Chat's ears perk up when he passes the alleyway. The soft mewling makes his ears twitch. He glances around before ducking into the alley, ears leading him to the back corner. Curled up on top of a pile of old newspapers and boxes is a kitten. A tiny kitten that he could probably hold in his hands. The kitten is too dirty to tell what color its fur actually is, but it opens it's eyes to stare at Chat.
They're almost the bluest eyes he's ever seen.
"Hey there," he says softly, reaching his hand out for the cat to smell. He's not sure what if it'll be able to smell through magic spandex, but maybe the gesture alone will show that he's friend, not foe. He inhales softly when the kitten headbutts his hand after sniffing it. "Hi."
The rapid beeping of his ring startles both him and the cat. When the green light fades and he's Adrien again, his first thought is, 'did I scare it away?'
"Plagg!" he hisses.
"Hey," Plagg says with a shrug, "petting a cat isn't exactly important, and I want cheese."
"Isn't important?" Adrien scoffs. "Don't be ridiculous."
Plagg narrows his eyes. "It's a cat," he hisses.
Adrien ignores him and reaches his hand out to the startled kitten. "It's okay," he murmurs.
The kitten sniffs him for longer this time, but headbutts Adrien all the same.
"Hello, how are you?" Adrien asks as he scratches its ears.
"You're talking to a cat," Plagg grumbles.
Adrien gives Plagg a pointed look and goes back to petting the kitten. "Who do you belong to?" he asks.
The kitten meows in response.
"If you ask me to translate, I'm taking the ring and leaving," Plagg says.
"I think it's a stray," Adrien says. He carefully scoops the kitten up in his arms, where it rubs its cheek against his chest.
"I think it's a she," Plagg corrects.
She purrs and Adrien can feel the purr in his chest. It feels almost the same as one of his own purrs, as embarrassing as those can be. He smiles down at her and rubs behind her ears. When he stops, she opens her gorgeous blue eyes and looks up at him, confused at why he stopped. "I think I'm in love."
Plagg rolls his eyes. "Not happening, Romeo."
"But look at her," Adrien coos. "She just wants a loving home."
"And you're going to give one to her?"
" Yes," Adrien says sharply, holding her tighter.
Plagg blinks. "Okay, if you're sure, kid. You got a plan on how you're going to take her back home before lunch break is over? In like five minutes?"
Adrien looks around the alley before looking down at the kitten nuzzling against him. It's a good thing it's gotten cold enough to wear a jacket.
Carefully holding her with one hand, Adrien unzips his jacket and slips her inside. "Bye," he says to her before zipping the jacket up. He wraps his arms around his stomach to hold her up.
"Are you serious?" Plagg asks, unamused.
"This works," Adrien insists. "I'll put her in my bag with you when we get to the school."
"This is the worst idea you've ever had. You're going to hide a cat in your coat?"
Adrien is already walking out of the alley. "Are you coming?"
"I'm not sharing your bag with that."
"It'll be fine, Plagg." Adrien grabs Plagg by his tail. "She's a tiny little kitten, it's not like you'll be short on space."
Adrien considers it a minor miracle that he gets through the rest of the school day. Not because he's worried that Plagg or the kitten will do something. No, he was worried that he was going to give in and pull the kitten out in the middle of class to start petting her. It had been hard enough putting her in his schoolbag with Plagg when she was sleeping soundly against his chest.
"This is the worst decision you've ever made," Plagg whispers when Adrien opens his bag in the empty classroom. The kitten is curled up against him, napping.
"Aw," Adrien says with a laugh. "She likes you."
Plagg narrows his eyes. "Get it out."
Adrien scoffs. "Fine. I'll take her back." He zips her back up into his coat and pulls on his bag. It's a good thing he doesn't have anything right after school today.
"Adrien agrees with me," Nino says as soon as Adrien steps out of the school. "Doesn't he?"
Alya rolls her eyes. "Please."
"Agree with you on what?" Adrien asks, fist bumping Nino's outstretched fist.
"Just say yes," Nino says.
"Ha! I win!"
Alya puts her hands on her hips. " So doesn't count. Adrien doesn't even know what we're talking about!"
"What are we ta—"
Marinette gasps. Her eyes are on his neck and— Oh. He was so used to the kitten wiggling around that he hadn't even noticed her until she was popping her head out of his collar.
Alya takes a picture.
"D-do you have a cat in your jacket?" Marinette asks. She shakes her head. "I mean, why. Why do you…?"
"I found her during the akuma attack," Adrien says holding his fingers in front of her nose for her to sniff.
Alya lowers her phone. "And you just kept her in your jacket for the rest of class?"
"She was in my bag during class," he admits.
Nino pats him on the back. "This is ridiculous. I'm proud."
"What are you going to do with her?" Marinette asks as Adrien unzips his jacket.
The kitten snuggles into his arms before trying to climb up onto his shoulder. "Take her home," he says with a laugh.
"Uh, dude, won't your dad freak out?" Nino asks.
Adrien shrugs. "He's not home right now."
"Okay, what about Nathalie?"
Adrien pulls the kitten off his shoulder. "They don't have to know."
"A secret pet," Marinette says in disbelief. "My parents would not be thrilled."
"I think that underneath all the office supplies and timetables, Nathalie has a heart," Adrien says. "And I'm sure there's space in her heart for a little kitten."
Alya shakes her head. "Sorry, I'm still stuck on the fact that you put a stray cat in your jacket. You have no idea what diseases it could have!"
"She didn't even scratch me," Adrien promises, juggling the kitten in his hands as she wiggles around.
"A shelter isn't an option?" Alya's already unlocking her phone. "I'm sure I can—"
"That's okay," he interrupts. "I can handle it."
"Her eyes are really pretty," Marinette says. She smiles when the kitten stares at her and wiggles her fingers in greeting.
"She's going to be beautiful when I clean her up," Adrien says, lifting the kitten up to eye level. She reaches out for his nose.
"Unbelievable," Alya mutters. "He's attached. Please don't tell me you named her."
"Her name's Felicity."
Alya throws her arms up in the air. "You can't just take animals in off the streets!"
Nino puts his arm around Alya's shoulders. "Babe, I don't think you can fight him on this. Besides, give it a day and you're going to love that kitten as much as he does. If he thinks he can manage this, I say we let him try."
"I'm giving you a week, Mr. Agreste," Alya says. "You actually have to be able to take care of this cat. We've had three different pets and it's always way more of a handful than you think it's going to be. If you can't, we need to find her a new home."
Adrien nods. "Works for me."
"And no, Mari, I don't care if you fall in love with the cat too," Alya says.
Marinette sheepishly pulls away from where she'd been making faces at Felicity as she scratched her ears.
"I told you I'd be fine," Adrien says to Alya.
Alya crosses her arms. "When I said you have to take care of the cat, I didn't mean get another cat."
"Get another—" He notices the orange tabby sitting on the sill under the open window. "Oh, hey, how'd you get in here?"
"He got another cat?" Marinette asks, ducking around Alya to get into the room.
"Technically I just have Felicity," Adrien says, moving over to the window. "We just have a visitor."
"Did you become the Cat Whisperer or something?" Nino asks, dropping down on the couch. "Cats don't just show up in my room because the window's open, man."
"You aren't keeping it," Alya says suddenly. "One kitten is enough to handle for now."
"One adorable kitten," Marinette says. She bends over and scoops Felicity up from where she's rubbing against her legs. "Hi there, gorgeous. You're so white and fluffy now that you're all cleaned up."
Adrien holds his fingers up to the cat. It sniffs him before meowing loudly.
"He is a cat whisperer," Nino says dramatically. "Watch out world, Adrien Agreste is going to come steal your feline friends."
"This is Oliver," Adrien says, checking the collar, "and I'm not stealing him. He just stopped by for a visit."
"Still, I can't believe you," Alya says, petting Felicity.
Chat gasps and leaps down from the roof. He can hear Ladybug sigh and follow him.
"What are you doing?" she asks him as he bends over the cardboard box.
"Kittens," he whispers, reaching in. A striped one grabs for his hand. "Oh, kitties."
Ladybug shakes her head. "Chat, come one, we have to patrol."
"Can I make a pitstop?" he asks, picking up the box.
Her eyes narrow. "What are you doing?"
"Taking them home." He starts walking away, but she yanks on his tail.
"You can't just take a box of—" She leans over it. "—a box of five kittens home!"
"Why not?" Chat protests. "I already have a kitten, and there are plenty of cats who hang around my room. I mean it's not like I don't know how to take care of cats." He points to his ears.
Ladybug drops his tail to cross her arms. "Chat Noir, you are not an actual cat. You are a human with a superhero persona that happens to be a cat. You don't have fur, you have spandex."
He sticks his tongue out at her. "I know what I'm doing, LB."
"Let's go to a shelter," she says. "We can make it a…superhero thing. Drop off the kittens and find them a home…"
"I have a home for them," he says sincerely. "What do you have against me taking home kittens?"
"I just—" She pulls on one of her pigtails. "Five kittens is a lot of kittens. My friend just got one, and she's a handful on her own. I mean, you said you already have one, don't you think six kittens is a bit much?"
"I can handle it," Chat promises. "I have the money for it and I have a ton of empty space in my house. I have a ton of space in my room."
"Why not a shelter?" Ladybug asks again. "What's wrong with a shelter?"
"I've looked at shelters," he says. "I looked when I got my first kitten because one of my friends insisted. Shelters are pretty full. And yeah, kittens can get adopted quickly but that doesn't change the fact that shelters don't have enough space." He looks down into the box to see one of the kittens looking up at him. "I can bring them to a shelter, but I'm just going to go pick them up tomorrow as my civilian self."
Ladybug deflates. "Fine. Take the kittens. I'll meet you by the Tower in ten, is that enough time?"
Chat grins. "Purrfect, my Lady."
Alya gives him a frustrated look before taking his phone from him. "Have you named them?"
"Not yet, I haven't—"
She holds up a hand. "Which ones are girls and which are boys?" She nods as he points to kittens on the screen. "Okay. Steve, Clark, Barry, Laurel, and Nat. There you go, named."
Adrien takes his phone back in surprise. "Uh… Thank you?"
Alya shrugs. "I have so many names. I will name all your cats. Because at this point, I'm just expecting more cats."
"More cats?" Marinette asks, putting her bag down next to her seat.
Alya grabs Adrien's phone away again. "Adrien found more kittens."
"The Cat Whisperer strikes again," Nino says as he drops into his seat. "How many?"
"Five," Alya announces. "All kittens, all of which he is taking to the vet asap."
"That was the plan," Adrien says. "Can I have my phone back?"
"Hold on, I need to tell Mari their names so she'll know who's who when she meets them."
"You sure your dad isn't going to be pissed?" Nino asks. "Six cats is a lot of cats.
Adrien shrugs. "I brought them in this morning. Nathalie looked kind of horrified, but my dad said as long as I take responsibility for them and aren't covered in cat fur during shoots, I'm fine."
"I can't believe your dad wouldn't let you have a birthday party but he lets you have six kittens," Nino grumbles.
"I'm not going to complain," Adrien admits.
"Don't," Alya says. "Because you told us you have to afternoon off today, and that means cats ."
"All these cats are taking up all my space," Plagg complains.
Adrien pushes a piece of camembert towards the kwami. "Plagg, you literally fit in my pocket. You don't need that much space."
"Yes I do." Plagg crosses his arms. "And how I supposed to rest with all this meowing."
Adrien rolls his eyes. "You could and would sleep through the apocalypse."
"I'm leaving you and going to live with Ladybug," Plagg grumbles.
"You don't even know who she is!"
"So? I can find her. And I will leave you and your cats," he hisses. "I mean at least get Barry a new box! He's already destroyed it."
Adrien hides his smile. "Sure. I'll get one later."
"Good." Plagg picks up his cheese. "Also, Laurel doesn't like the new brand of cat food you got."
Chat turns around to growl back at the cat who's growling been at him in the shadows.
Ladybug rests a hand on her hip. "Guess your cat skills aren't so great when you meet another chat noir, huh?"
Chat frowns. "No, this chat noir is being a grumpy cat and growling at me. Like I'm intruding his territory or something."
She giggles and bends over, clicking her tongue. "Come here, kitty, kitty."
The cat hisses one more time at Chat before hesitantly moving towards Ladybug.
"Favoritism," Chat grumbles as the cat licks Ladybug's hand.
Ladybug laughs and scoops the cat up in a single motion. The cat mewls in surprise. "Maybe you aren't as good with cats as you think you are," she says, cradling the cat. "I think he likes me." He bats at her pigtails.
Chat rolls his eyes. Of course all it took was an actual black cat to get Ladybug's attention. His ears perk up, and he peers into the dark corner of the roof the cat had come from.
Large cat eyes stare back at him.
He glances back at Ladybug, who is still preoccupied with her own cat, before slinking forward. The unblinking eyes are a light gray blue and almost hypnotic. He crouches down. Him and the cat stare at each other in silence.
"You alright there, alley cat?" Ladybug asks. "Feeling a little neglected?"
The cat blinks at him.
Chat blinks back.
With that, the cat bounds out of the darkness. The spotted cat rubs against Chat, purring loudly.
"Another?" Ladybug asks, amused.
The cat climbs up onto Chat, hitting his bell with its paw.
"Hey!" he exclaims, lifting up the cat. "That's my bell!"
Ladybug laughs. "You don't actually speak cat."
"You don't know that," he shoots back.
She shakes her head, stroking the back of the black cat that's purring contentedly in her arms. "You want to talk them home, don't you?"
"Hey, it's different this time," Chat points out. "They aren't kittens."
"You can't take them without names," she teases.
He quickly runs through Alya's list of names. "This is Bridgette," he says, pointing the cat he holds. "And Mr. Grumpy Pants can be Felix."
"You'll actually take Mr. Grumpy Pants?" Ladybug asks.
Bridgette meows loudly, butting her head against Chat's arm.
"I don't think she's going to let me leave without him," Chat admits.
Ladybug shakes her head. "You and your cats."
"I love my cats," Chat says, hugging Bridgette. She purrs happily. "And they love me."
"Well Felix hates you," Ladybug taunts. "And loves me ."
As if to emphasize her point, Felix bumps his nose against her jaw.
Chat makes a face. "Rude, Felix. Rude."
Bridgette nuzzles Chat to comfort him.
"At least Bridgette loves me," he says dramatically.
Ladybug rolls her eyes.
"Okay, man, this visitor does not like me." Nino holds his hands up and steps away from Felix. "I didn't realize cats could give death glares."
"Felix hates everyone," Adrien says with a wave of his hand. "Everyone except Bridge."
And Ladybug. But they can't know that.
"Bridge?" Alya asks, already on the floor in the center of a pile of kittens.
"Bridgette," Adrien says, lifting the spotted cat up as she meows at him. "Her and Felix are new."
Alya smiles fondly, cocking her head. "Of course they are."
"The Cat Whisperer strikes again," Nino says, dropping down next to Adrien on the couch. He juggles a few of the cat toys, Bridgette's head bobbing up and down as she follows them.
"You okay, Mari?" Alya asks.
Adrien twists to see Marinette by the door. She has Felicity in her arms, her hand hovering just above her back almost as if she stopped mid-pet. Marinette shakes her head, shaking herself out of a stupor. "F-fine," she stutters. "I just thought of something I have to do when I get home."
Alya waves her over. "Come on, join the cat party."
Marinette walks over as Nino amuses Bridgette with a mouse toy.
"You need a laser pointer, dude," Nino insists.
"With eight cats?" Adrien asks. "Why does that sound like a bad idea?"
"It sounds like a great idea," Alya counters.
Marinette sits down wordlessly, releasing Felicity into the sea of cats. Adrien has to remember to close his window once they leave, more cats always show up when he's alone.
"I refuse to believe you dad hasn't freaked out about this, Cat Whisperer," Nino says, elbowing Adrien.
"Well he doesn't realize that cats just show up," Adrien admits. "He knows about the eight, that's it."
"'That's it'," Alya mocks. "Adrien, we're not even done with school and you're already the old man with a ridiculous amount of cats."
"Is that a bad thing?" he asks.
Alya shrugs and pulls a kitten off the side of the couch. "It's definitely a Thing, that's for sure."
Adrien notices Marinette sitting against the wall, reaching her hand out to Felix. He leaps down from his perch on the window sill into her outstretched arms. She coos softly and scratches behind his ears.
Adrien blinks a few times. Huh.
There's a soft tapping at his window. Adrien groans and rolls over as Plagg grumbles about visitors and cats.
Adrien rubs his eyes, careful not to step on any of the sleeping felines. Felix and Bridgette are sitting up at the window, Bridgette pawing the glass.
"Hey, what are you two up to?" he murmurs, petting them both. Bridgette purrs, while Felix turns his unimpressed green eyes towards Adrien.
Adrien gasps and stumbles backwards as Ladybug swings around and knocks on the glass. He gently pushes Felix and Bridgette out of the way to open the window.
"Sorry," she whispers. "I didn't really have anywhere to stand, so I just swung around the corner until I saw you out of bed."
"L-Ladybug," Adrien stutters. "What are you?"
"Came to say hi to my favorite feline friends," she says, leaning over to look at the floor before slipping into the room.
Felix purrs and pads over to her, rubbing against her arm.
"Hey, Fe," Ladybug says, rubbing behind his ears. She smiles hesitantly at Adrien. "Hey, kitty."
Adrien's breath catches in his throat. "You know?"
Ladybug laughs nervously. "I mean, it wasn't hard to figure out with Bridgette and Felix here. I'm actually surprised I didn't figure it out with the box of kittens," she admits. "That probably should've tipped me off." She tilts her head. "Although, a lot of things should've tipped me off."
"I probably should've known too," Adrien says softly. "I mean, Fe hates everyone. Except you and Bridgette."
Ladybug ducks her head.
"No one else would be able to get him to leap into their arms. And you had a pretty extreme reaction when I mentioned their names." He takes a shaky breath. "Marinette."
She glances up at him. "I was kind of processing the fact that I'd just found my best friend…and it turns out that he had been sitting in front of me the whole time." She pauses. "Chat."
Adrien laughs nervously and rubs the back of his neck. "I never thought I would find out your identity because of a grumpy cat." He pokes Felix's side, who gives him a half-hearted hiss.
"I probably could've guessed," Ladybug teases. "You get grumpy when you're jealous."
"I-I do not!" Adrien protests.
Ladybug's earrings beep. She only has one dot left. She bites her lip and glances away. "I, uh… I can't say I'm much better."
"You, jealous?" Adrien asks, raising his eyebrows.
"Not important," she grumbles.
He can't believe that she's right in front of him. And she's Marinette, one of his first friends. The person who brings too much food over just so he could keep some for later, the person who can absolutely destroy him in video games. The first person to love his cats as much as he did.
He's always admired her. There are endless reasons too. Add on the fact that she's Ladybug— It's not really a surprise that he had maybe a mild crush on her while he was head over heals for Ladybug.
"I'm glad you're Ladybug, Mari," he says with a smile.
Ladybug looks up to him with wide eyes. "R-really?"
"There's no one else I'd rather it be."
"I'm glad you're Chat," she says softly. "It also makes it a little easier."
Ladybug forces a laugh. "I, uh, might've been having a slight crisis. Because I had a crush on someone. But then , I started developing a crush on someone else. And it's just…a lot easier now that I know that…they're the same person?"
Adrien's heart is going to break out of his ribcage it's beating so hard. "I was having the same dilemma."
"I… Uh…" Ladybug stares at him. "Oh."
It's a good thing it's dark, because Adrien can feel how hot his cheeks are. "Yeah, oh."
Felix headbutts Ladybug's side pushing her closer to Adrien. "I-I think Felix is um…"
They're only a few inches away. And there they are, the only eyes bluer than Felicity's.
"Hi," she whispers.
Adrien could just lean down and— "Hi."
Ladybug's earrings beep rapidly. "I should g—"
He grabs her arm. "Wait, not yet."
"We both know."
"I need to get home."
"Just a few more—"
She raises up on her toes and kisses him. Adrien's eyes widen before they flutter closed. He wraps his arms around her waist and kisses her back. She tastes like sugar and kisses with just the slightest hint of desperation.
There's a flash of light.
She pulls away, resting her forehead on his own.
"You wouldn't have been able to get home anyway," Adrien says softly. "Not enough time."
"Hush, kitten," Marinette says. She kisses him again, softer, somehow sweeter than before.
They step away from each other as Felix squeezes between their legs.
Adrien sighs and runs his hand through his hair. "He hates me." Bridgette meows in agreement.
"He's just jealous." Marinette wraps her arms around Adrien's neck. "But don't worry, you're my favorite chat noir."