How to Calm a Cat

BY : Cat_Eyes
Category: +M through R > Miraculous LadyBug
Dragon prints: 829
Disclaimer: I do not own Miraculous Ladybug. Miraculous Ladybug is the intellectual property of Thomas Astruc and released by Zag studios. No profit was made writing this story.

'That just leaves Adrien and Marinette,' Caline Bustier finished.

She had divided the class into pairs, and one group of three to accommodate the odd number, to work on an analysis of Hamlet. They were to discuss their interpretations of the relationships between the characters, and present their final ideas in class the following day. A number of students had grumbled about their partners, most notably Chloe who preferred to work with Sabrina, but Caline was adamant.

Marinette hadn't moved since her name was announced with Adrien's. She had to remind herself to inhale and exhale in a steady rhythm so she wouldn't faint. Adrien, she noticed, had just nodded in calm acceptance.

It must be nice to be so cool all the time, she thought with a stab of envy.

The final bell rang. Alya and Nino began to make plans for their own presentation, leaving Marinette alone with Adrien. She stared after Alya, feeling betrayed and abandoned. Alya merely turned and winked as she walked out the door.

Marinette packed her things slowly, wondering if Adrien would talk to her. Finally, he threw his bag strap over his shoulder and stood up. He turned to her with a smile that made her heart flutter.

'So, my Dad's in Belarus at the moment. This is a little embarrassing, but he made me promise that, while he was away, I'd go nowhere other than home and school. Would it be too much of a bother if you came home with me?'

Marinette stared at him helplessly, cheeks red. She didn't think he had any idea how that question could be misinterpreted.

'There are some things. Study things. Home. I should get those. Those study things.' Marinette clapped her hands over her cheeks, eyes shut tight. 'I mean, there are some things I'll need to get from home, first,' she forced out.

'Ok, see you at mine in fifteen minutes?'

'Yeah, fifteen minutes,' she sighed with a dreamy gaze.

'Awesome. See you soon,' he called, waving as he left.

After taking some deep breaths, Marinette got up and walked home.

 

She entered through the bakery, greeting Sabine at the counter with a kiss on the cheek.

'Good afternoon, Honey. Have a good day at school?'

'Yeah, all good. I have to work on a presentation for tomorrow with one of the others, so I'll be out this afternoon. Is that ok?'

'That's fine, Dear. Nothing is more important than schooling. Except food. What does your friend like? I'll pack a box for you both.'

Marinette paused. For all her obsessive crushing, she wasn't sure what Adrien's preferences were. 'I don't know. Anything, I guess,' she replied, uncertain.

Sabine nodded and Marinette went upstairs, calling a greeting to Tom as she passed the kitchen. She paused to take another breath when she got there, the thought of being alone with Adrien all afternoon suddenly hitting her.

'Why didn't you tell her you were going to see Adrien?' Tikki asked as she flew out of her purse.

Marinette shot her a meaningful look. 'Remember how they reacted when Adrien came over to practise for the gaming tournament? If I'd told her, she would have sent me over with an engagement ring, calling every five minutes for an update, and asking Adrien what he wanted to name her grandkids.'

Tikki nodded in understanding. 'You already have names picked out.'

Marinette gasped in exaggerated betrayal. 'Et tu, Tikki?'

In between their giggling and fooling around, Tikki found Marinette's copy of Hamlet wedged between her desk and the wall. She had been forced to share Alya's copy in class after she had overslept and hadn't had time to locate her own.

She went back down to the bakery and was met by Sabine. She handed Marinette a white cake box filled with an assortment of foodstuffs.

'Here you go, Sweet,' Sabine said. 'Have a good time and work hard.'

'Yes, Maman. Bye, Papa,' she called as she left.

Stepping outside, Marinette basked in the afternoon sun for a moment, admiring her city, taking in the fresh air,  and looking at the clouds gathering in the distance. Standing tall, Marinette set off.

 

She arrived at the Agreste estate and rang the doorbell, only hesitating briefly. She expected the creepy, robotic eye to pop out of the wall, but instead, all she heard was Adrien's voice over the intercom. The gate swung open as he invited her in before she saw him waiting for her by the front door.

What a gentleman, she thought as she caught up to him.

Ushering her inside, Adrien took her bag and cake box. 'You haven't been here since Christmas, right? I didn't get to ask, then,' he continued. 'What do you think?' he enquired as he swept his arm out, indicating the interior of the house.

Marinette took in the stark walls and sharp lines. 'Very oppressive. I mean, impressive. Very impressive. Like a palace,' she replied with a nervous giggle.

Adrien gave her a half smile. 'You were right the first time,' he said quietly. 'My room's this way. Come on.'

As he lead her up the stairs, Marinette forced herself to appear calm. He had been alone with her in her room before. This was no different. She entered his room, staring in pretend awe, as he expected of people seeing his room for the first time.

They settled on his couch, kicked off their shoes, and began to work. School was a safe subject for discussion, and Marinette found she was able to talk normally, so long as she didn't maintain eye contact for too long. As they worked, they ate the pastries Sabine had sent, though Adrien confessed to a dislike of cheese.

It was nearing six o'clock when they decided their project was as good as it was going to get. They were packing up when a thunderclap shook the house. Marinette ran to the windows just as the rain came down in sheets.

'Oh, no,' she moaned.

Lightning arced and another roll of thunder rattled the foundations.

'Marinette, move away from the windows,' Adrien told her, uncharacteristically serious.

She looked at him over her shoulder. 'What, why?'

Thunder rumbled again and Adrien marched to Marinette, grabbed her arm, and pulled her back to the couch. She stared at his hand on her arm quizzically. Then, lightning flashed and set off another roll of thunder. She saw him flinch, though he covered it quickly.

'Are you afraid of storms?' she asked gently.

'No,' he denied, sounding defensive.

Another flash and rumble had Adrien thrusting Marinette behind him as he looked toward the windows, eyes wide. He still had a grip on her arm, and she could feel him trembling.

Struck by a pang of sympathy, Marinette tugged her arm free. 'Come with me,' she urged as she pulled him to his desk. 'Find a torch - not your phone, it'll go flat too quick. One with batteries and a bulb.'

Bemused, he did as instructed, while Marinette pulled his blankets all the way down his bed. Patting the mattress near the foot of the bed, she said, 'sit here.'

Adrien obeyed, but flinched noticeably at another crack of lightning. Marinette sat in front of him, their knees almost touching, with her back to his pillows. She then pulled the blankets over them, creating a cosy tent. Adrien turned on the torch, looking at her expectantly.

'When I was younger, I was scared of storms,' she began. 'Maman would fetch the heaviest blankets we had and sit with me like this on the couch.'

'What did you do, then?'

'Maman would tell me stories. Happy ones. Some were fairy tales, or favourite childhood stories of her own. Some she made up, while others were fond memories. So, that's what we're going to do.'

'How does that help?' he asked sceptically.

'Well, the blankets hide the lightning and muffle the thunder. Talking about happy things will re-write your brain into associating storms with good things rather than bad. It's psychology,' she finished happily.

He still looked unconvinced.

'I'll go first,' Marinette volunteered. 'A happy memory of mine is when I first met Alya. She was friendly, brave, and accepted me for who I am right from the beginning. See? It's easy. Now, you go.'

Adrien's face scrunched up in thought. 'Meeting Nino was pretty good. So was finally getting to go to school.'

Marinette grinned. 'See? Easy peasy. Nothing but good in our cocoon of happiness.'

Adrien laughed. They continued to share memories and stories, and  Adrien slowly began to calm down. He was laughing. She hoped he would never stop. Happiness looked so good on him.

The moment was ruined, however, when thunder boomed directly overhead. Adrien yelped and clapped his hands over his ears, eyes wide in distress.

Marinette had an idea. She asked him, 'do you have any headphones?'

Taken aback, he replied, 'I have earbuds on my desk.'

She nodded and crawled out of their tent. Locating the earbuds by his keyboard, she then fetched her phone from her bag. A text from Sabine told  her to stay where she was until the storm passed.

She climbed back under the blankets as thunder rolled again. Adrien was hunched over, hands covering his ears and trembling. Marinette's heart wrenched.

She plugged his earbuds into her phone, and placed the earpieces in his ears. He jerked when she touched him, but let her continue. She then pulled him up to lie back with her, his face in her shoulder, as she played her most calming playlist for him.

She rubbed his back and stroked his hair as he slowly relaxed once more.

 

Eventually, the storm passed. Marinette and Adrien lay as they were, almost asleep, wrapped in each other's arms. She loved how soft his hair was, so she kept petting him, delighting in the comfort and intimacy.

The night had grown quiet after the storm, the hour late. Sabine had sent another text telling Marinette to stay there the night, rather than walk home in the dark. Adrien had agreed, so here they were. Marinette sighed happily, still lazily scratching Adrien's head.

She felt it before she heard it, a vibration through her bones. It was a soft, humming rattle, regular and even. As it grew louder, Marinette compared it to an outboard motor heard from a distance. Craning her head, Marinette angled her ears to try and find the source. With a start, she realised it was Adrien. He was purring in his sleep.

She stared at him in disbelief.

'Adrien?'

He rubbed his cheek against her shoulder, the already loose earbuds falling out.

'Chat Noir?' she asked, louder.

He chirped a happy, sleepy cat noise in response.

'Oh, my Chaton,' she breathed.

'Ladybug?' he mumbled, voice thick.

'Yes, it's me.' She petted his hair, wondering if he would remember this in the morning.

Adrien purred louder. 'Knew it,' he smirked, voice distorted by his purr.

'No, you didn't,' she scoffed.

'Did, too. I could smell you. Will you go out with me now?'

Marinette blinked in surprise. She was certain he thought he was dreaming right now. Maybe he talked in his sleep. Marinette could hold whole conversations with Alya when she was asleep.

'I'll think about it,' she teased softly.

'I'll be waiting,' he replied before settling into deep sleep once more.

 


 

Marinette didn't bother to go home before school the next morning. She showered at Adrien's place, and re-packed her bag after their assignment. Everything else she would need was in her locker at school. She and Adrien walked there together, talking animatedly about the fashion industry on the way.

They met Alya and Nino in the courtyard.

'Hey, guys. What's up?' Nino greeted them enthusiastically.

Marinette met Alya with a hug.

'Marinette and I had a sleepover last night,' Adrien replied with a grin.

'You don't say,' Alya responded with a raised brow at Marinette.

'Yeah, she's my girlfriend now,' Adrien announced happily as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

'I thought you were asleep,' she squeaked, cheeks aflame.

'You wish, Buginette,' he said quietly with a smirk.

Alya and Nino began whooping.

 


 

Marinette: I never said I would, just that I'd think about it

Adrien: Mari, please. We all know it's bound to happen. Accept the inevitable



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