A mess. His mind was a mess.
Jumping, landing, rushing air in his face, he leaped across Paris. There was no destination in mind, no planning beforehand. He ran a hand through his hair, pushing back strands blown out by the wind. His cat ears twitched as he tuned himself into the surrounding sounds. Aside from the whistling of the night, the streets were silent without any murmur. He breathed a sigh as he landed soft on the roof of a store. No one should be noticing he's out tonight. He glanced at the sky. The moon was already up high, shining white, illuminating his black suit, bathing it soft in its glow.
He felt for his lips. That sensation was still there. Warmth began forming on his cheeks and he shook his head. He still didn't get it. Taking a step, he jumped again, letting the night air brush his face, cooling him down, clearing his head in the breeze. He tried to think it over once more.
Her sudden step towards him, the instant warmth of her against his chest. The color of her eyes, so clear, so blue, drawing him in, capturing him in its gaze, all the while unblinking. Every sound faded away, every movement froze under his gaze. It was a moment stood still with just him, and her. The space so close, the warmth overwhelming. His mind was blazing, his heartbeats in confusion, and then suddenly softness on his lips. All the millimetres separating them closing in less than an instant. His heart went crazy, his mind about to explode. He didn't get what was happening at all.
And then it was over. She broke apart from him, her warmth leaving him, her touch gone. He could do nothing but stare wide-eyed in the coolness that followed. But his cheeks flared up quickly, mind soon becoming jumbled with so many questions that he couldn't even begin to get out.
He looked at her face which was flushed bright red, with blue eyes doing everything to avoid his own.
She quickly mumbled some words and in the next moment she was gone. Their goodbye ended just like that. All before he could even figure out how to choke out his own words.
"I'm just so confused..." Adrien muttered into the night. He didn't know whether she meant it or not. Right before she left she said it was her way of thanking him, but was that really it? Her eyes were so serious, more serious than he's ever seen them be before the kiss. And the kiss itself was incredibly warm and gentle. Besides he didn't think anyone would just kiss someone on the lips like that if they really only considered them a friend and wanted to thank them. He shook his head again. Does this mean Marinette has feelings for him? His heart skipped a beat. She couldn't have, could she? He still only considers her a friend and his heart still belongs to his Lady. But despite all this, the thought that he has to reject her strangely causes a tight pain in his chest.
"Agghhh..." He ruffled his hair as he landed on another rooftop. "I don't get it! I don't know!" His mind felt like it was going to explode. He took a deep breath, jumped, and tried to calm down once again.
Assuming that...she did have feelings for him then wouldn't that mean he never understood anything about her in the first place? The way shes felt about him this entire time. All of the little things and all of the bigger things she did for him. Was there a thought behind them that went beyond just pure kindness?
Also, all of the times he was with her, what was on her mind? Was her heart pounding? Was she happy? Did she like being with him?
He thought of all the times they were together. They could be doing anything at all; studying, eating, hanging out or even just simply walking down the street chatting. But always, whenever her eyes just happened to meet with his, its a smile that breaks on her face. Clumsy and nervous at first before soon warming up, becoming more beautiful, more heartfelt, brightening up her eyes, her face.
Was the reason she could smile that beautifully because of him? Because she loved him? He squeezed his eyes shut. His heart pounded. All the things he did with her earlier today, he began to wonder, how much did it mean to her? Talking to her, asking her to listen to his song, catching her when she fell, walking her home, even just expressing his thanks and smiling at her, all the little things he never thought much about, did it all mean a lot to her?
He blinked, almost missing his footing as he landed on another rooftop. Just how much has his actions affected her? How much has his words, the ones he says on a whim at times, made her happy, made her sad, made her heart pound uncontrollably?
He remembered the pink color on her cheeks whenever he would talk to her, the subtle smiles she had on whenever he himself was smiling, and all the stutters and awkwardness she had sometimes when they were together.
He remembered her face whenever they had to part, how her eyes seemed to lose a little of it's shine and how her smile faltered just a bit, and how he's always thought it might just be a trick of the light since the next time he looked at her, she's smiling normally as she had before.
Just how much has her world revolved around him? If she truly did like him then does that mean he's someone that has become precious to her? That he, himself, not Chat Noir, is a person that has become 'needed' by someone else? He felt a burn behind his eyes and blinked quickly as he took another leap into the night.
All the things she's done for him, all the kindness she's shown him, was it all because she loved him? Because she could even grow to love him? He didn't think anyone could truly love him. He didn't know it was possible anyone could see him beyond his looks, his fame and fortune, and love him just because he's...him.
The thought made him feel so happy and grateful he could burst right that moment. The burning sensation came back to his eyes. He blinked them quickly again.
Despite everything there was still one question nagging the back of his mind. Why? Why him? Outside of Chat Noir and all the fame he has as model Adrien Agreste, there wasn't anything interesting about him. He was ordinary, reserved, boring. Just what was it that caused her to love him?
Even racking his brain for answers, nothing would come. He just didn't get it. He breathed a sigh as another rush of wind met his face. Dismissing those thoughts for the time being he closed his eyes as another set of thoughts came to him.
That separation after graduation...it must've hurt her so much. Hurt her so much more than he could imagine. Did she think about him everyday? Did she wonder how he was, what he was doing? Did she hope, every single day, that she'd be able to see him again soon? Today, when she said she was glad to have met him, how much had she meant it?
Thinking about these things, he all of a suddenly felt so stupid. Just living his life absentmindedly, never realizing just how important he is to other people. What the heck was he so busy with that he couldn't even give his Princess a visit? He felt like punching himself.
Landing on the roof of a long apartment building, he broke into a run. All the feelings she had for him; he never thought would be possible if it's him. He needed to see his Princess right now. Even if it means the one meeting her right now wouldn't be him, Adrien Agreste, but the boy with cat ears and a black suit; his hero identity, Chat Noir. He needed to clarify some things, her feelings, his feelings, and understand her better.
Reaching the edge of the roof, he took a giant leap, landing as soft as he can on another roof, and ran again. He hoped he wasn't creating too much of a noise for the people in the houses.
The night wind tickled his face as Marinette's bakery soon came into view. While wondering if she was still awake, he felt like hitting himself again. It was already about one-thirty in the morning. There's no reason for her to be awake at such an hour. The only reason he's still up is because he couldn't sleep and needed to clear his head. It's not like she's the same right?
As he neared the bakery, he could see that all the lights were off, every window in pitch black. He felt his shoulders drop slightly.
Before he could turn around and abort the plan though, he caught glimpse of a figure supposedly standing on the balcony of the bakery. Squinting, he took a closer look. The figure's hair was loose, dancing in the wind, it's midnight color matching the darkness of the sky. They had their chin propped on their hands with their eyes looking out as if lost in thought.
"Marinette...?" he whispered, and his heart skipped a beat. After the kiss and the realization she has feelings for him, just seeing her was making him nervous and embarrassed.
She hasn't seemed to have noticed him with his dark suit that blended so perfectly in the shadows.
Coming closer, he leapt and landed gently onto the railing of her balcony, causing a slight thud in his entrance.
Marinette finally saw him and was immediately taken aback, mouth agape, eyes wide, stumbling backwards and looking about to scream.
"Evening, Princess," he greeted her warmly. "It's just me, your knight in shining armor," and he bowed slightly.
"C-Chat Noir?" Marinette stuttered, eyes wide as recognition set in. "What are you doing here at this time?"
Before he could answer, her eyes suddenly widened even more. "Wait, is there an akuma?!"
"What? No, nothing like that!" he replied quickly. He guessed it really was pretty odd for Chat Noir to be out if there's no akuma around. "Just felt like clearing my head a bit tonight that's all."
Marinette breathed a sigh of relief, closing her eyes, hand on chest.
"Well, what about you, Princess?" he asked. "Had something been bothering you tonight?"
"What?" Marinette seemed surprised with the question, being a bit flustered when she spoke. She quickly waved her hands back and forth as if to wave away his thought. "No, no, nothing like that! I'm just...well..." She faltered a little, her eyes suddenly slipping away from his gaze. "It's nothing," she smiled quickly. "I just couldn't sleep."
That smile wasn't one that lit up her eyes. It seemed today's events must've been on her mind after all. Before he could say something though, her voice broke through the quiet again.
"But more importantly, why are you here, Chat Noir?" There was a slight sharp tone in her voice. Seeming to catch this, she quickly became flustered again, smiling nervously. "Not that I hate that you're here, of course! Just wondering what Paris' great wonderful superhero could be doing here at just a normal civilian's house at this hour?"
"Oh, well, the knight just wanted to visit his Princess to make sure she wasn't lonely, that's all," he said playfully, and smiled at her mischievously.
He didn't notice her 0.5 second eye roll before the sudden smile that replaced it.
"Well, that's really sweet of you, Chat Noir, but even so you should really head home since it's so late." There was almost an urgency in her voice and he couldn't tell if she simply just wanted him to leave or if she was truly worried for his sake, or both. He replied coolly, "It's quite alright Princess. I'm perfectly fine. Rather it's you who should be heading to bed. It's no good for a young princess like you to stay up so late, isn't that right?"
"Ahh, well, yes...I guess you're right about that..." She faltered a little again. "I just couldn't sleep..."
He watched her, the way her eyes looked distracted and tired; the way she let her hair blow messily around in the wind without a care as she stared into the distance.
He hopped down from the railing with a soft thud and leaned onto it with his back and elbows. Looking up at the night sky he asked her gently, "What's been bothering you, Princess?"
Marinette widened her eyes, looking rather surprised at his question. A pause followed after that before she finally sighed.
"You're really not leaving huh," she murmured quietly under her breath. "Well you are Chat Noir afterall...nosy and annoying..."
"I'm just a little worried and overly embarrassed tonight to get my brain to calm down," she replied, ignoring his question and looking out into the night again. The streets were still quiet and empty, apart from the occasional breeze coming and going.
"So I was right," he thought. "What happened today must've been on her mind after all."
"What's worrying you then, Princess?" he asked, feigning ignorance. "Did something happen today?"
Marinette hesitated, as if contemplating whether or not she should really tell him. But she sighed after a short while, as if figuring she didn't really have a choice anyway. Blushing, she opened her mouth. "I, um, I kind of did something I probably should not have done today..."
"Oh?" Feigning ignorance again. "What would that be?" Was it about what he thought it was?
"Uh, well..." She hesitated again, her face flustered. "I kind of, sort of, um, k-kissed my, um, f-friend today..." She immediately looked as if she regretted saying it out loud after all.
"You kissed your friend?"
His heartbeat quickened in pace. Hearing it admitted so bluntly made even his own cheeks warm up. He glanced down at her's that was already flustered and red, and, despite himself, couldn't help but chuckle at the sight. Watching her so embarrassed like this was actually really cute. He decided to tease her just a bit.
"Well if there's anyone you'd rather kiss, then wouldn't you say I'm the best option?" He smirked as he looked into her eyes. "Being your knight and saving Paris all the time deserves some kind of reward, don't you think?"
Marinette flinched slightly at his words, looking as if she was trying hard to hold herself together.
"W-Well of course! But, um, I'm sure there's others much more suitable..." She chuckled nervously as she tried to move away from his gaze.
He laughed, "Just a joke, Princess," and made himself serious again. "So how was the outcome of the kiss?"
"Oh, um, well, I ran away..."
She looked like she wanted to die from the remembrance. She hid her red face underneath her hands and moaned into it. He chuckled again, watching her. She really was cute. But being the receiver of that kiss, he was also feeling like he might explode. He turned back to facing the sky, trying to make sure she didn't see his face whose color nearly matched hers.
Swallowing hard he asked, "Why did you run away?"
Although he could already guess the answer.
"I-I got embarrassed..."
"Why did you do it?" he asked, finally getting to one of the questions that's been plaguing his heart the entire night.
"Um..." Hesitating, her hands gripped the railing tighter, eyes downcast. Her hair whipped around in the wind that came but still she remained silent, hesitant. He decided to just jump right to it.
"Do you like your friend?"
The question was so sudden to her that she immediately stuttered and fumbled, her face beet red.
"Uh, um, I, well, ah..."
He watched her as she stumbled over her words, his expression quiet as he waited.
Noticing his gaze on her, she quickly forced a strained laugh. "Y-you know its strange to see you so serious, Chat..."
A silence followed after that. Neither of them said a word. Chat waited, listening to his breath coming in, coming out.
A long drawn out sigh finally came from her direction. He watched as she opened her mouth, eyes fixated on the air in front of her.
"Yes," she finally said, the sound of her voice strangely sweeter than he's ever heard it. "I love him."
It was like a rock suddenly hitting him in the head. Chat stared, eyes wide, at her red flushed face and the confession that lingered in the air in front of her. Even though he had already anticipated this might be her answer. Even though he already, in a sense, knew, his heartbeat still quickened, his face growing warmer by the the second. Hearing it admitted out loud this clearly is just...
"Wh- I mean, i-is that true?" he splutters out, looking away from her.
"Yeah," she says, eyes downcast.
Silence again. Feeling awkward, Chat quickly broke it with a forced laugh.
"W-Well you're pretty amazing, Princess! To be able to do something like that to the person you like." After all, he didn't think he'd ever be able to do the same to his Lady. His Princess has really got some guts.
"I guess so huh?" Marinette chuckled as she agreed. "But in the end I ran away from it. I wasn't even able to put my bravery through to the end. I couldn't confess to him."
Her eyes looked distant as she said that. The tone in her voice was low and soft. Seeing her like this, he wanted to tell her that despite that, what she did was still braver than he could ever be, and that her feelings definitely got through to him. He opened his mouth.
"But well you know," she suddenly laughed. It sounded strained. "I'm pretty sure he would've rejected me anyways."
He stopped, caught off by her words.
"I mean, I'm nothing special. I'm sure he wouldn't go for someone like me..."
"How," he found himself saying. "How do you know that for sure?" He looked right into her eyes, despite not knowing why he had asked that. Afterall, she was right. For sure he would've had to reject her, yet somehow, for some reason, the way she was so sure bothered him.
"Because, you know, the guy I like, he's famous. He's popular with girls, rich and he's unbelievably kind-hearted." She smiled, just a little sadly, as she said that. "He's perfect in every way and it's all like a star I can't reach. There's no way he'd ever look at me."
"That's not true!"
His shout resonated through the night air, sudden and sharp, breaking every quiet. Marinette stared at him, eyes wide. He was shocked at his own sudden shout, but for some reason his mouth just seemed to keep moving on it's own.
"He'll definitely look at you!" he continued. "You're an amazing person after all! Brave, talented, sweet and always so kind...there's a reason I call you Princess, you know? Unlike the other girls he's popular with, your love for him is genuine. You actually care about him, you actually love him. You smile whenever he does. He'd be an idiot to not even give you a glance after all you've done for him!"
He took a breath. His mind felt jumbled, all his words just rambling out. But he knew everything he said was the truth. It's not like everything she's done hadn't meant anything to him. He's grateful to her in so many ways.
Marinette was speechless, eyes wide, staring at him, surprise written all over her face.
Her reaction was making him feel embarrassed. He quickly tried to recompose himself.
But eventually she began to laugh. Gentle and sweet, it rang out into the night. "Thank you, Chat," she said, smiling. "Really, thank you so much... Not many people say that to me."
She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear as she peered out her balcony again.
"But you know, there's another reason why I'm sure he wouldn't look at me. His eyes you see," she turned to look at him, "they're always looking somewhere far away, always looking through me, at something..." Her voice wavered. "At someone. Someone else. It's not something I've always known, but eventually through time, I came to notice." Her hands trembled as she gripped the railing. "I'm pretty sure he already has someone he likes..."
He became stunned at her words, losing all his ability to reply. He did nothing but stare at her, at her words that lingered in the air. Biting his lip, he soon turned his eyes downcast.
Everything, everything she said, it was all true. In the end he would've had to reject her, no matter how much or how sincerely she loved him. His heart hurt. The idea of that pained him. She knew he liked someone else and yet she still did what she did. Did she really like him that much...? And to just end up hurting her...he didn't want that at all. After all, she's his precious friend and she's always cared so much about him. Yet no matter what in the end, he still has no choice. His heart already belonged to someone else. Nothing can ever change that. He has to reject her...
He clenched his fists. But to hurt her like that hurts himself in turn. Her love for him was so pure. He doesn't want to hurt her. Just what should he do...?
"I'm sorry..." he found himself saying out loud. "I'm really sorry..."
"Chat?" Marinette called, before beginning to chuckle. "Why are you apologizing? If you're worried about me, I'm fine, okay? This was something I chose to do myself despite knowing I would get rejected in the end. Of course I would've prepared myself for the outcome, and that's why I'm perfectly fine, okay?" And she flashed him a smile to prove it, but he knew she didn't mean it.
"I just wanted to say it anyway..." he replied quietly. "You don't have to mind my a-paw-logy." Why was he throwing out puns in this situation? It made him want to laugh at his own stupidity. Although, really, the only person he wanted to be laughing was Marinette who was in so much pain. But his cheap attempt with puns probably won't work in this situation, huh?
"Haha...and I thought you weren't going to throw a pun tonight too," she chuckled, before suddenly beginning to cry. She hid her face in her hands as the tears fell out one by one.
"When I really think about it, what I did was really stupid wasn't it?" she mumbled through her tears. "I knew all along he had someone he liked yet I kissed him anyway. I wanted to try my hand at a chance that never existed. I wanted him to, just once, think of me...consider me...even though I knew...I knew all along..." Her quiet sobs resounded through the night.
He watched her; her helpless crying, the tears that flowed through her fingers, the uneven sobs, and her trembling body that looked about to give way any moment and fall. He felt like an idiot. Or maybe he was an idiot. He didn't know, but just watching her like this, he, all of a sudden, felt weak. Weak as though if he were stronger, she wouldn't have to cry like this. As if he could protect his Princess from the pain if he had more strength. But a thought like that was stupid, right? He was Chat Noir. He has more strength than pretty much everybody in the city aside from Ladybug. Yet no matter how much strength he has or could gain, none of it could ever protect her from this. Afterall, she was crying because of him. Because she couldn't be with him. There was nothing he could do. And he wanted to punch himself. For being an idiot; for being so powerless, so helpless. He wanted to apologize, but an apology was useless.
Reaching out, he pulled her into himself, wrapping her tight around his arms. Her warmth instantly seeped into him and his into hers. He marveled at how tiny she was compared to him, and pulled her in tighter.
"Chat..?" she mumbled through her fingers. "What're you doing...?" Her voice was muffled through having her head buried into his shoulder.
"Nothing at all, Princess," he replied, his voice soft. "Just trying to comfort you."
He received silence as a reply before she began to sob again. Her body shook each time she took a breath and he could soon feel dampness against his suit. Holding her close, he buried his own face into her hair. He listened to her cries, his mind quiet, as the darkness wavered deeper into the night.
"Are you feeling better?"
"Just a bit." She sniffled a little, and wiped her eyes one more time.
"You cried a lot back there."
"...don't remind me..."
Chat laughed as she grimaced. They sat side by side with their backs to the balcony. The night was extremely quiet now.
"But it's getting pretty late, Princess. Perhaps you should get to bed now."
"Well, after crying my eyes out, any ounce of sleepiness has been kicked out of me."
"Haha, that so? I'm feeling strangely awake too."
They were both silent after that. Marinette coughed, before turning to him.
"Hey Chat?" she said.
"Do you have anyone you like?"
"Pfbbtft-" The sudden question made him splutter and cough. "W-What?"
"Do you have anyone you like?" she repeated. "I'm curious."
"Um, well..." He avoided her gaze and looked at the sky, contemplating whether or not he should tell her. "I, um," There was probably no harm in telling, right? He found warmth already beginning to form on his cheeks. "I do..."
"Oh?" Her eyes lit up. "Can I know who's the lucky lady?"
"Um...that, that's a secret!"
"Then what's she like?"
"Um..." Chat paused as he rethought everything he loves about his Lady. She has so many amazing qualities he didn't know which one to tell first. "She's..." He smiled. "strong and beautiful. She's confident, clever, kind-hearted. She's always there for me. She's always got my back, and never lets me fall and hit the ground. She's," He laughed a bit, "really special to me."
"Hmm~" Marinette hummed as she listened. "You have a really amazing person in your life, huh?" She chuckled slightly. "How're things going between you and her?"
"Ah, well, we don't get to see each other very often. And when we do it's always just for a short period of time." His eyes suddenly softened. "And I...even now, I can't seem to tell her my feelings."
Marinette watched him quietly. "Well that's rather strange, isn't it?"
"You're flashy, flirty, shameless Chat Noir. A little confession should be nothing for you."
I-Is that really how she sees him? Feeling self-conscious and awkward, he replied, "Well, that's, the girl I like is different okay...I'm just..scared..." But he knew an excuse like that wouldn't work on her. His Princess was the girl with enough guts to kiss her crush on the lips even though she knew she likely had no chance with him at all. Why couldn't he be the same?
"If you wait too long, she might get taken away."
He felt a jolt in his heart.
"Unlike me, you might actually have a chance with her. If I don't succeed, at least you should!"
"I wouldn't know that for sure...she might already have someone."
"Did she ever show signs? Said anything?"
"Well..." He remembered the times he spent with his Lady and came to realize his situation with her was actually the same as his Princess with her friend, minus the kiss part. It was always vague and subtle, but he's come to notice as well, a distant distracted look in her eyes whenever he talks to her. How she never holds his gaze for long, never fully looking at him. He remembered her saying once that there was somebody she wanted to see, and he could never forget the pink flush on her face as she spoke. "...I think she already has someone she likes. It's subtle but...I've noticed some things over the years."
Marinette was quiet after that. "You and me are quite similar, aren't we?" Her voice was soft.
Chat chuckled at her response. "Yeah, we are."
"Ahh.." she sighed. "What to do, huh?" She gazed at the night sky.
Chat gazed at the sky too, not knowing what to say.
"You should still try."
He glanced at her.
"You never know, you know? Maybe your case is different. Maybe what you noticed was something else."
"It would be nice if it were..."
"Try." She turned to look him in the eye. In the dark of the night, her eyes shone like brilliant blue stars.
For some reason he couldn't look away, trapped entirely in her gaze. He pondered just how she's always able to do that to him.
"I guess I should, huh?" he finally said, his voice quiet. "I never know after all..."
"You should." Marinette smiled. "I'll be rooting for you."
Her smile was so gentle and warm. It made him feel as if things really will work out in the end. He smiled back.
"Thanks, Princess," he said, but his gaze soon wavered. "I'm...sorry about your love though." And a pang of guilt hit him again. If only she could find happiness too. Even now he still felt so helpless.
"Yeah." She dropped her gaze, smiling sadly. "It's okay."
There was silence after that. The night was so quiet, the only thing heard being their own breaths coming in and coming out.
Chat turned to her. "Hey, can I ask," he began to say, looking her in the eyes again, "what it was that made you fall for him?"
There was a look of surprise on her face when she heard his question, but she soon broke into a soft smile. "It was-"
She was cut off by a loud clap of thunder that suddenly crackled in the sky. Before they could both react, an unexpectedly large outpour of rain suddenly fell down heavily onto their heads.
The thud of the sudden rain echoed loudly throughout the city. Their clothes immediately became soaked.
"Crap, we're getting drenched! Princess, you need to get inside immediately-"
But he found her laughing her head off, clutching her stomach, her sweet laughter mixing with the thud of the ongoing rain.
Honestly in those first few seconds, he'd thought she might've lost her mind. He stared on with confusion and disbelief.
"Chat, look." She outstretched her arms, tilting her head to the clouded sky. Her hair was already sticking to her face, and her clothes were becoming darker and heavier. "Isn't it funny how it's raining now of all times?" She laughed again. "Yet it's as if the rain fell on purpose, to try and wash away the mess and sadness all night."
He could do nothing but stare at her, how she's just freely dancing around without a care, getting herself drenched, no thoughts on possibly catching a cold. He looked up at the clouded sky. The rain that fell onto his cheeks so powerfully strangely had a bit of a refreshing touch to it, he had to admit. It was a cold sensation, but at the same time, sweet. A mix of gentle and powerful on his skin. To think he'd get caught in the rain twice today, and each time being with Marinette, he couldn't help but laugh a little. After all that went on tonight, the sudden atmosphere switch to heavy rain did feel incredibly funny. Changing the mood, wiping away the troubles of tonight, maybe the rain wasn't so bad after all.
"But really, Princess, you should get inside! You're gonna catch a cold at this rate!"
"Chat," she called over the rain, "the day I fell in love with him, I'll tell you about it." She broke into a clumsy smile. "It was during a day with a downpour as strong as this one."
Wait, now? She's gonna tell him now? Princess, please, just get inside already!
"We had a misunderstanding that time and didn't get along," she continued. "It was completely my fault though. As school ended one day, it started to rain and I had forgotten my umbrella. And he was there too. Really, he could've just left me in the rain after I'd wrongly accused him, but," her eyes softened as she stared up at the clouds, "he still tried to show me his honesty even though I wouldn't look at him. And then he was even kind enough to lend me his umbrella." She laughed. "And from then on, I just kept falling more and more in love with him."
He felt taken aback as he listened to her words, staring at her as the rain water rolled down his face. This means she fell in love with him all because of what he did back then...? All his memories of that time came flooding back to him. That day was the first day they became friends, and also the first time someone made him laugh so much. She fell for him all because of the simple things he did on that day? He'd never expect something that minor could have that big of an impression on her. He swallowed. A blush was already forming on his cheeks. So it was because of that day, huh...
A sneeze came from her direction.
"Ah, Princess!" he exclaimed. "You're getting sick!"
"Ugh...you may be right..." She sniffed.
"C'mon, I'm taking you to bed right now." He moved to pull her along.
"Chat, I'm old enough to go by myself..."
But he pulled her along anyway, her sniffles and drowzy complains mixing with the sound of the rain behind him. Sweeping her into a princess-style carry (perfectly suited for his Princess) he leapt lightly down into her room from the balcony trap door.
Drips of rain water splashed onto the floor as he landed. He whispered an apology as he made a mental note to clean it up later.
"Alright, Princess," he placed her down, "go get changed. You're drenched."
"Yes, yes." She yawned and went down the stairs to reach the first floor of her room, picking up a pink towel from somewhere on the way. She tossed it up at him. "Use this and dry yourself off. I'll be right back." She picked up some clothes from her closet before disappearing down her room's trap door.
Chat gave a sigh as he began to dry his hair. It was extremely wet and before long the towel was mostly soaked.
He took a glance around the room as he dried. Her room was orderly as always, and perfectly designed. Pink and beautiful, just like he remembered it when he came here as Adrien. But something on the corner of his eye caught his attention. He squinted. Was that pictures of him on the walls? He did a double take. Leaning over the railing he peered down into her room. The walls were all covered with pictures of him, mostly all from his modelling.
"Wow..." he whispered. He could feel himself becoming warm on the cheeks again. She even had pictures of him. It made him chuckle. She's really cute, huh?
A clack came from the trap door below and he quickly moved back from the railing. Marinette popped up from the door, now in a fresh pair of pajamas. She had a towel draped over her hair, and another under her arm. As she walked into the room, some sort of realization seemed to wash over her and before he could blink, all the pictures of him suddenly disappeared.
"She must've forgotten about them earlier..." he thought to himself as he quickly averted his eyes and pretended as if he didn't see anything.
After a while, Marinette finally came up to the second floor. Her face was flushed.
"Welcome back, Princess. Something wrong?" He feigned ignorance as he finished drying off the rest of his suit.
"N-nothing." She bent down to dry the floor and the parts of her room that got wet with the second towel she brought. He bent down too and helped her out with his own towel.
"Well, you should really get back now, Chat. It's pretty late." She glanced at the clock that read 3:09am.
"You're right. I shouldn't be keeping a princess up this late." He handed her towel back to her, thanking her as he did before getting ready to hop out her trap door to the balcony. "I'll be taking my leave then, Princess."
"Ah, but wait, wait!" She hurried down the stairs and came back with a red umbrella. "Take this."
He took it from her with a smile. "Thanks, Princess. I'll give it back."
"Thanks for everything earlier too. I feel a lot better after talking to you." And she flashed him a warm smile. "I'm sorry you had to put up with me crying though."
Chat chuckled. "It's quite alright, Princess. You were very cute."
The comment cost him a punch in the arm.
"I'd like to thank you too, Princess. Talking with you has cleared my head a bit." He grinned.
"I wish you luck on your love then, Chat. Make sure to succeed."
"I've no promises but I'll try." His eyes softened. "I wish you luck too, on your own love life. I want you to find happiness too."
Marinette didn't say anything but smile in response. "See you later then, Chat."
"Yes, see you later, Princess. Your knight is off."
He hopped out the trap door and disappeared into the night.
The room returned back to silence as he left. Marinette sighed, finally alone. She plopped down on her bed, the towel on her hair flying off as she did so.
"He was strangely nicer today than usual," she whispered as she yawned. "I wonder why..." She pulled the covers over her head, her eyes slowing closing as her body gave out to exhaustion. "He kind of...reminds me of someone I know..."
The rain was still loud and thundering in the night. Chat hopped from roof to roof, umbrella in hand. From tonight, he felt as if he was finally able to understand Marinette better. He was glad. He truly has gotten to know a very wonderful person.
"I really hope she can find happiness too..." He clenched his fist. "But I've also got to try my best as well." If he were to confess to his Lady, just what sort of expression would she make? Would it ruin their relationship together? He felt a jolt in his heart at the thought. He wondered if maybe, just maybe, she would smile and feel the same way about him, but he shook his head. It was probably impossible. He knew that, but even so he wanted to be brave, just like his Princess. If she could do it, then he could too, couldn't he?
As he neared his home, he closed his eyes for a split second, wishing to the night for some strength. Reaching his bedroom window, he closed the umbrella, shaking off the beads of water before leaping in. The second his foot touched ground, he released his transformation. Plagg flew out and immediately crashed himself on Adrien's bed.
"Ugh, I'm exhausted, kid..." he grumbled as he stuffed his face into Adrien's pillow. "If you're gonna flirt with your girlfriend, can't you do it at a better time?"
"Wha- She's not my girlfriend, Plagg! And we weren't flirting!"
"Whatever, kid, I'm tired. Goodnight."
Adrien huffed a sigh as Plagg knocked himself out on his pillow. Placing Marinette's umbrella beside the window, he glanced outside. The rain was pouring heavily still. He wondered if his Lady was asleep right now, wherever she is. He pursed his lips. The next time he sees her, he's gotta tell her. No matter what.
He changed into his pajamas and climbed into bed. Laying down next to Plagg, he began to realize something; there was something about Marinette that he hasn't really thought much about before. The way she's brave, kind, and confident when she needs to be...feels kind of familiar.
"I wonder what it is..." he whispered, and yawned. "She kind of...reminds me of someone I know..." He closed his eyes, the fatigue getting to him.
And then sneezed.
He sniffled and pulled the covers up higher. "I hope I'm not getting sick..." The rain pounded against the roof as he drifted off to sleep.