"Told you she was a lovebug."
Plagg peeked out of his hiding spot while Adrien waved to Marinette as she closed her door, hair still dripping water down her back.
"Oh shut up. Do you always have to be here?" Adrien shoved his hands in his pockets and started the trudge home through what had diminished to a drizzle. "I never imagined my first kiss would be in the presence of a tiny cynical kwami."
"Hey, it's not my fault you pounced on her while I was here," Plagg whined, and Adrien stopped to let him out and glare at him.
"I did not "pounce" on her!" He exclaimed indignantly. Plagg shrugged.
"Whatever, you're still a player. How are you going to deal with Ladybug AND Marinette? I thought you were better than this... you should have just chosen a food and stuck to loving that, like how I just stick to Camembert. No woman, no cry - that's my motto." Plagg bobbed lazily alongside Adrien, who arrived home and let himself inside. As he climbed the stairs to his room, he shook his head at Plagg's idiocy. Surely he'd figured it out by now.
"Whatever Plagg, I'm not a player," he said, lobbing a slice of Camembert across the room to him and shutting the bathroom door behind him. He quickly stepped into the shower and washed his hair, rushing so much that he got shampoo in his eyes. When he stepped back out into his bedroom, Plagg was lying on the bed and he rolled over slowly to face Adrien as he shook his hair into place.
"Adrien plus two women equals a player," Plagg said, and Adrien rolled his eyes.
"Can it, you overgrown catfly. You'll see," Adrien said absentmindedly, checking his hair in the mirror. As he found some cologne and sprayed himself with it, he muttered, "I hope you've eaten heaps, I'm going to be transforming a lot tonight."
Ladybug looked up at Adrien's window from behind a tree and took a deep breath. She'd been standing there for a few minutes, trying to work up the courage to go up there.
"I can't do it," she whispered to herself, and turned to go. She decided to take a walk by the Eiffel Tower to clear her mind a bit in the silence of the empty night.
How could he have kissed her? She couldn't believe it. Was Adrien, her sweet, kind Adrien, really the sort of guy who would woo two girls at once? It seemed impossible, and yet his face was still imprinted on her retina, and his kiss still tingled on her lips. She sat down in front of the Eiffel Tower, holding her head in her hands as she tried to figure out how to feel.
"Hey look, it's Ladybug and all her friends. Having a great night out?"
She looked up and saw Cat Noir leaning against a nearby lamppost. He walked over to her and sat down, putting an arm around her.
"What brings you here tonight Milady?" He asked, and she shook her head, pushing him away.
"Personal problems," she mumbled, not looking at him. Anger, sadness and wild confusion were all swirling through her mind and stomach, and she realised his presence was causing it. Ladybug stood up to go and he grabbed her hand, but she looked down angrily at it and shook it off, walking away. Cat Noir frowned and hesitated a moment before following her. This was going to be harder than he thought.
"Bugaboo, what's wrong? Is my not-so-secret identity playing on your mind?" He called after her, and she faltered. Slowing down, she allowed him to catch up and take her hand.
"Yes... among other things," she gulped, trying to hold back tears. He kissed her head but she pushed him away again. "It's just... I've been resisting you - Cat Noir - for so long, and then the guy I start seeing turns out to be him? It's messing with my head, because in one way I see you as perfectly dreamy, but in another way I see you as... well, as a severely friendzoned friend," she confessed. He nodded and let go of her hand.
"Wait here," he said, and ran behind a tree to transform. He stepped back out as Adrien, and walked up to her, slipping an arm around her shoulder. She still shrunk away from him, and he stepped away from her.
"Even in my "perfectly dreamy" form, you're still acting scared. Why?" He asked quietly.
"I already told you, personal problems... I'm just... I need to be alone, I need to collect my thoughts... please understand Adrien... I can't be with you right now," she replied, eyes shining with unshed tears. He nodded but didn't move, still looking at her intently.
After a minute of awkward silence, he spoke.
"Was it something Alya said?" He asked.
"I - what?"
"Did she, I don't know, tell you I walked home with Marinette?"
"I... no, what... who are you talking about?" She stammered wildly, wondering where he was going with this. He took a step closer.
"Or maybe you were there yourself," he said quietly, touching her face. She looked at him fearfully, and he smiled sadly at her. "You know, I didn't want it to happen this way."
"Adrien?" She said questioningly.
"Did you see me kiss Marinette?"
"Yes... no, I heard... I wasn't there, I just heard." she lied, and he hugged her.
"Oh Ladybug. I couldn't love anyone else but you, you know that?" He whispered into her hair. He noticed that her earrings were down to their last spot, and he held her tighter.
"Then why did you kiss Marinette?" She whispered back. The remaining spot started flashing, and he took a step backwards, still holding her hands.
"Well," he said slowly, "do you really want to know?" She gave him a tiny nod, and he grinned, confusing the hell out of her.
"Wait just a second and you'll find out," he said, and she gasped, suddenly realising how long she'd been Ladybug for. She wrenched her hands from his and they flew to her earrings, but it was too late... there was a flash and she detransformed, and she squeezed her eyes shut.
When she heard Adrien's chuckle, she opened her eyes.
"I thought as much," he laughed. "Those bluebell eyes of yours hit me earlier today when you saved me from the tree, and then I noticed that I'd never seen you and Ladybug in the same place, so I... I guess I took a calculated risk," he said sheepishly. "Can you forgive me?"
Marinette gaped at him for a minute, before allowing a small smile to blossom on her face. She opened her arms and they embraced, and she laughed into his chest, "I really thought you were cheating on me with myself, and it seriously messed with my brain! You're so mean, why didn't you just tell me you'd figured it out?!"
He laughed and replied, "where would the fun in that be?" She giggled, and she felt so elated from relief that she put her arms around his neck and kissed him. He responded immediately, pulling her torso towards him and sliding his hand into her hair as he kissed her back.
After a few minutes, Marinette withdrew herself from their embrace and looked around.
"I have no idea how I'm going to get home," she laughed. He held up a finger and opened his shirt, beckoning the sleepy Plagg out. When Plagg saw Marinette standing there, he narrowed his eyes for a moment, and she smiled at him for a few seconds before it finally dawned on him.
"Ohhh... she's Ladybug?" He asked. Adrien grinned and nodded. "Right... lucky guess Romeo. Can I have some more Camembert?"
"Not until we get home. Plagg, claws out!" Adrien replied, and Plagg groaned as he flew into the ring on Adrien's finger.
Marinette stepped back and watched him transform, watching in awe as his hair was ruffled up and his skintight suit was donned. How had she not seen Cat Noir as attractive before? She smiled shyly as he picked her up bride-style and began to run through the streets of Paris towards her home while she clung to his neck. She had never been so happy... and she could tell this new development would strengthen their relationship as superheroes and as civilians, in turn helping them to save Paris in better ways than ever.
As they arrived at her home, he extended his staff and projected himself onto her balcony. He gently put her down before jumping up onto the railing and turning back to face her.
"Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite," he grinned, before kissing her once more. She smiled and waved as he leapt away, and allowed the fluttery feeling in her stomach to spread to her heart and mind as she went inside.
She was totally not going to be able to sleep tonight. And she was totally ok with that.