A/N: Quick apologies. I said I would post this this past weekend, but things wound up being more hectic than I anticipated. Sorry for the wait.

Also, WHAT DO YOU MEAN THIS IS THE LAST CHAPTER? I'm going to blubber on about this in the notes at the end, but you guys. You are seriously the best. All of you have completely made so many of my days a hundred times over. So this is a super big thank you to everyone who has commented on this, and everyone who has favorited this, and everyone who has followed this—whether you hopped on back when this started in November or if you only just joined in last chapter. And, even more importantly, thank you to all of you for reading this. I had absolutely no idea how much fun this was going to be, and it's seriously thanks to all of you. Alright, enough for now. You guys probably just want to see how Marinette's going to react to that kiss, right? ^^

Her smile was overwhelming—punching straight through his chest and planting itself in his heart—so much so that he hadn't thought, hadn't questioned, had simply done what felt so utterly natural, until the warmth of her lips was brushing against him, soft and still trembling and perfect and holy SHIT what was he doing?!

Adrien pulled away from Ladybug, panic flooding him. Idiot. Idiot! He couldn't just kiss her! Hadn't she just said that she didn't return his feelings? Here she was crying because her boyfriend had just broken up with her, and he responded by kissing her? How low could he get? She would hate him. She—

She hadn't resisted.

For a moment Adrien felt disgusted with himself. Just because she didn't stop you doesn't mean you had any right. But then he caught Ladybug's gaze—wide eyed, watching him carefully, waiting for him. Her tears had finally stopped.

Adrien's racing heart suddenly stumbled, and he took a sharp breath, praying he wasn't deceiving himself. Maybe she didn't mind. Maybe…

This time, when he leaned forward, he watched her carefully, waited for any sign of hesitation—a flinch or some stiffness. But Ladybug exhaled lightly, her shoulders relaxing as her eyes slipped closed. When their lips met again, she leaned into him. Adrien thought his heart would explode any moment.

He wanted to linger, to wrap this perfect moment up and never let it go, but he knew better. Adrien broke off the kiss slowly this time, savoring the exhilarating rush as their noses gently rubbed together and her breath lightly fanned over his face. His ears were ringing in the silence, as though the intensity of the moment still pressed in around him.

"Ladybug, listen." He paused, taking a deep breath to steel himself before pushing the rest of his thoughts out between them. "I know you already made your feelings apparent. But I haven't been able to get you out of my mind. I tried—believe me. But I can't force myself stop loving you. Would you consider just giving me a chance?"

Ladybug laughed, more of a breathless huff than anything. She shrugged almost nervously, as if struggling to find the right words. Finally, she quietly replied, "I … I think I might like that."

Adrien let out a breath he hadn't even realized he'd been holding, the entire world suddenly feeling bright. It wasn't a guarantee—he could still tell that Ladybug was a little unsure. Can you blame her? asked himself ruefully. She just broke up with someone else. But he had a chance to finally show her just how much she meant to him—properly, this time.

Suddenly he deflated. "Are you sure?" he asked her worriedly, watching her face carefully. "I mean, this would involve us revealing who we really are, right? You don't want that, do you? I don't want to force you."

To his surprise, Ladybug laughed again, her voice sounding a little stronger now. "Silly cat," she said, and his heart spiked at the affection in her tone. "Weren't you the one just trying to convince me to say yes? And now you're trying to convince me to say no?"

"What? Of course not," Adrien told her, worried that she wouldn't see how earnestly he actually meant the question. "I just… I don't want to pressure you if it makes you uncomfortable."

She nodded, taking a deep breath. "Thank you—really. But… I think it's worth a shot." Ladybug hesitated, and Adrien's heart clenched, wondering for the billionth time why this decision was so hard for her. She closed her eyes, taking another slow breath, then added, "I just… don't be disappointed, okay?"

"I could never be disappointed with you," Adrien told her, willing her to understand.

Ladybug shot him a lopsided grin in response, though her entire demeanor was so soaked in nervousness that it was more of a half-grimace. "You say that now. But please, promise me."

Adrien paused, waiting patiently until she finally looked up and met his gaze. Slowly, so she could hopefully see that he had no intention of breaking his word, he said, "I promise."

Ladybug let out a ragged breath, shrugging nervously again. Suddenly a swarm of ladybugs surrounded her, much the same as when she used Healing Light. They twisted about, cloaking her for a moment before being swept away.

Adrien was vaguely aware of a bright red kwami zipping out of one of Ladybug's telltale earrings, which had suddenly dulled to a very familiar black, but his mind couldn't quite seem to comprehend what he was seeing.

Marinette sat beside him, huddled in on herself and watching him nervously.


Adrien could feel his jaw working, trying to force out words, but his mind had stuck like a broken record, skipping with each blink as if seeing the girl in front of him for the first time.


Adrien's chest ached in protest, and with a start he realized he had stopped breathing. Somehow he managed to force his lungs to start working again.

Ladybug was…

But Marinette…

Her hair, he realized with a jolt. I should have noticed—

But no, that was silly. There were thousands of girls in Paris with black hair and—

And blue eyes.

Adrien's head was spinning almost painfully, a million thoughts all whirling together into a muddled blur.

But her boyfriend—

Idiot, you were the boyfriend! he yelled at himself. The thought stopped him cold. Holy cow, I went on a date with her. And I left her. I was the jerk who made her cry.

Marinette was still watching him, bent in on herself, her kwami hovering protectively at her side, and Adrien struggled to find the right words—any words—to say.

As Chat's shocked silence grew ever longer, Marinette's panic flared wildly. First Adrien and now Chat? She should have known—should have realized that boring, simple Marinette would never be good enough—never be able to compare to someone like Ladybug.

But still, she had hoped that Chat…

Her heart came to an abrupt, painful stop as bile burned at the back of her throat. Face turning bright red, she quickly turned away from him, unable to bear the look on his face.

"I'm sorry," she said all in a rush, the words barely managing to squeeze their way out. "This is what I was afraid of. I told you. Without the costume I'm just … me. Nothing special. In real life I'm actually really clumsy, and shy, and I—"

"No," Chat said quickly, finally startled into speech. "Marinette, you're perfect just how you are."

Marinette froze, blood suddenly running cold. Barely daring to breath, she slowly turned to Chat, whose face was twisted with concern. "How do you know my name?" she asked quietly, stomach dropping as Chat's concern became more pronounced. "Chat?"

With a weak breath, Chat's own transformation began to wear off. Marinette followed the change with her eyes, watching as his leather suit was replaced by plain sneakers and jeans, then up to an awfully familiar shirt, and even further until she was staring at a painfully familiar face.

Whatever she was about to say died in her mouth, and Marinette suddenly understood Chat's own shocked silence. He cringed, watching her with a close uncertainty as if trying to judge how she would react.

Mind still reeling, Marinette finally asked, "I … Adrien?"

Adrien smiled at her hesitantly, and Marinette's heart nearly imploded. There was little doubt—she would know that smile anywhere. Then, his uncertain smile growing ever so slightly, he sketched an awkward, seated bow, and added, "My Lady."

Marinette's breath caught in her throat, feeling like she might burst into tears again—as if she hadn't done that enough already tonight.

He was still watching her, waiting for her to say something, but all she could manage was to shake her head, desperately trying to stop the tears from overflowing and trying to breath past the lump that had lodged itself so solidly in her throat.

"Marinette?" he asked her worriedly. She shook her head harder, not even sure what on earth she could possibly say. Frustration and shock and happiness and confusion all swirled relentlessly through her mind, all warring for her attention. She felt Tikki land on her knee, and she tried to draw some strength from her kwami's reassuring presence.

"You idiot," she finally managed to choke out. "You wonderful, amazing, perfect idiot."

Then he was wrapping his arms around her again, shushing her quietly as she tried to force air into her lungs. Finally giving in, Marinette leaned into his embrace, still feeling utterly overwhelmed.

"I don't get it," a voice said, making Marinette jump in surprise. "She calls you an idiot, so you hug her?"

She looked up, only now noticing the dark figure hovering nearby. With its dark black fur it was a mere shadow against the deep blue canvas of the night sky, though its green eyes glinted like a cat's.

"Oh shush," Tikki said disdainfully, zipping over to Adrien's kwami. "Let's leave them in peace." Tikki turned to Marinette, shooting her a smile. "Don't worry about Plagg. I'll take care of him. You two just talk."

Marinette watched as Tikki led—or perhaps dragged—Plagg away, leaving them alone.

"Good thing neither of us are afraid of heights," Adrien said with a soft laugh, though his voice still held a measure of hesitation.

With a start, Marinette looked around, only now realizing that they were now both kwami-less and still seated on the Eiffel Tower quite high above the ground.

"I'm sure they'll remember to come back," she said with far more confidence than she actually felt. Eventually, at least, she added ruefully to herself. Then, with a deep breath, Marinette added, "So, um, it was Ladybug you were talking about?"

Adrien flinched, rubbing the back of his head awkwardly. "Yeah. It seems pretty dumb now, honestly. I mean, I broke things off with you, because I couldn't stop thinking about … you." He sighed, his awkwardness melting into a serious frown. "Marinette, I'm so sorry. I've made you cry so much tonight. I never meant to hurt you like this."

Marinette took an unsteady breath, not quite daring to believe that this was actually happening. "It's okay," she told him. Then, when he started to protest, she added, "Really, it is. As much as it hurt, I wasn't lying when I said I appreciated your honesty. And besides, if I had just been more comfortable with trusting you as my partner, we probably wouldn't have gotten stuck in this situation."

"You're amazing, do you know that?" Adrien asked. Marinette flushed, her heart unable to deal with the complete conviction in his voice.

"I'm serious," he pressed, leaning a little closer to her. "Whether you're saving the city or just being your awesome self at school, I can't help but be drawn to you. I know I may have given you reason to say no over the past week or so, but I mean it when I say I want to be there for you."

Marinette couldn't help the smile that was itching at her lips, forcing its way onto her face. She leaned over and placed a light kiss on Adrien's cheek. She caught him watching her with wide eyes as she pulled away, and her smile grew. "Of course, you silly cat," she told him. The smile that unfolded on his face was so overwhelmingly happy that it made it hard for her to breath.

"You know, you're pretty amazing yourself," she added, bumping her knee against his. "I've admired you for a long time, and I rely on you so much as my partner. When things were so awkward between us, I just…" She trailed off, struggling to find the right way to convey to him just how wrong it had felt to not be able to talk normally with him.

Marinette started as Adrien's hand found hers. He gave her hand a tight squeeze, smiling at her reassuringly and making her heart rate pick up again. Then he leaned toward her and planted a soft kiss on her forehead.

"I'm tired, can't we go home yet?"

Marinette and Adrien both looked up to see Plagg hovering in front of them once again. Tikki was tugging at him, quite unsuccessfully trying to drag him away again, an angry scowl on her face. "I. Told. You. To. Leave. Them. Alone!"

Plagg yawned, resisting Tikki's yanking. "Yeah, yeah. They finally talked everything out and everything will be lovely, yada yada. That doesn't change the fact that I'm extremely tired and it is ridiculously late."

Adrien glared at his kwami, but Marinette couldn't help a small giggle. "It is pretty late," she said. She slipped her phone out of her purse, surprised when the glowing numbers flashed 2:18. "It probably is time to call it a night."

Adrien sighed, looking at her wistfully before finally hanging his head in defeat. "Alright. Time to transform, perhaps? I don't really fancy trying to shimmy down the Tower…"

"Right," Marinette said, pushing herself up to stand on the beam. "Tikki?" With a nod from her kwami, Marinette transformed, then watched with curiosity as Adrien did the same. It was strange to watch his transformation as an observer—she was so used to being the one doing the transforming. And it was even stranger to watch as Adrien changed in front of her eyes into Chat Noir, despite having seen it the other way around just a little while before.

"Well, have a good night," Marinette told him, not quite wanting to leave despite knowing she needed to.

"Wait!" Adrien said, grabbing her wrist and causing Marinette's heart to stop. "Maybe we could reschedule our ice cream date for tomorrow?"

She grinned, putting her hand to her chin as if considering it. "Hmmm, I'm not sure… I suppose I could pencil you in."

Adrien shot her a mischievous grin in return. Then he took her hand and brushed a soft kiss across her knuckles. "As you wish."

Marinette flushed deeply, even as a face-splitting smile spread across her face. Her smile only grew as Adrien added, "Good night, My Lady."

Before she could stop herself, Marinette replied, "Good night, My Kitty." Then, completely overcome by an inseparable mix of embarrassment and happiness, she slung her yoyo and swung her way down the tower, leaving a very flushed, very shocked Adrien in her wake.

As Marinette swung home, her heart wouldn't stop fluttering. Her mind continued to spin as she replayed the night over and over again in her mind. Even the cool night air couldn't ease the warmth that seemed permanently stuck to her cheeks. Still, with a deep breath, she managed to get her excited jitters somewhat under control. Tomorrow, she had another date with Adrien, and after that… well, there was no rush.

A/N: IT'S OVER? HOW IS IT OVER? … I feel like that's a weird question to ask, considering that I'm the author. BUT SERIOUSLY, HOW? xD

For those of you who are curious, I was originally going to end Chpt 10 when Ladybug de-transforms and he's left staring at Marinette. I honestly still think it would have been the BEST cut off point, pacing-wise. The shock there is the perfect moment for the curtains to go black. (Dramatic reveal! Gasp! Curtains fall! lol) And looking at it now, it's only an extra 800 words, which wouldn't have been ridiculous. Buuut, well, I've rambled on enough in previous chapters about why I decided against it.

Writing Plagg and Tikki together was SO MUCH FUN. I feel like these two would bicker like NO OTHER, y'know? Like, Plagg is always saying insensitive things, and Tikki is always looking at him in horror and saying, "Plagg!" I can't wait to eventually write a fic about these two, although I still have a lot of planning I need to do for that one.

Quick shoutout to AmuxIkutolover for the idea of having Marinette and Adrien make up their ice cream date x3

Okay, music update: I was struggling with the ending, but I had to take a long drive to drop something off, so I took a break from writing. During the drive, I wound up hearing Jess Glynne's Hold My Hand on the radio, and it just sort of clicked. I feel like it actually fits Marinette and Adrien really well, and that jittery, heart-fluttering, excited feeling that the song has just perfectly sums up what I was trying to convey from Marinette's POV at the end (basically, when she realizes it's Adrien to the end). Like, excitement, but also that sure feeling that you've found someone who you can depend on, who will be there to support you, despite the fact that you're already capable of standing on your own. Hopefully that came across in the story itself!

Also, what even are endings? Like, how? xD Trying to figure out exactly how and where to leave off was surprisingly difficult! When I'm plotting, I plot everything EXCEPT the veeeeery end (because if I try it usually turns out too corny, and then it doesn't feel right). But it made it very hard for me to figure out when I should finally just … stop. xD Maybe I shouldn't've. Maybe I should have just let this go on forever, a la Miyuki-chan in Wonderland: "Never End." (Actually, someone suggested I do this, but I honestly don't plan to. At the very most, I MAYBE will write a short drabble someday exploring how they work together once they both finally know and are dating, but I would likely post that as a separate story…)

I mentioned this a couple of chapters back, but I definitely have many more ML stories I will be writing. (Seriously, my document with story notes is 19 pages long 0_0 although close to half of those notes were for this fic.) If you want to have a heads up when they're posted, you can do any of the following (although please don't feel obligated to if you don't want to for any reason): 1) Subscribe to me as an author, although I do post works in other fandoms as well, 2) Follow me on Tumblr (Konekat), although please keep in mind that my blog is NSFW, or 3) Just keep an eye out here on FFN for my future fics ^^

Next up is the Flour Reveal fic, and the Future AU is on deck for after that. The other three that I mentioned will all follow sometime after. (As well as a possible story with a genderbent Chat, which is something I've been wanting to do literally since the first minute I saw the show. I also got a request for a genderbent Marinette, which may turn into a drabble of some sort. AND I had an idea for a quick oneshot based on Alessia Clare's "Here.") The only story idea I've had that I'm not planning to write as of now is Chat dying. Because seriously, I question whether I actually could T^T

Finally, and most importantly, again: thank you all so much. It's been a crazy fun ride. I'm going to be grinning for weeks thanks to all of you. I hope I was able to make you guys smile and squeal excitedly half as much as y'all made me ^^