Why did he have to be so gullible!?

At that point she wanted to joke it away with a laugh, the truth is... And whatnot.

Except what is the truth? She thought, sending her third glare at the spot Tikki hid behind.

Chat Noir scooted over to sit over the side of the bed with her, hand grazing hers as he swayed closer.

She shot up.

"Snacks!" Marinette blurted in afterthought. "It's so nice of you to do this for me." She backed down the stairs leading up to her bed, chuckling nervously, and not-so-subtly inching toward her desk to reach behind a cup. The resulting constrained squeak tweaked his ear slightly, and he leaned his upper body in an attempt to see. "Let me thank you. Please!"

Before his mouth opened she was gone.

Marinette glared daggers into Tikki's innocent fluttering eyes. "I could kill you."

"Actually," she interjected. "That's physically impossible. Mortals-"

Marinette held a plate of cookies over the trash can.

Tikki circled into the air, hands placating. "I'm sorry!"

"Why would you hide this from me!?" Marinette rubbed her temples. "I don't even know what this is!"

Tikki cringed. "It's honestly too embarrassing to watch let alone speak of."

"I'm sorry!?" She rounded angrily on Tikki. "I'm embarrassing you!?"

"Wait!" Tikki tapped her forehead as if facepalming. "I mean..." She sighed, her arms and legs hanging loosely in the air. "I thought it would be best for you not to know."

Marinette anxiously glanced back to the trapdoor her crime fighting kitty waited behind. "Know what?"

Tikki rubbed the back of her tiny red head, wincing as she explained, "You've been, um, experiencing the effects yarrows have on a young ladybug." She looked anywhere but Marinette's eyes. "As a sprouting human with hormones, this affects you and not I."

Marinette could feel her heart beating dread into her veins. "What?"

"Well, it makes you..." Tikki took a deep breath and flew closer to look eye to eye with her. "It puts you in heat. Basically." At Marinette's wide eyes, Tikki squeaked, "sorry..."

Marinette fell back a step. Tikki flew to her arm, like she would catch her if she tumbled to the ground. Flashes of Chat framed in flowers, his eyes swimming with adoration as his lips met hers, moments that she could swear were a fever dream, were real!?

A tornado of thoughts swarmed her.

Did Chat actually like that!? He's waiting in her room to try it again, after he greeted her with the only kiss she could remember so far.

"I only kissed in these moments!?" Marinette hastily verified.

Tikki nodded.

He's her partner! They have a unique dynamic that does not need to become romantic at all! How would they be able to fight side by side after coming lip to lip!? Wait. Is it even romantic? The emotions behind their kisses have been what? -well, it would help if she could remember- What does it matter anyway? She only has eyes for Adrien. ADRIEN!

"I cheated on Adrien!" Marinette cupped her mouth with her hand, tears already building. "How could I! He'll never forgive me," she sniffled, then scoffed. "No, he's an angel. Why wouldn't he forgive me. And I don't deserve it. I'll have to move towns and change my name so he'll never have the chance to forgive me. He deserves better."

"Marinette," Tikki shook her head woefully. "You can't cheat on someone you're not even dating."

"Marinette?" Chat peeked into view.

"Eep!" Marinette jumped out of her skin and threw the plate of cookies in his direction.

Chat expertly caught the plate, swinging with the momentum to keep cookies safely in place.

"Chat!" she said breathlessly. Briefly catching sight of Tikki disappearing into a cabinet. "Thank- Thank you."

They stared at one another in silence.

"You were taking awhile, I got curious."

"Oh! I, uh, got lost," Marinette offered her excuse and mentally facepalmed. "Sorry, that was dumb."

Chat chuckled. "I'd believe you if we were in my home."

Marinette circled around to put the counter between them, nervously chuckling back, "you- you're home?"

"Yeah, lots of rooms for one cat to wander," some forlorn glimmer in his eye brought Marinette back down to earth.

She stepped closer, her arms held tightly behind her back. "You're an only child too?"

"Yeah," He forced a smirk. "This alley cat shares his litter box with no one."

Marinette felt a different sort of way to hear about her partner's home life. They only meet on the job, so when do they have the chance to talk? Not that they're suppose to, but now that she knows...

They founded a strong trust through actions. Constantly guarding one another, working together. Teamwork. She'd call him her partner.

"How do you feel about sharing some milk and cookies?"

He smiled, fangs and all, enthusiastically nodding.

Maybe it's time to start calling him her friend.