The idea of Marinette and Adrien having animal tendencies and instincts has always been popular within the fandom. This fic plays with the idea of Adrien unknowingly marking Ladybug as his territory and then wondering why he feels the same possessiveness over Marinette when she gains some unwanted attention.
Miraculous: Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir
Warnings: Teenage hormones and the single usage of the F-bomb
Summary: Marinette forgoes her usual pigtails due to being late and the boys take notice. Who knew hair made such a difference?
Ladybug was used to the attention from the opposite sex. After all, her skin-tight suit didn’t leave much to the imagination. So there was always that one guy, or two, or many—whistling and hooting at her as she swung around the city. Chat Noir was less than pleased whenever it happened, claiming that catcalling (of course, pun-intended) Ladybug was his sole right. She honestly couldn’t bother with it since it was so simple to zip away when things got annoying or uncomfortable.
Marinette, however, was not.
It all started when she burst into the classroom one day, heaving and panting and hair in loose disarray. She had woken up late, completely missing homeroom and was late to her physics class. Much to her horror, it had to be the day they had a test. She scrambled down to the bathroom to brush her teeth and wash her face. Sabine raised an eyebrow at her daughter, sighing at the thought that the girl still hadn’t outgrown her habit of being late now that she was older. Flying back up to her room, she threw on the pair of dark skinny jeans and taupe tunic sweater that she had lying around. She didn’t have time to put her hair in her signature pigtails so she just ran her fingers through the tangles. Slipping on her boots, she rushed downstairs and out of the house.
Mme. Moreau cocked an eyebrow at the tardy student before picking up a sheet of paper and handing it to her. Marinette gratefully accepted the test and apologized for being late. Mme. Moreau just shook her head. She was used to Marinette’s inability to be punctual. At least she made up for it by being a relatively good student.
“Quickly,” The physics teacher gestured her to her seat. “You only have half an hour left.”
Marinette groaned in defeat as she pressed her palms into her eye sockets. She didn’t have enough time to complete the test and hoped that the amount she did was enough to give her a decent grade. Alya gave her a consoling smile and patted her on the back. A chuckle emanated from behind her and she turned to see Adrien giving her a relaxed smile.
“I’m sure you did fine Marinette.” He reassured her. For a change of scenery, once the friends started the new year, they decided to switch up their seating arrangement, Alya and Marinette claiming the front two seats by the door and Nino and Adrien behind them. It was a little nerve-wracking for Marinette, knowing that Adrien was sitting behind her, capable of seeing every little embarrassing thing she did. Not that he would be watching her or anything, she thought wryly.
“I hope so.” Marinette sighed. “Or else all of our group study sessions would be pointless.” She smiled sheepishly. Adrien excelled in physics so she, Alya, and Nino were quick to capitalize on his intelligence by having him tutor them. Being the kind, gracious soul he was, he gladly complied.
“That was a close call though.” Alya laughed and then took another second to stare at Marinette. “My baby girl is all grown up.” She cooed. Marinette raised an eyebrow, not comprehending what Alya was saying. “Hate to break it to you girl, but pigtails aren’t exactly the most adult hairstyle.” She said as she fingered Marinette’s subtly messy locks. She was so dead tired after last night’s superheroing that she had fallen asleep with her wet hair twisted up in a towel. Her normally straight hair had fallen into loose waves and Alya played with it in interest.
Marinette frowned at Alya before taking a moment to study her friend. Alya had been early aboard the puberty train, much to the envy of other girls. Alya had that nice healthy hourglass figure that Marinette knew she would never be able to achieve. She almost temptingly glanced down at her own bosom to compare. She wouldn’t say that they were small but a little more volume wouldn’t hurt her ego. At least she had inherited her mother’s wide hips, she thought gratefully.
“They keep my hair out of my face.” Marinette huffed.
“A ponytail would suffice, don’t you think?” Alya said in amusement. Marinette knew Alya was just joking but she couldn’t help but be annoyed. It was true that the pigtails were a little childish, now that they were older but she liked them. “Right boys?” Alya turned around, swinging her arm to the back of her seat and cocking her head up to look at them. Nino just shrugged and said that Marinette looked fine either way. But they couldn’t really expect much from a guy who always kept his hair so short that he didn’t have to bother with it—not to mention the cap wearing.
“I think the pigtails are cute.” Adrien said and it was immediately followed by an interested hum from Alya. Marinette saw the knowing glance as Alya’s eyes flickered over to her and her face erupted into a very noticeable blush. Her wide eyes shifted back over to Adrien and an unknown expression fell over her face. He suddenly looked nervous. “N-not that this style is bad—I, the pigtails are cute. But this look is good too.”
Adrien was mortified that he had possibly offended Marinette somehow. She didn’t exactly look happy at his comment. It was true that he thought the pigtails were cute. They reminded him of Ladybug and he briefly wondered if she was a fan. But the way her hair freely swayed and how the waves curled around her features was good too. It was more than good actually, as he found himself unable to look away.
“Um… thanks?” Marinette finally managed to say and he nodded before turning away and resting his ruddy cheek in his palm. A slight laugh came from Alya and Marinette glared at her.
Apparently, Adrien wasn’t the only one that thought so.
In their early teenage years, the students were just beginning to become aware of their attraction to others. But now in their mid-teens, most of the students actively sought out the attention of the whomever they were attracted to. Marinette found herself slightly out of touch with it all as she was still hopelessly pining over Adrien and was still unable to make a move. She cursed her own tendency to overthink things and couldn’t find it in herself to relax enough to casually ask him to hang out. So when someone else showed interest in her, she nearly had a heart attack.
Marinette was startled to find a boy draped over her desk, chin in palm, smiling at her. His messy chestnut hair fell over his blue eyes that were glinting almost mischievously. Alya stared at him warily, getting a feeling that he was up to no good.
“H-hey, Adam.” She squawked, uncomfortable with how close his face was.
“You’re looking very coquettish today. I like it.” He grinned. She didn’t quite get it. Bed-head was coquettish? Were boys his age even supposed to use words like ‘coquettish’?
Marinette didn’t know why but her sense of self-preservation kicked in and she backed away. Adam felt another three pairs of eyes fall on him and he glanced up to see Alya, Nino, and Adrien eyeing him. He cleared his throat and straightened before waving at Marinette and telling her he’d see her later.
Not even five minutes later, she had another run in with a male classmate as he leaned against the lockers, chatting with her amicably like they’d known each other for years. Marinette blinked, recognizing him as Nicolas, the boy who sat next to Adam in physics. His sandy hair swayed over his steel-grey eyes as he talked animatedly. Nervousness trickled down her spine as she tried to keep up with his conversation. When he leaned closer to her, she squeaked and ran off, saying that she had to get to class. A small chuckle passed his lips when he suddenly noticed Adrien a few lockers down, staring at him. Nicolas shoved his hands in his pockets and walked off, whistling a happy tune.
Adrien wasn’t sure how he felt about the sudden attention that Marinette was getting. She was friendly with all of the boys in in their old class and he didn’t really think much of it then. But those boys—Kim, Max, Nathaniel, Ivan—were all known. These boys were not. The only class he shared with them was physics and they sat in the far back so he didn’t interact with them much. Marinette clearly looked uncomfortable and the looks they gave her was enough for him to conclude that they were up to no good. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair, hoping that they’d leave her alone for the rest of the day.
There was no such luck for Marinette. Her calculus class had a study period and she decided to go to the library to study. There were a few minutes left before lunch break started and she couldn’t help but feel a sense of relief. Throughout her morning classes, she felt an unpleasant feeling of eyes following her and she couldn’t wait to get away from it. She just wanted to meet up with her friends and have lunch. But of course, things rarely went her way when she wasn’t Ladybug. Adam also shared calculus with her and unfortunately, he found her hiding spot.
“There you are!” He grinned and invited himself to sit across from her. “I was missing that pretty face of yours.” He said suavely and Marinette had to fight back the urge to gag. Adam was a fairly handsome boy but his overly eager and flirtatious attitude left much to be desired. Her thoughts immediately went to her superhero partner. No. Chat Noir was a hundred times better. His flirting was cute and playful and he knew when to draw the line. Chat Noir, despite his silly antics, was a gentleman. This boy in front of her however, wouldn’t know anything about being a gentleman even if it slapped him across the face.
“Hi, Adam.” Marinette said curtly, acknowledging his presence. Despite how bothered she was, she still attempted to be polite. She only wished that the same could be said for him. He clearly had no concept of personal space as he leaned forward to talk to her. She responded by leaning back and placing her bag between them. The act only made him more persistent though.
“Aw, don’t be so shy.” He waggled his eyebrows. “Why don’t you and me go somewhere after school today?” He asked. “I promise I’ll be extra gentle with you.” His voice dropped to a husky whisper.
Would puking all over the table in front of her make him go away? Probably not.
But the hand slamming down on the table next to her bag was enough to get the boy to stop ogling her. Marinette’s eyes trailed up the arm to find the owner. Adrien. Her heart thumped in her chest, seeing the obviously peeved expression marring his pretty face. He stared hard at the boy opposite of them, the latter shrinking back slightly. Pleased that his presence had stopped the boy from defiling Marinette with his dirty gaze, Adrien turned to her and smiled.
“Hey, Marinette. Alya sent me to get you for lunch.” He said before grabbing her bag. Her face flooded with relief and she returned his smile. She eagerly got up and followed him out of the library.
Adrien was annoyed. Actually, annoyed was an understatement. How dare that boy look at Marinette like that—like he was mentally stripping her—like she was a piece of meat? He didn’t know why but the feeling of possessiveness came over him and if he were Chat Noir at the moment, he’d be hissing up a storm. It made sense right? Marinette was his friend and he wouldn’t allow anyone to mistreat her. He didn’t like this Adam. He didn’t like the way he talked to Marinette. He didn’t like the way he looked at her. He didn’t like the fact that they shared the first two letters in their names.
“Thanks for that.” Marinette spoke up. “He was getting too close for comfort. We’ve barely even talked to each other before today.”
Marinette smiled affectionately at him and he felt his heart skip a beat. For some reason, she looked extra alluring today and he had to turn away quickly before he ended up getting lost in her eyes. His tongue felt like jelly and he couldn’t think of much to say, so he just settled for a quick ‘no problem.’
The four friends met up and decided to go to a small café for lunch. Alya briefly commented on the sudden attention that Marinette was getting and the latter just sighed. She wasn’t quite sure what was going on. It’s not like she had done anything that would attract attention. She was still the same old clumsy Marinette. But apparently, she was now the clumsy Marinette that seemed to have boys staring at her from every direction. Alya just smiled at Marinette’s obliviousness and flicked the wrapper of her straw at her.
“Hey!” Marinette frowned and tossed the small balled up paper back.
Adrien found himself staring at Marinette again as the two girls and now Nino, started flicking the water from their condensation-covered glasses at each other. He watched as her midnight-blue locks bounced as she laughed, flying in whichever direction. Then it dawned on him why the boys were staring because he was doing the same exact thing now.
They hurried back to school when they realized that they had lost track of time. Marinette opened her locker and pulled out the books for her next class.
“Sorry, I gotta run. M. Martin wanted to talk to me about my paper before class starts.” Alya said. Marinette nodded and they waved to each other before Alya ran off.
Then incident number two happened. Marinette closed her locker only to find Nicolas standing there with a large grin on his face. His sudden appearance startled her so much that she yelped and stumbled back in surprise. Nicolas caught her before she could fall and helped her straighten up. She thanked him and he apologized for scaring her. That should have been the end of it, but his hands lingered on her arms, much to her dismay.
Adrien watched the whole thing, the ugly feeling of possessiveness bubbling up inside of him. Something about the sight before him just rubbed him the wrong way. He wanted to snap the boy’s arms off, seeing them touch Marinette so casually, rubbing his nasty scent all over her. It wasn’t the first time he’d felt like this—far from it. Because this is how he felt whenever anyone got close to Ladybug. He knew what it was. He was feeling territorial. But it didn’t make sense.
Because this was Marinette.
Marinette was his good friend—one of his first friends since starting public school. She wasn’t the one who held his heart—he had wholeheartedly given it to Ladybug. But there was something inside of him that was compelling him to go scare off the other tomcat that was trying to mark his territory.
Nicolas was worse than Adam. Whereas Adam had invaded her space, at least he didn’t touch her. Nicolas refused to unhand her even when she backed away. His grip on her arms tightened and despite her requests for him to release her, he didn’t listen.
“Come on. It’ll be fun!” He said, still trying to convince Marinette to go out with him. She finally snapped.
“Nicolas—” Before she could go into rage-mode, she found herself yanked from his arms and her body pressed up against another. She didn’t have to look up to see who it was because she recognized the cologne and the off-white hoodie that was currently caressing her face. It was Adrien. She heard a deep rumble emanating from his chest—a growl. He growled. Adrien growled. It wasn’t loud enough to be audible to anyone else but she could distinctly hear it. It was a growl, much like Chat Noir’s when someone overstepped their boundaries and tried to touch Ladybug. She swallowed the lump in her throat and was suddenly feeling very thirsty.
“She told you to let her go.” Adrien ground out as civilly as possible, with much effort. But Nicolas didn’t waver, only giving him a look of disinterest.
Nicolas was definitely worse than Adam because whereas Adam scampered off with any sign of confrontation, Nicolas stood his ground. He folded his arms across his chest and smirked as if he were challenging Adrien.
“What’s it to you Agreste? Last time I checked, you’re just her friend, which means she’s up for grabs.”
Marinette felt her eye twitch at the barf-inducing comment. She was about to lash back with a quip but Adrien’s hold on her tightened and she found her face buried even closer to him. She could hear the thrumming of his heartbeat. She found herself oddly happy that he was so angry on her behalf that his heart was racing away.
“You’re right, Marinette is my friend—not an object you can take as you please. Now back the fuck off.” Adrien seethed, startling Marinette with his choice of words. She couldn’t see the piercing glare that he sent to the other boy but she could feel the threatening aura seeping out of him. She had never witnessed Adrien being so aggressive and the notion positively excited her. Nicolas clicked his tongue in annoyance and stalked off.
Adrien wasn’t pleased with himself. Despite what he said about her not being an object, a part of him screamed ‘mine, mine, mine!’ He released her and gave her a sheepish smile. She graciously responded with a smile of her own and he had to look away, a blush blooming across his cheeks.
He really was no better than the other boys.
Adrien removed his hoodie and draped it over her shoulders, making sure the hood covered her head. Whereas pigtailed Marinette was cute, messy-haired Marinette was undeniably captivating. There was no way in hell he was going to stand for any more guys going after her.
Marinette blushed, finding herself enveloped in Adrien’s scent. She peered up at him to see that he was still averting his gaze, cheeks tinged with pink. It wasn’t what she thought it was, was it? She wouldn’t be getting ahead of herself if she thought he was jealous, would she?
“Adrien?” Her voice beckoned him to look her way. She held the opening of the hoodie in her hands and tilted her head questioningly, a tendril of hair grazing by her lips invitingly. His eyes darted away again.
“I think your new hairstyle is attracting a lot of attention.” He said.
“O-kay… it’s just hair. It’s not like I look any different.” Marinette raised an eyebrow. Really? Her hair?
“You do.” Came his immediate response. “You look different.” He said, daring to bring his eyes back over to her, hoping she understood what he meant. Green met blue and both teens found themselves blushing in an awkward silence. It was broken when Marinette giggled.
“Is it a good different?” Marinette asked, a teasing lilt dancing in her voice. He shifted uncomfortably, a foreign sight to her. Dare she say that Adrien found her attractive?
“It is.” He mumbled.
“Do you like it?” Her smile grew wider.
“I do.” His eyes looked everywhere but at her.
Marinette’s quiet laughter filled the empty locker room before she sighed contentedly. She fingered the hem of the oversized hoodie before sliding the hood off of her head. She ran her fingers through her hair to tame it and felt his eyes on her. She met his eyes once again before humming mirthfully.
“Unfortunately, I doubt any of the teachers would let me wear a hood in class. But,” She paused as she slid her arms through the sleeves of the hoodie, smiling shyly as she felt the warmth that still lingered in them—his warmth. “Perhaps wearing the Adrien Agreste’s hoodie will keep the boys at bay, hmm?” Her eyes crinkled jovially as she took in his expression.
Adrien gaped at her uselessly and nodded, eyes lingering on the amused smirk that played on her lips—a smirk that was very much not Marinette.
“We should get to class. We’re already late.” She said before walking ahead. He followed numbly to their next shared class. His mind was still reeling from the last few minutes and everything was a jumbled mess in his head. And did… did Marinette tease him? The only other person that made him feel this way was Ladybug. “Oh, and Kitty?” She turned around and gave him a soft smile. “Thank you. I really appreciate it.”
Then all could see when he looked at her was Ladybug.
The next day when Marinette entered homeroom, Adrien had never been gladder to see her signature pigtails in place.