I was working on "Genius Billionaire Playboy Philanthropist" (aka the one where Nino finds out that his best friend of five years is actually Chat Noir and oh hey, that girl he's known since preschool is Ladybug and dating said best friend) when this little bunny came hopping into the forefront of my mind and wouldn't leave.
Faced with no other alternative, I cranked it out between bouts of Hyrule Warriors last night. I'd apologize for the content, but I'm really not sorry. I shall majestically toboggan into hell atop Donald Trump's greased corpse, with you sinners in my wake.
Well isn't this just peachy.
Ladybug shifts, trying to find a way to make the best of this situation but there's absolutely nothing she can do. The door is locked and blocked, the light switch for this particular utility closet is out in the hall, and her brain is becoming increasingly frazzled each time she feels Chat Noir's breath puff against her neck.
"My Lady?" Chat's voice is strained.
"Oh, I'm sorry, am I squishing you? Hold on." She starts to wriggle in earnest now, trying to put as much space between herself and Chat as she can. Considering that said utility closet really only has enough room for one person, that is much easier said than done.
Chat lets out a strangled groan and reaches out, firmly grabbing her hips. "Please stop moving," he pants.
"Wha-?" She moves her hips against his, briefly she hopes, so that she can get into a more comfortable position. Something rigid presses into her thigh.
"My Lady," Chat grits out, "by moving around so much, you're making things particularly hard."
Suddenly Ladybug is very, very grateful for the darkness as her face is positively glowing with heat now. "That's not your staff, is it?"
"It most definitely is not," he confirms. He sounds embarrassed, at least. Chat Noir isn't some kind of deviant pervert.
"Uh, well, hopefully we'll get out of here soon?" she says, her voice cracking slightly as she panics over her closeness to…that.
"Odd that the akuma stuck us in this closet," Chat muses, hoping that his rather excited reaction to her close proximity will die down if he focuses on something else. "Usually they demand the Miraculous first."
"That is odd," Ladybug agrees. Yes, discussing the akuma is a nice, safe topic. "This particular akuma must be incredibly focused on whoever wronged them. Or something."
"Kind of like with the Evillustraitor. He was more focused on spending time with his classmate than getting the Miraculous," Chat rambles on. Whatever he's about to say next dies on his tongue as his ring lets out a warning beep. "Oh hell."
"Not your lucky day, is it, kitty?" Ladybug teases.
"Yeah, well, you've already used Lucky Charm, so your spots are going to fade soon as well."
"Hopefully we'll be out of this damn closet by then," she mutters.
"Unlikely," he snorts.
His ring beeps again, then again, and when his transformation finally wears off, the bright green light nearly blinds Ladybug so she scrunches her eyes closed.
"Augh, I'm so tired," comes a whiny voice.
"Not right now, Plagg…" Chat warns.
"Oh man, aren't you in a pickle," Plagg snickers.
"Your kwami?" Ladybug asks politely.
"My kwami," he sighs. "Plagg, Ladybug. Ladybug, Plagg."
"Uhh, nice to meet you, Plagg," Ladybug says.
The kwami cackles. "You have no idea."
"Well, if we're rescued I promise not to look," Ladybug swears.
"Uh, thanks," Chat answers because really, what else is there to say?
Silence descends on the closet, Ladybug trying really hard to ignore the rigid bulge in Chat's pants, and Chat desperately wishing that he wasn't simultaneously in heaven and hell. Heaven because he's in a small, intimate space with Ladybug. Hell because having a raging hard on as a result is really embarrassing because he should have more control over his body than that, damn it.
The silence is broken when Ladybug's Miraculous gives off a warning beep. Two minutes later it gives off another. They count the time passed by the beeps, and when the final beep sounds, the closet is awash in red light that has both parties squeezing their eyes shut against the brightness of it.
"Okay, so do we claim temporary blindness should someone find us? Walk in opposite directions while never looking over our shoulders?" Ladybug finally asks after a tense minute. Tikki's exhausted and already tucked away in a jacket pocket, power napping to regain her strength.
"Probably," Chat answers. God, she's right in front of him and he can't even see her face. "And perhaps pray that they don't know us."
Ladybug lets out an irritated hum at that, because it's entirely possible. She's not going to admit it to Chat, but this is a utility closet at her school. The probability of someone finding them in this closet and knowing at the very least her identity is stupidly high. "Here's hoping that my good luck overrides your bad luck."
"Yeah, that sounds good," he grunts in agreement.
"My leg is starting to cramp," she whimpers as she tries to adjust her position, but Chat's hands are once again firmly on her hips, his fingers nearly bruising her skin with the strength of his grip.
"Please, my Lady, I beg of you don't," he says between clenched teeth.
Oh dear God in heaven, Chat's not a little guy. In any sense of the word it seems. He's definitely taller and more muscular, but he's also not lacking in another department either. Definitely not his staff indeed.
"I really hope we can get out of here soon," she groans because honestly, her brain is starting to travel a path she's not entirely sure she's ready to go down. She's always resisted his flirtations because she's devoted to Adrien, but it's easy to forget Adrien when she's spent nearly an hour locked in a utility closet with Chat in extremely tight quarters. When she's aware of everything about him.
"Me too," he says because he's not sure how much longer he can take her wiggling against him without some kind of catastrophic result.
They're unsure how much more time passes, Ladybug eventually dozing off against him. She rouses when she hears faint voices coming from the hallway, and both superheroes let out yelps of surprise when the light suddenly flicks on. They once again shield their eyes from the blinding light, and from the other's identity. A muffled voice from the other side of the door says a command, and suddenly the sound of furniture scraping along the floor overrides the voices.
"Remember, we won't look at each other," Ladybug whispers right before the door is yanked open. Firm hands grasp her arm and the next thing she knows, she's wrapped up in an enthusiastic hug.
"Oh thank God you're both okay," Alya says. "When we could find you or Adrien, we panicked. We've been searching the whole school for you."
Marinette pulls back and blinks owlishly as she studies her friend, who is slightly flushed but smiling brightly. "A-A-A-Adrien?!"
"God, how about the luck of yours," Alya said with a wink. "Being stuck in a utility closet for hours with Adrien."
By now, Adrien is having a bit of a crisis of his own because Nino's been rambling about how the whole school has been looking for him and Marinette and the last place they looked was in this back hallway that leads to the auditorium. He swore he wouldn't look, and she promised, too, but both teens turn and look at each other as reality comes crashing down around them.
Marinette is Ladybug.
Adrien is Chat Noir.
He'd begged and pleaded with her to get her to trust him with her civilian identity. He'd done everything short of spying on her to find out of the truth. And the entire time she sat behind him in class.
Marinette, on the other hand, was trying to resolve friendly yet aloof Adrien with the outgoing and flirtatious Chat Noir. Adrien is cautious, Chat Noir is reckless. Adrien is polite, Chat likes to push boundaries. So which is the real him? Is he some weird amalgamation of both?
Still, they each sit on the hallway floor as their classmates flutter and hover about them, each talking about the akuma that attacked the school earlier that afternoon. Their eyes are locked and they each wonder how they didn't make the connection before because now that they know, it just seems so obvious. Adrien, when in a mood, had a bit of Chat's swagger and devil may care attitude. Marinette, on the other hand, could stand her ground against Chloe with all of the confidence and poise of Ladybug – not an easy feat seeing as most of the school lives in fear of Chloe Bourgeois and her father's influence.
Alya's still talking a mile a minute, rambling about what she'd seen of Ladybug and Chat Noir, and Marinette allows herself to be pulled along until both she and Adrien are seated at their desks in their homeroom. The rest of the students file out to check out the damage of the school and see if they can maybe see Ladybug and Chat Noir in action, telling Adrien and Marinette to take a few moments to recover from their ordeal in the utility closet before joining them.
The silence is deafening once they're alone. It's not like the utility closet where the other's breathing broke the quiet. The classroom is so silent, Marinette is sure that Adrien can hear the anxious thrumming of her heart.
A panicked giggle escapes before she can smother it, because really, this is not how she imagined telling Chat Noir who she really was. Maybe after a few years and the solid knowledge that her partner is someone she can well and truly trust, then she'd tell him. But after being locked in a utility closet all afternoon only to be unceremoniously freed by their classmates? Nope, definitely not how she imagined the Big Reveal going down.
Before she can get her emotions under control, Marinette is doubled over in laughter, tears leaking from her eyes. She's faintly aware that Adrien is watching her with caution; that he wants to say something but isn't quite sure if he should.
He finally settles on, "Are you okay?"
"Just fine," she gets out between gales of laughter because really. This whole situation is absurd.
"Is it really that funny?" he asks quietly.
"In full disclosure I'm willing to admit that if I weren't laughing I'd be crying," Marinette manages to say as she forces herself to calm down. "It's an either/or situation."
Neither reaction is exactly comforting to Adrien. "Oh."
A few deep, calming breaths later, Marinette stands. "I guess…I guess I never let myself think about the possibility of Chat Noir being somebody that I already knew."
"I did," he mumbles. "The history book, from our school. I figured she was someone I knew, or at the very least knew of."
"God, the history book," Marinette murmurs as she looks out the window. "I had to do some serious scheming to get it back from Alya."
"I guess," Adrien muses as he stands to join her at the window, "I should have seen the signs earlier. Like when I was tasked by Ladybug to keep you safe from the Evillustrator and Ladybug wasn't anywhere to be found. Yet you knew exactly how to handle the situation. It also explains Ladybug's extreme dislike of Chloe."
Marinette pulls a face at the mention of Chloe. "Ugh, that whole day sucked."
"I imagine so," he answers. "So, uh, there's still an akuma out there."
"Yeah, I know. Tikki should be rested up by now; we were in that closet, out of uniform, for at least two hours. If your kwami can powernap like Tikki can, we should be ready to get back into the fray," she says.
"Napping is one of Plagg's specialties," Adrien says dryly.
"I resent that," the black kwami says with a pout as he zips out of Adrien's shirt pocket.
"More like you resemble that," Tikki chimes in as she pops out of one of Marinette's pigtails.
Plagg pulls a face, but remains silent.
"One day," Marinette says, "when we don't already have a bazillion things to deal with, we'll sit and have a proper conversation about all of this, but right now, we have more important things to do. Like stop an akuma before it potentially levels half of Paris."
"Right, the akuma," Adrien says because damn it all, even when she's not being Ladybug she's amazing and adorable and now that Marinette can talk to him without stuttering or stammering he's seeing the whole picture. The little glimpses of Marinette that he'd seen in class when she wasn't talking to him. Of the beautiful, confident, amazing young woman she is but he rarely saw because she couldn't put a coherent sentence together for him to save her life. If he hadn't been so hopelessly crushing on Ladybug, he probably would have paid a bit more attention to Marinette. Lucky him, in the end he gets both.
"Yeah, the akuma," she says with a smile. "Silly kitty, you didn't forget how we wound up in that closet, did you?"
His cheeks pink, but he tries to brush it off as nothing. "Nah, of course not."
She shakes her head. "Sure you didn't…"
When she goes to transform into Ladybug, he grabs her wrist, startling her. "Wait!"
"What?!" she asks, worrying that something is now wrong. Maybe Adrien is having second thoughts about her being Ladybug.
"I just…well, I wanted to…back in the closet…I was planning to…oh hell," he mutters before he pulls her close and brushes his lips against her.
She squeaks in surprise because really, that is not what she expected him to do. Maybe hug her, pat her shoulder, tell her that things would be fine between them. Not kiss her. She's stock still for a moment before her brain kicks in and practically screams for her to kiss him back. She cups his face and pulls him closer and she wants to feel every inch of him against her…and oh good God yes she can indeed feel every inch of him. She giggles as she breathes between kisses, "Is that the Eiffel Tower in your pants or are you just happy to be with me?"
He pulls back when he realizes and his face is bright pink. "I'm sorry!" he blurts because control! He has it! Most of the time, anyway. Apparently Ladybug and Marinette make that control take a flying leap out of a window.
She smirks at him. She made him have that reaction. She's the one who gets a rise out of him. Literally and figuratively. It makes her feel feminine and powerful. "Perhaps, kitty, you need a moment to calm down before we put you in a skin tight catsuit."
He looks mildly peeved, and Plagg is snickering from where he's hovering nearby. Marinette giggles.
"Perhaps you should go ahead and do some damage control. I'll catch up with you when I can," he says calmly even though he is anything but calm.
"Are you sure?" Marinette asks.
"Paws-itive," he practically purrs.
Marinette rolls her eyes, but she chuckles jus the same. "You and your puns, kitty. I'm going to have to fix that."
"You love it," he teases.
Her mouth twitches into a grin. "Yeah, I do," she confesses. "Anyway, I'll leave you to, uh, recite sports scores or something. Tikki! Spots on!"
Before long Ladybug is on her way to stop the akuma and Adrien is left alone. He's pretty sure he's got a dopey grin on his face but he can't help it. He's in love with Ladybug and she's in love with him too, and despite his inability to keep his loins under control, things definitely do not suck right now.
Now there's a thought.
He shakes his head. No, that's definitely the wrong thing to be thinking about when he's trying to get his body back under his control.
"Hey, earth to Lover Boy," Plagg drawls.
Moment ruined Adrien scowls at his kwami. "What?"
"This isn't going to be an ongoing problem for you, is it?"
Oh. Well hell.
"I don't think so," Adrien answers but what the hell does he know? Ladybug and Marinette just do it for him, and technically he's still a teenage boy. That kind of reaction is almost expected.
"Yeah, sure," Plagg says with a shrug. "Just keep in mind nothing's hidden in the suit, so it's entirely possible it'll be front page news for the Ladyblog."
Oh sweet Mary mother of God.
"I think I'll ask my dad about starting up yoga again," Adrien says. That's a good way for him to center his thoughts and keep himself in control.
Plagg snickers. "Yeah, I'm gonna have to agree with you on that one. Good thing your girlfriend doesn't seem to mind."
Girlfriend. Was she his girlfriend? Well even if she wasn't she didn't seem to mind. And oh dear Lord the possibilities that brought to mind.
Wait. No! Bad Adrien!
"I think I'm gonna head down to the gym and take a nice, cold shower," Adrien finally sighs.
His kwami smirks but says nothing. He's probably dealt with his fair share of teenaged boys over the years, this probably isn't a unique problem. Still, it's damned uncomfortable.
When he finally joins up with Ladybug to finish the akuma, Chat Noir is cool and poised and totally unaffected by the fact that the love of his life is running around in a skin tight suit. Nothing he hasn't seen before, right?
After Paris is set back to rights thanks to her Lucky Charm, they share their usual celebratory fist bump.
"Thanks for showing up," she teases.
"Hey, I had some…pressing issues to deal with," he retorts.
"Mmm, I bet," she says, her eyes flicking down to his groin then back up to his face.
His cheeks heat and dear God he didn't know she had that kind of power over him. "You, my Lady, are going to be the death of me."
"Mmm, but a good death it shall be," she responds with a smile and a wink. "I've gotta admit, I'm looking forward to a little death myself."
Chat's jaw drops because sweet Marinette is not a person he would associate with that kind of statement, but by God if she doesn't have an absolutely saucy side. "I…I…I…" he splutters helplessly.
"Down, kitty," she purrs. "I guess I'll see you around, eh?"
"Later, you'll see me later," he says because at this point he can't stay away, even if he wants to.
She winks. "Glad to hear it."
Lord have mercy.
Ladybug swings off, no doubt heading back to school to pick up her belongings before heading home. Chat, on the other hand, retreats to a nearby rooftop to catch his breath and meditate. He probably shouldn't be walking around in public for a little while yet.
He's doomed, really, but he can't bring himself to care. When she smiles like that, just for him, he realizes that he'll just have to deal with it. And he's okay with that.
Marinette, Professional Troll.
And if you're not familiar with "the little death" by all means Google la petite mort.
Yup, Marinette totally went there and Adrien's kind of turned on by it. Or a lot turned on by it.
Also, no idea on the ETA of "Genius Billionaire Playboy Philanthropist." Within the next couple of weeks, I assume.