An autumn breeze meandered through the magnificent city of Paris, a slight chill brushing away the toasty air of summer. The city was decked out to the nines in Halloween decor, and everyone was excited for the party Mayor Bourgeois planned to honor Ladybug and Cat Noir. The entire city had been invited to the extravagant masquerade at the Eiffel Tower.
Marinette Dupein-Chang was putting the finishing touches on the costumes she was making. Cat Noir would be there any moment to pick up the costumes he asked her to make him and Ladybug. She couldn't help but smirk. Such a complex ruse to protect her secret identity. The hardest part was inventing a reason why Ladybug couldn't come with him to pick up their costumes from Marinette.
As she tied a knot on the last stitch, she stepped back to admire her work. Designing costumes to go over their transformed outfits without covering up who they really were wasnt easy. Somehow she managed to find the time to make another costume so she could also make an appearance as Marinette, because everyone would figure it out if she was the only one in the whole city who didn't show up.
"Well done, Princess."
Marinette shrieked and stumbled back, tripped over her sewing box, and landed in a heap on the floor.
Groaning, she opened her eyes to see Cat Noir hanging through the trap door in her ceiling above her bed, his hand stretched out to her and shock written across his face. "Are you okay?" He dropped down and held a hand out to her.
She sat up, rubbing her head. "Never better! True Marinette style!" Taking his hand, she stood. "Thanks. I'm such a klutz. Sorry for worrying you."
"It's fine. You have nothing to apologize for. I did kind of sneak up on you." He turned to the three costumes. "I meant what I said, though. They're purr-fect. Which one's Ladybug's?" he asked, gesturing to the two dresses.
Marinette giggled. "The one with the spots, silly cat. You said you wanted people to recognize you."
He flashed her his signature Cheshire grin. "That I did, Princess."
Marinette quickly showed him how to wear his costume over his catsuit before boxing it up. She followed him to the roof top garden.
"Wait," he said. "How does Ladybug put hers on?"
She froze for a split-second. So stupid! She hadn't thought of that. Mind racing, she turned to face him. "Uh... Ladybug stopped by so I could get the final measurements for her costume. I showed her how while she was here."
He stared at her a moment. "I didn't know she knew where you lived."
Perhaps it was her paranoia, but his tone almost sounded accusatory. She giggled nervously, trying hard to not physically smack herself. No, it had to be her imagination. There's no way he could figure it out from that.
"Oh, well," he said, shrugging. "There is a lot I don't know about m'lady, after all. Thanks for helping us out."
"Anytime," Marinette replied, struggling to not show any signs of the relief flooding through her. "I had fun! Let me know next time you need help."
The Black Cat flashed her a grin and a thumbs up before jumping away.
Marinette turned away and slumped against the railings. "Stupid, stupid, stupid!" she berated, smacking her head with each repetition.
Tikki flipped out of her hiding place. "What's wrong, Marinette?"
"Oh, only that I planned out every detail of this to protect my identity, and it didn't even occur to me that Ladybug wouldn't officially see her costume until Cat Noir gave it to her. Me. Whatever." She turned around and gripped the iron railing. She could see Cat Noir leaping across the city in the distance. "All's well that ends well, I guess. I'll just have to be more careful next time."
The Kwami giggled. "You worry too much, Marinette."
Marinette sighed, still watching the black-clad figure in the distance. She wondered, for the hundredth time if she should give Cat Noir a chance, or if she should keep her sights set on Adrien.
Her phone rang, pulling her from her reverie. "Hey, Alya," she answered.
"So did you get your costume done in time?" Alya asked. "The party starts in an hour!"
"Oh, man, I totally spaced! I have to get ready!"~
Cat Noir dropped into the bathroom where he'd left the shower running. "Man, did I cut it close," he muttered. "Claws in."
Plagg popped out of his ring and immediately started begging for Camembert. Adrien, in a hurry, pointed to a plate of Plagg's favorite as he rushed to change.
He'd left the costumes for Ladybug and Cat Noir hidden on the roof of a building near the Eiffel Tower. He didn't think it was a good idea to try explaining to his father why he had to take two boxes with them to the party.
A knock yanked him from his thoughts. "Adrien, we're leaving in ten minutes," Nathalie's voice drifted through the bathroom door.
"Almost done," the blond called. He pulled on his black boots, flipped on his cloak and gave himself a once over in the mirror. He hadn't really aimed for a specific character. The white button up and black bow tie, over black pants and some awesome boots tied together perfectly with the black, high-collar cloak. He finished clasping the silver chain that held his cloak in place and gave his reflection a thumbs up.
Strolling out of the bathroom, he grabbed the top hat and mask that would complete his look. He gave a quick glance around to make sure Nathalie was gone. "Plagg, come on. I don't want to be late." When there was no response, he went back into the bathroom. "Plagg!" The lazy Kwami had stuffed himself stupid. Not having the patience for him at that point, Adrien grabbed Plagg and stuffed him uncerimoniously into a pocket of his cloak and bolted out the room.
He arrived at the front door just in time.
"Ah, so you are ready," Gabriel Agreste stated in his typical emotionless tone. "I was worried you would make us late."
"Sorry, father," Adrien replied. He couldn't help but grin. It wasn't often that his father left the house for a social function. He was wearing his typical white and red suit, but had traded in his normal jacket for coat tails, and grasped his white mask in one of his gloved hands.
The car ride was a short one, and the party was just getting started when they arrived. He eyed all the vendor carts that lined the streets. Every business that managed to get a license to operate at the party had brought their very best product. Most of it was food of every variety imaginable, but there were several with things like face painting, animal balloons, Ladybug and Chat Noir memorabilia, and even one with t-shirts themed for the party. The city had gone all out to make this a party one would never forget.
After a few moments of socializing with the elite of Paris, Adrien heard someone call his name. Glancing around, he spotted his best friend, Nino, decked out in full DJ attire, waving both arms at him. Adrien smiled and waved back.
When he turned back to his father and the editor of some fashion magazine, he saw his father watching him with a small smile on his face. "I'm sure you're eager to join your friends," he said. "Go have fun."
Though he knew it was most likely for appearances that his father was letting loose on his reins, Adrien was ecstatic none-the-less. "Thanks, Father!" Adrien exclaimed. He gave his father a brief hug and ran off toward Nino.
"Dude, where's your mask?" Nino asked when Adrien reached him.
"Oh, right!" He quickly pulled on his mask and placed his top hat on his head, tilting it at an angle.
"Mysterious figure in the night. I like it!" said Alya as she popped up over Nino's shoulder, her arms draped over his shoulders. Nino's cheeks turned pink. "Hey, have you boys seen Marinette? She was supposed to be here by now."
"Speak of the devil..."
The trio turned to see Marinette dashing towards them with devil horns on her head.
Alya glanced between Nino and Adrien. "I swear I had no clue that was her costume."
The two boys just chuckled as Marinette reached them. "Sorry I'm late! I lost track of time," she explained between pants.
"Girl, you couldn't be on time to save your life," laughed Alya.
"Yeah, you're probably right," Marinette replied, an odd look coming over her face.
Adrien couldn't help but think Marinette was beautiful. She wore a strapless burgundy dress with a sweetheart neckline. The empire waistline was adorned with a single black gem. The hem came to her knees while a layer of chiffon fluttered to the floor, barily hiding her simple black heels. Her mask was burgundy, a perfect match to her dress. Adrien couldn't help but wonder about her choker with the tiny golden bell. Perhaps it was a silent homage to Cat Noir. He'd ask about it later.
More important was the unexpected emotion welling up in his heart. It was the same feeling he got whenever he spotted Ladybug. Could he be... in love with Marinette? It only took a moment of thought to realize that, yes, in fact, he was very in love with the girl in front of him. Well, that complicated things.
"Oh. My. Gosh!" Alya gushed, pulling Adrien from his thoughts. "I wonder if Ladybug's going to dress up or not! I made sure to charge my phone completely before I left home. I have to record everything for the Ladyblog!" Marinette rolled her eyes, an affectionate look on her face for her Ladybug-obsessed friend. "They're supposed to be here in twenty minutes."
Adrien froze. He needed to get into costume. He had to go!
"I need to go check in with my parents before they get here," Marinette said, for some reason looking sheepish. "Make sure they don't need help with the pastries."
"Hey, I'm going to the bathroom," Adrien said.
"No one wanted to know that, pretty boy," Alya said as Nino laughed.
Adrien laughed as he walked off in the direction of a restuarant that was open for the party. Instead of going in, he slipped around a nearby corner into an alley and made his way to the back. Once he was sure no one was within sight, he transformed and leapt to the roof, making his way to their meeting place.
He spotted Ladybug immediately, facing away from him, staring at the sunset as she put her hair into a braided bun.
"Good evening, m'lady," he said, a grin creeping across his face as he took in the image of the love of his life.
Marinette turned to face Cat Noir as she pinned the last pins in her hair. "Good evening, kitty cat," she teased. "You ready for this?"
"Of course," he replied. He retrieved the costumes from their hiding place and handed one to Marinette.
"Thanks," she said, before tearing into the box to rush into her costume. She had been inspired by a Victorian fashion gallery she recently visited. The dress itself was a simple knee length scoop neck dress in burgandy. A black collar rose from the neckline and up her neck. Some black gloves, black leggings and side buttoned boots covered her suit entirely.
Marinette pulled on a bright red overcoat with black spots. It fastened at the empire waistline with a bow and a red gem stone and the hem brushed the floor. She completed the look with a couple of red necklaces and a red wide brimmed hat covered in red flowers and feathers, and black lace.
She briefly wondered what Chat Noir would think before facing the cat. He looked dashing in the Victorian inspired suit she had created. The collar of the black shirt was popped up with a green western tie wrapped around his neck. His vest was charcoal grey, while his coat tails and slacks were pitch black.
"Marinette did a fantastic job on your costume," she said. So awkward to praise her own work, but she hid her discomfort.
"Thanks, Bugaboo," Cat Noir replied, "but your's is amazing." Marinette felt a blush color her cheeks. Cat Noir held his arm to her. "Shall we wow the guests?"
She grinned and took his arm. "Let's go."
The guests were ecstatic to see the superhero duo in their costumes. They talked to more people than they could keep track of. Normally they only get a few minutes after the fights before they change back. They rarely got a chance to talk to anyone. The two were mentally exhausted when the music finally started.
Cat Noir turned to Ladybug, extending his hand to her. "May I have this dance, m'lady?"
"Of course," she said, taking his hand. As he led her to the center of the dance floor that had been built under the tower, she couldn't help the butterflies fluttering in her stomach.
As they faced each other and began to dance, their eyes locked. Marinette found that she couldn't look away. Cat Noir's green eyes were captivating. How had she never noticed before? He was missing his usual Cheshire grin. Instead, he wore an expression of gentle adoration.
The music shifted from a waltz to a salsa, and Ladybug giggled. Cat Noir grinned and they began dancing with the music. All around them, couples stopped and watched the heroes' lively dance. The duo didn't noticed the attention, however; they could barely take their eyes off each other.
At the close of the dance, they posed side by side, hand in hand and gazing into each other's eyes. It was a magical moment, but they were drawn back to reality by the applause surrounding them. Ladybug gave a sheepish grin as a blush creeped up her face.
"Shall we make our escape?" Cat Noir whispered into Ladybug's ear.
Ladybug giggled and nodded.~
With her costume safely stashed, Marinette meandered through the vendors, lost to her thoughts. Dancing with Cat Noir had made her realize how strongly she felt for him. What was she going to do now? She felt just as strongly for him as she did Adrien. With Cat Noir, she could be herself, but at the same time she couldn't. She couldn't know who he is, and he couldn't know who she is. At least with Adrien, she had a chance at a future with him, but she couldn't even get a coherent sentence out when he was around.
She could see how she fell in love with them both. They were so much alike. Adrien was altruistic and warm-hearted, and Cat Noir was kind and brave. How many times had Adrien encouraged her? How many times had Cat Noir taken a blow for her?
Oh, how was she supposed to choose?! She rubbed her forehead. "This is impossible," she muttered.
"No, it's not, Marinette," came Tikki's voice from her hiding spot. "Just give it a little time, and your heart will find the answer."
Marinette looked down at her bag. "So, what your trying to say is stop worrying about it."
"Pretty much." If Marinette could see her, she would have seen Tikki rolling her eyes with a huge grin on her face.
"You're right," Marinette said. "This party is being thrown in Ladybug's honor, and Cat Noir's, so I need to enjoy it." Marinette returned to the lawn and found Alya.
"Girl, where have you been?!" Alya practically yelled at her. "You missed Ladybug!"
"No, I saw her," Marinette replied. "You were so deep into Ladyblog mode I didn't want to distract you. How about those Victorian style costumes?"
As Alya dove into a Ladybug themed rave, Marinette smiled at her best friend.~
Adrien stood in front of the sink in the bathroom, gazing into the mirror.
"Ladybug looked beautiful in that dress, didn't she?" Plagg said, a sly smirk on his face.
"Yes, of course she did," Adrien replied. "She always looks beautiful. But did you see Marinette?"
The black Kwami's smirk widened slightly. "Why, no, I didn't, Adrien. Tell me about it."
"She's stunning!" Adrien said, not noticing Plagg's impish tone. "How have I never noticed it before?"
"Maybe because you're an idiot?" Plagg offered.
"I have to be, to never notice how I felt about Marinette. I was so caught up in how I felt about Ladybug, I never noticed Marinette sneak into my heart. How can I pick between the two of them? I love one just as much as the other."
"Don't worry about it right now, kid. If there's one thing that being alive for thousands of years has taught me, it's that everything always works out the way it needs to."
Adrien sighed. "I guess you're right Plagg. It's not like I have to get married tomorrow. No point worrying about it now."
The door to the bathroom clacked open and Plagg zipped into Adrien's cloak.
"Adrien? Dude, you in there?" Nino came around the corner and spotted the blond. "Where you been, bro? You missed Ladybug!"
Adrien gave Nino a nervous grin. "Oh! No. I saw her. She was beautiful."
"Well if you saw her, why didn't you talk to her? You're, like, in love with her, aren't you?"
Adrien stiffened slightly, then rubbed the back of his head. "W-well, I was going t-to, b-b-but there were so many p-p-people, a-and-"
Nino smirked at him. "Oh, okay, I get it. Large crowds make you nervous, huh?"
Adrien paused. Social anxiety wasn't exactly where he planned on taking that, but then, he didn't really have a plan when he started talking. "Uh... yeah... you got me... large crowds make me feel claustrophobic sometimes."
"It's all good, bro," Nino said, throwing an arm around Adrien's shoulder. He held out his other hand. "Have some gum. It helps with anxiety."
Adrien felt overwhelmed with gratitude to have Nino as a best friend. Not only did he provide answers to problems, he also provided answers to the problems his answers created. He took the gum and laughed. "Thanks, Nino. You really are the best."
Nino shrugged. "What are friends for? Now come on, let's get back to the party!"
He dragged Adrien out of the bathroom and clear across the party, looking for Alya and Marinette.~
"Hey, dudettes, look who I found hiding out in the bathroom!"
Marinette and Alya turned to see Nino dragging Adrien toward them.
"What's up, guys?" Alya said, waving. "It's about time you two showed up. Nino, are you going to ask me to dance anytime soon?" A smirk crossed her face.
"Uh..." Nino stared at her for a moment, before realization struck him. With a brief glace at Marinette and Adrien, he said, "Oh! Of course. Alya, wanna dance?"
"Duh!" she replied with a giggle. She grabbed his hand and turned to Adrien. "You should ask Mari to dance with you. Ta-ta!"
The two were gone before Marinette could freak out. As they disappeared into the crowd, Adrien turned to her.
"That would be fun," he said, "but, first, can we go get some food? I'm starving." He gave a sheepish smile Marinette found absolutely adorable.
"S-sure," she answered. "I-I'm hungry, too. Let's go."
As they made their way through the crowd to her parents' cart, Adrien asked, "So, how about your necklace? Got a thing for Cat Noir?"
Marinette felt her face turn pink. "N-not a th-thing, exactly. I j-just a-admire him alot."
Adrien turned his head to fully look at her, amused curiosity in his gaze. "Oh?"
The blush on her face deepened as she looked ahead of her. "He's kind-hearted, loyal, dependable, and strong. He goes out of his way to protect people he doesn't know, and he does it with a flair of chivalry." A soft smile crept across her face without her knowing it. "He's an amazing person, and doesn't get near enough credit for everything he does."
Arriving at the cart, Marinette greeted her parents and Adrien asked for two croissants. "I don't know, Marinette," he said with a grin as he handed her a croissant. "Sounds like you have a crush on him to me."
"W-WHAT?!" Marinette freaked. "N-NO! W-why would you th-think th-that?!"
Adrien smiled and poked her cheek. "Because you're as red as a tomato."
"Adrikens!" Out of nowhere, Chloe Bourgeois wrapped her arms around Adrien's neck. Adrien struggled to keep his balance. "Come dance with me!" As she pulled him closer to her, he lost his grip on his croissant and stared forlornly at the wasted food as it hit the sidewalk.
Adrien sighed. "Maybe later, Chloe," he said. "I'm trying to eat right now, and after, Marinette already promised to dance with me."
Marinette felt herself blush beet red. She did what, now?! She began to feel dizzy.
Chloe turned her glare on Marinette. "Of course, Adrien, dear. Come find me after, okay?"
"Sure thing, Chloe," Adrien replied without enthusiasm.
As Chloe disappeared, Marinette turned to her parents, who wordlessly handed her another croissant. She thanked her parents, turned and handed it to Adrien. He smiled at her and took a bite as they walked around, checking out the vendors. One of the vendors selling Ladybug merchandise grabbed Adrien's attention and he ran ahead. By the time she caught up with him, he had already bought a phone case that was red with little back spots all over it. He turned to her to show it off. True to herself, she tripped over a rock that didn't exist. She stumbled a few steps, trying, and failing, to regain her balance. She crashed into Adrien and fell on top of him on the ground.
"Oh my gosh, Adrien, I'm so sorry! I'm such a klutz!" As she started to get off him, her eyes locked with his, and she froze.
She didn't know what caused it to click. Perhaps it was the lighting, or maybe it was the proximity. Could it have been the mask he was wearing, or how his hair had become disheveled when they fell and his hat had fallen off? It could even have been a combination of all those. Marinette was never sure. All she knew was that she had seen his eyes many times before at this close proximity, though they usually had vertical slits for pupils and the whites glowed green.
"No way," she breathed.
Recognition flashed through Adrien's eyes. "M-marinette?"
Marinette panicked inwardly. Had he recognized her the same way she recognized him? No, no this was bad! Tikki would be so mad at her.
It dawned on her that she was still practically sprawled across him. "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!" She frantically crawled backwards off of him and struggled awkwardly to her feet. As he also stood and dusted himself off, she stared at him, her mind whirling with an uncontrollable torrent of thoughts.
There was no way Adrien was Cat Noir. Was there? She'd have to be an idiot to not realize it before now. But if Adrien and Cat Noir really are the same person, then that means she's in love with two sides of the same person! But they aren't supposed to know each other's secret identity! But it was an accident. Why was she freaking out? It could just be a coincidence that they have the same eyes. And yet, she knew that wasn't true. She certainly didn't want it to be a coincidence.
"Are you okay, Marinette?" Adrien asked, drawing her from her reverie.
"Huh? Oh, yeah, thank you, I'm fine." Marinette gave him a sheepish grin. "Are you okay? Did I hurt you?"
"No, no, I'm okay." He glanced down at the half-eaten croissant he had dropped when they fell. "I give up on food."
Marinette hung her head, a furious blush taking over her face. "I'm sorry."
Adrien laughed. "Quit apologizing. It was an accident." He stepped close to Marinette, took her hand, and brought her fingers to his lips. The heated gaze he sent over her hand sent shivers down her spine. With that look, she was certain Adrien was Cat Noir. "Besides," he said in a low tone, "I have more interesting things on my mind than food." He bowed over her hand, his gaze never leaving hers. "May I have this dance... M'Lady?" He winked at her with the last word.
Marinette gasped. If there was any doubt before, it was gone now. He also made it clear that he realized she was Ladybug. She had to act natural. There were too many people around to do anything else, or they would suspect something was up. She nodded. She had to admit though, she was happy it was him. She had fallen in love with the same person twice. She had to be the luckiest girl in Paris.~
As Adrien led Marinette to the dance floor, he could barily contain himself. It was the happiest day of his life! It was Marinette! It couldn't be a coincidence that he fell in love with both of them. Ladybug and Marinette. He hadn't fallen in love with two different people. He had fallen in love with two sides of the same person!
When they reached an empty spot on the dance floor, Adrien turned to face Marinette. She put her hands up like she did when they had waltzed earlier, but he had other ideas. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close. When she didn't react, he became worried.
"Is this okay?" he whispered, looking into her shocked face.
"O-of course," she whispered back, her shock melting into a smile. She wrapped her arms around his neck. "You just took me by surprise." She laid her head on his shoulder.
He smiled at her and pulled her closer. He relished the feeling of holding her in his arms. He lost track of time as they swayed in time to the music, not wanting to let her go. She made no attempts to move away, which filled him with a sense of hope he never knew he'd been holding back.
Adrien spotted Nathalie watching him from the edge of the dance floor. He knew what that meant. "My father is going to want to go home soon," Adrien said. "Will you meet me? Tonight? So we can talk."
Marinette leaned her head back to look at him. "Yes," she said after a brief moment. "Of course."
He leaned into her ear. "Meet me here when it's gotten quiet." The song was coming to an end. Adrien saw Nathalie approaching him, no doubt to tell him to rejoin his father. He stepped back and kissed her cheek. "See you soon," he said with a wink.~
"I saw him kiss your cheek, girl!" Alya practically yelled.
Marinette held the phone away from her ear to preserve her eardrum. "Okay. That doesn't mean anything, Alya. Friends kiss each other's cheeks all the time." She rubbed her cheek. "But I'm never washing this cheek again," Marinette added dreamily.
"That may be," Alya responded determinedly, "but you two danced together for almost an hour! Nobody dances with just a friend for that long!"
A beep rang through her phone, letting her know she had a message. Looking at her screen, she saw it was from Adrien. "Hold on, Alya, I got a text."
"Ooo, is it from Adrien?"
Marinette looked at the text. 'The party's wrapping up. We'll be home soon. -Mom'
"No," Marinette answered, returning to her phone call. "It was Mom letting me know they'd be home soon." And soon she'd be leaving to meet Adrien.
"Girl, you HAVE to text Adrien," Alya said.
"And say what?" Marinette asked, wondering what her friend had in mind.
"Tell him you had fun with him tonight," she said matter-of-factly. "That'll let him know you're thinking about him. Then ask him how his history project is going. Then let the conversation flow naturally from there."
"Naturally?" Marinette asked. "Natural conversation and me don't get along when it comes to Adrien, and you know that."
"It's texting, Mari," Alya encouraged. "You can handle it."
A loud crash resounded on Alya's end. "Uh... I have to go. It seems the Sapotis are out of bed again." She sighed. "Why couldn't the babysitter stay the whole night?"
"I'll talk to you in the morning, Alya," Marinette said, amused.
"Call me and tell me all the details, got it?"
"Got it. Bye."
Marinette sighed as she hung up the phone. "What a disaster! I can't tell her about finding out who Cat Noir is!"
"Don't worry about it," Tikki said. "You always figure it out."
"I suppose," Marinette replied. She stared out her window for a moment. She heard her parents enter the shop downstairs and she fell back against the pillow of her day bed. The party was almost over then. She could take off in a moment, but, first, she needed her parents to see her passed out.
She heard the expected knock on her door and closed her eyes. "Marinette?" she heard her dad call. After a moment, she heard the door creak open. A sigh resounded, followed by a murmered, "Again, Marinette?" His footsteps approached her and he shook her shoulder gently. "Marinette, go on to bed."
She opened an eye in her best impression of just woke up, and pretended to yawn. "Okay, Dad." She stretched and stood up. When she was halfway up the steps to her bed, she heard her father retreat and close her door.
She smiled and changed into the clothes she had left on her bed. Since the night was very chilly, she had decided that she would wear her black leggings that were fuzzy on the inside, a maroon cable knit sweater over her black shirt, and black ankle boots adorned with several buckles along the side. As soon as she was ready, she climbed through the trap door to her balcony.
She looked up at the full moon, tamping down her nerves.
"I can't believe this is happening," Marinette sighed. "Well, guess I better get going. Tikki, spots on!"
When she got to the Eiffel Tower, she sat on the edge of a nearby building as she watched the last few stragglers of the party slowly make their drunken way home.
She struggled to quell her nerves. She fought side by side with this guy every day. She shouldn't be nervous, so why did it feel like she had a thousand akumas fluttering in her stomach?
The lights on the tower winked out, signifying it was already one in the morning. She stood and dropped off the side of the building. She strolled across the street to the lawn that was littered with empty cups, streamers, and all sorts of trash. "The poor clean-up crew," she murmered. As she drew closer to the tower, she became aware of a presence behind her.
"Looking beautiful as always, m'lady."
A smile spread across her face. "Thanks, Kitty." Ladybug turned to face Cat Noir.
"So it really is you," he said quietly. "When I left the party, I started worrying I was wrong. I'm so glad I wasn't."
Ladybug smiled at him and threw her yoyo, swinging up the Eiffel Tower. When she reached a height she was satisfied they wouldn't be overheard, she landed on an iron beam. She glanced down and saw Cat Noir leaping his way up. She sat on the ledge of the beam and pulled one knee up to her chin.
It only took a moment for him to catch up to her and plop down a couple feet away. The two heroes sat in silence for some time, staring into the inky blackness of the night sky, until Marinette worked up the courage to speak. "So you wanted to talk?"
Truth be told, he was afraid to talk about what was on his mind. She had always taken his flirting in stride, and had even flirted back a few times, but he was sure that she had only been teasing him.
"I have something I want to get off my chest," he said. He sat down beside her. "But I don't want it to change anything between us. Your friendship means everything to me. I know you once said there was a boy you liked, bu-"
He was cut off by Marinette's laughter which surprised him, but he watched her. She was beautiful when she laughed. A soft smile stole across his face.
When she could finally control her laughter, she rubbed tears from her eyes. "I'd forgotten about that," she mused. She looked up at him. "Silly kitty, you were the boy I was talking about. Though, I didn't know it then." She stood and turned away from him. "I've loved you from the very first time you smiled at me." She thought a moment. "Well, as Adrien. Do you remember? You'd given me your umbrella."
Adrien did remember. It was the day they had first become friends.
"You completely upset my world," Ladybug continued. "Just being around you flustered me. I struggled to form coherent sentences around you. But as time went on, I slowly fell for Cat Noir. Before, I thought I was the unluckiest girl in the world. How was I supposed to choose between two amazing guys?"
He knew exactly what she meant. Until a few hours ago, he was wrestling with the same problem.
"Spots off." Marinette turned to face him as she detransformed. He was surprised to see tears glistening in her eyes. "I've hurt you so many times. Can you ever forgive me?"
He stood and approached Marinette, stopping inches from her. He placed a hand on her cheek and wiped away a stray tear with his thumb. "Now I know I truly am the luckiest cat in the world," he murmured, eyes meeting hers, "because the two girls I fell in love with are one person, and she loves me back."
Marinette stared at the black cat, shock etched through her mind. He loved her. Both as Ladybug and Marinette. She wrapped her arms around him and hugged him close.
"Claws in," he whispered. Adrien wrapped his arms around her. "I love you, Marinette. There's nothing to forgive."
"Well, it's about time you two idiots figured it out," a voice said. Marinette jerked back in surprise and looked around until she spotted the black kwami. He was floating beside Tikki who was giving him a death glare.
"Way to go, Plagg, you ruined the moment!" she snapped uncharacteristically.
Plagg shrugged. "Who cares? Adrien, did you remember my cheese?"
Hey everyone! I know that Halloween was months ago. I'd written this some time last summer and planned to publish it for Halloween, but I'm a massive ditz and forgot all about it. I hope you enjoyed reading this regardless. I know I had a lot of fun writing it! Let me know what you think!