some." He mumbled into her collarbone. "But they were all either using me to advance their own careers, or wanted me to buy things for them, or as soon as I acted like the real me, like Chat Noir, they pulled away." Ladybug wanted to curse these awful women for treating her kitty so poorly. "They weren't you." Chat finished as he snuggled into her even more.
As she had thought, he had never quite been able to let go of his crush, his infatuation.
"What is it that you want from me, Chat Noir?" She begged him. "Sex? Love? Marriage and... and children?" She suspected that he hadn't thought quite that far into the future, but was quickly proven wrong.
"God, Ladybug... That would be a dream come true, but you know that I would never push you into something like that." He stroked her hair with one clawed hand. "I know how you feel about meeting out of the uniform." And of course, while Chat would probably be willing to keep up the masks forever if that's what it took, Ladybug and Chat Noir could not get legally married. They would have to reveal their identities to each other to sign the marriage certificate.
"Do you want children?" She probed "Would you really want that with me, even if it meant retiring as a hero, or at least being much more careful? A father couldn't risk himself like you do so often. Chat, it would mean the end of your freedom." Blue eyes skittered off the side. She didn't want to see the conflict that would no doubt show on his face.
Chat Noir was uncharactaristically serious, his hand gently turning her back to face him as he spoke. "When I was a teenager, feedom meant escaping a life with a father who ignored me and my every waking moment being scheduled by my father's secretary. After that, my freedom has always meant being able to see you." Ladybug's eyes prickled with tears. If his freedom was being with her, how had he felt for these last few years?
"Ladybug, I love you. I want a life with you in it, whatever way I can get you, no matter what the cost. This isn't an infatuated teenage boy talking, I'm all grown up, Ladybug. And I have always known that you were it for me."
His heartfelt confession was more than she could take, and she finally broke down into tears. It was everything that Ladybug could never admit to herself that she wanted to hear. She was still scared of his reaction, as well as their future, but she had to move forward. It was time.
"I'm pregnant." She finally blurted out. He looked horrified, and her heart plummited.
Hands grabbed her shoulders harshly, claws digging in painfully. "Don't go back to him!" He begged her desperately. "He left you, he doesn't deserve to even know! I'll help, I promise. I'll take care of everything!"
Ladybug watched his panic with confusion. "Go back to who?" She asked him slowly.
"To that American." He spat, as if the word tasted foul.
And oh. Oh. "No... Chat, I'm eight weeks pregnant. I've been been Paris for three months now." He didn't look any less panicked. "I've only been with you since I got back." She clarified.
The blonde blinked one, twice, before his eyes widdened and dropped to stare in wonder at her stomach. "You... you're having kittens? My kittens?" She flushed, batting his hands away from where they tried to touch her despite there not yet being any bump to feel.
"Don't call them that. It. One baby, not multiple kittens." Despite her grumbling, ladybug couldn't hide her smile. After a rocky start, he was taking the news well.
"What do you want me to do?" He asked her suddenly. "I have money if you need it. I want to know them, please let me know them." He looked so sincere, so full of hope.
"Of course, I would never keep my child away from their father." Chat mouthed the word father, his eyes shining in wonder. "And I think... If we're going to have this child, we should know who the other parent is." It was hard for her to say, and it would be even harder for her to give up her identity, but it needed to be done. She would not deprive her child of having a father simply because she was scared that he might not find her quite so wonderful once the masks came off.
Bright green eyes stared back at her in shock. They were comically wide and Ladybug had to stiffle a giggle. "I never thought... I'd given up..." the black clad man mumbled as he tried to pull himself together. Today was just shock after glorious shock. This might be the best day of his life. No, it was definitely the best day of his life so far. He noticed her fist clenched in the bedsheets, she was clearly nervous. So was he, but he knew that this had been a major fear for Ladybug since they began fighting Akuma all those years ago.
"Can I go first?" She looked up in surprise. Ladybug had assumed that he'd be desperate to find out her identity, but she realised that he was trying to put her at ease. "Ok." She whispered, both terrified and curious. It wasn't like she had never wondered who lay behind the black leather mask.
Chat Noir took a deep breath, then another. They both giggled nervously, the knowledge that after this moment there would be no going back lay heavily on their minds.
"Ok." he said, finally, and a green light raced up and over his body, black leather vanishing to be replaced by a well fitted suit. Plagg waved and settled onto a broad shoulder.
"Hi." The blonde man before her was eerily familiar. "Um, my real name is-"
"Adrien." She interrupted him, and he blinked in confusion before nodding to himself. "Ah, yeah. I've been a model for a long time, so you probably would recognise me." But Ladybug shook her head rapidly.
"Oh my god. No, um. We went to school together. I had the biggest crush on you, this is so embarassing!" Ladybug's face was flushed to a bright pink, the hands spread on her cheeks doing nothing to hide her embarrasment.
"Wait, really?" Adrien couldn't believe it. Had she been close to him this whole time? When had they gone to school together, high school? College? He was dying to know.
"Yeah." She said weakly. "You probably wont remember me, it was a long time ago." She steeled herself against the possibility of rejection and let go of her transformation.
"Marinette." It came out breathily with shock. Her face was still bright pink, and he remembered that this was not unusual for her. Marinette had been incredibly shy when he'd first joined her class. It had taken almost a whole year for her to warm up to him. Or maybe it was the other way around, he realised. She'd been shy because of her crush, and then they'd become closer friends after she must have gotten over him.
"I can't believe it. You were literally one seat behind me and we never figured it out. But if you had a crush on me, and I was mad for you, we've wasted so much time! We could have been together for years!"
Marinette was dizzy with relief. All these years spent worrying, and Chat, no Adrien's response was to lament over wasted time spent apart. "So you still..." She traced a hand down to her stomach. Oh wow, she was having Adrien Agreste's baby. 15 year old Marinette would no doubt be having a fit.
"Of course!" Adrien crawled forward to touch her again, but hesitated and looked to her for permission. He grinned joyfully when his Lady took his hand to press against her stomach. It may be flat for now, but soon everyone would be able to see his child, their child, growing inside her.
All of a sudden Adrien leapt up from the bed and started frantically searching for something in various spots all around the room. "Plagg, where did I put it? Help me look!" The Kwami seemed to know what he meant, as he joined him in his search at a much more sedate pace. "Do you even still have it?" The tiny cat grumbled.
Tikki just shrugged her shoulders when Marinette looked at her in askance. After minute or two, Adrien cheered and returned victorious to the bed where she waited paitently.
"I bought this when I turned 18." He sounded nervous all of a sudden. "I was sure that we were soulmates, and I'm still sure of that now." Large hands fumbled on the small box that he'd been searching for, opening it to reveal a slim golden band that was studded with sparkling diamonds. It was very elegant, and not at all gaudy. She noted absently that there was nothing jutting out that could catch on the fabrics she worked with. It was beautiful, and it was also a very sensible ring for a superhero. He'd clearly put a lot of thought into it.
"Marinette, will you marry me?" She swallowed nervously. They'd only just found out each others names, wasn't it too soon to be getting married? But she was already pregnant, and he was right. They'd known each other since they were practically children, and they'd loved each other for just as long. Fate may have made it difficult for them, but she really did believe that they were soulmates, finally coming together at last.
Adrien squirmed nervously as she considered his proposal. His thoughts racing through all the other, more romantic ways that he could have proposed. He'd dreamed up hundreds of scenarios when he was a teenager, and even a few later in life. And now he'd gone and blown it by asking the all important question while they sat on the bed in a tiny appartment. Even worse, he belatedly realised that he'd forgotten to get down on one knee. Should he do it now, or was it too late?
Marinette finally put him out of his misery when she presented her hand to him.
"Yes. Yes, I want to marry you, Adrien Agreste." He stared at her hand uncomprehendingly until she wiggled her ring finger. The man was in such a hurry to jam the ring on her finger that he fumbled and dropped it.
The seriousness of the moment evaporated as Marinette burst out laughing and Adrien whined "Noooo..." under his breath as the ring fell to the floor and rolled under the couch.
"What would you do without me?" Plagg smirked as he dropped the ring back into Adrien's hand so he could finally put it on his fiancee, but Marinette couldn't make herself stop giggling. She'd almost get herself under control, but then she'd make eye contact with Tikki and they'd both start up all over again.
"My suave kitty." She said between bouts of laughter as he sat next to her pouting. Eventually, he pulled her onto his lap so that she was leaning against his chest. He used her moment of shock to slip the ring onto he finger, where they both admired it for a moment.
"It's beautiful." Marinette turned to smile gently at her fiance. "Not as beautiful as you are, Princess." He murmered to her before leaning in to kiss her.
Their kisses were gentle and unsure, both of them feeling strange without the masks on. Their bodies felt so familiar though, that soon it felt completely normal for Adrien to run his fingers over her exposed cheekbones, or for Marinette to stare deeply into green eyes that no longer had cat like slits for pupils.
Their lovemaking was slow and passionate as they relearned eachother's expressions of pleasure on uncovered faces. They lingered in bed afterwards, simply enjoying being together.
Suddenly, Marinette jolted upright as she had a scary thought "How am I going to explain this to Alya? She knows I haven't tried to see you since I got back. And oh my god, she would kill me if we told her that I was Ladybug the whole time." Adrien just laughed and pulled his beautiful fiancee back into his arms.
"We'll work it out together." He hummed happily as he nuzzled into her cheek. "We'll work everything out together."