Marichat May: Day 24 (Without the Mask)
Adrien scrunched his nose up at the sound. Thankfully, it was tiny enough to ignore. Adrien gently settled his nose back to the soft space he was resting against. His arms squishing the warmest, softest pillow he had ever held.
He felt a tug at his hair, but he was so comfortable he didn’t even want to disentangle himself from his space to swat it away. It was only a strong gush of wind swirling all around his face that made him cough and open his eyes in alert.
“What happened what” he mumbled, lifting his head up to see his kwami floating next to his head.
“It’s about time. I’ve been kind enough to let you snuggle with your girlfriend all night but enough is enough. I need to eat.” Plagg complained, his tiny arms crossed as he moved from Adrien’s head and to the other body on the bed.
Adrien’s eyes widened as Plagg settled himself on top of Marinette’s sleeping head. Plagg smirked, “I guess I understand the appeal, but you know cheese is the lady for me. I had thought you had a different lady for yourself as well.” Plagg snickered, taunting his charge as he tickled Marinette’s face with his whiskers.
Adrien’s face reddened from embarrassment and frustration. He shifted his body up and swatted Plagg away, “leave her alone, cheese breath!”
Plagg rolled his eyes, “I can’t very well have cheese breath if you haven’t given me any cheese. Besides, if you don’t, your princess here will wake up and be oh so very confused at seeing Adrien Agreste instead of Chat Noir.”
Adrien’s eyes widened, the severity of the situation finally hitting him. In the back of his mind, he had know that meeting up with Marinette to talk nonsense at 3 AM was a bad idea. Even so, the fun of being able to be ridiculous with such a good friend was too good for him to pass up. At some point, as they had laid on her bed and chatted, they must have fallen asleep.
Furthermore, at some point, his arms must have encased themselves around Marinette’s waist. Though his back was pressed to hers, her hands had travelled down his arms. Her soft hands rested on top of his own, locking into his hold on her.
Adrien flushed. While he had grown close to Marinette, as Chat Noir and even as Adrien, they had never come to be this close.
“Adrien, come on! Get a grip and get me some cheese!” Plagg whined, which made Adrien shush him loudly. Unfortunately, this motion caused Marinette to stir in his arms. Adrien and Plagg froze.
Marinette hummed, “Hmmm, what - Chat? Did you stay the - hmph!” As Marinette had begun to shift around to face him, Adrien, in his nerves, pressed her tightly against his chest and covered her mouth with his other hand.
“Don’t freak out but I might’ve detransformed and can’t get out of your room until I get my kwami some cheese but I also can’t let you turn around and see my civilian identity because I need to keep it a secret also did I mention I was sorry?” Adrien rambled, cringing at the desperation in his voice. Marinette stilled under him and he was nervous he had finally gone too far with her.
Instead, Marinette tentatively removed his hand from her mouth. Instead of flicking it away, as she once had when they had first met and even at the start of their friendship, she stared at it. Adrien wished he could see what her blue eyes were expressing as she traced a finger gently on the back of his hand.
“Wow, this is your hand.” she said, a hint of wonder and amazement in her voice.
“You’ve felt my hand before.” He replied, shuddering a little as she began to gently trace the back of his palm.
“I know. But, this is different. For one thing, you don’t have claws right now.” Marinette mentioned absentmindedly and Adrien let out a breathy laugh. He was nervous, a little worried, and most of all scared. Scared that things would change for the worse between them.
He didn’t want them to. Not when she had been warming up to him, not even bothering with a fake eye roll and mocking jokes before letting him into her room. Not when, at the same time, Marinette had begun really talking to Adrien. Extending their conversations and bravely expressing herself, even when they disagreed.
“I’m still me. I’m not transformed, but I’m still Chat.” He swallowed, trying to maintain an aloof exterior (eve though she couldn’t see him and she had begun to see through his façades anyways).
“Oh, I know. I know there’s a boy behind Chat Noir, and I care about him a lot. And I know that you’re Chat, with or without the mask. It just hasn’t felt real until now.” Marinette murmured, letting her fingers interlock with his.
Adrien sighed in relief, and admittedly, a bit of confusion. Nevertheless, her words brought him a sense of serenity. He brought the hand in his grasp to his lips and kissed it, “Thank you.”
He couldn’t see her, but he knew she was smiling.
As he released her hand and moved to make his way off the bed, he felt a tug at his hand. Marinette’s head was still stubbornly turned away from him but her grip remained tight.
“Chat, wait. You’re probably going to say no but I kind of want to do something.” she said, a little shakiness in her voice.
Adrien ignored Plagg once more as he swirled around him, motioning for him to wait a minute before turning his attention back to his friend. “Ask away, princess.”
Marinette nervously fingered the covers on her bed, “I kind of want to hug you without the suit. I promise I won’t look at your face. I’ll close my eyes and keep them that way until you say so. I just, I wanna know what it feels like to hug you without a suit in the way.”
She meant without the mask in the way. He knew she did. And he felt the same.
How many times had he wished he could come up to Marinette in school and continue a conversation they had begun the night before? Keeping a secret identity had always been a frustrating ordeal with Ladybug, who he wanted to be with from the day he met her and to the end of his days. It had also increasingly become just as frustrating to keep his identity from Marinette, one of his dearest and best friends in both his lives.
“How can I deny you such a sweet request?” He said softly and he pressed himself onto the bed once more. “Plagg, are her eyes closed?”
“Oh sure, now you remember me.”
“I will give you all the Camembert you want when we get home. Plagg, please.” Adrien pleaded. The kwami rolled his eyes and Adrien thought he would just huff away in annoyance. Instead, he flew back to Marinette’s side and glanced at her. “Her eyes are sealed. Don’t take all morning.”
Adrien smiled. Plagg cared, even if he hated to show it.
He gently grabbed Marinette’s forearms and turned her over to face him. Just like Plagg had said, her eyes were screwed shut. Her nose was scrunched up so tight he wanted to kiss it.
He loved her, sometimes he wondered if it was different than the purely platonic way he has once decided, but he knew he loved her.
Adrien wrapped his arms around her and he felt Marinette squeeze into herself before relaxing in his hold. Her arms wrapped around his middle and she pressed her cheek against his chest. His heart was beating wildly, and by the smile he felt against his chest, he knew that she could hear it too.
He didn’t care. Not when he smelled the sweet smell of cookies and pastries as he buried his face in her hair. Not when such warmth enveloped him and he never wanted to leave.
“You’re amazing, Marinette. Absolutely amazing.”
Adrien felt a tickle in his chest as Marinette giggled, “I know. You’re pretty miraculous yourself.”
“Not even your lame attempts at humor can possibly ruin this moment, princess.” Adrien murmured and felt Marinette shake with laughter. He cuddled his face into her neck and sighed into her hair. If he was transformed, he knew he’d be purring.