Originally, this was going to be something short involving one-word prompts, but then it turned into this monster of a reveal fic. Oh well. Enjoy!
Seeing the sad expression she has on her face today feels like having a knife pierce his heart. He asks her what's wrong, but she brushes his question away, saying she would rather keep this to herself.
The imaginary knife in his chest is driven deeper into his heart. He knows that she trusts him, but it still hurts to know she doesn't trust him with everything. At least, not yet.
He's felt the temptation to find out who Ladybug is behind the mask many times, and to tell her who he is in turn, but he knows she wants to keep their double lives separate from each other.
But sometimes the weight of these secrets feels like too much to bear.
He doesn't quite understand why she is so reluctant to tell him who she really is, but he respects her decision. The desire to know is still settled in the back of his mind though. She's so amazing with the mask on; she must be incredible without it too.
Ladybug or not, he knows he'll love her just the same.
They've both had close calls multiple times, pushing themselves to their limits.
He's joked about letting his transformation wear off in front of her before, and he would always get a playful response in return. But he wonders if she's ever been curious about him the way he is about her.
Would she be surprised? Disappointed? He doesn't dislike being Adrien, but Chat Noir is closer to who he really wants to be.
In the frenzy of defeating the akuma and purifying it, Chat Noir doesn't notice that his time has run out until it's too late, and now he's standing in front of his Lady with no mask to hide behind.
They both stand in shocked silence for a moment, until he manages to utter the word "sorry." His voice sounds strangled and unfamiliar to him, and he wants to say more, but the severity of the situation is crashing in on him. He had promised to keep their hero and civilian lives separate, but in this moment he has ruined everything.
He's running away before Ladybug can say anything in response.
He's lying on his bed facedown, the events that just transpired haunting him already. He wonders if Ladybug is disappointed, or if she's mad at him; if she thinks that she was better off not knowing that her partner is actually Adrien Agreste.
He tries not to clench his jaw too much from stress as he picks up a call from Ladybug. She wants to see him to talk about what happened. He agrees to meet up with her in an hour because there is no way he could say no.
The skyline of Paris at sunset serves as the perfect backdrop for a love confession, he realizes, as he waits for her. It's a shame that this meeting will not be of the romantic variety.
When she arrives, his second apology of the day is already spilling out of his mouth. "I'm so sorry. I messed up. If you want, we can just pretend this never hap-"
"Chat," Ladybug cuts him off. "It's okay."
He has been directing his gaze at her feet this entire time, out of worry that she would look at him differently for betraying her trust. Yes, it was an accident, but it had happened.
But when he gathers the courage to meet her gaze, he sees the same kind grey-blue eyes she always looks at him with. The same eyes that mesmerize him without fail, no matter how many times he looks at her.
"You don't have to show me who you are, My Lady," he says. He tries to hide how much it hurts him to say that, how much his curiosity burns him because what if she knows him? What if he knows her? But her comfort is more important than finding out the answer to that. He wants her to know that he respects her boundaries, that this accident won't change anything even though it already has.
"I really appreciate you saying that, Chat. But it's okay. I've thought about it, and I think it's time to let you know"
There's a flash of light, and there she is: the shy girl who sits behind him in class, the one who is a little clumsy, but so sincere and so kind.
Her eyes are more blue than grey now, but they still hypnotize him. They are the same eyes he fell in love with.
He takes too long to say anything, so she breaks the silence first. "It's unbelievable, isn't it? Boring, clumsy Marinette actually being the hero, Ladybug…you must be so disappointed."
Hearing those words shocks him more than the reveal does.
"Disappointed? No! Not at all." He shakes his head to emphasize his point. "I'm just a little surprised. You're just different—Not in a bad way! I just…" He notices that in the middle of his rambling, tears are starting to run down Marinette's face. Gosh, he really did mess up today.
He rushes forward, and his transformation wears off as he wraps his arms around her. "What I'm trying to say," he murmurs into her hair, "is that I'm glad it's you."
Things feel off balance for a while, the two of them not quite knowing how to interact with each other now that their double lives have started to overlap.
But soon, they find that it isn't so difficult. Facets of Ladybug and Chat Noir start to appear when they're Marinette and Adrien, leaving everyone around them wondering how the awkwardness between them had disappeared so suddenly.
The little different parts of themselves intertwine and they realize that they are both whole together.