Chapter 1: Revision
"Oh Plagg, why doesn't Ladybug accept my love?" Adrien asked as he laid back on his bed staring up at the full size photo of Ladybug on the ceiling.
"Oh maybe its because you keep flirting with her as Cat Noir and don't actually try to say anything to her?" Plagg replied as he leaned back on the pillow stuffing his face with the piece of Camembert .
"You know that I can't just approach her and be like 'Oh hey there Ladybug, I'm actually Cat Noir and you're pretty cute. I've always loved you and yet I've never been able to say it since we first met?'" Adrien spoke as he made a speaking motion with his hand.
"You just need to be more confident Adrien, once you are, Ladybug will be talking to you more" he laughed softly while chowing down on the cheese.
"I try Plagg but…" he never finished his sentence as ring vibrated. That meant he was getting a call from Ladybug, so quickly looked around his room, checking it was clear before transforming.
"Plagg, Claws out!" he called out. Once he was done transforming he checked his staffs phone.
"Hey Chat, where are ya? We go a villain to fight!" she looked like she was dodging shots as she jumped from rooftop to rooftop.
"On my way my pretty little buggy boo" he giggled softly and jumped out the window.
~ Several hours later ~
Laughing and waving to Ladybug, Cat Noir smirked and bowed to her with a sudden wink. Dashing across the rooftop and pounding on all fours, he dived into the old phone box and changed back.
"Damn that was a good fight Plagg," He held out his shirt and let his Kwami dive inside and take the cheese waiting for him there. Heading back home and trying to get some attention from his father, failing as usual, Adrien headed up to his room. Sure he'd missed all the day's school work after being on his way from a photo shoot but he could always find a way to revise; he had been home schooled for many years so it wasn't that hard.
His fathers assistant explained that a student could possibly help him with missing the day so he went through the facebook list of the school students in his class. His other friends were no in the class today or were in other classes, so he had to look through others he'd not really talk to. "Hmm, Marinette is pretty smart... " he then began to type a message.
"Hey Marinette. I missed school today, do you think you can help me catch up with some work?."
"Oh hey Adrien! Um yeah sure I could help you! If you really wanted... And Yeah..." She typed wondering if that was casual enough to at least not weird him out.
"Awesome" he replied, sitting at the vastly expensive computer, he looked around the several screens; it wasn't too late today and it was the weekend after all, so he could go around any time. He knew where Marinette lived after going there as both Adrien and Cat Noir.
"What time do you want me to come around? I can come now or tomorrow? If you're not busy. I have a photo shoot tomorrow again, We can do the homework and stuff then if you want, come with me to the shoot and after I'll get you something from the sweet store as a thank you!"
"That makes it sound like a date Adrien." Plagg laughed softly and Adrien turned to him quickly. "Oh it does... I don't want her thinking that... it sounds weird doesn't it...I'll add something." To which he added.
"For being a good friend! I'll grab my things and be over soon" he smiled to himself and stood up, unaware of the freak out she was having. He collected his books, some clothes for the next day and the clothes he'd be wearing for the photo shoot. Adding a vast amount of beauty products to his duffel bag for the photo shoot; he was going to be doing this for one of France's most famous magazines after all.
Leaving his house, he snuck out and headed out to Marinette's place. Walking through the streets, it was quite late at night and her was quite sure that it was way too late for Hawk Moth to attempt to Akumatize someone again, hopefully.
Arriving at Marinette's place, he knocked on the door and was greeted by the tall and wide frame of her father. "Hello Mr Dupain, I'm here to study with Marinette. I missed school today so she said she would be helping me" he grinned softly and shuffled his duffel bag on his shoulder "Hope its okay?" he added softly.
"Oh Adrien, it's perfectly fine, just, no funny business up there, it is late and boys are not usually allowed in her room" Marinette's father teased, leaving Adrien with a slight blush on his cheeks.
"Trust me Mr Dupain, I'm not that kind of person" he tried to grin, leaving her father laughing.
"Come on in then Adrien, would you like a drink?" he asked as the pair entered through the shop.
Going up to Marinette's room, he found her panting and holding closed a large storage chest.
"Hey Marinette, thanks for the help" he came up through the trap door and put down the duffel bag on the sofa in one corner before pulling out his notebooks, tablet and work books.
"No pro..prob problem Adrien! Any time you need help… You can just ask me, because… I'll be here to help… when you ask… for my help… I'll be here!" she grinned and stammered over herself.
"I was thinking we start with Math, then move onto History?" he asked softly as he looked up, Marinette always had a flush on her face when he spoke to her, it was almost as if she had a crush on him. He couldn't help but chuckle at that thought; it couldn't be.
And so for the next few hours Adrien and Marinette worked together to get through both their homework, Marinette helping Adrien with his missed classes and Adrien even helping her with some of her homework.
Looking at his watch. "Wow, its almost Ten PM, I didn't realise that it would be this late" He chuckled softly and relaxed back on the sofa, running a hand over his face. Marinette's parents had brought pastries up from the store with drinks.
"Yea, it is rather late. Do you… perhaps… maybe want to… stay overnight?" she asked and Adrien nodded.
"Sure thing, I do have a photo shoot in the morning that I have to go to, as I said earlier, and you can come along if you wish to" he suggested and she suddenly grinned so wide and almost giggled so much.
"Yes… Yes… I would love to go to a photo shoot with you!" she giggled and then coughed and added "It would be nice. Yes… Let me go tell my parents, there is a fold out bed in the sofa, if you pull it out, I'll grab your quilt and pillows" she got up quickly and shot off downstairs.
"She seems happy" Plagg whispered and Adrien shushed him quickly, not wanting to get spotted just yet.
Once Marinette came back with the bed covers and the pillows, she helped Adrien pull out the bed and get everything set up. Walking downstairs to the bathroom, she giggled to herself.
"Oh my god! Adrien is staying in my house! Sleeping in my room!" she giggled and Tikki chuckled softly.
"You need to be careful Marinette, if he finds out I'm here, something serious could happen and what happens if Hawk Moth or an Akumatized villain appears? You will have to try and sneak out" Tikki warned and let Marinette stop hyperventilating before smiling and hiding in her pocket again.
Marinette had made sure to hide the pictures and posters of Adrien from her walls so he wouldn't find it. A knock came from the door and Marinette left the bathroom.
"Mind if I change?" he asked softly and she quickly jumped out of his way before going up to her room to organise her bed for the night, they wouldn't be sleeping yet and would hang out before bed.
Adrien came out wearing just a pair of boxer shorts and carried his clothes in his arms neatly folded. Marinette almost had an aneurysm as she stared at Adrien's bare body.
"Oh my oh my oh my oh my" she muttered and quickly turned away with a blush. "Adrien is partly naked in my room… have I died and gone to heaven?" she wondered out loud.
"Want to watch some TV or play some games? I know you're the best but I'm sure I can give it a try to beat you?" he asked with a chuckle and pulled up a chair beside her. With her deep red face, she picked up the controller and began to play with him.
Adrien knew what he was doing, she was clearly embarrassed by having a boy over and was trying to make her feel relaxed. Playing the games with her was fun and soon, she began to get competitive once she began to lose to him a bit.
By the time it was time for bed, she was laughing and enjoying the time together without her awkward shy blushing and eye avoidance.
"Good Night Adrien" Marinette spoke after turning the light off and getting into bed, having changed into her night clothes; a pair of shorts and an old T-shirt.
"Good Night Milady" He teased and she laughed softly before the pair got into their beds.
Something nagged at Marinette that wouldn't let her sleep. The way he had said Milady made her think of Chat Noir but… why would he say that? It wasn't something normal and unusual for Adrien, although it was jokey and they had been laughing and messing around with each other.
Adrien cursed himself for calling her that, he'd slipped into Chat Noir mode and began to relax around Marinette a little too much and slipped out something Chat Noir would say. He'd need to watch his words next time or when out of his suit.
This kept the pair awake some time, however Marinette was awake because she could not get over Adrien sleeping less than five feet from her.
Chapter 2: Photo Shoot
This chapter isn't as long as the last, I tend to try and post things every two days as my writing schedule is 500 words a day and I try to keep things around 1k words per chapter. However I've been having a bad few weeks and not doing much writing. I'm trying my best and its nice to see so many people love my writing, favorite it and even review it! Thanks guys and gals!
The next morning, Adrien woke up early as he always did and went to have a shower. Marinette had fallen asleep a few hours after they'd gone to bed. Adrien got in the shower and began to wash himself down with the fluffer he brought.
Marinette yawned as she got up, shifting herself from her bed and shifted across her bedroom and down into the hallway. Opening the door to the bathroom, she shifted inside and sat down on the toilet after locking the door.
Adrien had been too stupid or had not realised he HAD to lock the door, because he'd simply walked in, closed the door and got in the shower.
Sat on the toilet, Marinette yawed again and scratched her stomach and under boob before her eyes slowly turned to the shower. Facing her, Adrien was stood in the shower on the other side of the frosted glass.
" A… a… a… ad… ad… re… ien!" she stammered, replied to by Adrien who too stammered her name.
"Ma… ma… mari… marin… ette!" Her eyes slowly lowered and then widened before shutting close.
Adrien covered himself up and stepped away from the frosted glass, there was the awkward seconds clocking by as Adrien had to hide in the shower while he could hear the tinkling of Marinette on the toilet.
"This is so embarrassing" Marinette muttered quietly and Adrien chuckled nervously.
"Y… Yea it is… I'm sorry… I should have locked the door… I'm sorry" he quickly began to apologise.
"It's… it's fine… just… don't look… okay?" she stammered nervously, keeping her eyes at her feet.
"I won't. Don't worry" he bit his lip, she had looked down, had she… had she seen… him? Oh god Plagg was going to go crazy at this and tease him for weeks.
Marinette quickly finished up as fast as she could before leaving the bathroom in a rush. She even flushed the toilet and several seconds later realised her mistake, calling back in to the room. "Sorry!" as Adrien yelped and jumped out of the shower as the hot water turned freezing cold.
Coming out of the bathroom dressed in his outfit for his photo shoot, Adrien walked in to the bedroom to a dark red Marinette.
"Hey Marinette, are you okay?" he asked softly and leaned over her and chuckled softly. "I'm sorry about the bathroom, I usually don't have to lock the door and totally forgot" he smiled softly.
Marinette blushed and looked over her shoulder at him. "It's fine, I didn't… see anything…" she lied, she'd seen EVERYTHING and was blushing.
"You want to come to the photo shoot? It will be a few hours but it's not far from here, in fact it's in the park close by" he asked softly and walked around to his bag where he picked up a few bits of makeup from his bag to add to his features.
Marinette watched him put on the makeup and simply let her gaze linger on him. "All done" he smirked and she realised she had not gotten dressed so she disappeared to change.
Coming out of the bathroom dressed in a pair of pink jeans, a white shirt with a pink stylised butterfly embroidered on it.
"You look cute" Adrien chuckled softly and picked up his duffel bag, leaving her blushing at the comment.
The pair headed out, a small breakfast given by her parents and while they walked along the path beside each other, Adrien nibbled on a pretzel while Marinette munched at a Pain au Chocolat. Soon arriving at park, Adrien threw the wrapper in the bin and wiped his face with the napkin.
Approaching Vincent, the photographer for Adrien's current and past photo shoots. The man approached and with the help of his assistant, got Adrien ready for the photo shoot. Marinette watched him from a nearest bench and soon they were ready for the photos.
Marinette would watch Adrien work as he posed for photo. Smiling as she enjoyed his work, soon the photographer turned to her. "You girl, come here. I need another model" he told her and after a quick make up session, she was stood on the fountain with Adrien.
"What shall I do?" she questioned.
"Adrien, do you something that would fit the shoot" Vincent told Adrien who turned and thought for a second.
"Alright, hmmm, lets do this" he leaned closer and put his hand on her hip while the other wrapped around to the nook of her back. Marinette was blushing dark red as she looked up at Adrien, meeting his eyes as he stared right back at her. Her heart was racing like a beating drum as she stared up at him.
She did not even notice the camera flashes as she stared at Adrien as he leaned closer and even almost went to kiss her.
"Alright, thats great!" Victor grinned and began to take apart his camera and the put the equipment into a case.
"You did well Marinette. I hope you don't mind your photo being in a couple of magazines and even on a cover" Adrien smiled and chuckled. "You'll get a cut of the modelling fee, which is a nice bit of Euro's" he chuckled then looked down as something began to beep in his his hand as something began to buzz.
"… erm, I have to get this" he spoke, walking to the side and lifted something out of his pocket, pretending to use his phone. She felt something buzzing at her ear and realised it was her ear rings.
Dashing into an alley, she transformed with a "Spots on!" before dashing and jumping to the roof top.
"Ah Milady, so I found you rather quickly" Chat Noir laughed as he suddenly landed right beside her, she let out a yelp and chuckled.
"Did I scare ya there Purrr-incess… I apologize but we have bigger things to do" he pointed to in the direction of where the Akumatized villain had buzzed their Miraculous's
Chapter 3: Romance In Tatters
~ Romance In Tatters ~
Chat Noir landed on the roof and slid up beside Marinette, slipping closer. “Hey cutie, you come here often?"
Ladybug sighed and let her eyes roll as she turned to face Chat Noir. “Hey, nice to see you too,”
"Whats wrong princess? You look like you are not happy, perhaps your out of breath, here… let me give you some" Chat Noir grinned, starting to lean in closer.
Ladybug looked him in the eye and before he got close, placed a finger up and creating some distance between them "That's sweet of you but, I prefer to breathe my own air, thanks."
"I dont know, my air is much sweeter."
"Mm, I'll just take your word for it. Who knows who else has breathed that air."
"My air is only for you my lady..."
"Such a waste then since I'm passing it up."
"It is, my heart aches... my soul passes into the night..." Noir held his chest and reached out his hand into the sky.
"For it is in need of love and care... lest I fall into ever-reaching darkness..."
A deep sigh escaped her lips, watching such a dramatic display. "Ugh! I'm pulling the curtain!" Offers a hand. "If you need something to put your lips on, you can settle for this."
"You know.. I'm starting to think maybe you don't like me Ladybug.." Chat Noir sighed, leaning forward and kissing her hand.
"Maybe Queen Bee would appreciate my affection, or even Rena Rouge..."
"It's not that. I...I told you, it's complicated. Why do you keep being so pouty about it and bringing it into things?"
"Rena Rouge definitely wouldn't go for you and as for Chloe, she's definitely not your type. So, how about you forget about romance and focus on saving Paris, yeah?" After his kiss, her hand lifted and her finger stroked beneath his chin.
"Oh I have a type now?" He asked with a sly smile. "Maybe she is my type. I've actually known her for quite a while. You'd be surprised how sweet Chloe Bourgeois can be." He winked before looking at her when she fingered his chin.
"Maybe I'd like a little romance in the city of love, after all, we save it enough times..."
"She can be a decent person, sure. But wouldn't dating her be too much of an emotional roller coaster for a sensitive kitty like you?" She crosses her arms. "Plus, we've already gotten her into enough drama now that everyone knows she's not only the mayor's daughter but also a superhero. Let her work on herself before you go rushing into things with her."
A soft smile forced its way upon her lips, despite how much she wished to fight it off. "It's not that I don't want to give you a chance and you know that."
"I could make it work, you don't know my real identity. Maybe I'm a bit of a famous person anyway.."
"You like someone else?" He asked with a sigh. "It's fine.. I know when a better man has won." He raised his hands and then looked out into the distance.
"Come on.. lets go find whatever trouble's popped up." He ran to the edge of the building and pounced into the air
"W-Wait up!" With a groan, she grappled onto the next building and caught up with him. "A famous person, huh? Well then, if you're so popular, maybe we know each other."
His words made her feel guilty for some reason. She wasn't sure why but beneath her denial, it was clear that her heart was torn between Chat Noir and Adrien but she could never admit that.
"But don't go rushing into things without me. It's better to form a plan if we're together."
Adrien ran along, occasionally switching to all fours to pounce across rooftops and high chimneys.
"Yea, I'm very famous. You could say.." He jumped and landed on a large TV, the billboard switched to Agreste fashion, a large image of a half naked Adrien in a pair of swimming trunks, showing off the new brand and its appropriate aftershave.
"You could say I'm as famous as this nerd." He motioned to the image of Adrien.
Seeing the billboard photo caused her to blush and stare for a long few moments.
"Wow... I didn't know he did a new ad." She was definitely looking that up when she got home. Maybe that's why he didn't invite her to that photo shoot. It would've been a little awkward for him. Her daze was rudely interrupted by Chat Noir's words, causing Ladybug to place her hands on her hips.
"Adrien Agreste is NOT a nerd! He's totally flawless~ I doubt you're even close to being as cool as him."
"He's flawless?" He grinned, he'd been called a number of things but flawless was not one of them.
"He has plenty of flaws, you realise I know him right? Known him for quite a few years." Chat Noir winked over at her.
"I know him so much that I know he has a little birthmark right here..." He tapped a point just below the waistline of the swim trunks. "Go ahead.. ask him about it the next time you see him."
She grinned smugly. "I know him, too. He says we're actually really good friends."
"H-He has a birthmark....where!?!" She turned bright red as her imagination went places. "That's not a flaw! It's probably adorable. Just like the rest of him. AND I CANNOT ASK HIM ABOUT THAT! " She averted her gaze from the photo now that her eyes couldn't help from trying to burn a hole into his swim trunks each time she looked.
"Just ask him..." He smiled at her, slowly walking around the rooftop after jumping up.
"It's in an old photo of him, they actually forgot to edit it out." He admitted. "Look up his first swimwear photo shoot, its right there in the middle of his little happy trail.." He laughed softly, pointing to a spot on his own body where he knew he had the little birth mark.
"Rather cute too... if I say so myself. " He laughed softly. "Oh... and I know that he shaves his entire body for photo shoots but leaves a little bit of hair for his happy trail.." He joked, seeing her reaction to it.
"I think I worked out who you like..."
"You know some pretty personal details, Chat Noir. Either you're a creepy stalker or..... you must be a relative, right?" Her denial was so deep. "But there is no way I'm asking him about it! What kind of girl asks a question that gives away that she stares at his body nearly nude?" She walked a bit away from the revealing and tempting billboard and continued to pretend not to be imagining things while looking out for any trouble.
"Yeah, I guess you have but, you don't seem as upset about it as I thought you'd be. Then again, I never thought you'd start describing the details of his body to me either."
"I know a lot about him, we're close." He told her, "but to prove it, I will get you a date."
"You know what.. tomorrow's Friday, Adrien's supposed to have Chinese class but its cancelled. Go to the Le Jules Verne, the restaurant on the Eiffel Tower. Your love will be there for you." He told her.
"A better man has won you over Ladybug... I'm a gentleman and know when to give in." He bowed slowly, walking over. "All I ask, is a kiss?" He asked softly, gentlemanly, actually not being flirty.
"R-Really!?! A date!? Wait, is this really a good idea? I-I mean, there was one girl that was with him in a lot of pictures online and everyone assumed they were in a relationship when they weren't. I don't want rumours to start swirling for him. He's got enough to deal with." She sighed.
If he saw who she really was, he'd probably just see it as the two of them going out to dinner as friends.... and if she goes as Ladybug, then the press will eat them alive. "This is a disaster..."
His question snapped her out of her spiralling thoughts. "You're still asking for a kiss? You're so relentless, kitty. Well, I've kissed you once, one more for no hard feelings won't be so bad, right?" She leaned forward with her eyes shut.
"There will be rumours, there are always rumours around him and us... I mean, we're heroes' and he's France's biggest rising model star. But... he will be there. For a date, in one of Paris' most expensive and romantic restaurants. You do not have to go in your suit and stuff, but I think if you do; it will be better. After all, our identities have to remain hidden." Noir explained.
"If he tells me he went out with a girl, and I find out who it is, then I know your identity." he laughed softly.
"It will be fine..." He told her and looked her in the eyes. "This will be the last time I ask, because you're now going to be dating someone." He leaned in and gave her a soft peck, not a romantic kiss, not a loving kiss. Just a peck on the lips.
"That will have to be my burden to bear now." He put his hand on his heart and smiled.
"I tried my hardest and I lost to a better man." he nodded and stood up straight. "I'll go tell him. You take care." Noir ran off and made a long journey to his house, where he transformed back.
He had a date with Ladybug. A huge grin on Adrien's face appeared, it was a low trick but it was different. He was Adrien with her, not Chat Noir.
At school the next day, the Friday of the date, he was smiling as he walked in to class
"That's the problem..." If she went as Ladybug, no one would find out who she was but, then the internet will go insane with the new couple of Ladybug and Adrien Agreste. The only real option she had was to go as herself since there were already rumours of he and Marinette dating and it wouldn't be news to anyone. He had her... But at least she could trust Chat Noir to keep a secret, even if this date did cause Adrien to reveal her secret identity to him.
Chat Noir's kiss wasn't like she'd expected but, she couldn't dwell on that when that entire night was spent tossing, turning and talking things over with Tikki. She was against the reveal but she claimed that ultimately, it was Marinette's decision. That didn't help at all. "If I stand him up, Chat Noir will ice me out again and be all pouty that I didn't come to something he planned! But if I go, then he'll find out who I am! UGH! Why can't I just say no? I'm so lame! It's because it's Adrien. I can't turn down Adrien! He's like, the definition of perfect!" She rambled on and on as she sat at her desk and fidgeted with her sewing supplies while Tikki did her best to reassure her while also reminding her of the gravity of such a situation.
The next day at school, she was so tired that she had to stop at the nurse's office during study hall to take a nap. Marinette couldn't sleep that night and her stomach was in knots each time she passed by the grinning boy in the hallway. He looked so happy. She'd be a monster if she stood him up now.
That evening, her clothes were thrown everywhere as she searched for something to wear. Despite how cute the mini skirt and top she picked was, she wasn't looking forward to this. She'd already known that despite her refusal to date anyone else, he believed there to be nothing between them.
Even still, she arrived, nervously waiting for this train wreck to unfold.
Chapter 4: Date Night
~ Date Night ~
At school, Adrien was sat with Nino and Alya, chatting and talking. In fact Alya came to Marinette with a "Did you know Adrien's got a date with Ladybug?! He say's Chat Noir set it up. We have to ruin the date." She obviously wanted to get Marinette in there instead. A good friend, to ruin a date to put someone else there!
The Eiffel tower was closed off, it seemed that no one was allowed up. There were people complaining at the base and even some rich men and woman complaining that their reservation was cancelled.
Chat Noir had sent Ladybug a message via their devices and it was a pass code to the man outside. He had no idea who Adrien was meeting but let her in if she used it.
If she did come up the lift, the entire restaurant was booked out, no one else was there apart from Adrien Agreste.
Sat in the middle of the main seats, right in the best spot of the revolving windows, he tapped his fingers at the table in front of him.
"Hello?" He called out. There was a reason why he hadn't moved.
He was wearing a blindfold. A black silk blindfold that hid any chance for him to peek outside of it.
"If that is you Ladybug, you do not have to worry about being spotted here, I've booked out the place for us; it was expensive but... I wanted to do it to save you from being embarrassed or spotted. I have also wore a blindfold so if you are in your real form, you are not revealed to me. It would be dangerous for that." He told her with a soft smile, a caring smile.
"Chat Noir told me that you... well... you wanted to have a date with me. I admit I was excited." He continued, speaking even though he could have just been talking to an empty room if it had just been a simple noise he'd heard.
"I've wanted to have a date with you for a long time. I've... well... I've had a crush on you since you first appeared." He laughed softly to himself.
"I know its silly, a boys-crush but... I did." He looked down, rubbing his hands. "Someone like me, a rich boy with so wealth and fame, I could have anyone I wanted... but.. I wanted you." He admitted, going all out in his opening speech.
"There are a lot of girls who like me, a lot of guys too. I know that. Some of them in my school. Chloe, well she's very firm in her appreciation... then you have people like Marinette." He continued, unaware that Marinette was stood there. "The poor girl's so nervous around me. I'd be stupid not to notice. Nino and Alya and all our friends try to get me to tell her but I couldn't break her heart... I couldn't tell her that I have eyes for you Ladybug." He admitted.
He admitted he knew about Marinette's crush, he admitted people had told him too, he admitted he didn't want to hurt her.
"I like her, she's a nice girl... I like Chloe, she's a nice girl too, sometimes... Hell, I like a lot of people at my school. But..." he turned his head to try and look right at her with the blindfold.
"I... I love you more... Ladybug.." There was a silence for a second before he spoke.
"Please tell me I didn't just confess to an empty room.. or a waiter..."
When Marinette arrived, the place was empty besides the two of them and what's more was that...he was blindfolded.
"He's so sweet," she gushed softly to herself before walking over to him. In a way, she was grateful he was so considerate, especially after he spoke of her like he could never love her in comparison to his feelings for Ladybug. Marinette had to bite her lip in order to avoid sighing from the sudden heartbreak. Everyone else seemed to love Adrien for his looks and his status but, while those things were nice, she liked him because he was kind and considerate as well as talented and empathetic.
"Adrien, that was beautiful." She took his hand in order to let him know she was there. Hopefully since she wasn't wearing gloves, the little bumps in her skin from constantly being pricked with a sewing needle didn't give her away. She sat down across from him, still resting her hand on his. He'd gone through all the trouble just to make this a safe date that wouldn't get ruined by anyone else. Even though he'd totally just obliterated her heart as Marinette, she had to go on as Ladybug...To make him happy.
"You're amazing and your kind heart has always spoken volumes to me without really having a chance to get close to you. I think it's sweet that you love me but, I'm not sure we can work out like this. My identity will be compromised every time we meet up." She scratched her cheek, wondering what to suggest.
"I have a question for you. If...If I did go to school with you when I'm not Ladybug, would your opinion of me change or would you still love me? And...You'd keep that secret if you ever found out. I know that. I'm just not sure if we should make a habit of this."
Listening, feeling her, his heart jumped. He actually twitched as he felt her take his hand and move to sit down. It was strange to be blindfolded like this but it was what he had done to make it safe for her. He did not want to scare her away.
"Thank you Ladybug. I... well.. Its hard being me, I know you're a superhero and its hard for you too, but being rich... being a model... it is hard. People don't think that it is but when you can't even go to your trash can without having sixteen people take pictures of you and your rubbish, before having a six page expose on the fact I smell of Cheese all the time.. its hard." He nodded slowly.
His voice faltered as he spoke a little more, his hand had twitched when she said that she was not sure it would work out.
In his mind, he was rather angry. That he'd sacrificed his love as Chat Noir for her and here she was telling him it may not work out?
He took a deep breath, calming his beating heart.
"It would be hard for any secret to be around me." He admitted. "People find out things about me. I've had my phone hacked eight times since Monday morning." He admitted. "I keep six different phones on me at any one time. My Facebook profile is fake, I have another called "McBoaty Mc'Boat face... " He laughed softly. Only people at school knew his fake profile, in fact it had been Alya and Nino who made it for him specifically for Marinette to spy on it.
"My love would never change for you Ladybug, but I do not know if I could keep your secret because... anything around me just.. gets out. Hell.." He looked down and pulled his shirt up a little, revealing his little happy trail by pulling his trousers a little.
"Chat Noir even found out about this." He motioned to the little birth mark across his stomach, tiny but there it was, right where Chat Noir said it was. It was in the shape of a paw.
"I know how hard it is. I see it everyday. That's why I don't get upset when I don't see you at a party or when everyone is spending time together. You've got a stressful life and I'd never want to make that worse. I might admire you from afar but, the only thing I want is for you to be happy, not constantly having to worry about being the reason for your girlfriend's secret identity being exposed."
When he spoke the name of the profile she'd been watching, she reached up and rubbed her head.
"Hehe... Yeah... What a ridiculous name. I-I bet that even with that, it's hard to be you. At least with me, I can keep my identity secret and avoid my privacy being invited... I...I mean the rumour was that you had a date with Ladybug so, I'm risking my privacy by being here without my costume right now. If we're alone and only you find out then...Maybe we could start a relationship. But there will always be a risk."
Exposing his birth mark had caused a gasp to escape from her lips. "I was right! It IS adorable! I-I MEAN, wow. Chat Noir was telling the truth about that..."
"Thank you." He smiled and relaxed back, slowly trying to find his water with his free hand, sipping it and not spilling it before putting it down.
"No one here knows I'm on a date with Ladybug, the staff here think I'm dating an important girl, that's it." He smiled. "I think it was Alya and Nino who began to spread it. I mean, Alya doesn't stop to put anything on her lady-blog, even if it does involve me." He admitted, he didn't hate them for it, but it had been annoying.
"Then again, I was smiling all day, I did day dream and admit I had a date with someone. I think I might have hurt people's feelings..." He looked down before looking back at her.
"You're taking the biggest risk here, I did not mind if you came in your outfit, but it is nice to know you trusted me with your identity. I have one secret I've managed to keep, but I cannot tell anyone. It would hurt even you if I did." He explained. Grinning when she mentioned his birthmark, he laughed.
"Yea... it is adorable." He smiled. "But they edit it out in the photo's... I'm not perfect with it." he admitted, mimicking her words about 'being perfect' without realising it.
"If you want to start a relationship, I will respect it. You can show me your identity but I cannot promise it would not get out. I would prefer that you keep as Ladybug. If people find out I'm dating Ladybug, then we are two famous people dating... but if, like.. you're actually Alya, or Rose, or Juleka... or any number of the girls in my school... or you turn out to be someone else and then get revealed... people will think or know you're Ladybug and that's not safe." He explained.
"It's just not fair..." She pouted, resting her hand on her cheek. "Everyone knows Chloe's Queen Bee and she's already famous and super annoying." All the girls he'd mentioned weren't even her. He really had no idea, did he? "Besides, I can't be Rose, Juleka or Alya. They were all Akumatized, remember? So, I won't tell you but, I've never been Akumatized before." If he wanted to leave it a mystery, that was fine by her. She'd only shown up as herself because she didn't want people making up rumours about Ladybug to make more trouble for Adrien.
"I don't mind dating you as Ladybug as long as you don't mind people trying to hunt me down and try to find me without my mask. I'd like to see them try to catch a superhero. Though, I think the fans that ship me with Chat Noir will be a little disappointed." She giggled.
"I understand that there are some things you can't tell me about since you're famous and anything you tell anyone will go public so, I'll do my best not to get in the way." Hearing about his birth mark being edited out in pictures made her sad. What was wrong with a small blemish? It wasn't like a birth mark was considered an actual flaw. "I think you're even more perfect with it. I think it's unfair that they try to change you like that, even in such a small way."
There was a fresh glass of water beside her as well and she took a sip. "I can't believe you went through all of this trouble just to be with me. It's going to kill me knowing that I can't tell any of our friends I was on a date with you. They'd be so happy for me...But it's better this way."
Adrien smiled at her. "They were... Nino too.. you know.. Marinette and I are the only one's not to be Akumatized in our little group." He laughed softly. "Guess we're just lucky. But you can't be Marinette. She's too sweet and innocent to be Ladybug. No offence, but you're pretty scary at times." He laughed softly.
"Marinette is one of the sweetest girls I know. She's strong like you, but it's a different type of strong." He nodded, unaware he was talking to Marinette.
He wasn't trying to be insulting to her, he thought Marinette couldn't be Ladybug because Marinette was, in his eyes, a lot stronger than Ladybug. She was a normal girl who did extraordinary things. Ladybug was a super hero doing super hero things.
"The only problem you'll have is people kidnapping me to get to you, or using me to get to you. I can handle that, don't worry. Its not the first time I've been kidnapped." He laughed softly.
"The fashion industry is a hard place, they don't like imperfection, and my fans want me as their mind's image. Any little imperfection and it has to be erased. You might not know this but I've had plastic surgery when I was younger." he explained. "Little bit of alteration here... my teeth straightened when I was young... it's kept hidden by my father but yea... I'm not perfect. I'm just a little product made to look nice for the public"
"I went through this trouble for you because I know that it could be a problem if you were revealed. But yes, it is a shame you can't tell anyone. You can gloat to your Hero friends, in fact I'll let you announce it to the public when and where you want. So you don't have to worry about me revealing it."
"I can't be Marinette, huh?" She grinned, willing herself not to prove him wrong. "Well, isn't that Marinette girl a bit on the clumsy side? She's not nearly as graceful as I am," she said, obviously holding back laughter. He was so oblivious. Then again, she couldn't judge. It was probably just as obvious who Chat Noir was. "Good to know that I'm scary sometimes. That'll probably come in handy one day."
"I... I can't let that happen. I can't have you getting kidnapped because of me. I don't care if you can handle it, I refuse to put you in danger, Adrien..." She hung her head, gazing down at the table as she contemplated her future. Either she reveals herself and puts them both in danger or Adrien constantly gets targeted by enemies to try and get her to give up her Miraculous. Either way, she loses.
"The fashion industry is pretty cut throat. I had no idea you had plastic surgery... Just so you'd be cut out for modelling? That's horrible." Her heart ached for him. He'd been born and forced into a life of being judged and fixed up to meet everyone's expectations. He never had a chance to be a normal person. "I bet you didn't need all that. The real attractive thing about you is your personality. "
She shook her head. "I don't need to gloat that badly. As much as I'd love to, I'd wanna gloat because I like you, not because of your status. They'd all probably tease me for using my hero title to court famous models." She let out a small laugh, imagining the ridiculous possibilities of all of this. Only time would tell if it would work out or not.
"Its fine Ladybug, I'm fine with being in danger, I mean. Have you met my father? I doubt anything would happen to me that he could stop. With you and him together, I'm invincible." He laughed quietly, slowly fingering his ring.
"Plus, I can look out for myself." He added.
"But yea, the fashion industry is pretty dire. I'm the Heir to the Agreste dynasty; I need to be perfect. Have you seen my father when he first started?" He asked. "He was just like me, he had built this from the ground up, I can't ruin it for him and my family." He explained.
"It wasn't that bad. " He pulled out his phone and swiped the gallery down to the very bottom.
He handed it to her without looking, it was photo's of him as a much younger boy, some that had never been seen. He looked... well... average. His teeth were normal apart from a few not grown right and were at an odd angle, changed to be his perfectly pearly whites. His nose had a slight curve but was now... perfect.
His cheekbones were pretty much the same but his ears had been tucked back a little.
In the photo he looked... well.. average. Nothing wrong. But average was not good enough in the modelling world.
"Personality is nothing when people only care about looks. I mean, I'm glad that I was born with a big dick.." he laughed at the joke and smiled.
"I guess its then official.. you and I are dating" He held out his hand. "Do I call you Milady or Princess?" He asked, referring to Chat Noir.
Looking at the pictures, she felt sorrowful and warm all at once. The way he looked before was still endearing. "You were so cute. I'd still be into you no matter what you looked like. And I know...Your father has a legacy to continue. I get it. I just don't agree with it." She set his phone down, immediately choking over his joke. "I-Is that so?"
She took his hand as he'd offered it. "You can call me whatever you'd like. You don't have to follow Chat Noir's example. He's a bit of an overly dramatic flirt." There was a laughter in her voice as she basked in the warmth of his hand. She was dating Adrien and he had no idea he was holding hands with Marinette but she'd save this for her dreams and her diary, despite how tragic this truly was.
"I still don't like the idea of you getting targeted and I don't want that to happen...But if it does, I promise you, I'll protect you." She gave his hand a squeeze. "I'll just scare them into submission," she said, referencing what he'd said earlier.
"If you want to put your phone number into my phone. I can call you if I'm ever in trouble." He explained, "And I think I'll call you Girlfriend, that will work." He chuckled and waved his hand, a nearby waiter who had been waiting on a signal but not listening or watching came over with food. It was the best and most richest meals the place offered.
"Now enjoy your meal and we can then go out, maybe you can carry me and jump along the rooftops." He laughed after the waiter left.
Chapter 5: Skipping Patrol
~ Skipped Patrol ~
Jumping beside Ladybug, Chat Noir peered over and smiled at her. "Hey Prrrrrincesss."
"Hello there, Kitty." She laughed softly, turning to face him.
"I heard on the grape vine that you're now dating Adrien Agreste."
"Oh, did you? Well, you were told right. Adrien And I made it official on that date."
"Yea Adrien told me." He laughed softly, lying of course. "He say's that he wore a blindfold! What an idiot.." Chat Noir laughed softly.
"But I'm happy that you two are together. You have someone special now. Look after them." He told her firmly, hands on his hips.
"I might have to go out on the dating scene now. I know there are plenty of girls out for the Noir."
"You don't have to tell me to take care of him. I already know I'm the luckiest bug in the whole world!" She had to suppress the squeal that almost left her lips. Luckily, it was replaced with a groan before it had a chance to escape. Her hand rose to cover her face in protest.
"Listen, Kitty, Anyone that can handle your puns and still wants to date you afterwards has got to be insane. Even so, there's gotta be someone out there. Do you like anyone? Well, besides me."
Shrugging slowly, Noir kept his gaze out. "There is this one girl I know, she's nice. is nice to me when I speak to her. I might go around her house tonight." He thought out loud, turning back to look at Ladybug.
"It's quiet tonight, I don't think Hawkmoth is coming out tonight, fancy skipping a night's patrol?" He asked, perhaps he'd nip around that girl's house tonight. It wasn't too late.
"I'm sure she's great. After all, you do have good taste." Her eyes left him and looked upon the rest of the city. It was quiet and calm. Normally she wouldn't skip patrol but, she wanted to see Chat Noir happy. She wasn't about to ruin any chance he had with this girl.
"All right, fine. We can skip for tonight but just this once."
"Alright, see you around Ladybug." And instead of his usual bow, or even calling her 'My Lady' he just ran off the roof and jumped into the night.
Marinette had returned to civilian form and headed home. "Chat Noir's acting a little more distant toward Ladybug," she said as Tikki sat on her shoulder.
"Well, Ladybug is with someone else. He's just trying to be respectful." the Kwami added.
" . But I wonder who this other girl is. She's so important that we skipped patrol just so he could see her." She did a double take. Her voice seemed a little angry for some reason.
"Please tell me you're not jealous, Marinette. You can't expect him to chase you forever."
A light sigh was her response. "I know. You're right."
As she walked through the front door, she noticed that her parents had already closed up shop for the night. It was for the better. She wasn't in the mood for socialising.
Hanging upside down in her loft bedroom, Chat Noir hung from the rafters by his belt tail, swinging back and forward.
"Hey Marinette." He whispered. "Is it okay I came in and waited for you?" He asked softly.
"WAH! C-Chat Noir!? W-Whaaat are you doing here?" She sounded nervous and rightfully so. He'd said he was going to go see a girl he thought about dating."
"U-Uh sure it's okay but, why?" She internally pleaded for it not to be what it looked like it was.
Chapter 6: Hanging Out
~ Hanging Out ~
Chat Noir continued to swing upside down as he looked at her, smiling at her surprise.
"I'm… lonely." He admitted. "Ladybug has started dating someone else and, well… I'm jealous." He admitted.
"I... don't have anyone else to... well." He paused quietly. "Can... can I stay here tonight? I don't want to go home due to my room being filled with ladybug stuff and I don't really want to be alone tonight." He admitted quietly, shyly, totally not his style.
"Plus... your nice to me." He added.
"Well…" Marinette rubbed the back of her head nervously. "I..." She looked a little sad. The poor guy was jealous and just wanted some company. Being the compassionate person she was, she couldn't just turn him away.
"Okay, you can stay but, you're sleeping on the floor," she said, flushing very subtly.
"But, you don't have to be jealous. Maybe Ladybug just isn't the one. I'm sure there are lots of girls that want to date you, right?" She was at a slight loss for words. She walked over and sat down in her desk chair.
"It's okay if you wanna talk about it, Chat Noir. I know what unrequited love is like. It's a lot of heartache that you don't let on."
"I... I'm not jealous... well… I am… but…" He sighed, swinging upside down. "Its hard to explain.. if you knew who I was you'd understand." He sighed; swinging upside down by his belt tail.
It was hard for him to think about it too, he shouldn't be jealous, he WAS dating Ladybug, but... Adrien was dating Ladybug, not him. When he was Adrien, he always felt like he had to put on a character; Chat Noir was more himself than his true identity.
He hated being Adrien, he had to do classes, he had to go do modelling jobs, he had to follow rules and had to be the 'perfect person'. Even when he was just acting normal around his friends, he still had to put on a persona.
But Chat Noir, he could do what he wanted, he could flirt and not worry about it, he could joke and laugh and act out whatever he wanted without any worry for ruining his fathers business.
Chat Noir wanted to date Ladybug because then he could do anything he wanted with her. Adrien dating Ladybug would always be in the news... they would be followed by paparazzi.
"No one really wants me. I told Ladybug that I had loads of people lining up to ask me out but... I don't." He sighed again. "I said that to make her a little jealous so she'd perhaps go out on a date with me." He admitted to her, not realising he was telling Ladybug everything.
"She has Adrien now, so its fine." He admitted, the first time anyone other than Adrien, Ladybug and Chat Noir had told anyone, unaware that she already knew because she WAS Ladybug.
He finally dropped from the ceiling, and just like his namesake, landed on all fours almost as if physics failed for him for a moment and he completely span around to land on them in the blink of an eye.
Sitting cross legged on the floor, he looked at Marinette.
"Sure people like me, but... they just think I'm a joker, a flirt and a laugh. Hell, this girl I know who is absolutely loving to me in my real identity hates me like this." He motioned to himself, referring to Chloe.
"I guess you're the only person I know who doesn't look at me like I'm some hero, some celebrity." He admitted, "Well, atleast in this form you do." He mumbled, unaware that little slip might give her a clue to him being Adrien.
"In this form?" Great. Now she was curious. What could those words possibly mean? Did they know each other in real life too and not just as heroes? Shaking her head, she dismissed those questions. That was none of her business. Right now, she had a friend coming to her to vent and she needed to do what she could to help him work through this.
"So, you're jealous but at the same time, you want her to take you seriously enough to go on a date with you?" This was giving her a whole new perspective on the way she acted as Ladybug. She hadn't meant to be cold or ignore his feelings toward her and she knew what it was like to only be loved by someone in one form and not the other.
"Anyone who thinks that all there is to you is a flirtatious jokester is missing the big picture. You're kind and you look out for everyone. I'm just some civilian girl but whenever I'm in trouble, you make sure I'm safe before even thinking about taking on the enemy. You're a gentleman who would never, ever cross boundaries without permission and I bet Ladybug couldn't ask for a better, more loyal partner than you." Glancing away, she questioned if she was being a bit too specific.
"At least, that's what I've seen. I admire how carefree you are while still doing your best for others. I would have thought lots of girls would be interested in you. But, I guess most people don't look beyond the surface." A sombre look curved the corners of her lips downward.
"Whoever you are without that mask, well...I don't think your status matters. If everyone loves you for such a superficial reason then, it's better to find someone who loves you and doesn't care how popular you are. Those things aren't important. I'd rather be with somebody who genuinely cares about me than be with them for fame."
Setting her bag down beneath her desk, she sighed. "I think Ladybug cares about you a lot. Maybe she's just so caught up in her feelings for Adrien that she doesn't want to believe that she wants to go on that date with you." That was a confession in itself but, he wouldn't know. He had no idea who Ladybug really was.
"If you saw who I am, I bet your thoughts would change." Chat Noir thought and then realised he said it out loud. Biting his lip and actually blushing, he looked her in the eye.
"Can... can I show you? Who I am Marinette? I mean, then you'd be able to judge. I know you and I know how are. I can tell." He told her and actually began to slowly move his hand to his mask, just as he touched it, he stopped.
"No.. I can't tell you. It's against the rules that Ladybug set." He looked down. "It would not be safe for you." He stood up and looked to the window.
"I should go. I shouldn't have bothered you with this."
Chat Noir was getting embarrassed, getting shy, he was worried that he'd be putting her in danger, it was silly of him.
He put his hand to his staff and looked at it. "Oh.. Ladybug is calling, I have to go." He lied, it was obviously not ringing and Ladybug wasn't calling because she was in front of him.
He turned to go for her balcony window.
"NO, it's okay!" Before he could leave, she placed her hand on his shoulder. "I told you that you could stay and I know Ladybug isn't calling for you." Her eyes widened in horror as she'd just said that out loud. There was no way he could've missed that one. How could she even cover that up?
Pulling her hand back, she took a few steps backward. "Uh...I'm not dumb. I know when you're lying. I don't think it's a bad thing that you trust me, Chat Noir. I could never betray you but I understand that you want to obey Ladybug. She made it clear in several interviews that the whole secret identity thing is to keep everyone safe."
Her nervous frown had become a soft smile. "And I'm sure that no matter who you are, you're amazing because you're you and not because you're well known. At least, that's how I fee." He seemed so eager to leave and take back everything he'd gotten off his chest but, running away wasn't like him. He'd always tried to push Ladybug to be outward with him so, Marinette couldn't let him run. He'd regret it.
"You don't have to show me who you are but, I don't think you should be alone right now."
"I..." He looked down when she stopped him, turning to face her as she put he hand on his shoulder, placing his on her's just as she pulled it back.
"I... guess you're right." He nodded. Looking down. "Do you... think you can get me a glass of water? I.. I wont leave. I'll stay here." He told her softly.
If she said yes and if she left to go get it, Chat Noir would stand looking into her mirror, taking a deep breath, he took off his mask and placed it on the table. He knew Ladybug would kill him for this, he knew Plagg would yell at him, which was why he wasn't transforming back, simply taking his mask off.
If she left and then returned, he would turn around just as she came in, revealing his face, revealing his identity, although his hair was still that mix of gel and messy, he was clearly Adrien Agreste.
"Hey Marinette..." He smiled softly at her.
Chapter 7: Identities
~ Identities ~
"Okay but, if you leave, I won't let you stay over anymore." She'd saved herself somehow. Walking over to the hatch door, she opened it and began to head downstairs. Tikki had followed her, expressing her concern for the way Chat Noir was acting.
As she got ice from the fridge and poured the water into a glass, she had to promise her Kwami that whatever took place tonight, she couldn't let it get out of hand. Easier said than done. Once she made her way back upstairs and closed the door, her eyes fell upon something unexpected.
The glass of water in her hand fell to the floor, leaving a puddle in its wake. "No, no, no, no! Y-You weren't supposed to do this! I told you we can't reveal our identities and you totally-" She froze. Well, it looked like the literal cat was out of the bag. There was no way she could cover that one up.
"I MEAN… Uh... I… YOU'RE Chat Noir!? SERIOUSLY!?"
Adrien was shocked at her response, but expected it. And the stupid thing was, he expected her to be like this but he actually missed her words, he was just ready to be yelled at.
He'd remember later, but that was for later Adrien to think about.
"I know you told me I couldn't reveal myself, but... I.. I just had to. I had to know that I would be treated differently." He began, his words acting on the thought she meant "I told you that YOU couldn't reveal YOUR identity, not "Our"
"Yes.. I'm Chat Noir... I..." He looked down. "I was given this power and... well…" He looked down. "I'm jealous of Ladybug dating me, which is silly... and... I told you its complicated. I'm jealous because I hate me... I hate being Adrien. I LOVE being Chat Noir and... I know you have a crush on me... on Adrien." He admitted, flat out admitting it now the cat was, as she had thought, out of the bag.
"Alya and Nino keep trying to get me to admit it, but I didn't want to break your heart by telling you I liked Ladybug... but… she likes Adrien... not me... not the real me." He put his hand on his chest.
"I.. I know how nervous you get around me, I know how you react around me." He stepped forward, so close to her that she could reach out and touch him with ease.
"I... I... talk to me Marinette. Show me that you look past me as Adrien Agreste..."
Her eyes grew wider the closer he got. Her cheeks burned hot for a good while from his outright knowledge of her massive crush on him. This just wasn't fair. Of course she saw him as more than just a beautiful model with famous parents. She didn't even really start to have a crush on him until he showed a clumsy girl like her such kindness.
"Adrien..." Now was not the time to stammer. No. He needed her to do this. "I meant what I said to you as Chat Noir. I don't have a crush on you because of your reputation or what you're presented as. I like you because you're such a good person. Sure, now that I know you're Chat Noir, I know that you can be a little pouty and jealous but, you've never done wrong by anyone you care about on purpose. You care about all of us, when you could just be another rich snob like Chloe. You're different than what they market you as. THAT'S the guy I like."
She seemed a little breathless while speaking but, it was because she had to try extremely hard not to react the way she usually did when she was so close to Adrien. Her words were true and she finished it off with a peck on his cheek.
"Don't let your social status get you down. There are still people that care about the real you. And now I know why I always liked Chat Noir so much."
Adrien stared at her as she spoke, seeing her true words and his heart feeling heavy at his own words, his own moaning.
He felt stupid now that she told him all this.
Someone did like him for him.
Someone did want him for him.
He didn't even feel the kiss until she pulled back, just like she'd left on Heroes day.
He looked her in the eyes.
The distance between them was crossed in no time, with both hands on her cheeks, Adrien kissed Marinette on the lips.
Marinette was thankful that she'd wrapped her arms around him the moment his lips made contact with hers because she felt like she was about to fall over. Did Adrien just kiss her? Was this some kind of dream?
After a moment, she pulled back, a worried look on her face. "Wait, you're dating Ladybug!" Despite this not technically cheating since she WAS Ladybug, his behaviour should still be called into question given that he didn't know that.
"I-I need to know if this is really what you want."
"I..." He pulled back, why had he done that? Of course he was dating Ladybug! He was so stupid." Pulling back and walking away, he was bright red, looking down at the floor.
"I'm sorry.. I... I shouldn't have kissed you.." He bit his lip, looking at the mask.
"What... what if.." he reached over and picked up his mask. "What if..you date... Chat Noir..." He looked at her with an embarrassed look.
"What if you date Chat Noir, not Adrien Agreste..." He repeated himself, trying to get it into his own mind.
"Then its not cheating right? She has Adrien, she has that part of me." He motioned to the mirror, looking right into it as he placed the mask back on.
"And you have the real me.." he spoke softly, staring at his reflection.
She shook her head. That didn't seem right either. "If I have the real you then, that's not fair to Ladybug, is it?" Even if she did reveal herself to him now, she was starting to think that he may need to work on himself a little bit. He was so used to using Chat Noir to escape Adrien's obligations.
"There's something you should know..." With a deep breath, she closed her eyes, knowing she'd get chewed out for this later.
"Adrien... I'm Ladybug. If you didn't have that blindfold on, you'd have known it was me. I thought we had an understanding, that you knew that I liked you for who you are. But even as Ladybug, I wasn't good enough for 'the real you' until I spelled it out for you just now."
Her heart was as broken as the shards of ice that were melting on the floor. "Please tell me you weren't actually going to feel right dating two girls. That's not the Adrien I like. That's...not you. But I'm glad I know where I stand." Tears welled up in Marinette's eyes, clouding the image of Chat Noir in front of her.
Adrien turned to face her at her words, it wasn't really fair on Ladybug was it? He was being exactly what he didn't want to do.
He was hurting people, he was being a dick.
"Marinette I..." he turned to face her, maybe she was right, maybe he was being...
His heart stopped beating as she revealed herself, revealing that he'd worn the blindfold to him, revealing what had happened...
"Mari... La..." he didn't know what to call her, he extended his hand out but then stopped."I..." He couldn't say anything that would help. He would just make this just even worse.
"I.. I'm sorry.." He finally spoke after what felt like hours, days, months, years... eternity..
"I'm... so sorry." He looked down. "I'm no hero... I'm a terrible person.. no better than some... douche bag in a club... no better than Hawkmoth." He looked at her again, he didn't want to see her crying.
He'd made her cry.
"I'm sorry.." He turned and ran, it was too much for him. He ran and ran. He ended up at the Eiffel Tower, the first place they'd met and fought Hawkmoth.
"I'm such an idiot!" He yelled. "Why did I do that to her!" He yelled again. Throwing his mask down on the floor, he felt like removing his ring... he felt like throwing it... he.. he.
"Ah, Chat Noir..." A new voice spoke in his ear, he turned quickly but there was no one. "You betrayed the one's who love you. You betrayed the one's you love. You are the worst kind of person... even more a villain than I." The voice continued. Adrien's head slowly raised.
"Hawkmoth?" He spoke back to the voice in his head.
"Yes Chat Noir, or shall I say, Adrien Agreste. Do not worry Adrien. I will not do anything against you. Go home. It's time you know the truth."
Turning to look back across Paris, Chat Noir made his way home.
Chapter 8: Strange Happenings
~ Strange Happenings ~
At school the next day, everyone was talking about Adrien Agreste and Ladybug dating, fan art and speculation was rampant.
The star of the show was missing however.
"I bet he's out with Ladybug right now." Alya sighed. "You should have asked before this happened." She added
Marinette could not believe Adrien just left things like that. She wanted to work this out but he ran off and she didn't chase him. She was too much of an emotional wreck to function, to process anything. Instead, she cried. Her eyes were red and irritated by morning. Sleep never came to her that night and when she got to school, Adrien was in her face. Great.
Alya's words caused her to sigh. "I know..." Keeping up the act when she felt so broken inside was too much. Putting her head on the desk, she struggled to keep her eyes open.
However half way through the class, the door opened and someone walked in.
"Mr Agreste. I do not care who you are, but you do not stroll into my classroom half an hour late." The teacher scolded him.
"Yea... whatever." He spoke and sat down, the classroom shocked.
"What did you say?" The teacher replied.
"I said 'yea whatever'." He shrugged, something definitely seemed off about him.
"Alright, you have detention tonight!" The teacher scolded. Adrien simply shrugged and put his feet up on the table, the teacher going on with her lesson.
"What's up with him." Alya whispered to Marinette.
Marinette just stared at him worriedly. "I'm not sure but, I'm gonna find out." She lied. She knew exactly why he was acting strange; or so she thought.
Class dragged on forever. She was too tired and not in the mood to wait. The moment the bell rang, she walked over to Adrien. Her voice was low so that no one could hear her.
"Where did you go last night? You're acting really weird. Is everything okay?" He hurt her. She shouldn't have bothered to ask but, she was Marinette: forever an empath and a caring friend.
Adrien was walking slowly down the corridor, he ignored practically everyone as they tried to congratulate him on dating Ladybug, even Nino tried to speak to him but he just ignored them.
It wasn't until Marinette walked over and spoke in a hushed tone. He turned to face her, a sly grin on his face.
"What's it to you girl?" He asked, his tone not anything Adrien nor Noir would use. "I'm perfectly fine, Milady." He used the word slowly, letting it slip out of his tongue like smooth whisky
"Maybe I'm just having a little fun, maybe just maybe..." He began to walk closer, encroaching on her until she was back up against a locker, his finger slowly running up her neck and under her chin until he began to lift it up, his lips close to hers.
"Maybe... I'm just done playing games." His voice spoke again as he kissed her. Not anything like the one he gave her the night before. That had been loving, that had been caring.
This one was hard, lustful and not loving at all. The kind of kiss you gave a hooker, not the kiss you gave someone you love.
As they parted, he grinned at her, people had seen them. Even Alya and Nino had seem them.
"Don't worry Princess... everything will be okay. Once everything comes to plan, everything will be fine." He grinned at her before turning. "Oh, Marinette." He added, just low enough for her to hear.
"Keep an eye out on TV tonight. I have a very special announcement." He winked at her before walking off.
"A-Adri- Mm?" She was cut off by his lips roughly forcing themselves against hers. This kiss felt dirty and wrong. It was like a distortion of the kiss she recorded the night before. It made her feel like an object.
She struggled against his lips until he finally released her. She hoped that one day he'd kiss her with lust and desire but, not like this. "Why are you giving me mixed signals and...what plan?" Now she had a whole new set of worries. He was ignoring everyone and treating her like a toy. Something was very wrong.
His little remark about TV was even more worrisome. She didn't even bother to explain to Alya why Adrien practically just made out with her in the hallway. She just ran to the girl's bathroom to catch her breath.
That evening, she immediately ran to her to the television to see what he meant.
Chapter 9: Akumatisation
~ Akumatisation ~
On TV that night, a special announcement came on. The Press had been called to the Eiffel Tower and it showed someone walking up on top of the tower, the figure looked down and then looked as if it was speaking to itself. No sound could be heard from this far down but soon enough, the figure jumped.
Everyone gasped but it quickly stopped when the figure slowed itself down by spinning its staff.
It was Chat Noir.
Landing down on all fours, he stood up straight to the cheering crowd.
"Friends, Parisians, Countrymen. lend me your ears..." He called out, arms either side of him, mimicking William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
"I have a special treat for you all! Tonight you will see… the death… of Chat Noir…" With a wide grin, Chat Noir dashed forward, grabbing the camera man as everyone around them began to scream.
He had said one word as he dashed forward.
Turning the camera on the camera man, he slowly began to turn to black dust. Lifting the camera to look at himself, Chat Noir laughed into the frame "So beautiful, so much fun.. One by one, I will turn every single one of you to dust. Chat Noir is dead..."
And in a slow fizzle of purple energy mixed with the dull green of Chat Noir's eye shade, he began to change. Marinette would know that purple energy anywhere.
Black turned white, his bright green eyes remained the same but flashed a purple glow.
"All rise... Chat Blanc!" He began to laugh loudly, maniacal. There were screaming, the camera fell as he dropped it and it showed Chat Noir, no... Chat Blanc, murdering all the crowd around him with his Cataclysm and his claws. Blood dripping down over his white suit from the claw slashes.
Marinette couldn't believe her eyes. Never in her life had she seen such murderous intent in Chat Noir's eyes. She knew now what she had to do, though.
"Tikki, spots on!"
The instant her transformation into Ladybug was complete, she grappled her way to the Eiffel Tower using her Yo-yo. Once there, she jumped from the top of the tower and onto Chat Blanc.
"Stop this, now!"
Her fingers were tight around his wrist s as she pinned him to the ground. "I thought you were better than to give into an Akuma, Kitty. Why don't you just make this easy and tell me where it is."
She tried to keep a brave face for the citizens but inside, she was devastated. Adrien would never forgive himself if he ever saw what he'd done in his right mind.
"Why hello there Princess" He spoke the word slowly, teasingly. "Or shall I say my love? My girl?" He grinned up at her.
"Who says I gave into an Akuma?" He tilted his head. "I asked Hawkmoth to give me them... turns out that it's pretty easy.. in fact..." He smiled wider, his jaws moving impossibly wide, almost like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland.
"You can ask him yourself..."
"Greetings Marinette..." the voice came from behind her. Walking out of the shade of the Tower, Hawkmoth stepped out.
"Yes, I know who you are. Adrien told me everything." He motioned to Chat Blanc on the floor, who was grinning at her with his wide toothy grin.
"And he accepted my gift... to help me... please surrender your miraculous and once I am done with it, you may have it back." He spoke softly.
"Yes Marinette.. give it over and he'll give you it right back, he gave me mine back.." He laughed as his hand opened up, still glowing with his Cataclysm power, his ring now white on his finger instead of black or silver.
"Do it for..." The mask disappeared and Adrien's face was revealed to her. "For me? Your love?" He asked in an innocent tone; luckily there were no active cameras or people around, having fled or cut off from live TV
She was trapped. Hawkmoth was behind her and Chat Blanc was beneath her.
"Hawkmoth! You mean you gave your Miraculous to him! How! How could you, Adrien? You even told him who I really was? Why would you do that? Do you really hate me that much?"
Her grip on him tightened as he'd returned to Adrien. "You really think you can manipulate me into doing this just because I love you? What about Paris? All those people you just killed! I could never love you the way you are now."
She glanced over her shoulder at Hawkmoth, tears streaming down her face. "I promised I'd never let my Miraculous fall into the wrong hands and I i specially don't want to become anything like what you did to Adrien. But I'll fight until I get my Adrien back! I'll die for the Adrien I fell in love with!"
Facing her beloved once more, she watched her tears fall onto him. "I'm going to save you somehow." Pulling his arms closer together, she used one hand to keep him down while the other reaches for his Miraculous.
"He did offer it, but I declined it." Hawkmoth spoke, slowly walking around them, his cane clicking as he walked. "Adrien here was told the truth of my mission, he offered to help me."
"Yes… I offered to help.." The Akumatised face of Adrien grinned up at her, changing back to his Chat Blanc form.
"He offered to help because he understood why. He asked for more power so I granted it, there are side effects to my power in the way I use it. Unfortunately Chat Blanc was born out of it. Once my job is over, I'll wipe his memory. I'll make sure Adrien never remembers what he did." Hawkmoth sounded... reluctant, saddened at it.
"Marinette.." Chat Blanc spoke and tilted his head. "Do you know my mother?" He asked her curiously. "Do you know that my mother disappeared... never to be seen again?" He asked, everyone knew that; it was part of Adrien's biography online. The "Tragic backstory."
"He can save her, he's been trying to save her... Do I tell her?" He asked Hawkmoth, who shook his head.
"I will..." Reaching up, he removed his miraculous, in a flash of purple. Gabriel Agreste stood in front of her with his Kwami.
Chapter 10: Revelations
~ Revelations ~
An audible gasp could be heard leaving Marinette's throat as if air had forced its way out. "Gabriel Agreste is… Hawkmoth?" The rest of their story had finally processed in her head, leaving her to glance back and forth between them. Her heart cracked and quaked with uncertainty and disbelief.
"It's a noble cause... that you want to save her. But, all those people didn't have to die. Sacrificing other's lives just for the sake of one? I understand how important she is to the both of you but wiping memories away won't undo what a Cataclysm took from these Parisians today. They trusted Chat Noir and you turned on them. If I don't stop you from causing problems, who will they look to?" She locked eyes with Adrien.
Despite this horrible consequence, she knew that he and Gabriel both felt alone in this and that's why seeking all the power was better than asking for help. No one would agree with the lengths Hawkmoth had to go in order to save his wife. "There has to be another way. I want to help you but I can't have an Akumatized Chat running around destroying things. It's not right, no matter how you try to justify it."
Her bright bluebells signalled the beginnings of her pleading before anything else. This was all so unfair but if she had to be the villain in her lover's story for the time being, she'd have to bite the bullet. "Please... It doesn't have to be this way."
"Give me your miraculous, and I will return it to you when I am done." Gabriel told her, looking to the Akumatised Chat Noir.
"I told him to get you, it seems I should have been more clear, he will not be unleashed again if you give me your miraculous." He told her firmly.
"I regret the lives taken, the damage done during my so called reign of terror. But it was necessary. You would not give me your miraculous if I tried, It was the only way." He explained.
"Adrien, I regret that he was Chat Noir, I suspected for a time but he tricked me, I am proud of what he does, what you both do. I regret what the Akuma did to him. He will be reverted back if you give me your miraculous." Gabriel held out his hand.
"No.. I dont want to lose my power!" Chat Blanc hissed
"Shut up.. Or I'll take it now!" Gabriel hissed back.
Chat Blanc simply hissed at them, just like a cat.
As Chat Blanc's outburst interrupted their conversation, her free hand struck his cheek. Never before had she laid hands on him like that unless he was under the control of an Akuma victim but his childish hissing and unwillingness to cooperate was obviously the Akuma talking. "It's your power or keeping me and your mother. I don't think you're in any position to push your luck!"
Her attention returned to Gabriel. "It's not that I don't wish I could just hand it over but, I don't know if I can... I know someone who might know more about what's happening if it's related to the Miraculous. I was told that I have to keep them safe because if a wish is made on them, it could upset the balance of the universe."
Biting her lip, she contemplated what should be done. "If you use their power to bring her back, what if there are so many drawbacks that even the Miraculous can't save us from them?" Something told her that he wasn't going to be swayed by consequences.
"I-I'm sorry. I just don't think it's a good idea. But we can figure something out. There has to be a safer way to do this."
With a deep sigh, Gabriel put on his Miraculous again, changing into Hawkmoth.
"I was going to do this the easy way but you had to make it hard." He turned to Chat Blanc on the floor.
"Kill her and take her miraculous. I'll just wipe your mind after..." He turned and began to walk away.
With a burst of strength, Chat Blanc flipped Ladybug over his head and stood up quickly. "Yes Hawkmoth... I.. I'll ... kill.. kill.." He seemed to struggle for a moment, slowly holding his head.
"No.. No.. not her.. not kill.. her.." He growled.
"Shut up!" He yelled again, as if talking to himself. "Shut up or I'll silence you too!"
"N... no.. dont.. not..Mari...nette.." Chat Blanc seemed to be arguing with himself, as he turned to look at her. "R..run... Stop...stop.. my... f..fath...er.." He growled, looking to where Hawk Moth was slowly walking away.
"Shut up! You're weak! You can't win.. Just give in!" Chat Blanc yelled at himself, slapping his face hard enough to leave claw marks down it.
She watched his outward feud with himself. It was obvious that despite his mother possibly returning, the real Adrien couldn't bring himself to kill her or for things to end up like this. That struggle from him was enough to give Marinette a new found determination. The one she loved was still in there somewhere. She had a duty as his partner to rescue him.
"Don't worry, mon amour, I won't let him do this to you, to everyone. I apologise in advance if I have to use a bit of tough love to get you back."
Placing a peck just shy of the claw marks on his cheek, she rose her leg and delivered a hard kick to his stomach. Chat Blanc was s threat but she had to stop Hawk Moth. As long as she pursued Gabriel, she'd hoped his Akumatized son would be too busy trying to keep up with her to harm anyone.
Her yo-yo extended and grappled onto the Eiffel Tower once more. Using it for momentum, she shot upward and landed on the very tip. From there, she could quickly scope out where Hawkmoth was headed. She could do her best to meet him there and settle this. Hopefully she could keep that pesky kitty in line at the same time.
Hawkmoth began to run the moment he realised he was being followed. He made his way home, where he knew that he could hold her off with his hidden devices.
Chat Blanc chased after her, taunting and yelling at her as they ran.
To get her to turn around, anyone who got caught in his way he turned to dust via cataclysm. Killing more. Hopefully her final lucky charm release would fix everything once she sorted this out.
At the house, the traps were activated but it was more Chat Noir setting them off to get to her; as if Chat Noir and Adrien were trying to stop Chat Blanc from getting her AND have Ladybug hurt by the traps.
Finally, within the room filled with Moths, Hawkmoth turned to face her.
"You're good Marinette, you saved a lot of people with your powers and you have done good in your normal life. You know I actually considered influencing Adrien to date you so you could make him as happy as my wife made me." He turned, a large portrait of the family hung on one wall, the Moths fluttering around them white without power.
"You're taking that away from me. I offered it the easy way but now you'll have to make it harder." He raised his hands and with considerable effort, began to change more and more of the Moths into Akuma's. Normally he'd do one, as Scarlet Moth he could turn them with ease, but here.. he was giving it his all, pushing past his power level.
The entire room filled with Akuma's.
"One wrong emotion and you'll turn... you'll have to fight them all, fight your inner emotions." He laughed.
"You hurt Adrien's feelings, you denied Chat Noir's love, you fawned over Adrien but he did not love you. He loved Ladybug." Hawkmoth began to try and incite her anger, her sadness, anything, any negative emotion.
"You are making Adrien lose his mother, you made him sad, you made him Akumatized... he came to me and begged for help." Hawkmoth stood still, watching as the Akuma's surrounded her.
"M...mar...ri..nette.." A low growl came from the back of the room, Chat Blanc slowly stepped out, a flickering of his face, like static on a tv revealed the black suited face of Chat Noir.
"Give... in... give in and... .. and.. don't.. give in.. and... give in ...and.." He stammered, his hand glowing with a Cataclysm attack.
The room was dark and filled with little white moths, fluttering about. It made her stop and marvel at such a beautiful sight. It was a shame that they'd soon turn into darkened Akuma's.
His words were upsetting, sure but all the heartache of the night before hardly mattered to her now. It hurt a lot when it happened but, when stripped of all the complications, at the end of the day, Marinette loved Adrien and even a part of her always wanted to cave to Chat Noir's advances. That part was more difficult to admit but, it wasn't any less true.
"I'm not taking anything away from Adrien. I'm saving him! He may have felt crushed in the moment but life gets hard. Do you know what makes me so good, Hawk Moth? No matter how sad life gets, no matter how upset or angry I am, I know that it's not right to take it out on anyone! I can still make Adrien happy and love him for all that he is with or without your approval!"
When Chat Blanc entered the scene, it was time for her to act quickly. She'd been spinning her yo-yo rapidly to create a shield but that wasn't going to work when she was being attacked from both sides.
Leaping into the air, to avoid them, she caught the object before it had time to fall. The Akumas were mostly avoiding her. It was difficult but, she kept replaying last night's kiss in her mind. A moment of pure happiness like that made up for any sadness she could have possibly had. If the two of them loved each other, they'd work things out in the end. Always.
"Sorry to drop this bomb on you but, it looks like I've got the upper hand." The object she obtained was a smoke bomb and the moment it was tossed, the whole room filled with a thick layer of pink smog. Not even she could see through it but she used her trusty weapon to purify as many Akumas as it could contain. Those vile creatures couldn't do anything to her right now and they couldn't hurt anyone else as long as they remained trapped inside the chamber.
Feeling her way around, she felt the familiar silken locks atop Adrien's form. She darted around close by in order to keep from getting hit by his Cataclysm. "Adrien... If you can hear me, you need to tell me where your Akuma is. I dont have much time!"
Chapter 11: Choices
~ Choices ~
Coughing filled the room as Hawk Moth tried to find her, he could open the window but it would release the Akuma's, he wanted them to catch her, not anyone else. He needed them here!
When caught, Chat Blanc turned and kept swinging his hand at her, trying to hit her, however she was better at dodging then he was attacking
His hand came close to her face and then stopped, hovering there and swirling in black-purple energy. "Mari... ring..." He whimpered, struggling, his eyes full of tears. His ring was right in her face, the white ring glowing purple with energy. It had to be in the ring.
She needed to remove the ring, but with Cataclysm going, it would be impossible to touch it.
With a loud yell, Chat Blanc kicked in her in the stomach and separated them in the dull fog of pink smoke.
"Marinette... I... I'm sorry.." Adrien's soft voice whimpered, and then a loud scream filled the room. A soft clinking followed and at her feet, was Adrien's ring, still in its Blanc form.
She could easily destroy it with her Yo-yo, releasing the Akuma and once it was gone, Plagg came flying out too.
The smoke cleared slightly and revealed what the scream had been.
Adrien knelt before her, in his normal white shirt, black t-shirt and jeans...
His right hand and arm was missing from the shoulder down. He was crying, not just because of the pain of Cataclysming his own arm, but the things he did...
He looked at his father, who was still trying to find them in the smoke.
"Marinette..." Adrien turned to her, tears running down his face. "I'm... I'm sorry.. for all I did..stop... stop Hawkmoth... please... stop my father.." He whimpered, falling to the ground and cuddling his ring, Plagg flying to keep him company.
"ADRIEN!" Her cry of his name sounded devastating. What little she could see of him as the smoke began to slightly clear was enough to make her feel like she was about to vomit. No...No. She couldn't falter to sadness with the remaining Akuma's around. Once she put a stop to Hawk Moth, she'd fix everything, just like always.
"It wasn't you. I'll put an end to this. I promise. Plagg, watch him." With his ring destroyed, she snatched up his Akuma. The smoke had finally cleared and a fiercely determined Ladybug stepped forward.
"Are you satisfied with yourself, Gabriel? In trying to do such a good thing, you're losing the only family you have left! I get that your happiness was taken from you but, wouldn't you want better for your son?" She motioned toward the boy crumpled up on the floor. He'd destroyed a part of his body just to save her.
"If you'd listen to me instead of insisting that your way is the only way, I might have a solution. Just call off these Akuma's." She continued catching them as she spoke, returning them to normal in small flocks.
"If you won't listen to reason, then I'll face you. If you kill me, you'll get what you want but you'll have become a monster who doesn't deserve either her or Adrien! Make your choice 'cause I'm through playing around!"
Hawkmoth turned, he saw the injury his son had made and gasped, turning to look at Ladybug.
"You... you're ruining everything!" He yelled at her. "You're ruining everything!" He repeated, charging at her. Using his cane, he swung at her, the Akuma's getting in the way around them but not seeming to join with her.
Hawkmoth seemed weaker, perhaps using all this energy had taken up a lot of his power.
"Fine... if you want to play it like this..." He hissed and with his cane, threw it in the air, smashing his one window which had unfolded to show Paris outside.
"There are thousands of Akuma's in here... once they are released, you'll have to deal with them long after I've been caught." He laughed, attempting to escape in the confusion of her having to deal with this new turn of events.
"Dad..." Adrien gasped as he stumbled into the room. Gabriel stopped and turned. Adrien was pale white from shock, he held his injured shoulder and looked his father in the eye.
"Mom wouldn't want this... not like this..."
"You can't know! You don't know what she wanted! She... she.. "
"No.. but I do know that this has to stop. Mom wouldn't want this happening." He put on the ring on his left hand. "Plagg... claws out.." He gasped.
"No son! You transform that weak it might kill you!" Gabriel asked, stepping forward.
Standing in front of them, Chat Noir, his right arm missing, stumbled into a corner and pressed a button. Slowly the room shifted and something rose out of the floor. A coffin..
A stasis chamber.
"Mom..." Chat Noir sighed, looking to Gabriel.
"I'll stop this right now..." He hissed and spoke one word.
"NO ADRIEN!" Gabriel began to charge at him, intent on stopping his son.
But Adrien's right arm, a pure black light spreading from his stump of a shoulder... touched the pod.
"NO!" Gabriel dived on his son before trying to stop the disintegrating pod, the woman inside fading to dust.
"No!" His father cried, the Akuma's shifting in the air, turning to come back towards him.
Chat Noir's suit disappeared and Adrien sat there on the floor, tears streaming down his face.
"Marinette.. get my father out of here... before the Akuma's get him..." He whimpered, the Akuma's seemed to be shifting between two targets.. unable to chose as a swarm.
Adrien or Gabriel.
"Please... get out of here with him.. get to the Master. He'll... know what to do." He whimpered between tears.
Chapter 12: Sacrifice
~ Sacrifice ~
"A-ADRIEN WAIT!" It was too late. Her solution was null and void now. He'd killed off his mother in order to prevent his father from having any reason to harm anyone anymore. She'd hoped that the ladybugs that came to heal all of the affects of the Akuma's would somehow reverse his mother's state if she'd called upon them in this room. But now, now it was too late.
"I-I can't leave you here! I just can't!"
Foolish, reckless, probably stupid: Marinette knew that her plan was all of these things but, there was no way she could just leave either of them for the Akuma's. It was time to test her strength as Ladybug. Draping Adrien over her shoulder, she grabbed onto Gabriel and swung out of the open window, zipping from building to building in order to reach Master Fu.
"Don't make this harder. We're going somewhere where all of this can be fixed...Well, a good portion of it anyway." Her worry for the Agreste family grew with each second. The Akuma's were now fluttering all over Paris, most of them chasing after the three of them.
Her earrings began to flash and a groan left her lips. "No, no, not yet!" The moment she landed, she ran through those familiar doors, dropping the two onto the floor. "Master Fu! Chat Noir told me to bring Hawk Moth here. He revealed his true intentions to me and the three of us had it out and now Adrien is...Please! There Akuma's everywhere and Chat Noir used a Cataclysm on himself! There's gotta be something we can do!"
Her frantic words were cut short by the one thing she forgot to do. "Oh, right! Hang on. Miraculous Ladybug!" She threw the smoke bomb once again and the floating bugs came. How much of this they could fix, she didn't know but, it had to be done before her powers deactivated.
Master Fu was panicking, his usual calm demeanour disappeared as he tried to process everything.
Gabriel went to attack them in his anger, but Fu grabbed the Miraculous from him and pushed the crying Gabriel to the floor. Adrien was wincing as he leaned up against a wall, holding his hand.
"I can fix it..." Adrien gasped.
"No Adrien... it's too risky.." Gabriel whimpered.
"Father. What did mother always say..." He looked at his father and then to the people around them.
"It's the little things that make us heroes. Not just the acts we do. But the reason we do it for." Gabriel repeated. His mantra for doing what he did.
"Marinette..." He looked at her. "Help me up. You can help me too.. Master Fu.." He used his mouth to remove his ring, Plagg appearing as he removed it. "Thank you... for... letting me be a hero. Take... care of Plagg..." He looked to Plagg as he hovered over.
"No Adrien, you're not going anywhere."
"Don't worry Plagg, I'll be around." He smiled. "Plus, who's going to sneak you Camembert during the night?" He asked with a sad smile.
"Marinette.. help me up." He repeated.
"Adrien No.." Gabriel hissed but couldn't get up, too weak from his own power usage. "It's my mess... Let me..." He began.
"Father, you always said you wanted me to be a man like you. Let me be a man." He told his father and using his only left arm, pulled himself up to Marinette while she was still ladybug.
"Outside quick..." He told her. When they got some distance into the street, he fell from her arm, he was too pale, he'd not lost blood but the shock of his injury.
"Marinette." He looked her in the eye. "I'm sorry. For what I said, my actions. If... if we make it through this. Want... want to go... out for something to eat? Not a date... but.. just me and you..." he asked with a soft innocent smile.
With a deep breath, he looked down. "I'm going to bring the Akuma's here." He revealed the plan. "There are thousands of Akuma's out there. You'll not catch them alone, not even with the others. You're the only one who can capture them and if they get too far out then... the whole world is in danger." He told her. "I'm going to let them go into me. Once I have them all or most of them, you can then lock me up... keep me in a cell, anything... just... keep them from getting out, keep me from getting out. Once I'm contained, you can work on getting rid of them." He smiled at her.
"I love you Marinette..." He leaned up and kissed her lip softly, "Now run... before... they come." He groaned, standing to his feet.
She's helped him up, only to be dragged outside. He was so weak that he was barely able to stand. His father was in rough shape as well. The situation looked bleak and even the optimistic core within Marinette began to waver. His idea was completely insane! There was no way he could handle all that negative energy.
"That's crazy! W-What if I can't?" Her self-consciousness that only usually showed without the mask had begun to bleed through. If he took the brunt of the attacks, he'd be a mess until he was laid bare of Akumatized objects. That could take time.
His offer to go out together was what pulled her back down to earth from her tornado of panicked thoughts. "Aw, so it's not a date then? Well, any time with you is worth getting us both through this. Of course. Just the two of us." She smiled but it did not touch her eyes.
"If this is really what you want, I'll...I'll do what I can. I just hope I don't lose you." As his lips captured hers, she sighed softly against them. If everyone survived this, she'd have a nice long cry once this was settled. As she reluctantly allowed their union to part she met his gaze. "I love you, Adrien. Stay strong." Unable to look back due to instant remorse, she ran back inside.
Adrien looked to her and smiled sadly. "I love you too Marinette.. I'll try... I'll be there, just look for me." He told her and looked up at the swarm of Akuma's.
Standing to his feet in a slw movement, he let his emotions flow over him, he held back some of them; anger... hate... he didn't want that to be the thing he turned into.
One Akuma shot into him, he felt it fill him but he fought it, another hit him. Like Dive bombing planes, they kept hitting him.
He screamed into the air as they swarmed around him, for a few minutes he was swarmed by them...
Until they finally disappeared.
Adrien was on his knee's, still as a statue.
Gabriel ran by Ladybug, grabbing his son and holding him tight.
Adrien didn't move, he simply stared forward with a dull stare. It was as if he was asleep, but he breathed... he did not react to any touch and even as he sat there in his father's arms, drooled down his chin from his slack mouth.
"Gabriel," Master Fu spoke. "I have called the police, they are sending their Akuma relief division. You will be arrested but I ask you not to reveal our order." He asked softly, Gabriel turning to look at Fu and Ladybug; Fu was wearing his miraculous activated to hide his identity from the police.
"As long as Adrien is safe. I will not." He admitted. "I lost. I will not be a sore loser. I did what I did for a good cause. I.. I lost Adrien because of this."
He looked to Marinette just as the police arrived.
"Please... save my son. Save Adrien." He whispered before the police took him into custody.
Chapter 13: Madness
~ Madness ~
Six months, had it really been six months since it had happened?
Gabriel Agreste had been tried and sentenced to life in prison under a new law quickly passed through even has he remained in custody.
Life in imprisonment in a high security prison, although kept out of the general population he was watched every second of the day.
"Ah, Ladybug." Sat behind the large bullet proof glass and speaking through a microphone and speaker set into the glass, Gabriel Agreste kept his hands visible on the table in front of him. "It is nice to see you." He spoke calmly, no malice or intent behind his voice.
"Mr Agreste. I have come to make sure that you are secure and that you are being treated well." Ladybug smiled through the glass, sat an opposite table through the glass.
"And to make sure that I have not spoken your secret?" He asked with a sly smile.
"And yes, to make sure you have not spoken our secret." She repeated.
"Do not worry Ladybug. I may have been your nemesis but I have a code of honour. As long as you keep up your side of the deal, then we have an agreement. How is my son?"
"I am going to see him today." Ladybug bit her lip, looking down at the table.
"Please give him my regards. If he is in a stable condition." Gabriel went quiet and bit his lip.
"My… wife?" He added quietly.
"She is… stable. The doctors are looking into her condition."
"Thank you for… bringing her back."
"I am not a killer Mr Agreste. It was lucky that my Miraculous could return her after Ad…Chat Noir used his cataclysm on her." She had to stop herself from calling Adrien Chat Noir, no one knew their identities luckily.
Standing up, Ladybug nodded to Gabriel. "See you next month Mr Agreste."
"See you next month Ladybug."
Leaving the prison, Ladybug made her way as far as she could before she transformed back. The Miraculous holders had revealed themselves to each other. It had been the best thing to do and she did not regret it but had to live with the revelation that Marinette was Ladybug. Chloe had been the worst to reveal to, she had gone crazy and did not believe it at first until she transformed and used her power right in front of her.
Alya and Nino were laughing at the fact the shy Marinette was the dominating Ladybug. It was the total opposite. The revelation that Chat Noir was Adrien brought more laughter to Alya and Nino.
Alya had began to drive so had picked up Marinette from nearby the prison.
"How did it go?" She asked, turning to look at the blue haired girl in the passenger seat.
"Is he still all up himself?" Nino asked from the back seat.
"He is just worried about his son and wife. It is believable what he is tried to do, he wanted to save his wife and now he is worried about his son." Marinette sighed.
"Are we still going?" Alya asked quietly.
"Yea… we need… I need to make sure he's okay." Marinette bit her lip.
The car started and they made their way to see Adrien.
The trio transformed into their alter-ego's and parked the car some distance away. Signing in and making sure they were who they said they were, the trio passed through security and were sat waiting in the waiting room.
"Ah, Miss Ladybug, Miss Rena Rouge and Mr Carapace. You are here to see Adrien?" The doctor asked and turned to guide them into the next room.
"How has he been Doctor?" Marinette asked as they walked and talked.
"He has been quiet, there were a couple of instances of trouble but the device that the old man you brought left has been helpful. We have done as he and you asked and reapplied the runes in the room every morning." The doctor stepped into the room and turned to face the large see through mirror.
The padded white of the cell was covered in small black and blue symbols that scrolled and ran through the room. In the middle of the ceiling was a black box that glowed a dull purple. Inside the room fluttered several butterflies, white and pristine.
"How many have been released since he was brought here?" Asked Rena Rouge.
"We have emptied them every night and in total it is, not including the ones in there right now, three hundred and fifty eight. We have released them into the wild once they were de-akumatised by the device." The doctor explained and turned back to the room.
In the corner of the room sat a figure, leaning up against the wall and the top half of his body restrained by a white straight jacket; its arms tied behind his back, sat Adrien Agreste.
He looked a mess, his hair was ragged and his face a mix of emotions. Every couple of minutes his face would change to another expression.
"How is Adrien?" Ladybug asked quietly.
"Stable. We have been giving him the medication your Master gave us and the Akuma's have been leaving him over time but from what you and your Master have said, it could take years, perhaps not even fully. We are keeping him comfortable."
"Has he… spoken at all?" Carapace asked, stepping up to the glass and looking at his best friend in the corner.
"He is lucid at times, sometimes he is asking for help, sometimes he speaks names." The doctor opened the file beside the window.
"His friends from school; Nino, Alya, Juleka, Nathaniel, Alix…" The doctor turned the page and looked down it. "Sometimes he plays out scenario's as if nothing is wrong, mumbling to himself. Sometimes he pretends to be Chat Noir, sometimes he calls out your names too. There is a name he repeats often enough that we have found it to be the most common name."
"What name is that doctor?" Rena stepped up to look at the file.
"One of his class mates, a Miss Marinette Dupain-Cheng. He sits talking to her quite often; in his own mind ofcourse, speaking to her and listening to nothing. He apologises to her quite often." The doctor sighed.
"If it wasn't for the Akumatisation effects of the Akuma's, I would have called this a serious case of schizophrenia with severe hallucinations delusions and multiple personalities. I would normally have started with antipyschotic medicines and cognitive behavioural therapy but we trust what you know what you're doing."
"We do doctor. Thank you for taking care of him." Ladybug nodded slowly, trying not to let herself tear up.
"Can we speak to him?" Rena asked and the doctor nodded, replacing the file.
"You can either go inside with him or you can speak through the glass, although he may not know who you are or even recognise someone being there."
"I want to speak to him alone." Ladybug told them, Rena Rogue stepping up to her.
"You sure about this Ma…Ladybug?"
"Yes. I want to speak to him alone, if I may?" She looked to the doctor who nodded and guided her to an airlock system that would suck any butterflies away if they tried to escape.
Walking inside, the low rumbling of the device hanging from the ceiling had not been heard from outside but now she was inside the padded cell it was noticeable.
"Hey Adrien." Ladybug spoke softly, moving slowly to sit on her knee's in front of him.
Slowly turning his head to look at her, Adrien's eyes were unfocused, a deep purple colour surrounding his iris.
"Hello Adrien…" Ladybug smiled softly to him.
"Can we have a little privacy?" She asked the mirror.
Rena and Carapace asked the doctor and left the room, making sure any camera's were turned off.
Once the knock on the door was heard, Ladybug turned to Adrien and smiled at him. A moment later she transformed back to Marinette.
"Hey Adrien, its me… Marinette." She turned her head, slowly reaching out to touch his shoulder.
Adrien mumbled to himself, most of it was unhearable as he rambled random words. His eyes closed and he seemed to be in pain for a moment before relaxing.
A fluttering noise grew from his chest and an Akuma fluttered out of him, sitting back a little Marinette watched as the box fitted to the roof pulsed and the Akuma was sucked into it. A moment later and the white butterfly came out to join the others in the room.
Master Fu's device was working pretty well but it would be a long time before they all left Adrien, he'd taken thousands of them inside his body.
"Marinette…" A whispered moan came Adrien's lips and he was looking right at her.
"Yes… it's me Adrien. Marinette." She whispered softly.
"Marinette…" He repeated and then he turned his face away and began to mumble. She thought she had seen something inside his eyes. With a sigh she moved closer.
"Be well Adrien, I will come and see you again soon." She whispered and kissed his forehead. Turning to walk out of the room, she was about to transform back into Ladybug.
"I love you Marinette…"
Turning to face Adrien, he was looking at the floor, shaking his body as he continued to mumble under his voice.
It had been so loud… so firm.
She knew he was in there.
"I love you too Adrien." She told him before transforming back.