Felix winced. “I guess I smacked you pretty hard, huh?”
Adrien only shrugged quietly, lost in his thoughts. After biting his bottom lip for several moments of anxious contemplation, he finally asked what had been weighing on his mind since that afternoon.
“What is a ‘two-timer’?”
Felix sat back, folding his arms. “A two-timer? Sort of like a cheater. Why?”
Adrien sighed, staring at his shoes. “Ladybug was mad at me today, and that’s what she called me.”
“What?! Where did that come from?”
“I don’t know!” The younger sibling threw his hands up in exasperation. “She said something like I should feel sorry towards you and that flirting with her would make you upset.”
Felix’s scowl deepened. That just didn’t make sense.... Perhaps Ladybug had a few screws missing. Or perhaps... perhaps—oh. Ohhh. Oh dear. “Adrien... does Ladybug know your identity?”
“No? I mean, I didn’t think so.”
“Then she doesn’t know we’re brothers. Wait, what do you mean you didn’t think so?”
“She—I mean, she obviously doesn’t know my civilian identity. She acts totally different around me when I’m not Chat. But she said she knows what my relationship is with you.”
Felix cocked an eyebrow. “Did she define what she thought our relationship was?”
“Um. No.” Adrien looked up, face twisted in concentration, completely lost.
His brother continued: “Right. So. Wow, this is awkward.” Felix tipped forward and buried his face in his hands, trying to hide the embarrassment that his epiphany was inducing.
“Fe, come on, tell me!”
Felix finally pulled his hands from his face. Adrien was pawing at his shoulder, begging him to answer with wide, curious eyes....
He gave in.
“Ade, she thinks we’re dating. Ladybug thinks you—or, Chat, more specifically—and I are dating.”
Adrien’s jaw dropped. “Dating?”
Adrien’s face was blank for a few moments, and Felix watched as this information sank in. He could practically see the gears turning behind the bright green eyes. It wasn’t until he saw the smirk growing on his little brother’s lips that Felix knew he shouldn’t have said a thing.
“She thinks we’re dating,” Adrien said, finally, mischief laced in his tones.
Ohhh no. This wasn’t good.
Without warning, the younger Agreste threw his head back, laughing uncontrollably. “She—oh my—she thinks you, and me—hah—we’re—like that?! Oh, Ladybug! My Lady, she is so funny! Don’t tell me you don’t think that’s funny. Of course she’s mad at me! She thinks I’m in love with both of you. Oh, I’m so glad I didn’t actually do something wrong this time. Look—come here.”
Felix, who had been glowering and red-faced throughout this outburst, was tugged into Adrien’s arms, and the boy pressed his lips to the crown of his head in a joyful kiss. Immediately, the detective squirmed away.
“Ugh. Gross! Stop that.”
Eyebrow wiggles. “You know you like it.”
“Not one bit. Let go.”
Ignored. “Wow, I see where she’s coming from. We do live together—”
“That’s not even—”
“And we sleep together—”
“That was one time.”
“And you do looooove me...!”
“ YES I DO!”
Adrien froze, cheeks round with contained laughter, and a horrified Felix clamped a hand over his own mouth. The former’s eyes were tear-filled half-moons, sparkling with the sincere pleasure of simply hearing that he was loved. Sure, it was a playful exchange, but underneath the surface, the elder Agreste saw clearly his brother’s pure desire for affection.
Unbeknownst to him, when his dam of emotion broke, his forehead cleared of lines, and his scowl gave way to a gentle smile. The rare expression signaled to Adrien that he could unleash his joy, and the room was once again filled with gleeful laughter.
A light scoff was all Felix could muster in retort.
“Heh. Come here.” And he drew his baby brother into a tight, gruff hug. He’s a good kid, was the thought Felix kept to himself. Please, never let him doubt how important he is. Never let him think he’s not loved.
As an afterthought, Felix shifted his face around so that Adrien could hear him clearly. “Ade. Hey.”
“You’ve got some serious explaining to do to Ladybug, yeah?”