Chat can admit that he has a problem. Ladybug had recently taken up a habit of flicking his bell whenever she was pleased with him. A ‘good job’ gesture that didn’t take much time. It wouldn’t be a problem if she hadn’t started doing it all the time. When he did a good job, when she was bored on patrol, on the nights she lay her head on his lap and look up at him with those gentle eyes that killed him.
Each ring of his bell started bringing dopamine flooding his brain and his tail would start twitching in anticipation of the physical reward that followed.
A hug, a pet, and one late, treasured night, when his lady was clearly sleep deprived, a kiss on his cheek.
One night Marinette had flicked his bell and immediately noticed the blush that came as a result of her finger lightly flicking his bell.
Of course she had managed to pull from him the reason that he seemed he wanted to pounce her and then laughed at him.
Then exploited it relentlessly.
The next time he came over to her house he doesn’t know what he was expecting except a matching bell collar to be around her own neck. All he knows is that it is absolutely unfair.
She doesn’t say anything about it, but he can see her playful smile when his gaze slides from her face down to the collar and locks on the shiny bell that hangs in the hollow of her collar bone.
Its mocking him. She’s mocking him. Playing games with his head and his heart at the same time.
“Princess.” He greets, every hair of him standing on edge, every muscle tense, every beat of his heart carefully monitored
“Yes, Chat?” She leans forward and Chat stiffens in anticipation of a ring of the bell but none comes. The bell remains mercifully silent, and her smirk only widens, watching him as he frowns and forces himself to relax.
“What is that?”
“It’s a bell.” she answers. “I thought you might like it. Reminds me of you.”
Oh he does.
But he also hates it.
Very quickly he finds out two things about his princess, One, she’s awfully alluring when she doesn’t mean to be. Two, she’s a tease and he should start expecting this.
He steps down from her bed, and she turns back to the project on her desk, something he can’t be bothered to pay attention to. Especially when he notices that she’s tied her hair in a bun specifically so he could see the clasp. It’s just two buttons, but her message to him is clear
‘You could take it off.’
But that would be losing.
Which he refused to do. He wouldn’t let her know that her teasing was working, that even now he was wondering if the pitch of her bell would be the same as his, wondering what might happen when it finally rings out. Wondering how she’ll feel, wondering how he’ll react.
So Chat settles down, watching her carefully, bristling every time her hand goes near her neck, sighing when she pulled it away.
Finally, after finishing with the obviously staged something -probably created specifically to rile him up- Marinette turns in her chair and looks at a fairly antsy Chat Noir.
‘You know damn well what’s wrong I’m conditioned to act like a love struck idiot whenever that thing goes off.’
“Nothing, princess, Merely distracted by your radiance.” he says, his voice totally not cracking on the word radiance when her hand goes upwards and traces one thin finger along the golden curve.
“My radiance, huh? Nothing else?” she asks. His eyes go from her teasing finger to her teasing mouth and back again. Watching how her tongue moves when she says nothing and then to her finger as it pokes the still silent bell lightly. Back to her lips where she licks him and back down to her fingers as they just barely push behind the leather of her collar.
What god decided this is the bad luck he deserves?
“Mmhm.” he answers, still staring at the collar until he felt it should’ve burst into flame.
Marinette seems to smirk and stands up.
That does it.
Chat’s entire body goes from tense to languid in the space of three seconds and soon enough he’s laying on Marinette’s lounge, fully taking over the space. Now that the bell has rung everything’s going to be fine, and he has no reason to stress.
Or, that’s whats supposed to happen.
Marinette still hasn’t come over and pet him, telling him that -yes- everything is okay now. His whole body starts buzzing with anxiety the longer it takes for her to walk over. When he looks up she’s walking around the room pointedly not looking at him. He has to get her attention.
“Are you okay?” because she’s not petting him. He’s probably done something wrong.
“Yes, Chat.” she answers and continues walking around the room doing god knows what. She’s ignoring him. That much is apparent, and she’s not smiling, just moving items through her room. He’s done something wrong. He can feel it.
“Princess?” he asks again, voice cracking as his head fills with negative thoughts and his eyes fill with tears.
“Yes, Chat?” She glances over and then immediately drops the yarn she’s holding and rushes to him, pushing her fingers into his hair. “What’s wrong?” He pushes his head more into her hand and sniffles. He know’s he’s being too sensitive but…
“I thought you didn’t want me.” he whispers and Mari yanks off the bell and glares at it as if it’s done something wrong.
“No that’s not true at all, Chat. You’re my kitty, and I’ll always want you.”
Chat gently takes the collar from her hands and snaps it back onto her neck. Adjusting it so it rested to where it was before.
With one claw, he taps the outside and then lifts it upwards and lets it swing back into place with a ring.
Although his body reacts in much the same way as usual, relaxing and feeling everything is alright he’s much more interested in Marinettes reaction. Rocking back on her heels and slapping her hand over the bell even though her pupils dilate at the same time. A slight blush is covering her cheeks and she looks away from him.
It’s not the full blown red he’s used to, but he could get there.
He smirks, revenge will be sweet.