Here I am with another update. I am so glad to see the positive feedback this story has gotten, even if many people aren't reading it I don't mind. As long as I can write what I want to write and if even one person gleams some enjoyment from my writing than I'm pleased.
Anyways on with the chapter.
The White Cat
Part Seven: Tipping Point
Chat Blanc grinned as his intended destination for the night came into view. He could already smell the scent of freshly baked goods. He saw her easily enough, she was sitting on one of her chairs, with her sketchbook in her lap. Though her head did glance up and turn left to right, as if searching for something. Him.
The blond hero's grin widened as he thought about the girl who had started to consume more of his thoughts since his first stint as Chat Blanc. It had been about three and a half months since he'd been akumatized, and in that time he had joined forces with the heroes of Paris. And he had also gotten very close to a girl whom he'd thought had disliked him, only to find that she in fact liked him. This girl liked him more than he could have ever realized. "Marinette." Chat Blanc muttered her name to himself.
He was able to admit it to himself, he really did care for her. Thankfully she was becoming more comfortable around him in their day to day lives. They had finally managed to get to the point where they could set next to each other and hold a conversation that wasn't about school or fashion.
Chat smiled as he recalled them eating lunch together, despite appearing to be a bit lost in thought she had hardly stuttered. He was actually considering asking her out soon, he wanted to become closer to her as Adrien. In fact he wanted her to know that the person she spent many nights talking to until the wee hours of the morning was the boy she adored.
Landing on her balcony he slowly made his approach. Marinette grinned as she stopped drawing in her book, it had been subtle but she had felt his presence. "Minou, you're slipping. I heard you that time." The dark haired teen teased, causing the feline hero to chuckle.
"Well I didn't want to startle my princess." The white clad hero told the dark haired girl while striding over to her.
Marinette chuckled in amusement before closing her sketchbook. "Whatever you say, minou." She told him not even batting an eye at him referring to her as his princess. Placing her book to the side she stood up, allowing the blanket she had draped over her shoulders to fall to her slipper covered feet. The pigtailed girl looked at him with a fond expression, after having been his friend for just under four months she couldn't even pretend that there wasn't something special between them.
'And not even just the implications of us having been the original candidates for the Ladybug and Black Cat miraculous.' She thought to herself, remembering the words Alya's kwami had told her a few weeks ago. The information imparted to her by Tikki had repeated itself in her mind quite a bit since she had learned about how she had nearly been chosen as Ladybug.
It was funny that if things had played out a little differently they still would have met. This boy, who's face she did not know would still have been someone important to her.
When she thought about it, Chat Blanc really did bring out the best of her. He was able to give her the courage to do amazing things, like taking on a mind controlled Coccinelle without super powers. 'Or even donning black leather and cat ears.' She thought with an amused giggle as she remembered the picture of her transformed self that he had shown her.
And in a way she brought things out of Chat Blanc. From what he had told her he lived a very oppressed life. Her kitty was forced to act a certain way in his civilian life, he couldn't laugh or joke freely. With her however she allowed him to be whoever he wanted to be.
Marinette had told him to always be himself around her. "Don't filter yourself for me, I like you the way you are." The dark haired girl expressed to him during one of his late night visits when he had explained, albeit cryptically, more about his day to day life. The grin he had given her had made her ears go red and her heart beat faster.
Which was why after tonight things would be changing between them for better or for worse. Marinette had done a lot of thinking over this during the last couple of weeks. Even though this would definitely hurt, if not out right kill, her chances with Adrien this had to be done. Marinette was not a liar, and she knew she couldn't keep these feelings hidden from Chat.
Somehow in the months she had known him, spending many late nights seated together with steaming mugs of hot chocolate and leftover baked goods, she had developed feelings for him. At first she had felt very torn about this. She didn't want to have feelings for Chat Blanc, she just wanted them to keep the easy friendship they had started with.
However after talking to her mom about the subject of having feelings for two different people she had been assured. "There's nothing wrong with liking someone who isn't Adrien." Sabine had told her knowingly while hugging her close. "You can't help who your heart decides on. Just be true to yourself and what you want most." Her mother had told her, offering the teenage girl some comfort.
Suddenly a pair of clawed fingers were snapping near her ear. "-encess? You alright there?" Chat Blanc's voice pulled her out of her thoughts.
Shaking her head Marinette offered an apologetic look. "Sorry, minou. I was kind of lost in thought." She sheepishly admitted, fiddling with the hem of white shirt.
Adrien frowned at the dark haired girl's expression. When he had been talking to her she had a faraway look on her face, as though she were thinking about something important. "What's on your mind?" He probed, hoping to know what had her distracted and if he could help. 'Must be important if she was that lost in thought.' The blond thought to himself as Marinette released an .
Deciding that she didn't want to drag this out Marinette offered a mirthful smile as she said something she knew would make him flustered. "You." She said, enjoying his reaction to her unsuspected flirting. That was another thing she had taken to doing, responding to his flirting and even dishing out some of her own. Her kitty really wasn't the best at taking her compliments, especially when he wasn't ready for it.
Her response had the desired effect as his face became the same shade as Alya's super suit. "Um..." He gulped while trying to come up with an acceptable rebuttal. Recovering slightly quicker than Marinette had anticipated, he was starting to get use to her flirts, he grinned. "Well, I guess it's only fur, since you often consume meow thoughts."
Marinette felt her cheeks go slightly pink before clearing her throat. "Actually I did need to talk to you about something." She told him, making sure he understood that she was done joking for the moment.
Hearing her tone made Adrien sober up slightly. "Is everything alright?" He asked, wondering what she wanted to talk about.
Marinette felt her palms grow sweaty as she prepared the type of words she always figured she'd say to Adrien, but circumstances change. "I..." She hesitated before reaching into her pocket and pulling out the item she had prepared to give to him. It was a good luck charm she usually wore when she felt like she could use a little extra luck. It usually adorned her wrist when up against an extra hard boss in a video game or when she was preforming an important task that required the utmost care.
Chat Blanc eyed the unfamiliar bracelet as she presented it to him. "What's this?" He asked as he accepted it and gave the wrist accessory a once over. It was a rather simple, but well put together trinket.
Marinette felt herself becoming embarrassed. "It's a good luck charm, I often wear it when I need a little luck. But I think you could get a little more use out of it than I could." He fought super villains on a day to day basis, he had even been shot by a mugger. Maybe it was a superstitious sort of thing, but she'd like to think him having a small part of her with him at all times could help.
Yellow eyes widened as he reconized the bracelet, she had worn it a couple times during their late night game sessions. He had never commented on it, but something had told him this bracelet held a fair amount of value to his friend.
Looking back at her, seeing her nervous expression told him that rejecting this gift would be like rejecting her. Deciding he did not want to insult her he smiled in genuine appreciation. "Thanks, Marinette. I promise I'll always treasure it." He told her before slipping it on his right wrist.
The dark haired girl looked thankful at him accepting his gift, but her nervousness returned as she remembered the next part. This was what Marinette had told herself she would do, she would not hide from her friend, she would tell him just how important he was to her. In her mind and heart he was just as important to her as Adrien, he deserved to know since she wasn't paralyzed by the fear of rejection from him that she was from Adrien.
Not that she didn't think it was impossible for Chat Blanc to reject her feelings. Just because he flirted with her so much, did not mean he wanted to be with her in that sense. However, something told her that even if he rejected her, the closeness they shared would not be hurt. She never questioned her relationship with Chat Blanc.
"Chat." Marinette said, breaking him away from his musings regarding the bracelet resting upon his wrist. "There's something else." She informed him before taking a deep breath. "I don't know how it happened, but this is something that I shouldn't keep from you. So I'm just going to come right out and say it." The pigtailed girl warned him before taking a deep breath. "I love you." Her face heated up as her words hung between her and the white clad hero.
Chat Blanc looked at her in shock, he did not expect those words to fall out of her mouth at this time. After a long stretch of silence, in which Marinette started to look slightly afraid, he managed to regain the use of his mouth. "L-love me? As in..." The blond hero couldn't even say the words as he was still trying to process this unexpected development.
Marinette licked her dry lips before nodding and continuing. "I love you as a friend, and as something more." She told him as her face burned, despite her embarrassment she couldn't hold back.
"Bu-but what about Adrien?" Was Chat Blanc's first question. 'Does she no longer like my other self?' He wondered slightly worried that revealing his identity to her could turn out badly. 'She has seemed a lot less nervous around Adrien me...' He pointed out to himself. 'Did she get over me for...me?' The blond hero did not know how to feel about that, possibly very ironic turnabout.
Marinette's lips made a thin line before she shook her head. "I...I still like Adrien, he's very important to me." She wouldn't lie to him, the kind blond model could still make her heart race just as fast as the blond before her could. "But you're just as important to me. I wanted you to know that." The dark haired girl's words were honest and full of meaning.
Chat Blanc's expression remained surprised as he registered her words. Realizing that he was doing a pretty poor job of responding to his friend he cleared his throat. "Marinette, I...I can't say I don't feel the same way." He told her, accepting and returning her feelings. "You are one of the most important people in my life, I'm always happiest around you." On the inside he was grinning. Marinette liked both sides of him equally, and she wanted to be with him.
Maybe tonight really would be the night he would reveal his identity to her. She would know that the two people she claimed to love were one in the same. His blue haired friend might freak out at learning that her crush had been visiting her late at night for the past four months, but hopefully she'd move past it quick enough.
Marinette felt her heart swell at his words, smiling she walked closer to him and hugged him. "Chaton." She murmured softly as he returned the embrace.
Suddenly a loud boom sounded out, shattering the current moment. The two snapped their attention to Papillon's latest akuma terrorizing the night life. "That's a rarity." Chat muttered bitterly under his breath, musing over the fact that it had to be tonight when Papillon would unleash one of his late evening akumas.
Turning to the dark haired girl he grinned his usual cheeky grin. "Sorry to leave you in your tower Princess, but this knight has to keep the streets clean for people like you." He said, barely hiding his disappointment at them being interrupted. 'Tomorrow, I'll tell her who I am.' Adrien decided to himself before turning to go.
"W-wait!" Marinette's voice caught his attention, turning to see what she had to say his eyes widened in surprise as a pair of lips crashed against his. For a first kiss it was rather sloppy, awkward, and not at all like the trashy romance stories one might read, but to Adrien and Marinette it was perfect. Adrien closed his eyes as he savored the feeling of her pressed against him.
Once they broke away for air Adrien rested his forehead against Marinette's. "Was that for more good luck?" He asked, slightly out of breath.
Marinette, face the color of an apple, squeaked lightly before speaking. "I-I just wa-wanted to do that tonight before you left." The akuma had kind of forced her hand. If it had been up to her she would have tried to initiate their first kiss as he was leaving, maybe it would have been a little slower, but a kiss was a kiss.
Adrien grinned as he could still feel the impression of her lips against his. Deciding he wanted another taste he left a quick peck on her lips. "Well I'm pawlesed you did, now I'll have some extra luck." He told her before reluctantly slipping away from her.
"Stay safe!" The dark haired girl called out as she watched him hop off her roof. She remained rooted in spot until he was out of sight before mechanically going downstairs. Grabbing one of her pillows she flopped down on her bed and screamed into it. 'I actually did that.' A part of her celebrated her boldness yet was also extremely embarrassed.
Once she had calmed down, she went on her computer to check the news on the developing akuma event. To Marinette's immense relief Coccinelle and Black Cat were also on the scene with Chat Blanc, so he wasn't being forced to fight alone. The pigtailed girl didn't blink or turn her eyes away from the screen until it was announced that the akuma had been defeated.
With a relieved sigh she checked the time and was disappointed to see how late it was. Chances were that Chat Blanc would not be returning for the night. Shutting off her computer she turned off the lights and went to bed, ready to face the next day.
He had meant to tell her sometime that day, hopefully a chance where he could get her alone and calmly tell her who he was. Sadly the world had other plans, Adrien was running late that morning. He had woken up past his usual time, as the late night akuma had taken longer than he would have liked. So the moment his car arrived in front of the school he booked it, grabbing his bag and closing the door behind him before running up the stairs.
He did not expect to literally run into Marinette the moment he entered the school. The two fell from the impact of bumping into each other. The dark haired girl had clamed up upon seeing who it was she had knocked down, and while she was apologizing Adrien was trying to tell her that it wasn't her fault. "I wasn't watching where I was going." He told her while moving to pick up his bag.
Green and blue eyes widened as they saw the familiar item on the ground, next to his bag. "Wh-where?" Marinette's face grew pale as she looked at him, really looked at him. It couldn't be, but now that she had seen such damning evidence it was hard to not see it.
Realizing that he best start explaining his piece Adrien was denied the opportunity as a pale faced Marinette rose to her feet and ran out of the school. "Ma-Marinette!" The blond cried out as he hastily gathered his things and chased after her.
Perhaps it was a mixture of his natural athleticism and having a miraculous, but he was able to catch up to her very quickly. Marinette had ran into an alleyway, in an attempt to break line of sight only to be stopped short as she realized it was a dead end. Turning around she saw him entering the alleyway, shaking her head she sank to her knees, she was not ready for this turn of events.
"This entire time." She said slowly, her voice cracking. "It was you this entire time." Adrien paused at her watery voice and glistening blue eyes. "I-You've known how I felt about you this whole time. You've even laughed whenever I would talk to you about my progress with you..." The blue haired girl turned away and bit her lip. "We-were you just laughing at me? Wh-why?"
Adrien walked up to her. "Marinette, I swear. I know you're feeling hurt, but I wanted to tell you. I was going to last night but the-." He stopped as he saw something out of the corner of his eye. 'No!' He shouted to himself in thought as he abruptly grabbed the girl and pushed her behind him.
Marinette squeaked in alarm before seeing what had made Adrien so frightened. Her own blue eyes widened in terror as she realized what was coming towards her. 'I was so...' She realized that she had just become a target of Papillon. 'You can't control how you feel.' Despite knowing that she might have overreacted to finding out who Chat Blanc was, she couldn't help but still feel how she did.
Even now she still wondered what everything between her and Chat Blanc meant. Did he honestly care for her the way she did for both sides of him? Looking into his terrified eyes, terrified for her, she felt that she had the answer to that question. The dark haired girl smiled bitterly as she recalled their first night together on her balcony, when he had come to her for no particular reason.
"If that ever happened I'm not sure I'd be able to fight you, My Princess."
"If it did...I would hope that my white knight would do whatever it took to save me."
There was nowhere for her to run, even if she tried ducking past it the akuma would get her. "Adr-Chat." She said, her voice regaining some of it's usual clarity. "Remember what you promised me." She told him before looking down in resignation.
Adrien looked at her in surprise. "Mari..."
She offered him a broken smile, "You're supposed to be my white knight right?" She asked as the akuma landed on her purse.
Adrien's green eyes widened as he watched the outline of a butterfly appear on her face. "Tigga!" He called to his white kwami who zipped out of his pocket. "Fangs Bared!" He yelled as Marinette was enveloped in darkness. Suddenly numerous razor sharp wires appeared all around him. Chat Blanc, the moment his transformation ended, made use of his enhanced speed to weave and duck around the many wires.
Taking in the twisted version of the girl he knew he felt his heart drop at seeing her. It was easy enough to see who the akuma once was, instead of her usual white shirt, brown jacket, and pink capris, she now wore a misty black dress with a black mask covering her face. On her hands were black gloves with wires coming out of the fingertips.
This warped version of her still had the purse she usually wore, though now it was slightly larger and had numerous wires spilling out of it, some of them were connected to the wires coming out of the ends of her fingers. Adrien gritted his teeth as the girl who he adored willed them to chase after him.
"Marinette!" He cried out to her as she attacked him at a distance.
The dark haired girl didn't care to respond to his words, instead she pursued him. With a silent growl she reared her arm back and aimed a right hook for his cheek which was blocked.
Adrien gasped as he felt one of her wires make a shallow cut on his arm. Scowling he jumped back and watched Marinette slowly advance on him. 'Damn it this is bad!' He thought to himself as he tried to back off, only to stop as he felt more wires digging into his back.
In place of her usual kind smile was a cruel smirk. "I am not Marinette, I am Couturiere." She finally told him, her voice having an airy quality to it before making a swipe at him.
Chat Blanc gritted his teeth as he avoided her attack, behind him he noticed the sharp wires cutting into the wall, leaving four indentions. "I don't want to fight you, Marinette!" The blond cried out as he continued narrowly avoiding her attacks.
"Too bad, minou. Because I want to fight you!" Suddenly she was above him with ten, barely visible wires swing around her. Chat gritted his teeth as he dodged her attack and did his best to keep his distance as she continued her assault. "During our entire friendship, you know what I felt for Adrien. And all this time you were him laughing at me!" She swung at each syllable, as Adrien raised his buckler to block the attacks.
Chat Blanc bit the inside of his cheek as one of her wires wrapped tightly around his leg, causing it to bleed. With a strangled cry he dropped to one knee and lowered his head. 'Not good...' He thought to himself before flinching as he felt Couturiere place a hand on his shoulder. The hand went to his cheek and remained there in an unexpected show of tenderness.
Looking up he saw that she was gazing down at him, with a loving expression. Before Chat could speak the akumatized Marinette had leaned down and kissed him. He made a noise of surprise at the kiss but moved to savor it before feeling a fist digging into his gut.
"Gah!" He cried out as he was slammed into the wall. Placing a hand on his stomach he groaned before trying to get back up. 'Damn it...'
"Tsk, tsk, tsk. Minou." Couturiere said as she walked over to him and knelt down, stopping him from rising back to his feet. "What are you going to do now?"
Adrien looked up to see Couturiere's expression. Her face was a picture perfect of calm, but on the inside he could fell her silent fury. Even if Marinette logically knew that he would never bring pain to her, her heart didn't. She felt hurt by his deceitfulness. 'And rightfully so.' He told himself before opening his mouth. "I'm sorry, Marinette." She blinked at him in surprise before he continued. "I'm sorry I hurt you, it wasn't my intention. I wanted to tell you, I was going to."
Marinette's surprised expression changed into amusement. "Well, too late for that now, minou. You've hurt me, so I'm going to hurt you." She promised with a cruel smile that did not belong on his pigtailed friend's face.
As she was rearing back to cut him to ribbons with her wires she was interrupted by the sound of a zipping yoyo. Scowling Couturiere turned to see Coccinelle's yoyo coming towards her, with a flick of her wrist her wires formed up and held it back. However she was not able to stop the extending baton coming from her other side.
Chat, watching in surprise, quickly regained his wits as he saw his chance. Gritting his teeth he jumped at Marinette and pushed her to the ground, slightly harder than he intended. While she was dazed he swiped at the purse on her side with his sharp claws and watched as the black butterfly fluttered out. "Now Alya!" He shouted to Coccinelle who nodded before sending her yoyo back out to grab the darkened butterfly.
"Goodbye little butterfly." Alya said before throwing her yoyo up into the air. "Miraculous Ladybug!" She called out before a swarm of magical ladybugs went about fixing the damage Couturiere had caused.
Marinette stared up in a daze at Chat Blanc's worried eyes. "Ch-Chat?" She called out weakly before slowly remembering what had happened. Her face grew impressively red as she gave into her usual response of trying to get away but found herself unable to due to the white clad hero. "Ad-Chat!" She tried to call out but was cut off as the white clad hero pulled her into a tight embrace.
"Thank god," Adrien said, his voice filled with emotion, as he held her close. "I'm so glad you're alright."
Marinette hesitated for a moment before weakly returning the hug with one arm. "What happened?" She asked, still in a slight daze.
Loosing his hold on her he met her blue confused gaze. "After you found out who I was you were akumatized." He explained before giving her a reassuring look. "But it's okay now, we purified it."
Marinette felt her lips turn into a frown as the fog started to fade from her mind. She couldn't remember her time as one of Papillon's villains, but she did recall the moments leading up to it. Breaking their gaze she sighed. "Adrien. It's really you." She muttered, still trying to process that. Now that she knew and was looking closely she was mentally smacking herself for not being able to see him.
The blond hero frowned, suddenly feeling self conscious. "Are you disappointed it's me?" His cat ears drooped.
That caught her attention, looking back at the blond she noticed his crestfallen expression. "Of course not." Marinette told him, raising her voice a little. "I could never be disappointed in Chat or Adrien." The dark haired girl said looking into his glowing yellow eyes. "it's just that I'm still trying to piece together that Adrien Agreste is a superhero and loves stupid puns." She said her lips lifting up into a tiny smile
Adrien seemed surprised for a moment, before he grinned in retaliation. "Hey, I'll have you know puns are the ultimate for of comedy." He told her with mock offense before enjoying the giggle that escaped her lips.
"Whatever you say, minou."
The blond hero smiled down at the girl before him. Closing his eyes he started leaning forward, catching her off guard for a moment. Marinette's eyes widened before returning to their normal size as she too closed her eyes and leaned up to meet him halfway.
"Uh, babe are you sure you should be recording this?" Nino's voice was heard in the background.
The couple broke away from each other to see Coccinelle holding her compact up, watching them with a huge grin. "Damn it, you ruined the moment!" The red haired heroine told her boyfriend before smacking his shoulder. Seeing Adrien and Marinette's surprised eyes still on her she waved her hand. "Oh don't mind me you two, just documenting this for your future kids." She said, gaining amusement at how red their faces became.
"Al-Alya!" Marinette cried out as the spotted heroine started laughing.
Once everything was settled the three heroes of Paris dropped their transformations and made for the school. They were already over an hour late, but they didn't want to completely skip the day. When Marinette and Adrien entered the room hand in hand, Chloe's screech of indignation could be heard from three blocks over.
Bet this was a surprise to you all? I know this chapter was a bit sudden, but there's a reason for this. This is the last official chapter for this story, don't worry there will be an epilogue and even a follow up story (It may only be a one-shot or I might decide to make it into a multi chapter story, haven't decided yet.)
Anyways the reason for this slightly abrupt end is, one I didn't expect this story to be very long. The fact that its spanned this many chapters at this point was a surprise to me, but as I wrote more and more I got ideas. And two, I don't want to drag this out any further than I have to. Because when I drag a story out it just never ends, and I wanted to be able to say that I completed this.
Also, figured I'd address something. A couple people predicted that Marinette might get the peacock miraculous, or suggested that I should have that happen. I'll let you all in on a little secret. That's what I had planned even before the first chapter of this was posted. So kudos on people predicting my plans, guess my foreshadowing was too obvious. haha Anyways, I'll see you all in the epilogue.