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His Skin is Dressed in Shadow

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She appears through the night as silent as a shadow, scarcely a whisper as she lands sure-footed on the wrought iron rails of one balcony in particular. There is no need to watch her step, even around the perfusion of creeping vines that are entangled amongst the rails. She knows her way, hopping down into a familiar cluster of shadow.

The night air chills against her hot skin, though not even the cool touch of the witching hour is enough to calm the heat that thrills deeper down, stemming from the font of magic that is a part of her. She is breathless with freedom coursing through her blood. Adrenaline makes her feel as if her nerves have been touched by lightning. That electric feeling will linger for hours afterwards, energy that makes her skin twitch and her mind race - sometimes too keyed up to sleep.

She tilts her head back in those last few moments that she lets the freedom of the patrol linger in her mind. There are few in all of Paris who know what the city looks like free falling from the top of the Eiffel Tower. The light of every lamppost, every glittering window, sets the stars to shame. Millions people live in Pairs, and yet so few have seen it with the aching intimacy that she has seen it. Every facet in the light and in the dark, every mood that Paris has had, every season that comes and goes like clockwork. Years of the view have not dulled the magic of the moment.

Normally, she would share the vision with someone else.

Tonight, her husband had other calls on his time.

Coming back into the present, taking one last deep breath of the night before she bids goodbye to Ladybug and hello to the warm embrace awaiting her over the threshold just before her, Marinette eagerly steps into the dark haven beckoning her. The darkness swallows her up, forcing her to blink through the gloom until shapes take form, shadows growing out of the dark.

Silver moonlight filters in through the windows, shafts of light streaming in from behind her. Her adjusted eyes settle on a single form sprawled across the bed before her. He is limned in silver and shadow, and her breath catches for a moment before her lips twitch into a grin.

With a grace that is inherent of the magic that makes her Ladybug, she crosses to the bedside. Her grin widens as she peers down into a face that is simultaneously too handsome to be real and too utterly adorable to be married to her. His golden hair is turned to white gold in the moonlight, his face dusted in perfect shadows; even in sleep, he is posed in such a way that seems as if it is on purpose, as if at any moment a camera should appear to snap his picture.

Unable to help herself, she brushes the hair from his forehead, loving the moment of heat she can feel through the material of her suit. She cannot feel the texture of his skin, nor the silk of his hair, but she knows it by memory. Just as, when her fingers trace their way down the side of his striking face to follow the line of his jaw, the pad of her thumb brushing the swell of his bottom lip, there are a thousand pleasant memories that come to mind of the taste, and feel, and texture of him.

She has watched his face grow from boy to man. Every line and plane of his face slowly transforming over the years, losing his youthful roundness to a face that has become both roguish and refined. His chin has firmed into that of a man’s, his cheeks turned to perfect planes that Marinette has no trouble kissing. He has the look of a man carved from marble, a perfect Greek statue whose features have been carefully planned and lovingly created. Except that marble is cold, and statues are unfeeling, and that is the exact opposite of Adrien Agreste.

It is his eyes that bring his face to life, carrying with them the boldness he has discovered in himself as Chat Noir. Refinement is in every well-bred feature of his face, a shy gentility that reflects the life of restraint he lived under the regime of his father, but his eyes can no longer be tamed. With one glittering green glance, he is the rogue, the laughing shadow in the night; Chat Noir is no longer someone he becomes, but who he is whether he dons the armour or not.

Adrien has tasted freedom. He has known the scent of Paris at midnight as he races across rooftops, and he knows the songs the stars sing when there are only two creatures in all the city who can bound high enough to hear them. Marinette has given him the love that he has been starved of for too long, first in form of a young girl’s heart, and then in in the form of a woman’s soul. She has watched him drink of her love the same way a dying man in the desert takes to water, and now he swims, laughing, in an ocean that he is no longer afraid will dry up.

Despite every other feature of his face, it is his beautiful, dancing eyes that make him disgustingly handsome, which Marinette is not afraid to tell him often. Throughout the day, into the night, whether their clothes are off or on, she feels the need to point out that he is too handsome for his own good.

Strangely, Adrien does not see this as the critique it is supposed to be.

She crouches at his side to place her lips to his warm cheek, smiling at him, admonishing him for seducing her even in his sleep. But this close, her smile fades. She sees that he is not smiling in his sleep. There is strain around his eyes. This close, the lines of his body are not the insouciant sprawl she is accustomed to seeing. He is drawn in to himself, and the shadows now look especially dark on his skin.

Her heart twists, and there is a horrible moment that she regrets not going with him tonight to the event he had been scheduled to appear at. She knows that he is not fond of all aspects of his career. Modelling is nice, but it is the rubbing elbows with shallow people that grates on his nerves the worse. With his new found freedom, he has a harder time keeping his face impassive, and an even harder time holding his tongue. Of all of his accomplishments in the business world, working his way through a degree that has enabled him to take on more aspects of the logistical work behind the scenes, it is his face that still holds the highest value to others, and his body still comes with a price tag.

But Adrien had whispered in Marinette’s ear that evening that Paris was calling her, the sky was wide open, and that ii really wasn’t fair for both of them to be trapped. Half-dressed, groping her with a grin on his face, he shooed her out into the night, onto the balcony, and told her to stay safe and keep Paris safe. And not to do anything stupid without him.

That silly, self-sacrificing cat.

“He tried to wait up for you,” Plagg grouses from somewhere in the darkness.

“I’m sorry I didn’t get home earlier,” Ladybug replies, not yet ready to become Marinette. She wants the magic to linger a little longer. “Did something happen?”

“No worse than usual,” Plagg sneers, but then pauses. He has no time or use for the foibles of humans. Nevertheless, Ladybug senses the slight shift in the small god’s demeanour. Plagg's voice is lower the next time he speaks. “His father was there tonight. It wasn't pretty."

Immediately, Ladybug bites her lip and regrets ever donning her spots that night. Business-wise, the Agreste name brand is a powerhouse in the industry. The father-son duo is a force to be reckoned with. Family-wise, the Agreste name is a mine-field of emotional turmoil. Adrien avoids his father whenever he can.

“You want me to do something about it, don’t you?” she asks.

Among the shadows, a pair of ancient green eyes watches her expectantly. She is Ladybug, after all. Sworn protector of all innocent creatures, even cats. It is no secret, either, that Plagg dotes on Adrien. Of all his chosen, he is fond of the boy with the fragile heart who has grown into a strong, proud young man despite a strange luck that had nothing to do with the kwami.

Eventually, Plagg says, “I’ll leave you to it,” and disappears into the depths of the apartment.

It is as close to a blessing as will ever come from Plagg.

There are many ways a ladybug can pull a thorn from a cat’s paw, some particular ways coming to mind. Ladybug feels like paying back all the mornings she has awoken in her husband's embrace, stirred to life by his hands, desperate for his lips. The laughter ringing distantly in her mind reveals that Tikki has already caught on to her devious thoughts. There is no disapproval from the ancient creature. Quite unlike Plagg, Tikki is an incurable romantic. She not only delights in the bond between Ladybugs and Chat Noirs, she encourages it.

This Ladybug in particular needs no encouragement. Her husband is truly too handsome to be left to his own devices, and he is handsome to her in a thousand different ways than his father and every other shallow eye in the world will never see.

He is so asleep that he fails to stir even when she mounts the mattress. She stretches lengthwise against him, aligning her body to his, laying her lips to the curve of his shoulder. Her eyes keep track of his slumbering face, seeing not the slightest twitch. She wriggles up and kisses his jaw, and then down his neck. They are exploratory kisses, and apologetic kisses, hoping to convey even into his dreams that she should not have left her Chaton to the wolves.

Her lips trace his collarbone, finding the hollow at the base, treating the dip to a swipe of her tongue. She explores his chest with her lips and tongue, her eyes drawn more often downward than up. Like his face, his body is no hardship to explore. His broad shoulders, defined chest, sleek muscles that bring to mind yet again the perfection of Greek statues. His escapades through the streets of Paris have done him just as much good in body as they have in mind and spirit.

She lets her hands roam over the defined muscle of his arms, to the broad shoulders that have carried much in his lifetime. She lets her fingertips skate down his front, over a chest picked out in silver moonlight. A thrill fires in her blood when she sees her spotted hands against his skin, finding something terribly illicit in being fully armoured while he is completely at her mercy.

The ridged muscles of his abdomen flex against her touch. She sifts her fingers through the soft trail of golden hair that meanders down from his navel. Shifting her body down the mattress, she rests her head on his bare hip and peers up at him. His body is a work of art, but it is not why she loves him. He is too perfect in the light, when the camera shine on him, when the eyes of the world see only his beauty and nothing else.

Marinette loves him in the dark, where it is the intangible things in him that shine the brightest.

Summer’s heavy heat permeates the air in the room, growing hotter as Ladybug’s movements become more refined. Her attention becomes focused on her carnal task, her eyes lighting up behind her mask. She leans in, sweeping the backs of her fingers down the length of one long, bare thigh. Her fingertips pause at his knee before jumping to the other leg to make their slow trek back up. Spotted fingers trace the juncture where his leg meets torso, shocked by the heat of him. She imagines the soft touch of his skin, coarse blond hair brushing her fingertips.

Through her suit, she can feel heat, the firmness of his muscle, but she must imagine the satin texture of bare flesh.

Thoughtlessly, she turns her cheek to lay a kiss against his hipbone. It is the first touch of her mouth so far down that inspires him. Just a momentary groan, his long, lean body suddenly shifting in the sheets. Ladybug’s eye is drawn down, satisfied to find that her continued attentions to his thighs have awakened the interest of at least one part of him.

“Adrien,” she calls softly, glancing up, finding no answer. Her fingers dance along his length, circling the head, smothering a grin when he twitches. An answering heat starts low in her belly. She leans in, taking in the scent of soap from his shower, fresh skin, and under that, the delectable scents of musk and male. With knowing fingers, she grasps him, stroking him to life with a steady hand. Under her touch, he hardens quickly, and an answering flush travels across her skin.

“Adrien,” she calls again, when he begins to move more definitely to her touch. Clearly, she is not loving him enough if he can sleep through it. Levering up, her lips find his chest, and she kisses the small scars that only she knows about. The scars that disappear in a few days’ time, thanks to the magic bound to him. Each little scar where he has sacrificed his body to make sure she was okay. No matter that they are both powerful, no matter that there is magic that protects them, he still finds a need to protect her before himself. He is lucky that Plagg and Tikki both have a gift for speeding up recoveries and hiding the evidence, or else his modelling career would have been over years ago.

She kisses him over his invincible heart, laving the skin, painting a wet trail down to his nipple. Silver moonlight takes on a rosy hue as a flush begins to make its way up his cheeks. The frown is gone from his features, but his eyes have yet to open. Her hands are busy elsewhere, one stroking him to a fine passion, the other mapping the rest of his body. She pets his cheeks, his neck, down his wonderfully firm flanks, arrowing down the lee of his hips to where her other hand is still busy fondling him at her leisure.

By the time he is throbbing to her touch, Ladybug has positioned herself between her husband’s legs. Fully erect, he is a thing of beauty, filling her palm. The crown is thick, slick already with the pre-cum she’s teased out of him. Even with her suit still on, she feels the mapwork of veins that travel up his length; under her palm, she rolls his sac, feeling his balls draw up tight.

He has always been unreasonably sensitive to her touch. Like his body is only ever waiting to come to life beneath her hand. That knowledge is a heady power to have. She knows what will put fire in his blood. What will spark lust in his eyes. Like tightening her hand just so, with a little twist at the base, rolling his sac over the fingers of her other hand... She welcomes the sudden, harsh sound of someone startling awake. The intake of breath. The sudden tension in his body as his mind comprehends that he is longer dreaming.

“M-Mari-?” Adrien gasps, squeezing his eyes shut tight, falling back against the mattress before finding the ability to force his lids open. His beautiful eyes search the dark until they meet hers. They are lost for a moment, disoriented, and already hazed from the lust she has inspired in his dreams. In a split second, there is devilment in his bright gaze. Those eyes that she loves so much come alive the moment they settle on her and realize what is happening. One hand reaches out, trembling, to trace the curve of her cheek, stopping at the edge of her mask. His pupils blow wide, his lips part, and beneath her hand he jerks with the force of his reaction of seeing her in her full Ladybug glory.

The heartfelt groan that fills the room vibrates through his whole body, and in turn vibrates through hers.

“My Lady.”

She doesn’t give him time to get comfortable. She is Ladybug right now, confident and impish, and most definitely in charge. Summing up a lifetime of listening to terrible puns, she greets him by saying, “I heard you had a hard evening,” before opening her lips and taking him as deep as he can go.

The shout she inspires from him is even more gratifying than his groans.

His hands are scrambling to find purchase in reality. One plants itself above his head, gripping the headboard to give him some sort of anchor to Earth. They have a sturdy headboard for occasions such as these. His other hand lands in her hair, though he doesn’t dare grip her nearly as hard as he is holding the headboard. Instead, he threads his fingers through her hair. His eyes are glinting, but his touch is reverent.

Her hands make themselves useful, employing themselves with the task of pleasuring her stunned, and stunning, husband. She wraps one hand around the base of his erection, grinning around his girth when her spots contrast wildly with his flesh.

It is either her touch, or the vision of her touching him dressed as she is, that strangles a moan from him. When words start falling from his lips, they are pleas and promises. He tells her of what he is going to do to her when it’s her turn. He shouts what will happen if she stops. The wicked detail with which he describes what will happen if she drops her transformation and turns around so that he can taste her while she tastes him fires her blood and nearly makes her forget that this is about him. For once, this is all about him. He doesn’t have to give. He can take. She wants him to take.

Nevertheless, he makes her feel powerful, like she is the only woman in the world who has this kind of power. She is the only woman in the world who has this kind of power over him.

The more she strokes him to a fever pitch, the greater the building pressure between her thighs. His fervent groans reach down low in the pit of her belly. His skin brushes against her suit, and it might as well have been their bare flesh touching for the electricity that is inspired by his touch. Heat thickens her blood, swirling low in the pit of her stomach. She presses her thighs together, turning her eyes up the length of Adrien’s body to see what has become of him.

What she has reduced him to.

His chest is heaving, slick with sweat, his back arched high. Adrien has abandoned himself to the pleasure she is lavishing on him. He is tousled, and wild, and writhing with serpentine grace. He is moving in time to the suction of her mouth, hollowing her cheeks, bobbing her head in time to her squeezing fist. She can see from down the length of his body that his eyes are nothing but slits, watching her with adoration and fascination. He hides nothing from her, not his love for her nor his lust.

Against her tongue, the heat of him grows. The passion she has stoked is coming to a head. Against her tongue, she feels his heartbeat. The caress of his hand against her scalp might as well have been a prayer, and the sweep of his gaze down her body is a firebrand.

“W-why?” he chokes out, quickly forced to bite his lip and press his head back into the pillows. His long, low groan vibrates in the dark room.

She pauses, drawing her mouth from around him. She kisses the head of him, listening to the catlike hiss in the dark. The flat of her tongue against him arouses a savage response that leaves her ears ringing. When he still demands why, as if the answer isn’t obvious, she replies, “Because,” before taking him into the heat of her mouth once more.

Adrien offers no resistance. Not anymore. He lets her impish quip be answer enough until he can think in full sentences again.

He arches his back, writhing across the sheets like a livewire. Every nerve ending is electric, all of his muscles going tight as he starts to rise to that final precipice. The grip he has on the headboard is enough to leave grooves in the wood. The fire she’s started in his blood is quickly burning itself out of control, a new splash of gas thrown on the flames every time he opens his eyes. The vision of her loving him like this is usually enough to short-circuit him, but with her dressed in her spots, the eroticism of the moment sears itself into his soul.

She can feel him going over. He tugs gently at her hair, babbling incoherently to warn her. She shakes him off, offering a particularly saucy suck that chokes the air from his throat. Against her tongue, she feels him swell. The muscles across his abdomen and in his legs stand out in sharp relief. His eyes flutter shut as a look of agonized pleasure blisters across his features.

In her ears, she hears him bellow, “Mari-!” before his back bows. His shaft jumps against her soft pallet, and the flavour of salt and musk touches her tongue. She wrings from him an orgasm that lasts seemingly forever. He calls her name, letting it ring off the walls. He bucks into her touch, his body not his own as pleasure takes him in its grip. Each ripple shivers through him before shivering through her. The ghost of pleasure licking at her skin, derived from the pure pleasure she managed to lavish on him.

She is now aching with her own unspent arousal, hot from her throbbing lips down to the spot between her thighs where she is thoroughly wet. She regrets the impish thought she’d had to keep the suit on. It would have been easier to have been bare, rubbing her thighs together, able to feel everything right down the heat, and texture, and slickness.

When gentle hands cup her face and urge her away, she smiles. Under Adrien’s stunned gaze, her smile morphs into a grin. There is no more frown on his lip, no strain on his face. Instead, there is satiation and curiosity, and love, and a thousand other emotions in his eyes. Suddenly, a little aroused discomfort is worth it.

Under his attentions, she drops the transformation, becoming Marinette once more. Tikki quickly gives them their privacy, seeking out Plagg in his hiding spot. The night air is suddenly much colder than it had been two seconds before, prickling against the heat of Marinette’s skin. Adrien’s hand stroking her cheek offers warmth, and wonderment. She focuses on him, proud of what she has done to him. She is so protectively, possessively, crazily in love with him that if he needs her to make love to every single inch of him to convince him that his worth is more than his face or his body or his father’s opinion of him, than she is willing to do it.

“Why?” he asks again, urging her up from between his legs so that she can lay across his body. When she is close enough for his liking, he nuzzles her cheek, peppering her with kisses that are lazy and loving.

“I wanted you to know…” She leans into his attentions, drawn in like a moth to the flame. All the many reasons she has for him are scattered at the touch of his lips on her neck. She wants him to know the ten thousand ways she loves him. She loves the boy he had been, and she loves the man he is now. She loves that he sometimes creeps out of bed in the morning to sneak down the street to the boulangerie to purchase fresh croissants for her. She loves that the magic that makes him Chat Noir stays with him even when the transformation is gone.

Unlike all the rest of the world that only ever looks at his face and his body, she has seen his heart. She has seen him in the dark, dressed in shadows, where only the important things shine through. She knows him better than anyone else in the world, and loves him more for everything she sees.

Marinette wants to say all of these things to him, but can’t when his arms wrap around her, and one of his palms lands on the swell of her backside. He kneads knowingly, eliciting the most wonderful sensations to ripple up and down her nerves. There is a wicked grin growing on his face that is purely Chat Noir, and is purely Adrien. She squirms, doing nothing to hide the flush that grows on her cheeks. The night is young, and the look in Adrien's eyes says that he is only getting started. Marinette looks forward to the friction of their bodies and the crazed, wild race to the end. But before they indulge, she leans in, casting a shadow across his face that hides everything except his brilliant eyes. Against his lips, she smiles and tells him, “I wanted you to know, you are perfect just the way you are.”