I've seen a few fics based off the Dark Owl episode and wanted to do something for it too. Couldn't resist a devious Plagg.
Just a Friend
Summary: Where Plagg gets a kick out of this 'she's just a friend' business and causes some trouble between the duo.
Perched on top of the computer screen, Plagg watched his chosen do homework. It had been a few days since the incident with Dark Owl and the near loss of his miraculous. The boy had been taking the whole thing quite well. Adrien constantly praised his partner's quick thinking and went on and on about how their hands had actually touched. 'I felt her real hands, Plagg!' etc.
What impressed him most was how he completely respected Ladybug's wishes in keeping their identities secret. His chosen had had ample time to peak and find out who she was, but he didn't. He hadn't even asked once for a hint about who she was.
Yet, therein lay the problem. Plagg was bursting with the news. To find out that Ladybug was the sweet stuttering girl that sat behind them, the one who had a crush on the most oblivious boy in Paris, it was maddening! What was a kwami to do? He couldn't outright tell Adrien who his partner was. Tikki would kill him.
The small cat's eyes narrowed as his smirk grew. But perhaps there was still something he could do. He wasn't the kwami of chaos and destruction for nothing.
"Plagg, what's that grin for?" Adrien asked warily. If his kwami looked that happy and there was no cheese involved, it was time to worry.
Plagg didn't even bother to wipe the smirk off his face as he lay back, hands behind his head. "Just thinking about a friend."
The blond quirked an eyebrow. "You have friends?"
His kwami huffed, taking offense. "Of course I have friends! I'll have you know I've had plenty of friends across the millennia."
"And how many of them weren't cheese?" Adrien shot back.
"I'll have you know cheese makes the best kind of friend. It doesn't judge me, unlike some ungrateful teens!" With another huff, Plagg zipped off to his comfortable spot in the wastepaper basket. Settling down, he resumed his smirk and began his planning.
It wasn't long before there was another akuma attack, forcing Adrien to find a place to hide so he could transform.
"Plagg," the boy called, opening his jacket. "Hurry up, we need to go help Ladybug."
The cat kwami lazily flew out of his holder's jacket, a smirk on his face. Time to put the start of his plan into action. "Time to go meet your friend."
Adrien looked at him in confusion, not at all understanding his kwami's choice in words. Usually he complained about being woken from a nap or not having enough cheese. This? This was just weird.
"Uh, yeah we're going to go meet Ladybug."
"Riiiight," Adrien drawled, still watching the kwami warily. The boy shook his head with a grunt. "We don't have time for whatever this is. Plagg, claws out!"
The black cat kwami smirked as he was sucked into the ring. "Just a friend."
Adrien was rewatching one of the akuma battles on the Ladyblog. The boy rested his head on his hands as he let out a sickeningly dreamy sigh. "She's amazing, Plagg."
The kwami, who'd been sitting on the couch enjoying his camembert, lay back with a soft groan. After a click, his lips curled up in a grin. He flew over to his chosen, hovering by his shoulder. "Eh," he grunted. "She's just a friend."
"Plagg! How can you say that? Ladybug is more than just a friend!"
"Fine," he huffed, folding his arms. "She's a good friend."
"Plaaagg!" the boy whined, running his hands through his hair.
The kwami flew away cackling. This was too much fun.
Cat Noir leapt through the window, releasing his transformation as he landed. Plagg zipped out of his ring to land on the couch.
"Cheeeeese," the black kwami whined, flopping back like he was on the brink of death.
Adrien rolled his eyes and went to fetch a wheel of camembert. Tossing it beside Plagg, he plopped into his computer chair and immediately looked up the Ladyblog for the latest updates.
Plagg sprang upon the cheese and happily started eating away. Halfway through, he heard a lovesick sigh. The small being gagged in disgust. Stupid humans obsessed with their stupid love lives when they could be enjoying the wonder that is cheese. A wolfish grin slipped onto his face. If his chosen was going to be like that, he might as well have some fun with it.
Swallowing the rest of the cheese whole, he floated over to land on Adrien's head. Settling himself in the blond hair, Plagg made a show of yawning loudly. "Are you mooning over your friend again?"
Adrien huffed, sending a glare at Plagg's reflection on the computer screen. The bothersome kwami had been spouting off these odd 'friend' comments for the past two weeks now and he was starting to believe he was doing it just to get a rise out of the teen. Unfortunately it worked all too well.
"I'm not mooning over her. I love her! And someday I'm going to tell her."
"She's nothing more than a friend."
"Are you denying my feelings for Ladybug?"
"Hmm…" he tilted his head thoughtfully for a moment as if he were pondering this. Then a catty smirk played across his face. "Yep"
"Plagg!" Adrien grabbed for his kwami.
Plagg, however, cackled as he spiralled out from his chosen's reach.
The kwami yawned loudly. "Are we going to see your friend again?"
The blond sighed as Ladybug swung off. "Isn't she amazing?"
"She's just a friend."
Hidden in an alcove Adrien opened his mouth but Plagg spoke before him.
"Guess we'd better go help your friend."
Plagg swam backstroke through the air as his chosen browsed the Ladyblog. "Just a friend."
Weeks rolled by as Plagg kept up his insistent 'just a friend comments.' Adrien had taken to bottling up his feelings for Ladybug, tired of his kwami's ridiculous choice of words every single time he mentioned his miraculous partner.
Stepping out of the car, he thanked his driver and trotted up the steps to school. He couldn't see his friends, but that was alright, they'd be there shortly. However, upon entering the schoolyard, he did spot a familiar dark haired girl. She sat by the wall, tongue sticking out a little, as she focused on a sketchbook in her lap
"What are you waiting for?" asked Plagg, his head poking out of Adrien's shirt pocket. "Why don't you go say hi to your girlfriend?"
"Plagg," he hissed, "Marinette is not my girlfriend. She's just a-"
The blond cut off. His eyes widened as he stared at his classmate. He gasped. It couldn't be. He had to be wrong. There was no way. She couldn't…
Plagg smirked as he watched his chosen's face. The shock turned to realisation, which turned to amazement, which turned to horror. He cackled quietly.
Adrien didn't even register the sound. He couldn't comprehend just what was happening. His Ladybug, the love of his life, the girl he'd professed to love even without the mask, had been so close this whole time. Could it really have been so simple? Was he really that big of an idiot?
The hair. The eyes. The missing class. The stubborn attitude. The kindness. Her ability to lead. Knowing all the names of the classmates. How she always arrived so quickly.
It all made sense.
And Plagg. Plagg had known this. This was the reason for his crazy friend comments. This was why!
Oh boy. He really was that big if an idiot. He wished the ground would swallow him up, drop him into the deepest pit, and bury him where he would never be found. Then, maybe he would feel the tiniest bit less stupid for being so oblivious.
Suddenly, the bluenette's head shot up and their eyes locked. A soft pink dusted her cheeks but she smiled shyly and gave him a welcoming wave.
A deep blush rose up on his own face. He grinned awkwardly, hand robotically waving back and forth. Gosh, why did he have to be so dense. How could he have been so stupid? How could he not have seen this already?
A snigger came from inside his jacket pocket. He wanted to hiss at Plagg to shut up, but he didn't want to look like even more of an idiot. Marinette's smile had already faded into a curious worry, concerned about his odd behaviour. Her care caused his heart to thump even more loudly in his chest.
Fortunately, there came a distraction. Unfortunately, it came in the form of an akuma attack. Instantly Marinette was on her feet. She bit her lip, glancing between him and the direction of the screams. Seeing that she was torn in her concern for him verses her duty as Ladybug, Adrien made her decision for her.
"Hey, Mar- my lady! Ladybug, LB, Bugaboo, um…" he grinned awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck.
Ladybug raised an eyebrow. "Are you alright, Cat Noir?"
"Yeah, fine!" he nodded vigorously and dropped into a ramble, "Why wouldn't I be? I mean, you're here and you're you and I'm me and yeah."
"Right," she said, turning back to the villian. "Whatever's bothering you will have to wait. We have an akuma to take down."
She swung off, leaving him standing alone atop the building. Watching her go, Cat Noir sighed, his fake ears flopping against his hair. How was he supposed to carry on like usual know that he knew his lady was his sweet classmate?
With a huff, he took out his staff and leapt after her.
The fight took twice as long as usual. It wasn't that the akuma was particularly strong, or even smart. It was all because Adrien couldn't get his head in the game. He couldn't stop thinking about how Ladybug was Marinette. The same girl who sat behind him in class, who stuttered and blushed around him (though he still couldn't quite figure that out) and who he couldn't bare to see harmed in any way.
He really felt like the embodiment of bad luck. He'd screwed up his first cataclysm, wasting it when he fumbled over his own feet. Then he's ruined Ladybug's use of her lucky charm. Their powers used up, they were both forced to go off and recharge. If Adrien wasn't so concerned about getting back into the fight, he might have been more surprised by Plagg's silence.
The black kwami's knew he was the cause of his chosen's distraction. And, while the whole thing had been hilarious before, now it was only causing trouble. It was his fault Adrien couldn't focus and it could lead them into trouble. As much as he appeared indifferent towards the boy, he was actually rather fond of Adrien. He really didn't want to lose him because boy couldn't keep hold of his miraculous.
Swallowing the last of his cheese, Plagg loudly cleared his throat.
Adrien drew his gaze away from where he'd been keeping an eye out for the akuma. "Ready?"
Plagg nodded, folding his arms. "And for once could you put your feelings aside? We've got a job to do. You can't help her if you don't pay attention."
"Right," Adrien nodded firmly with renewed determination. "Plagg, claws out!"
Eventually they did defeat the akuma, and after their customary pound it on a rooftop, they prepared to split up.
"Wait!" Cat Noir grabbed her arm before she could go.
She paused and turned to him, still slightly annoyed with the length of their battle. "What is it, Cat? I don't have time."
He let her go and ducked his head. Wringing his hands, he shuffled nervously. "I'm sorry for causing such trouble today. You really shouldn't have had to put up with that. It was my fault entirely and for that, I apologise."
A little surprised by his apology, Ladybug stared at him for a moment, startled out of her shock by a beep from her miraculous. "Hey, mistakes happen." She smiled softly and stepped closer to catch his downcast gaze. "You're having a bad day. I get it. Trust me, I know all about bad days. Try not to worry about it, we'll do better next time."
She started to move off again, when he called out with another, "Wait!"
His ring beeped. Cat Noir bit his lip, his tail absently curling itself around his leg. "There's something else. I- well, you see- M-my kwami- he- I- ugh…" He ran his hands through his hair, "Why are words so hard?"
"Is there any chance we could talk about this later?" Ladybug asked as her earings dropped down to one spot.
"Please, my lady, I have to tell you now or this is going to eat me up during class." The blond began pacing back and forth on the rooftop.
"Cat!" she snapped, pulling out her yoyo. "We'll talk about this later."
He whirled around, "But- Ah!" The black clad hero yelped as he tripped over his own tail and fell over the side of the roof.
Just when Cat Noir thought he was going to hit the ground head first, he jerked to a sudden stop. Ladybug had caught him with her yoyo. Satisfied he wasn't going to hurt himself with the fall, she let him go, dumping him unceremoniously on his head and jumping down next to him in the alley.
"Silly, kitty," she grinned.
He gave her a lopsided smile as he sat up. "Thank you, my lady."
"I have to go. Take care, Cat Noir," she said, heading further into the alley to hide.
His face fell and he yelled, "But that's just it, Marinette! You don't have to leave!"
Ladybug froze, wide blue eyes locked on him. Then, in a flash of pink, her transformation dropped, leaving behind his wide eyed classmate. Her mouth opened and closed a few times as she tried to say something.
Cat Noir dropped his head. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to find out. I know how much the whole secret identity thing meant to you. It wasn't supposed to happen like this…"
Finally finding her voice, she said one word, "How?"
He looked up at her sheepishly, slowly rising to his feet. "My kwami. He didn't say anything specific like tell me who you are or anything. He just…" His ring rang out, warning him of one minute left. Clenching his fist, he took a breath. "Whenever I spoke about you, my lady, he kept repeating the same phrase."
"What was it?" she asked, not having moved any closer, but at least not having run away, despite the fear he saw in the edges of her eyes.
"He kept saying, 'She's just a friend.'"
Marinette tilted her head in confusion, silently questioning him.
Taking a step towards her, he rubbed the back of his neck. "You see, I kept saying that about a friend of mine, not realising of course, how amazing," he took another step with each word, her gaze focused in him, "and talented, and clever, and all around brilliant she was." He stepped closer still so that they now stood so close she had to tilt her head up to look at him.
"I finally figured out what he was saying today. And I must have been blind to not have seen that my special lady sat behind me everyday."
Confusion and shock flicked through her eyes before they widened in realisation and his name passed unbidden through her lips. "Adrien?"
He smiled and his own transformation fell away. "Um, yeah. Heh, who would have thought, right?"
"A- Adrien?" she repeated.
"Yes?" his smile wavered.
"Adrien," she sweaked.
"Yes, I think we've established that," grumbled another voice.
"Plagg!" scolded another, as a red blob with spots flew into view. "Why couldn't you leave well enough alone?"
"What?" his kwami groaned, perching himself on Adrien's shoulder, knowing that the close proximity to his chosen might spare him some of Tikki's wrath. "You're telling me you actually enjoy watching them dancing around each other?"
Tikki shot him a glare, "Well, no," she huffed. "But we're not supposed to intervene like this. They were supposed to reveal themselves when they were ready."
"But that could have taken forever," whined Plagg. "You don't know how frustrating he is."
The red kwami let out a groan, ignoring the two heroes as the glanced between the pair. "You're thousands of years old. A few more years wouldn't have killed you!"
"But Tikkiiiii!" he whined.
"Plagg," Adrien hissed. "Stop being so rude."
The black kwami folded his arms with a grumpy huff.
"Wait, Plagg? What do you mean 'dancing around each other'? I know I-" his gaze locked onto Marinette as she ducked her head, trying to hide a deep blush forming across her cheeks. "Marinette?"
She squeaked out something he couldn't understand.
Swallowing, Adrien licked his lips. "Marinette, do you- do you like me?"
The girl shifted her weight nervously before nodding.
His heartbeat quickened. He grabbed her hands in his own and she looked up at him. "You actually like me, like me?" he asked hopefully.
She gave him a teary smile. "Yes, silly, kitty. I've been in love with you ever since you gave me your umbrella after your first day of school."
A smug grin spread across his face. "I guess that means I won."
Her smile faded. "Won what?"
Adrien leaned a little closer. "I feel in love with you first. So that means I won."
Marinette's face flushed red again. "I- you- how-"
The blond chuckled. "Before we defeated Stoneheart the second time, you remember how scared you were?" She nodded and he continued, "Well, after you picked yourself up and spoke to Hawk Moth the way you did, I knew I'd fallen for that girl. The one who was wasn't sure of herself and yet found the courage to fight back anyway."
"Really?" she asked shyly.
"Really," he grinned.
"So are you gonna kiss her or what? 'Cause I'd like to go home and have some cheese now."
"Plagg!" scolded Tikki. Grabbing him by the ear and dragging him away.
"Ow! But Tikki! I need my cheese!"
They heard her grumble at him some more as they moved away to give the couple their privacy. Marinette chuckled as she watched them go.
"I'm sorry about him, my lady. He's… Well, he's Plagg."
She giggled, turning back to the blond. "Is he why your room smells funny?"
Adrien groaned, earning another giggle from Marinette. "He hides it everywhere. Even my bed. If I didn't need him, I think I'd kill him."
She gave his hands a squeeze. "I'm sure he's not all bad."
He rolled his eyes. "You clearly don't know him."
Giggling again, she grinned and, reaching up on her toes, gave his nose a quick kiss.
Adrien blinked at her before breaking out in a grin. Letting some Cat Noir confidence through, he said, "Bugaboo, I've been waiting so long for a kiss, don't you think I deserve a proper one?"
She shrunk away, tinged in pink, making him quickly back down.
"I mean, uh, you don't have to, if you don't want to. I just thought that maybe…"
Suddenly he felt her lips against his. He didn't move for a moment, too surprised to do anything, but slowly he found himself kissing back, wrapping his arms around her waist.
"About time!" yelled a small voice, the pair breaking apart with matching blushes.
"Plagg!" chided Tikki.
"What?" he said innocently. "They're just friends."