Chapter 1: Ebony
Chat came to Marinette's rescue one lonely night, but she's not sure if she wants to open up about what's troubling her.
Marinette hated fighting that feeling to just take off her earrings and reveal who she really was behind her mask; literal and figurative. It was something that she contemplated daily. What would Chat Noir say? What would her friends say? What would the world say? What exactly is at risk?
Her real question was: Who’s hiding behind that mask?
These thoughts soared out her open window as a familiar figure climbed through said window, his cat ears giving him away. Marinette squinted.
“Hey, princess,” Chat Noir whispered, careful not to wake anyone in the house.
“Hi,” Said “princess” replied, scared of breaking the silence. The moonlight trickled into her window, illuminating her barely.
“Are you doing okay?” Chat inquired, sitting next to her on the bed.
“I don’t know,” Marinette ran her fingers through her hair, her head bowed down.
“I’m pretty happy with where I am,” Chat flirted, but whatever sultry tone was there previously vanished away with the hush in his voice. Marinette gave him a small smile and leaned on his shoulder.
“I am, too,” Marinette grinned, closing her eyes. Slowly, Chat wrapped his arms around her.
“Is this alright?” He inquired, and he felt the nod of her head against his shoulder.
Was it an hour? Was it two? The superhero wasn’t sure, but those minutes passed in comfortable silence. Marinette’s steady breathing nearly lulled Chat Noir to slumber, but he kept vigil over the girl in his embrace.
For the next couple of weeks, their dynamic was sleepy chatter and moonlit hugs. Stolen kisses and midnight confessions. Gazes at unrequited love and drifting eyelids.
Chat asked the same question every single week like clockwork: “Are you doing okay?”
Marinette would smile and say that she was fine. Sometimes, she would shake her head and beg her cat-eared companion to leave it at that. He respected his damsel, and he promised not to bring up the issue any further. It always gnawed at him, though; the way that the mask on Ladybug latched onto her skin. The way that a certain unspoken agreement hung over his head as he asked Plagg to transform him, just until dawn.
“Then, I’ll be out of her grasp and go back to my house. I promise. Please, Plagg. I… I want to be needed.” Adrien pleaded.
“You are needed, Adrien. You and Ladybug always watch over Paris. Don’t you see how vital you are to their safety?”
“No, this is a different kind of need, Plagg. Ladybug is so determined to stay alone, but it’s different with Marinette.”
But, here he was again. This time, Marinette stared at the stars cloaked in darkness up on her roof rather than staying inside her comfortable, cozy blankets. A cup of tea sat by her as she gazed at the infinite constellations in the sky. Marinette spotted the figure out of her corner of her eye.
“I was waiting for you,” Marinette told him quietly.
“You should get inside,” Adrien protested as soon as he saw his princess of the night. This princess looked down at the ground. “C’mon, Marinette. Warm yourself up. No more waiting,” The ebony hero extended his arm towards Marinette, helping her up.
The two of them were silent as they crept down to her bedroom, the lilac sheets welcoming them.
Marinette sunk into her pillow and sighed. Another long night. Another midnight confession. Another kiss that meant to take her pain away.
“Are you doing okay?” Chat recited, but it felt just like the first time. The relationship was unconventional. It felt overwhelmingly similar to one of a therapist and a patient. Yes, Marinette vented to him. No, it didn’t mean that the Chat Noir was suddenly a therapist. He was just a good friend. A good friend who watched over her as she settled into the sleep she missed for days. A cherished companion who kissed her when he didn’t know what else to do to make her happy again. A friend.
Just. A friend.
“I… No,” Marinette decided.
“Well, enlighten me, please,” Adrien begged her. “If I can fix it, I want to know.” Marinette chuckled, but the sound was hollow and artificial. It was uncharacteristic in every way. Where’s that laugh of hers? Did it vanish with exhaustion? Or something else? Chat pondered.
“You can’t fix this one, silly kitty,”
“I have to. It’s my job to protect the citizens of Paris, and you are a treasured civilian--”
“Don’t try,” Marinette cut in, her tone a bit colder than she intended. She caught herself. “Oh, no, I’m so sorry; I didn’t mean that. I’m just tired of people asking,”
“Of me asking?” Marinette’s eyes widened, and she winced.
“No, never.” Adrien sighed.
“Then, what is it, princess?” Tears welled up in her eyes, and the salt water burned like streams of fire down her cheeks.
“Why do I keep chasing him?” Marinette burrowed her head in her knees, curling up on her sheets.
“It’s not like he’ll ever notice what I do for him. They’re passing fantasies, and I,” Marinette choked on a sob. Chat wrapped his arms around her, closing his eyes and shushing her.
“Shhh, my princess. Everything will be alright. He has probably fallen for you. I know I have,” He murmured the last part so Marinette wouldn’t be able to catch it through her tears.
“I’m so tired of running. I run from what I want all the time, just to put my heart on hold. I’ll never be able to tell him, ever,”
“Hey,” Chat put his hand on her shoulder. “That’s not true. You have that courage; I know you do. Besides, he must be pretty lucky to have someone like you fawning over him,”
“I don’t know about that…” Marinette rubbed her eyes from exhaustion. “He could probably do much better than me. I’m nothing special--” Chat shushed her.
“Miss Marinette, never tell yourself that you are nothing special. I’ll be damned the day that becomes true. You are unique, breathtaking, adorable. You remind me of Ladybug all the time, and that’s saying a lot,” That’s because I am Ladybug, Marinette wanted to scream, but this was not the time. Not now, not here.
Sleep welcomed the two not-quite-lovers, but peace was nowhere to be found. There were raging storms inside of Marinette that she couldn’t voice in this moment, quaking limbs that Chat couldn’t find the courage to soothe.
There were too many what-ifs and how-dos. Too many inquiries and not enough answers. Uncertainty claimed the sleep that Marinette was supposed to find serenity in.
What do you do when the one you love is clouded by a mask? It’s a vizard, the identity kept from the one who truly needs to know it.
You get lost in your own alter ego. It’s so terribly dangerous, but it happens daily. You hope that no one catches onto your mannerisms, but simultaneously, you want someone to shout, “Hey, that’s different! That’s new! That’s exciting! Who would’ve thought?”
Why can't it be that way… Well, it’s all up to Marinette and the chosen ones.
Marinette stared down at the Ladybug doll in her hands.
“I just want you to know,” She began to tear up but quickly caught herself, wiping the droplets away angrily. “No, I don’t. You can’t know.”
Marinette waited on her bed, waiting for her masked intruder to whisk her away from her troubles.
But he never came.
Chapter 2: In Droplets
The nightly visits started to affect Marinette’s moods at school. The talk of Ladybug and Chat Noir “being a thing” at school was nothing to her; white noise. While everyone shipped Ladybug and Chat Noir, Marinette found herself getting jealous… At herself? It was irrational, but she couldn’t reveal anything to the public about her identity. That being said, Marinette refused to let her civilian life intersect with her heroic deeds.
“What do you call this, then?” Tikki urged Marinette to consider. She shook her head. No time to do that now.
“Hey, are we hanging out at the park tonight?” Alya asked her best friend.
“Sorry, I have a ton of homework to do,” Marinette fibbed. She was used to lying to her friends about her whereabouts when she was Ladybug. When she was Marinette, however… That was a rarity in itself.
Oh, that’s okay. I’ll probably hang out with Nino, anyways. We’re gonna scope out Ladybug’s whereabouts tonight!” Marinette rolled her eyes good-naturedly at her friend. It was so like her, the blogger on a mission.
“Have fun with that!” Marinette waved “goodbye” to Alya and headed home. She really did have homework, but it was finished. Technically, she wasn’t lying. The ton of homework, however, was a lie. “God, I’m despicable, Tikki,” Marinette shook her head.
“You just want to spend time with Chat! As Ladybug, that’s definitely an excuse to skip out on a night with a friend,”
“But I won’t be Ladybug,” Marinette groaned. “What is wrong with me?”
“Nothing!” Tikki huffed. “Other than the fact that you’re in denial!’ She threw up her tiny little arms in frustration.
“Why are you mad?” Marinette leered at the Kwami. Tikki sighed.
“Don’t you realize that you’re meant to be? He’s your partner in greatness, Marinette!” She blushed and looked down, smiling a little.
“I just wish I knew who was behind that mask,” Tikki grinned.
“You’ll find out someday. Just not today. Now, come on, Marinette! Let’s go home,” The civilian smiled.
Later that night, rain started to pitter-patter on her window. Rather than stay inside and feel at peace with nature’s percussion, Marinette sat upon her rooftop, sighing.
“Why do I keep expecting him to be here,” The teenager shook her head. It was too much pressure. Who was she to think that Chat didn’t have a life outside of these roof rendezvous?
As soon as that thought started to set in, Marinette’s mind went a thousand miles a minute. Insane conclusions--jumping over them like hoops on an obstacle course--clouded her head.
He’s enjoying civilian life--He’s sharing moments with someone el--He’s annoyed with Marine--He doesn’t want to get involved with me anymore--Why isn’t he here, with me? What am I doing, waiting for him here?
Just when Marinette started to doubt the ebony companion, a cheerful, “Hey!” Sliced through the freezing wind.
“Princess, what are you doing out here?” He asked her, slightly yelling over the wind, and she looked down at her feet.
“I was waiting for you; I wasn’t sure if you were going to come here, but I decided to take my chances,” Marinette laughed nervously.
“Hey, you don’t have to wait any longer,” Chat smiled, climbing down the door that opened the world of Marinette’s bedroom. "You should get yourself a towel. You might catch cold from being out in this rain," Chat said.
"You're right; I'll get you one as well," Marinette told him, climbing back down to her bedroom and rushing to the bathroom, finding something to dry him.
"Marinette, what are you doing?" Marinette's mother questioned, and the daughter in question stopped in her tracks.
"I, uh, was getting a towel! The rainy weather was so nice, and, uh, yeah! I got wet! Okay, I have to go! Bye!" Marinette ran to her bedroom and slammed the door shut, locking it as well. "Phew, that was too close," she sighed in relief. The superhero chuckled.
"Thank you for going through that trouble,"
"Anytime," Marinette said, and she meant it. Chat dried himself off and climbed down Marinette's ladder to put the towel on her desk.
"So, you're doing okay, then?" he asked her.
The teenager-turned-superhero nodded her head, but she always lied about how she was doing now. This inner war; it was tearing her to shreds. The entire time, Marinette kept wondering who it was that comforted her through long, stormy nights and brightened her smile during the day, even with the shadows of Akumatized victims looming over her.
"You know, it's okay to not be okay," Chat saw right through her exhausted illusion. Marinette nodded, her arms encircling her legs as she sat on her bed.
"I wish I could tell you everything that's on my mind," Marinette whispered. Chat's eyes widened.
"Princess, you can tell me anything that's been bugging you--"
"But I can't," Marinette interrupted him. "It's just the way things are. I'm not going to cry on your shoulder every night about some guy I keep chasing even when it's hopeless," Marinette slumped her shoulders, feeling embarrassed.
"Marinette, don't worry about me, please," Adrien smiled sadly at her. "You see, I'm fine! I can take a few scratches, trust me,"
"But why?" Marinette wondered as Ladybug flitted around her head. "Aren't you feeling sad? Lonely? Tired?" Chat smirked.
"Don't you realize that's why I come here every night, hoping to see you?" Marinette's eyes widened.
"But that's just--I mean, you don't only... Um, what?" Chat laughed.
"Cat got your tongue?" Marinette groaned.
"You know, that could have been a moment, and there it is. Gone," She shook her head, grinning.
"Well, then. What are we waiting for?" Chat smiled deviously.
"What do you mean?"
"Let's keep having moments, princess," Chat crawled over to his position next to the lady of the night, and Marinette blushed.
"M-moments?" Chat gave her a look that spoke everything she needed to hear.
"It's not like I only come inside because it's cold," The cat nuzzled his head against Marinette's shoulder.
"Then, what are you doing here, silly kitty?" Chat smiled.
"You warm me up, princess." The masked heroine stole her lips, and in that same action, he proceeded to thieve her heart.
Marinette never bargained for this. Then again, how could she know that she would become Ladybug?
Chapter 3: Mazes
Marinette wrestles with her thoughts about the nightly visits with Chat Noir and what she's doing to him and Adrien.
Hi! Thank you SO SO much to everyone's who's been checking out this fanfiction! I'm having a lot of fun writing this, and it makes me happy that there are people out there who are enjoying, or at least reading, this trainwreck of a fanfic. :)
You are sick as frick
Marinette became stuck. Not like glue, and not like tar, either. She was just… Stuck. Stuck for one reason in particular: Chat Noir. Marinette--not Ladybug, she insisted--grew attached to his silly cat puns, his late-night visits, his comforting words when she came home to lonely nights and he eventually followed. When Marinette had a few moments to herself, she questioned her motives constantly; why exactly she wanted Chat Noir by her side throughout the night.
“He makes me feel loved--no way!” She cursed her existence and tried again.
“I’ve fallen for him--no!” Marinette refused. She tried once more.
“He makes me feel… Safe,” she decided and sighed. Yes, that was true, but it was an equivocation. The truth was never fully revealed. She hated the fact that she pondered this constantly.
“Admit it, Marinette!” Tikki teased in a sing-song voice. “You care for him!”
“Of course I do! I’m his partner, the one who’s helped him on every mission--”
“No,” Tikki cut in. “Not as Ladybug, as Marinette. You can’t keep lying to yourself about this,”
“If I don’t lie to myself, I’ll lie to somebody else,” Tikki shook her tiny head.
“You already are! You told Alya five times last week that you’re busy with your studies!”
“What do you do instead?” Tikki interrupted. “You wait by the window for Chat Noir! And Adrien!”
“What about him?”
“Do you even love him anymore?” Marinette considered that.
“I… I don’t know,” Marinette leaned her head against her bedroom wall, feeling lost in her own train of thought. “I don’t even know anymore, Tikki. Please, help me,” She begged.
“You’re a clever girl, Marinette. Stop keeping evidence from yourself,” Marinette nodded noncommittally.
The next day, Marinette woke up late for school, as usual, and she rushed to her first hour.
“Hi, hi, sorry I’m late! I was getting a cat down from a tree--it was stuck you see--oh God that rhymed--I’m so sorry--”
“Just sit down, Marinette,” Her homeroom teacher laughed. “I would advise an alarm clock to avoid any further tardiness,” Marinette nodded and walked to her seat next to Alya.
“Did you hear? Ladybug saved a cat this morning! I just got it on my blog! What a coincidence, huh?” Alya giggled, and Marinette played along, imagining Tikki scolding her to be more careful.
“Yeah, she’s got a real soft spot for kittens,” Alya laughed.
“Everyone knows that; she’s in love with Chat Noir, right?” Her best friend speculated.
“U-um, yeah, probably, but nobody’s really confirmed that,” Marinette protested. What? You’re protesting against yourself? No, it’s for the sake of Chat Noir. Obviously.
“Oooh, is somebody jeaaaaalous?”
“No way! Of her? She deserves that kind of love, after all she’s done for Paris,” Alya laughed.
“I’m just kidding! You’re still madly in love with him, right?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Marinette trailed off, thinking about Adrien. Adrien…
Adrien with golden hair. Adrien with sparkling eyes. Adrien on the steps of school, handing her an umbrella. Adrien who came by the bakery often. Adrien who she played videogames with because she wanted to be on the same team as him.
Then, she pondered Chat.
Chat Noir with messy hair, like a stray cat. Chat with feline eyes. Chat who kissed her. He kissed her. Oh goodness, they kissed each other.
Why did it become routine, then? For Chat to visit her on her rooftop?
“Marinette!” Alya exclaimed. Marinette shrieked.
“Oh, oh, it’s just you,” Marinette smiled sheepishly, admitting to her lost journey in her own head.
“You were daydreaming again,” Alya whined.
“Sorry,” Marinette apologized, looking down at her feet. “I just have a lot on my mind,”
“Oh really? Why don’t you tell me about it, then?”
“It’s complicated; I don’t want you to get involved in that mess,” Alya rolled her eyes.
“I want to get involved in the mess, though. Marinette, you’ve got to let other people help you with what you’re feeling, or else you’ll bottle it up!”
“It’s already bottled up--”
“Then take it out, silly girl!” Marinette sighed heavily.
“What if I never tell him?”
“Then you don’t.”
“What if he never knows?”
“Then he doesn’t.” Marinette sat at her desk in silence, letting Alya’s answers sink in. It seemed so easy, but then, she got tangled up in her daydreams again. Marinette already knew that she was one to get carried away in her imagination, but this was a whole new spectrum. Her pro and con list between Adrien and Chat Noir always seemed equal. The list was a labyrinth that she treaded through until Adrien picked her up from another tripping incident or Chat Noir crept onto her rooftop again.
There were always obstacles to get to the both of them, but why did they seem to be the same obstructions?
Later in the evening, Chat Noir--a resident of her labyrinth--arrived on her roof once more. He opened the hatch that led to her bedroom and looked down the entrance/exit, getting close to Marinette’s face.
“Hello, princess,” Chat greeted her with familiarity. Marinette smiled and reached up to his height to kiss him.
“Silly kitty,” she giggled. “What are you doing on a night like this?”
“It’s so quiet tonight. There are no Akumatized victims or cats stuck in trees or anything,” Chat complained.
“Yeah, I noticed there was nothing on the news,” Marinette pointed out, then laughed. “Either you come down here, or I’m going up. Which one is it going to be?” Chat extended his hand and lifted Marinette out of her room to the rooftop, the sunset providing visibility. “Thank you, Chat,” Marinette said.
“Of course, how was your day?”
“It was alright; I’ve just had a lot going on in my head,”
“Would that happen to include me, Princess?” Marinette nodded.
“Yes, actually! You’re so rude, invading my thoughts like that,” Marinette fake-scolded him. “I’m supposed to be focusing on my studies, and of course, you have to come along and distract me,”
“I distract you?” Marinette blushed.
“No, really, I do?” Chat asked with minimal innocence, smirking.
“Why are you so distracted?”
“Why do you keep coming to my rooftop?”
“Answer my question,” Adrien teased.
“You first!” Marinette insisted.
“Well, fe-line then,” Chat laughed, unable to resist the urge to make a cat pun. Then, his gaze became soft. “It’s because I’m falling for you. So, why are you distracted by me?” Marinette looked down at her flats.
“I might be, uh, falling for you, too.” She grew quieter with each syllable. Chat stepped forward and kissed her once again, this time with less urgency and more delicacy. Marinette couldn’t even complain. This was what she wanted, right?
Why do I feel so guilty, then?
Like a train speeding across a track because it didn’t think anybody was sitting on the railroad, it hit her, dead on.
But, she didn’t pull away, despite that thought gnawing at her.
“It just doesn’t make sense to me,” Marinette raked her hand through her hair. “Why are you alright with me chasing him?” Chat smiled, a hint of sadness running across his features.
“Because I have a feeling you would be happier with him,”
“The problem with that is I’m happy with you, too,” Adrien sighed.
“Can I ask who you’re chasing?” She shook her head.
“It doesn’t matter who I’m chasing. Right now, all I need is you.” With that, Marinette leaned on her balcony and gazed into the sky, Chat looping his arms around her. The sun lowered along the horizon, and Marinette knew that this was killing him deep inside.
I’m so cruel, she lamented. I must be a really hateful person to do this to a hero.
Chapter 4: Greater Heights
Adrien delves into his own thoughts while Marinette invites him into her bedroom.
Adrien felt elated as he held onto his princess. She needs me. Yes, Chat Noir was needed to fight crime and protect the city he loved, but this was wildly new. He nuzzled her and pulled her away from the balcony.
“Is it bad that I want you all to myself?” Marinette blushed, and it felt familiar. The way Marinette blushes at Adrien, Plagg rolled his eyes and snickered. “I don’t even want the sun to see you, you’re so brilliant,” Chat’s words weren’t light. In fact, he knew the weight of his words long before he spoke them.
“Should we head inside, then? Mama and Papa are out for the weekend--”
“Yes,” Chat said breathlessly. The environment he found himself stepping into was beyond anything he experienced in his life. Suddenly, the lavender pink walls felt intensely pure compared to the secretive makeout sessions. No, they were more than that, but how much more? Of course, that was bound to be another question that Marinette would dodge. He envisioned it all the same. A statement claiming how it’s not relevant to them plus a reminder of how valuable Chat Noir is to her happiness equaled a heartsick stray cat who was hanging onto these visits that mean way too much to him for them to be “just friends.”
What a cliché. Adrien despised the way that the words seemed to fit in his head, to serve as an explanation for why he’s so driven to the edge by the eternal rendezvous point.
Chat Noir shook his head. That’s silly; I know this can’t go on forever. One day, Marinette would stop searching for love in his arms and find it in the one that she’s intending to find in her maze. He heard her babbling about it one of their shared nights.
“I keep getting lost,” Marinette sighed. “I know that I want him, but instead, my thoughts return to you. I wish that I could just shake it off, but that doesn’t seem to happen,” She chuckled, but there was no humor in her tone. “I think that’s a sign for something,” The girl looked up at Chat Noir through tear-stained lashes as she tightened her grip on him.
“Why don’t you tell him how you feel before you get lost again?” Marinette shook her head.
“No way; I don’t have the courage,” She tucked her head in the crook of his neck, and Chat smiled wistfully.
“Don’t give up on him, Princess. Who knows; he might be in the same labyrinth as you. Now, get some rest, please.” He couldn’t help feeling so protective of her. Yes, she was a citizen, but the embraces they shared were much more than a hero and citizen.
It was that night that he knew he was falling from greater heights than he originally intended to attempt to land in her arms in the end. For now, she was a trampoline, and dear God, Adrien kept bouncing back up just to fall again, each time harder than the last.
He fell hard for Marinette. Did she even know?
Truth be told, Chat wasn’t ready for anything headed his way: not a reveal of their secret identities, nor a stunning, unique girl who would suddenly let go of him and run to this mystery man who has captured her heart.
No, that was the worst thought of all: faking his smile as she waved "goodbye" and chased after the love of her life once again. Who am I kidding? That's already my reality. It hurts, but I need her to be happy. That's what keeps me going.
“I’m glad that you know,” he blurted, trying to fill a bit of silence between the two of them. Marinette turned to him.
“What do you mean?”
“That I’m falling for you,” Marinette grinned.
“Yeah, me too. I finally got that off my chest,” She agreed, walking over to her little bench. She laughed at the way Chat skittered and paced around her desk. “You coming, silly kitty?"
Chat, in all his lovesick loss of logic, nodded. He didn’t stop to consider the pain he would endure as Marinette talked about “the one.” There was no time to ponder the effect her words of acceptance for the night would have on him. Chat was not exactly expendable, but at the same time, he was not loved by this girl. He knew his role, nothing more.
11:55, it read on the clock. Marinette couldn’t shut her eyes, and Chat promised to stay with her as long as he could. She sighed, the warmth of her breath sending shivers down Chat’s arms.
“Chat, do you think I’ll ever tell him? My best friend says that whatever happens, happens, but I want someone to believe in me, truly,” Marinette murmured, and Chat nodded.
“Letters help with that sort of thing. Poems, too,” Chat smiled fondly at the Valentine’s Day card he received the year prior with the ladybug flying over to it. Marinette shook her head against Chat’s neck, and he could feel the stray hairs tickling him.
“I’ve already tried that. I wrote a poem to him, but I didn’t even have the guts to sign it,” Chat laughed.
“It’s kind of hard to proclaim your undying love if you don’t sign the letter,” Marinette burrowed her head further into him, and Chat kissed her forehead.
“If I don’t tell him, ever, or if I, I don’t know, get over him, can I always run back to you?” The masked superhero furrowed his eyebrows.
“You won’t need to chase me,” he promised. Marinette’s eyes widened.
“You’re amazing, Chat,” He shook his head. I’m better at hiding heartache; that’s all.
“I’m not amazing. I protect the citizens of Paris, and I help Ladybug save the day--” Marinette sat up.
“No, you are more than her sidekick, Chat. You are so much more than that, and I’m more than just a citizen who’s running after a guy who hardly knows she exists. We are more than we are led to believe, okay?” Adrien nodded absentmindedly and twirled her stray hairs in his fingertips.
“You’re always so quick to defend me,” Marinette gave him a chaste kiss and blushed.
“Shut up, silly kitty. You know why.” Adrien shrugged.
“I really don’t, actually.”
Hours later, Adrien looked over at Marinette’s clock, finding the digits 1:34 AM glaring at him. He looked down at his current position: Marinette tucked in the crook of his neck, her hand laid flat on his heartbeat. The horror set in as he realized Plagg couldn’t keep him as Chat Noir forever. His leather getup transformed back into his black T-shirt, white blazer, and jeans. Pumpkins couldn’t stay carriages; he heard the story a million times growing up. Adrien’s heart sank, knowing that he would have to leave Marinette.
He slipped out of Marinette’s grasp and kissed her lightly.
“Until next time, princess,” he whispered, sneaking into the night and feeling his heart break as it usually did when he left her there with no one to hold.
I hope I took away her loneliness, at least for a while.
Chapter 5: Progression of Time
Marinette is ready to watch her devotion to Adrien begin again, but she's still attached to Chat Noir.
Thank you so much for staying with this story! Sorry that it's out so late, but I promise that I'm working hard on everything else! ^_^ I can't believe I'm already at chapter five, but here it is! Please leave a comment if you've enjoyed this story! Any feedback is extremely helpful as a writer!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
I can’t go on like this forever. Marinette knew this. Marinette contemplated this every single day until she dove into a spiral of terrible thoughts and imaginary scenarios. The theatre of her mind didn’t help anything. She kept having the same nightmare where Adrien walked in on her and Chat making out in her bedroom--God only knows why Adrien would be in her room--and she woke up in a sweat, praying that her subconscious couldn’t actually materialize.
It just wasn’t fair; why did she have to fall in love with those two, of all people?
Adrien didn’t fare any better. He knew the truth, which only made things worse. Whenever he felt himself slipping into his Chat Noir characteristics, he caught himself in the nick of time. He hoped and prayed that Marinette didn’t notice--or did he? Maybe it would be easier if she knew. Maybe it would be easier if he wasn’t lying to her constantly about his true identity. Maybe she would learn to fall in love with Adrien as well as Chat… No, that wasn’t possible.
She couldn’t fall in love with the real Adrien Agreste. No matter which mask he put on, he was still living a lie. He wasn’t really Adrien Agreste, the world-famous teen model. He wasn’t really Chat Noir, the world-famous superhero. He was just Adrien. That’s all he wanted in life. He didn’t want to be known as a model or a superhero. He just wanted to be someone. Someone that Marinette could rely on. Someone who made people happy, not depending on his connections or how much money he had.
He hated living a lie, but even more than that, he hated having one single identity. Chat Noir gave him a chance to escape, and what was he without that chance? A model? A student? No, he wanted to be so much more than that.
“This is eating away at you,” Tikki observed, staring at Marinette and her terrified state.
“I just… I don’t want to hurt anyone, Tikki,” Marinette confessed, rubbing her eyes with the back of the her hands.
“I understand, but you’ll have to come clean to Chat at some point,” Tikki pointed out.
“I don’t want to quite yet…” Marinette trailed off. Tikki sighed.
“Please understand that you’re only hurting yourself and the one you love in the process--”
“Wait, love?” Marinette raised her eyebrows. “Who said anything about love?”
“I did because you are in d-e-n-i-a-l! Denial!” Tikki shouted with her teensy voice. Marinette’s eyes widened.
“N-no, there’s just no way! I mean, I’m still devoted to Adrien!” Tikki shook her head.
“Who has been visiting you in the dead of night?” Tikki questioned.
“Chat Noir,” Marinette answered timidly.
“And just who have you been venting about Adrien to?”
“Honestly, Marinette, who do you feel you have a stronger connection with--”
“Chat Noir! Okay, I get it! I’m a terrible person; can we please move on?”
“No,” Tikki narrowed her eyes. “You need to tell Chat the truth, or else you’re only going to hurt your relationship with him, keeping something as big as this from him,”
“But, what will he say?”
“I don’t know,” Tikki hung her head solemnly. Marinette’s lip quivered.
“I’m not ready, Tikki. I don’t want this to be over yet--”
“Marinette, it’s not a question of what you will do when it’s over, but what have you even started?” Marinette stared out her window, gazing at the Paris scenery. Birds chirped excitedly, and children skipped and laughed with such glee. The smell of baked bread wafted into Marinette’s room.
“If it’s not love, then what is it, exactly?”
“That’s something you have to find out for yourself, Marinette. Just be ready for what may happen when you do.”
“Marinette?” Her teacher asked.
“Here,” Marinette answered groggily, not exactly chipper. Alya gave a quizzical look to her best friend.
"Hey, girl! What's going on with you?" Alya whispered a bit loudly to Marinette.
“Nothing much,” Marinette mumbled, but Alya didn’t buy it.
“Are you kidding me? You’ve been like this for months now. Please, just clue me in once in awhile,” Alya begged, but Marinette shook her head.
“I’m just not feeling like my usual self. I promise, it’ll get better soon, but for right now, I just need to, uh….”
“What?” Alya rolled her eyes. “Just talk to me.” Marinette just looked down at her hands, feeling absent in the moment.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t--”
“Yes, you can!” Alya shouted, and she looked around the classroom, realizing that she was no longer as quiet as she was before.
“Alya, please report to the principal’s office!” The teacher commanded, and Alya let her head fall.
“I’m sorry,” she mumbled. She looked back but only to glare at Marinette. You got me into this mess, the glare seemed to scream.
“I’m sorry,” Marinette murmured back, but Alya was already out of the classroom. Adrien looked over at Marinette, finding her less energetic than usual. He frowned.
“She’ll be alright, man. She’s got you, right?” Adrien’s eyes widened at Nino’s words. Adrien nodded, but he wasn’t quite sure what Nino meant by “she’s got you.” Yes, they were pretty good friends; when Marinette wasn’t stumbling over her words, she was a sweet, caring individual who stood up for her friends and family. She even stood up for Chat Noir every once in awhile, and that’s what really got to Adrien. ”No way, Chat Noir just assists Ladybug,” Chloe scoffed one day, and Marinette glared razor-sharp blades in her direction. In fact, Adrien had never seen Marinette so angry before.
”Do you even realize how much Chat Noir does for the people of Paris? He’s constantly going with Ladybug’s whims--which is pretty remarkable, by the way--and look how much help he was with Lila! He saved my life, and that is no joke.” Adrien couldn’t believe Marinette’s absolute devotion… Devotion, to him? Was that really the right word?
Adrien didn’t have time to worry about that. He was too busy replaying Marinette’s words.
Later that night, Chat Noir visited Marinette’s roof, climbing down to her bed. It became a routine, one that Chat Noir had been careful not to break.
”What are you doing here, silly kitty?” Marinette giggled at her nickname for Chat Noir, and he rolled his eyes.
”I’m seeing you! Isn’t that obvious enough?”
Night time cloaked the princess and lovestruck cat in darkness, their dim shadows dancing across the walls of Marinette’s bedroom. “A little birdie told me about how you stood up for me,” Chat Noir smiled at Marinette, stroking her blue hair, finally down and flowing after a long day of pigtails .
”Well, of course; this girl, Chloe, was so rude about your actual role with Ladybug, and it, uh, fired me up a bit,” Marinette admitted, sheepish to talk about Ladybug.
Chat grinned with a romantic glint in his eyes. “How many times did I save you, princess?” Adrien remembered asking Marinette as Chat Noir.
”More than you know,” Marinette murmured, falling asleep in Chat Noir’s tender embrace.
Adrien remembered a lot of things about that night: the piece of hair that fell in Marinette’s eyes that Chat ached to move, the moonlight shining on the two of them, and Chat glancing down at Marinette’s sleeping figure before escaping back to his fortress of a house-not-home.
“Adrien?” Nino snapped him back into reality, and Adrien nodded, glancing at Marinette one more time before staring at the blackboard of information he missed.
After class, Alya came back for her second hour and found Marinette in the midst of a crush-induced freakout. “Hey, Marinette!” Adrien waved at Marinette, and she waved back timidly, smiling.
“He’s coming over here, oh my gosh,” she enthused to Alya with gritted teeth, and Alya rolled her eyes good-naturedly.
“Maybe because he’s in your class? Get a grip; like you said, he’s coming over here!” Alya giggled, pushing Marinette towards him. Marinette stumbled towards Adrien directly into his arms, and he laughed.
“Didn’t know you were so quick to fall into my arms,” Adrien helped Marinette up and scratched the back of his head. Marinette giggled, and she found it, the feeling she had been missing. She wanted so badly to bring back the way she’s melt and the way her skin would heat up, even with the distance between them. It was just like her to think too deeply about such a small gesture, but she didn’t mind.
“So, what did you need to talk about?” she asked, and Adrien took in all of her features--her hair that he’s seen down in waves, the eyes that sparkled with tears that he took careful consideration to brush away with his lips, her lips, oh dear lord--and answered her.
“I, uh, was wondering if I could come over to your house and study? If that’s alright with you; I don’t want to assume you’re not doing anything,” Marinette thought about her and Adrien of all people studying together, and then, it hit her. Chat, she recalled. What if he comes over, and he sees--
“I’d love to!” Marinette responded a little too loudly. Adrien laughed nervously and nodded.
“Great! So, what time should I come by the bakery?”
“Um, how about after school? We could, uh--”
“Walk together?” Adrien grinned, but for some reason, the smile was familiar. Marinette couldn’t put her finger on it. Something darker, something sinful was burrowed in his pearly whites.
Marinette couldn’t help but stutter. “Uh, y-yeah, sure, we could, uh, w-walk? Together!” Her every movement was awkward, but Adrien didn’t mind. She wasn’t quite comfortable with Adrien, but Chat was another story, he supposed.
“I don’t want to impose,” Adrien insisted, and Marinette shook her head.
“No, you’re fine! I just have a, uh, a friend who comes by at night. He--no--she’s really nice,” Adrien just smiled. How weird would it be if she knew it was me? He glanced at Marinette’s blushing cheeks and shook his head. She’s not ready, but she will be one day.
“That’s alright; I can just leave when he comes by,” Adrien said, but he mentally slapped himself on the forehead. He could just hear Plagg reprimanding him right now.
“That would be great, thanks, Adrien,” Marinette said. The bell rang, and she checked her phone, noticing the time. “Oh gosh! I’m late again. I’ll have to talk to you later,” she apologized, and Adrien put up his hands.
“Hey, it’s alright; we can meet by the front steps after school,” Adrien promised, and Marinette could just feel herself melting at the words she longed to hear for days.
“Y-yeah,” she stuttered smiling and waving quickly before rushing to the girls’ bathroom. Adrien just stood there for a second, noticing how flustered Marinette became. Plagg flew out of his shirt pocket. “So, when are you going to tell princess that you’re actually the ‘friend’ she’s waiting for?” Adrien shook his head and made his way to his next class.
Meanwhile, Marinette freaked out in an empty bathroom. “Tikki! What do I do!?” Marinette shouted at her kwami. “Chat will come by, and then Adrien will get super jealous! Then, w-what happens when Adrien hates me? What will Chat do? What am I going to do!?” Tikki laughed to herself.
“Marinette! First of all, calm yourself!” Tikki tutted at the secret superhero. “Now, take a few deep breaths. Think about this rationally,”
Marinette sighed heavily. “How am I supposed to think about this rationally?”
“Well, um,” Tikki was slowly giving up on a suitable explanation. “I, uh, think you should just focus on Adrien right now. Chat is the least of your worries, okay?”
For some reason, Marinette couldn’t bring herself to agree.
Thank you so much for staying with this story! Sorry that it's out so late, but I promise that I'm working hard on everything else! ^_^ I can't believe I'm already at chapter five, but here it is! Please leave a comment if you've enjoyed this story! Any feedback is extremely helpful as a writer!
Chapter 6: Author's Note: Hiatus
In the beginning, when I first started this story, I was immensely excited about fleshing out this plot and really getting into my favorite ship at the time, Marichat.
However, as time has progressed, I have become entirely more involved in my life as a musician, a student, and as the author of my most popular fanfiction to date, Gotta Have Soul.
I fully intended to come back to this story, but in the end, I got too busy, and I became too invested in Gotta Have Soul.
I deeply apologize to those who were looking forward to me continuing this story. I furthermore apologize to those who were subscribed and gave "kudos" to this fanfic. I wanted to continue writing, but I lost my inspiration, faith in myself to come back to this work after months of it being untouched or being opened, just to be closed out half an hour later.
Thank you to those who commented, who subscribed to this story, who gave this story "kudos," and to those who checked out my other stories as a result of this spark. You have all been so wonderful, and I really am sorry.
If anyone would like to continue this story for me, please let me know. Maybe Chasing You is too broad or too much like the other stories out there to be continued, but feel free to contact me by commenting on this story or sending me a message on my Tumblr @celestial-yuuri.
Have a wonderful day/night/afternoon/whatever, CelestialYuuri