“It’s okay, you’re allowed to cry, Bugaboo,” Chat Noir soothed, rubbing her back. “Just let it all out.”
Ladybug curled her fists. “This is so stupid,” she sniffed. “I don’t even know why I’m crying.”
“Well, the akuma did insult your spots,” Chat Noir teased.
She laughed, wiping her eyes. “Yeah, I’m really sensitive about that obviously.” She pulled in air through her nose and released a breath through her mouth. “I feel like I’m on a hair trigger lately.”
He frowned. “Is something going on?”
“No and yes? Like there isn’t any one thing that’s happened. I think I’m just feeling a little overwhelmed by life in general.” Her earrings let out a warning beep and she sighed. “And now I have to go.”
“Chat, I really can’t do this right now.”
He shook his head. “No, not anything about our identities. Do you want to go get recharged and meet up again? It’s still early.”
Ladybug looked out towards the city. “I don’t think I’m going to be very company.”
“You’re always good company, my Lady. We’ll both go recharge and meet back here in, what, fifteen minutes?”
She worried her bottom lip as her earrings let out another warning beep. “Okay, Chaton, fifteen minutes.”
“If patrols are getting to be too much, I can take on more,” Chat Noir offered, swinging his legs over the beam high up the Eiffel Tower.
“I know you don’t have a lot of free time. I wouldn’t ask you to do that,” Ladybug frowned. “Besides, it’s not even that. I honestly don’t know what it is. I have a lot going on but I also have time to get it done. And I could say no to some things.”
“Sometimes life is just overwhelming,” he nodded.
“Right? Some mornings I wake up and everything is fine and I feel like I can handle anything and then other days, the tiniest thing has me questioning everything about myself. I feel like my self-confidence fluctuates between zero and a hundred with no in between.”
“I know exactly what you mean.”
She shot him a hopeful look. “Really?”
“Yeah. I’ve been fencing with a friend lately. We’re both working on being the best but there can only be one best, right? And some days, I know I’m the best, but then other days, I think she is levels ahead of me. And it isn’t even something that’s important, but on the days I feel behind, it makes me feel behind in every other aspect of my life.”
“And I don’t know if it’s this way with you, but I can’t really explain that to my friends sometimes? Like they immediately want to assure me that I’m doing a good job and I appreciate that because I really do love them and love knowing they have my back but…” Ladybug trailed off. “Now I just sound complainy.”
“I know what you mean,” Chat Noir nodded. “Don’t worry, Bug, we’re on the same page with this.”
She reached over to squeeze his hand. “Thanks.” She wiped at her eyes again with her free hand and huffed. “And now I’m feeling all teary again. It’s so annoying.”
“Maybe you need a break from being Ladybug?”
“I don’t want a break though. I really love being Ladybug.”
“I love you being Ladybug too,” he grinned.
She knocked her shoulder against his. “Thanks for this. I think I needed just to be able to talk about it.”
“You can talk to me any time you need to, about anything.”
Ladybug linked their fingers, leaning against him. “Thanks, Chat.”
“You’re welcome, Bug,” he murmured contently.