Green [Chat Noir]
She was gone by the time he turned around.
He should’ve kept himself a secret. Ladybug had asked to keep her identity— Chat Noir should have done the same. Instead, he foolishly thought his love might reach her, and she ran away.
Of course she did, he thinks sadly, bitterly. Marinette loved Adrien. Chat Noir was merely a fighting partner.
He barely sees the akuma that flies to his ring, settles there, flaps patiently.
“Nyah, don’t do that, little papillon,” Plagg hisses, batting the butterfly away.
Adrien starts. “Sorry, Plagg,” he apologizes, cradling the ring away from the akuma, his eyes fixed on it.
“Call your purr-recious Lady,” Plagg says calmly, floating defensively between his human and the akuma. “Quick, befurr it gets you.”
Adrien flinches. The butterfly flutters toward him, only to retreat when Plagg swats at it again. “R-right.” His hand flies to his phone, unlocks the screen, hovers over the button to call Marinette’s number.
“Adrien,” Plagg complains.
“I know,” Adrien grimaces, pressing the button. He lifts the phone to his ear, feeling his whole body tremble at every ring tone.
He wants to close his eyes in relief, but the akuma is still present. “Marinette,” he says instead, flushing when he hears all the embarrassment and relief in his voice. “I, ah…”
“I’m sorry,” she blurts, as he says, “…there’s a black butterfly in my room.”
They both pause, parsing what the other has said, and then Adrien bursts into helpless laughter. “Please just come and purify this akuma,” he gasps. “And then, if you l-like…”
“I’ll come, of course I’ll come,” Marinette says immediately. “See you in a few.”
Ladybug knocks on a frame of his huge windows in the promised time. When he lets her in, she lands gracefully, tugging her yo-yo in after her.
“Plagg’s watching the akuma,” Adrien tells her.
“You don’t have one?” Adrien asks, uncertain.
“Oh, mine is Tikki,” Ladybug realizes. “Come here, little butterfly,” she adds when the akuma starts flapping away from her. The yo-yo flashes out and catches the creature, and she releases it a moment later. Then—
“I suppose I will see you later,” Ladybug tells him, and doesn’t look at him.
Adrien’s heart drops. “Of course,” he says meekly, staring past her shoulder.
“Humans are such fools,” Plagg yawns, floating past. “Cheese, Ladybug?”
Ladybug’s face wrinkles. “Phew, no, thank you, Plagg.”
The kwami shrugs. “More for me. But hurry up and talk it out, before more akuma come. I’m not a bug swatter.”
Adrien’s ears burn. Some hero he is, growing so negative that he’s attracted an akuma.
“I’m sorry,” Ladybug says suddenly, and her hand lifts to her earring. “I’m sorry,” she repeats. “I just… I didn’t…”
“It’s fine,” Adrien says automatically.
Ladybug shakes her head fiercely. “It’s not,” she insists. “For you to feel like this… for an akuma to have… I just… I never thought it would be you.” She finishes quietly, whispering.
“Me what?” Adrien croaks, stumbling blindly into a chair and sitting down before his legs can give out on him. Ladybug follows, but he still can’t look at her.
She struggles with herself for a moment. “You know I like you— l-love you. But you love Ladybug, don’t you? I can’t… Marinette isn’t Ladybug.”
Adrien looks at her suddenly, glaring. “And Adrien is not Chat Noir, but I’m Chat Noir more than I am Adrien. Ladybug or Marinette, I love you— all of you. I just don’t know if you love Chat Noir.”
Ladybug’s lips tremble, and then she pulls him out of his chair into a hug, and they sink to the floor in shock and relief. “I don’t know if I love Chat Noir, either,” Marinette whispers into Adrien’s ear. “Will you let me try?”