Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Marinette stared blankly at her phone, feeling numb inside. Again, Adrien had to vanish for seemingly no reason. ‘Forgot I left my book at Nino’s’ he had said. A quick text to Alya confirmed that Adrien never came by. He ignored her texts. An akuma battle later, Adrien comes back with the book he never went to Nino’s to retrieve. What was he hiding? Sure, marinette was hiding secrets from him too, but only about Ladybug. And his disappearance was convenient so she didn’t have to make up an excuse so she could transform. But she was honest with everything else. What was he hiding from her? Was he cheating?
“Are you ok, Marinette?” Tikki asked, voice soft.
“Why can’t Adrien be honest with me? What is he hiding from me?” Marinette sighed, sliding into a sitting position against the railing on her balcony. Tikki sighed, shaking her head.
“I don’t know Marinette. But you’re hiding things too.” Tikki pointed out.
“Only because I’m Ladybug! What’s his excuse!” Marinette exclaimed loudly. Tikki opened her mouth to respond, but hesitated. Marinette turned to see Chat Noir jumping over rooftops. He made a habit of visiting her, so Marinette wasn’t surprised to see him.
“We can talk later.” Tikki said before hiding in one of the flower pots Marinette had. Marinette sighed and stood up as Chat landed next to her.
“Why so glum, Purrincess?” Chat asked, poking her arm.
“Guy troubles.” She responded, glad she could be honest with the hero. She knew he liked her, but he didn’t seem to be troubled when she told him that she and Adrien had started dating. He was happy for her in fact. That kind cat.
“With your boyfriend? Adrien or whatever?” Chat asked, leaning down so he was within Marinette’s field of view.
“He’s hiding something from me. Lying. I don’t know what to think.” She told him. Chat stiffened slightly, and looked alarmed.
“He’s lying to you? How can you tell?”
“Today he.. Left suddenly. Said he left a book at our friend Nino’s house. A couple hours later he came back with the book. Just in time for his bodyguard to drag him back home. I.. I texted my friend Alya. She and Nino live together and have been home all day. Adrien never came by.” Marinette said, voice soft. Chat was still, next to her. “I feel bad for going behind his back but.. Why did he lie about something as small as a book? What is he hiding from me? We’ve been together for two years. Why would he lie to me? Has he been the whole time? Why, Chat? I don’t understand.”
“It.. could be something important? That he can’t tell you.” Chat offered, sounding regretful.
“Next you’ll tell me that you’re Adrien.” Marinette said with a laugh. Chat chuckled, shaking his head.
“You never know.” he responded, grinning at her, though there was something in his eyes. Fear maybe, or guilt.
“I don’t know what to do Chat. Do.. do I confront him?” marinette asked, looking up to the hero with questioning eyes. Chat frowned, looking down.
“I’d say so. But also, give him a chance. Maybe he’s working on a surprise for you, and you’ll find out what the secret is soon.” Chat responded.
“Thank you Chat. you’re amazing.” Marinette said, hugging him tightly.
“It’s my pleasure, Purrincess.” Chat replied, hugging her back.
“I’m sorry. How rude am I? Talking about my boyfriend when you have feelings for me.” Marinette groaned, pulling away. Chat chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck.
“I told you i understood. Which i do. I’m not backing down from that. After two years, why would I be envious now? I don’t mind it. As long as you’re happy.” Chat told her, smiling softly.
“In another world, maybe we could have been together,” Marinette sighed, looking down. “Probably could have if I had met you first. You’re amazing chat. I’m sorry I can’t return your affections.” Chat didn’t say anything after a few moments, so marinette looked up. He was staring at her with wide eyes, lips slightly parted in shock.
“Marinette.” He breathed, her name barely audible. She opened her mouth to speak when a large explosion sounded behind them. Marinette stumbled forward, chat catching her.
“What was that?” She questioned, turning around.
“An akuma probably. Hawkmoth has been getting more brutal. Stay here.” Chat said.
“Only if you go home afterwards. Don’t think I don’t see you yawn when you turn away.” Marinette said, crossing her arms. Chat chuckled before nodding.
“I’ll go home. Cat’s honor.” he saluted her before leaping off her balcony, using his baton to propel him to the sound of the explosion.
“Tikki, spots on!”
“Shit!” Chat yelped, falling backwards. Ladybug tossed her yoyo, and it wrapped around Chat’s wrist. She yanked him backwards with the yoyo, so he slid to a stop next to her, on his back.
“Let’s not repeat that.” Ladybug sighed as Chat go to his feet.
“I don’t disagree with that sentiment.” Chat said, his voice strained. The akuma had picked up the hero, and had thrown him downwards at the cement. Chat thankfully remained conscious, so Ladybug wasn’t as worried as she could be.
“Where is his akuma?” Ladybug groaned, eyes flicking ver the akuma again. He was made of steel, sporting red, white, and blue. Ladybug would have thought he was wearing the colors for france, had it not been the stars and the fact he didn’t speak french. The two heroes ran and hid behind a car, careful to keep an eye on him.
“I doubt he’ll tell us.” Chat replied, grinning.
“Not that we’d understand him. What language is that?”
“English, and I can understand him.” Chat informed Ladybug.
“What’s he saying?” Ladybug asked, watching the akuma as he searched for them.
“Mutterings about timelines. Disrespecting the american military. Foreigners. Nothing really logicable when put together.” Chat responded, shrugging.
“Come out Chat Noir! Time has a gift for you!” the akumatized man shouted. Ladybug and Chat shied away from him, frowning at his proximity.
“For example. He just claimed that time has a gift for me. Which doesn’t make sense.” Chat said.
“Let’s de-akumatize him. Maybe then he’ll make some sense.” Ladybug sighed. The two analyzed the akuma again.
“What’s the object though?”
“The flag! He has a small toy flag in his boot!” Alya shouted. Ladybug blinked at her before turning to the akuma. When did Alya get there?
“She’s right I think. Look.” Chat said, bring Ladybug out of her thoughts. She turned and sure enough, there was a tiny american flag. It was on a wooden stick, probably something for a child. For sure didn’t match the steel he was made out of.
“You get the flag, I’ll try and keep his attention on me.” Ladybug said. Chat nodded, then the two jumped out from behind the car, running towards the akuma.
“Roger that, M’lady!” Chat responded. Ladybug ran to the akuma, shouting loudly.
“Hey! Steel for brains! Over here!” The akuma turned, with an annoyed roar. Chat was careful to stay behind him and out of sight, while Ladybug made sure not to look in his direction too often. She didn’t want to give him away.
“Did you dare to disrespect me?!” The akuma yelled at her. Ladybug didn’t even pretend to know what he said.
“What’s with the metal? Not strong enough on your own?” Ladybug taunted, wincing at her cruel words. She really didn’t mean it, but this guy only responded to anger.
“I will throw you into another time!” The akuma roared, running at her. Ladybug braced herself for his swing, watching him wind back his arm. “Maybe then you’d appreciate the power of America!”
“America?” Ladybug questioned, tilting her head. “What’s America got to do with anything?”
“We will miss you in this time, spotted girl.” The akuma shouted as he reared his arm back, finally close to Ladybug. Chat was on his heels, and Ladybug frowned when she noticed he wasn’t going for the flag. What was that cat doing?
“Timebreaker!” Chat shouted at her. Ladybug’s eyes widened, realizing that Chat heard what the akuma said. She looked up, throwing up her yoyo as a shield, hoping it’d defend her. Oh god, please don’t let him have time altering power. He threw his hand down onto her shield. The force made her skid backwards a foot, arms vibrating with the force of the blow.
“I’m ok!” She shouted to her partner. The akuma turned then, attention zeroing in on Chat.
“Shit.” The cat whimpered, eyes wide.
“No!” Ladybug exclaimed, throwing her yoyo so it’d wrap around her partner. She wasn’t fast enough. The akuma caught Chat in the backswing, and her partner flew back, slamming into the wall of a nearby building. He fell to the ground, limp. Alya crouched next to him, looking for a pulse. “How dare you!” Ladybug screamed, lunging at the akuma’s boot. The akuma reacted with surprise, and was too unbalanced from his swing to stop Ladybug from snagging the flag from his boot. She snapped the stick, and the akuma flew out. She quickly de-evalized the butterfly, leaving a confused american sitting on the concrete. She threw her Lucky Charm into the air, then ran towards Alya and Chat. “Chat Noir!” she cried out, falling to her knees at his side. He was deathly still, not responding. Ladybug paused, blinking at him. Why was his hair black?
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
“He’s still alive, though I have to admit I’m confused, Ladybug.” Alya said, making a face. Ladybug looked up to her, raising an eyebrow. There are many things Alya could be confused about in this situation. Why the American was akumatized. Why Ladybug ended up not using her Lucky Charm. Why the akumatized object didn’t fit the akuma’s theme for the first time ever. Why his power wasn’t steal related like his getup obviously was. “Why is his hair black now?” That too.
“I.. don’t know. It’s not the akuma, I activated my cure.” Ladybug sighed, looking down at him. Alya hummed softly, looking around the empty, and newly repaired street.
“We can’t exactly leave him here. You two could detransform, and we all know that isn’t exactly beneficial.” The blogger pointed out. Ladybug frowned, nodding.
“We’re too far away from where I live, I’d change back on a roof somewhere and that’d be something to explain to the police.” Ladybug said. Alya smirked, raising an eyebrow.
“Nino isn’t home, and neither of my friends are expected to come over tonight or tomorrow.” She said. Relief filled Ladybug, and she was glad to have picked Alya as Rena Rouge. That made this just that much easier for her. With a nod she lifted up Chat Noir. The two girls took off running, Ladybug making sure not to make it seem like she knew the way too well. The run was silent and thankfully without interruption. They ran into the home, and Alya locked the door behind him.
“Are you sure Nino won’t come back tonight? I don’t know how he’d react to a strange man and Ladybug in your living room.” Ladybug said, laying Chat down on the couch.
“Eh, he knows that I still risk my neck to film your fights. I’m sure he’d be a little miffed if you made a mess, but that’s all.” Alya shrugged. Ladybug smiled softly, warmth filling her at the couple’s easy acceptance of each other. Nino never really liked Alya running into danger, but after six years he learned to help her find safer ways to do so instead of trying to pull her away. Ladybug’s earrings chose then to beep, reminding her of her time limit. Ladybug’s eyes widened and she realized it had beeped a few times prior. How much time did she have left?
“I may have an identity crisis soon.” Ladybug murmured, gesturing to her earrings. Alya’s eyes flicked to the earring and she nodded.
“My Mari made a Ladybug costume for Halloween last year, and ended up leaving it here. I haven’t given it back yet and you look her size. You can change into that.” Alya said.
“Your Mari?” Ladybug questioned, walking towards the bedroom Alya had pointed to.
“Yeah. Girl’s like a sister to me, so my Mari. Adrien can pretend to claim her all he wants.” Alya said with a grin. Ladybug forced a polite smile, going into the guest bedroom. She closed the door behind her and released the transformation with a sigh.
“I hate lying Tikki.” Marinette sighed, looking up at the kwami.
“I know, but you have to keep it a secret. Nobody can know.” Tikki sighed. Marinette nodded, looking to the closet she remembered hiding the costume in.
“Go and see if Alya has any cookies for you. I’ll be out in a sec.” Marinette said. The kwami hesitated for a moment, but nodded and flew from the room, phasing through the door. Marinette searched for the suit, and let herself fall into her mind. She thought about Chat’s willingness to step to the side. It was odd to be honest. Three years ago he was a hopeless flirt. Careful not to cross any boundaries, but more than willing to flirt every chance he got. Then slowly, it stopped. She hadn’t noticed at first, but his flirts shifted. No longer were they aimed at Ladybug. Marinette received them. Around the same time, Adrien had noticed her crush, and began returning her affections. One night stargazing, she had asked Chat why he acted differently around Ladybug- careful to cover it up by saying she saw them during a fight. ‘I’ve fallen for another. I’m not sure how, or when. But Ladybug isn’t the focus of my heart.’ He had replied, his voice vibrating slightly with his purrs. When questioned, he hesitated only a little before admitting it was Marinette. When she told him she loved someone else, who returned her feelings, he accepted it with ease. Declared he’d stay a friendly distance, and not intentionally harm her budding relationship. The willingness to step aside so she’d be happy.. Marinette still didn’t know what to do about it.
“You better be ok, Chat.” Marinette huffed, sitting with her back to the wall. She held the Ladybug mask in her hands, frowning at it. Chat loved both sides of her, while Adrien only knew of the one. Her mind traveled to the boy, and she pulled out her phone, frowning when she saw he hadn’t responded to her text. Shortly before Chat had arrived earlier that night, she had texted Adrien. Saying goodnight, and i love you. Something they had done every night for two years. He never replied. Marinette looked at the time stamp and winced. Three hours ago. She’d caught him in one lie, and her mind had already traveled to the worst scenario. She instantly thought of his random disappearing acts. How every Friday night he was busy. How he never gave a straight answer to his absence. And now he had ignored her texts. Maybe Chat was right about him planning a surprise, but why ignore her if that’s the case? And why not at least get Nino and Alya cover, lord knows they have for her in the past when she had a surprise for Adrien. She was head over heels for the boy, but now she had a grain of salt in her heart. Why was Adrien lying and what was he hiding?
“Ladybug? You get lost?” Alya called from the living room. Marinette shook away her thoughts, and put on the mask, leaving the room.
“No, sorry. Just got a bit distracted. The suit fits amazingly.” Marinette said, holding out her arms. “It feels the same too! Aside from the fact I can remove it.”
“I’m not surprised.” Alya said with a grin. “Marinette is amazing when it comes to designing and making clothing.”
“A good bonus I’m sure.” Marinette teased, looking over to the couch where Chat still lay Tikki was sitting on his hand, a paw resting on his ring.
“Nah. The bonus is the sweets from her parents’ bakery.” Alya laughed. Marinette chuckled, shaking her head. She crossed the living room and sat on the end of the couch, next to Chat’s feet.
“They really do taste good. What do you think, Tikki?” Marinette asked, hoping to lighten up the kwami’s spirits. She looked so somber staring at the ring.
“They’re my favorite.” Tikki sighed happily, making both girls chuckle.
“So you frequent it then?” Alya asked, curious.
“Marinette knows me pretty well, though she has no idea who I am.” Marinette said, lying slightly. “Tikki, what’s bothering you?” She couldn’t resist the question after seeing such worry on her face.
“He should be his civilian self by now. Chat used Cataclysm before you used your lucky charm.” Tikki replied. Alya frowned, nodding.
“She’s right. I remember hearing his ring beep before he was thrown.” She commented. Marinette rowned looking over at him.
“Well, it’s possible this isn’t our Chat Noir. So maybe he didn’t use Cataclysm?” Marinette suggested, honestly clueless.
“I can force him out of the transformation.” Tikki said, hesitant. “I’ll be pretty exhausted afterwards though.”
“I’ll get more cookies.” Alya said, leaving the room.
“Is it safe?” Marinette asked, frowning. “I don’t want you getting hurt.”
“I’ll be ok. Plagg and I have done it in the past when a Ladybug or Chat Noir was stuck in the transformed state.” Tikki informed her. Alya entered the room, laying a plate of cookies on the floor next to Marinette.
“Ok. Well, go ahead then.” Marinette said, hesitant. Tikki nodded and closed her eyes. After a few moments she glowed a soft pink, and the ring glowed green in response. There was a green flash, and Chat Noir was gone, with a boy in his place. Marinette blinked at the kid, surprised. He had to be no older than fourteen.
“Plagg? Are you ok?” Tikki asked, shifting Marinette’s focus to the kwami.
“Yeah but i don’t know when the kid transformed. We were home and in bed.” Plagg replied, stretching.
“What?” Marinette questioned, eyes wide. Plagg turned to her with a lazy look, then froze.
“Whoa, hey. This isn’t right.” He stated, surprised. “You aren’t Emma.”
“Emma?” Alya questioned, raising an eyebrow.
“Not important. Hey, Tikki. What year is it?” Plagg asked, turning to his other half. Marinette blinked at the odd question, as well as his strained tone. He seemed on edge all of the sudden. Why would seeing Ladybug do that to him? Shouldn’t he be relieved he isn’t with some strangers?
“2024.” She replied.
“Ah hell. Devin and I are in the past?” Plagg questioned, chuckling though there wasn’t really any humor. “At least we aren’t too far back.”
“How far back are you?” Marinette asked, tilting her head.
“Well, you and your Chat are the previous wielders. So he’s just the next generation.” Plagg replied, gesturing to the sleeping boy. Devin.
“So just a few years into the future then?” Alya questioned, her voice gaining the eager hint of a reporter on a lead.
“Mm. Eighteen years.” plagg replied. He looked over to the sleeping boy, and let out a soft sigh. “I’m tired and the kid’s gonna be confused when he wakes up. Hell, we just got home from patrol to be honest.”
“Go ahead and sleep. We’ll stay quiet.” Marinette said. She gave a nod to Tikki, and the two kwami curled up together on Devin’s chest, Plagg falling asleep almost instantly.
“So what are we going to do, Ladybug?” Alya asked, looked over to the masked girl.
“I’m not sure. I could let him stay with me until we figure out everything. But we just need to get him home and Chat back.” Marinette replied, following alya as she went to the kitchen. The blogger leaned against the counter, frowning at the wall.
“He could stay with me on occasion too. I’ll just say he’s a distant relative or something.” Alya offered. Marinette grinned, picturing Nino’s reaction to that.
“I’ll keep that in mind.” marinette hummed, looking over to the clock. She frowned, pulling out her phone again. Nothing from Adrien. Safe to say, she shouldn’t expect anything from the rest of the night, considering it was one in the morning.
“Got somewhere to be?” Alya asked, tilting her head.
“Breakfast date with some friends. I’m characteristically late, but I was hoping to be on time for once.” Marinette replied. Alya smiled, nodding.
“Go on and go home. I’ll call your yoyo if anything happens, though I think they both will be out for the rest of the night.” She smiled, as she spoke. Once again, Marinette found herself glad to have chosen Alya to be Rena. She couldn’t think of anyone else who’d fit the role better. Even more so since Master Fu had let alya keep the miraculous on a more permanent basis, coming out when she felt it was absolutely necessary. The three had felt Rena Rouge should remain in the shadows, so Hawkmoth wouldn’t be tempted to try for that miraculous as well.
“Ok. Have a good night, Alya.” Marinette said, walking through the living room to the door. Tikki noticed and quickly flew to her chosen.
“I can transform you so you can get home quicker.” Tikki offered with a smile. Marinette nodded, then said the words to activate the transformation.
“Goodnight.” Ladybug said, swinging away to her own home.
Marinette blinked a few times as she woke, confused. What was that ringing sound? She hadn’t set any alarms for today.
“Marinette, your phone is ringing!” Tikki said, nudging her face. Oh. So Tikki was the one who woke her up. Wait.. phone? Marinette yelped and snatched her phone up, answering it.
“Miss Dupain-Cheng?” Marinette blinked a couple times at the voice, stunned by the way she was addressed so formally. The voice clicked in her head.
“Nathalie? Is everything ok?” Marinette asked, confused. She looked to her clock seeing that it was eight. It wasn’t an ungodly time to be awake, but it was still earlier than Marinette was used to. Even if she was twenty.
“Have you seen Adrien recently?” Marinette froze, frowning.
“I.. saw him yesterday. Last we spoke was when his bodyguard came and got him. Why? Isn’t he home?” Marinette questioned, anxiety filling her. She was wide awake now.
“Thank you for talking with me. Goodbye, Miss Dupain-Cheng.” Then the phone beeped, signaling she hung up. Marinette gaped at Tikki, panic filling her.
“Do you.. Tikki why did Nathalie call about Adrien? What could be wrong? Why didn’t she answer my question?” Marinette asked, panic filling her.
“Calm down. Maybe he left the house and didn’t tell anybody?” Tikki said, sounding calm although Marinette could see the worry on her face. Marinette opened her phone again, pulling up Alya’s contact. Biting her lip, she hit dial and let it ring.
“‘M awake.” She heard someone murmur.
“Hey ‘Nette. It’s Nino. Alya’s still asleep though I’m trying to wake her up for you. You’re on speaker though. What’s up?” Nino said, sounding more awake than Alya’s murmur did.
“Have you heard from Adrien?” Marinette asked. She winced, knowing her voice was strained.
“Adrien? Not yet. I don’t usually hear from him until later in the day though. He may have quit modeling, but he’s still a busy dude.” Nino said, sounding confused.
“Did she call me at fuck-the-sun o’clock to talk about Adrien?” Alya groaned. Marinette would have laughed in any other situation. She knew Alya wasn’t a morning person, and calling 8 ‘fuck the sun o’clock’ was more than a little amusing. But Marinette was too anxious to find humor in it.
“Nathalie called me asking if I knew where Adrien was.” Marinette said. She heard the rustle of fabric right away.
“Wait, Nathalie called you about Adrien?” Alya asked, sounding more alert.
“She asked if I’ve seen him recently. I told her I last saw him yesterday and when I asked why she just hung up on me.” Marinette said, biting her lip again.
“I’ll call him.” Nino said, and she heard movement.
“When did you last hear from him?” Alya asked, voice tense.
“Yesterday. When he was over at my place. The gorilla came and got him and he was busy for the rest of the day. He never responded to my text last night either. Do you.. Why did Nathalie call me asking about Adrien?” Marinette asked, her panic finally breaking through into her voice.
“Maybe he left the house and didn’t tell anyone. I’m sure he’s ok, Mari. You’ll see. At out brunch he’s gonna be there with some story about sneaking out of the house to escape his father or something like that.” Alya said. In the background she heard Nino curse.
“His phone is off or something. I don’t know man.” Nino sighed, sounding confused.
“Why would his phone be off?” Marinette asked, staring at Tikki with wide eyes. “He never turns off his phone completely.
“Maybe it died?” Alya offered.
“Hey, we all know he’s memorized Mari’s number and mine. He’ll give us a call or something. I know he will.” Nino said, voice firm. Marinette groaned and the three were silent for a short while. Suddenly, Marinette heard a muffled shout in the background.
“What was that?” Marinette questioned, confused.
“I think our guest woke up. I’ll go calm him down.” Nino said, and she heard him leave the room.
“We may have to postpone our breakfast date girl. Chat Noir got hurt last night and he’s crashing here. I think he just woke up.” Alya informed. Marinette almost scolded her until she realized that Alya helping the heroes was in fact common knowledge to Marinette. Lord this was confusing.
“I.. I’m probably going to help out in the bakery or do some designs. Clear my head and calm down.” Marinette sighed, looking to Tikki. Another lie to add to the list.
“Give me a call if you need anything, girl. I’m sure Adrien is ok.” Alya said, a reassuring tone to her voice. They bid farewell and Marinette sighed, looking up at the kwami flying beside her.
“Spots on.” She transformed and quickly wrote a note for her parents, saying she was out on the town. She opened a window and swung up, letting her yoyo guide her to a familiar mansion. She landed on a rooftop and her eyes landed on Adrien’s room. One of his windows was open, and everything looked normal. Aside from the fact that his bed hadn’t been slept in at all, and he wasn’t on the couch playing a video game. Ladybug scowled and swung into his room, landing silently. She looked around, shuddering. His room always seemed so cold and lonely when he wasn’t there. She didn’t know how he managed. She explored for a small while and let out a sigh. The only sign he had even been there was his sneakers and bag, both next to his desk. Ladybug paused, frowning.
“He didn’t intend to leave.” She whispered, eyes going wide. Adrien had left his shoes behind. Her eyes snapped to the open window and horror set in. She ran to the window and looked at the height, thinking of any possible way someone had to get there. The only people she knew of that’d be able to would be herself, an akuma, or Chat. She pulled out her yoyo and called Chat’s baton. She flinched and hung up almost instantly, remembering that he wasn’t there anymore. She sighed, shaking her head.
“Chat can help me find Adrien. Maybe he’s out somewhere and is wearing a different set of shoes!” Ladybug said, trying to convince herself. She shook her head and threw her yoyo, leaving his room and heading towards Alya’s house. She had to focus on getting Chat back. If Adrien wasn’t back by then, Chat would be able to help her. Especially if she asked him to. She hardly asked for personal favors, but Chat always did as she asked.
“Ladybug?” Nino questioned as she landed. She smiled at him and gave a small wave.
“I came to check up on the boy Alya let sleep here.” Ladybug said, smiling. “I’m sorry about the intrusion. I can’t take him to my home yet.”
“It’s ok. She explained that something happened during the akuma last night. He woke up a little while ago and Alya’s trying to calm him down. He keeps trying to call someone on his phone, but I think it’s broken.” Nino informed her. “He’s pretty freaked out. Seeing you might help if you know him.”
“Thank you.” Ladybug sighed, glancing at the house. Nino led her in and the two quickly stepped to the side, dodging a pillow.
“Hey! My friend made that for me!” Nino exclaimed, sounding insulted. Ladybug looked to the pillow and smiled softly. Adrien had made the three of them pillows with Marinette’s help. She had started to teach him to sew recently and the pillows were his first project.
“Then answer where the hell I am.” a male exclaimed, fear in his voice. Ladybug walked further into the room and the boy froze when his eyes landed on her. His eyes were a brilliant blue, and they stood out against the black hair that had fallen into his face.
“I told you, you’re at my house and you’re safe here.” Alya huffed, crossing her arms.
“You aren’t Emma.” Devin pointed out, sounding uneasy.
“I’m not. But, you can trust me. And you’re safe here, so please calm down. Plagg said your name was Devin?” Ladybug said, voice soft. He blinked at her a few times before nodding.
“Do you know Plagg?” Devin asked, hesitant. Alya glanced to Nino then to Ladybug, a warning in her eyes.
“He and I are close friends. He’s friends with someone I know named Tikki.” Ladybug said, dancing around their actual identities. His eyes flicked to Nino then to Alya before he looked at Ladybug again.
“Where am I?” He asked, voice thick with worry. “My parents will freak out when they see I’m not home.” Ladybug flinched, thinking of Adrien. She mentally shook herself, forcing herself to focus. Now is not the time to break down about her missing boyfriend.
“You’re in Paris. You are in the company of myself, and the owners of the house, Alya and Nino Lahiffe.” Ladybug said, walking towards him. “And you and I should have a talk about the situation I found you in last night.”
“I have to go to work, so you don’t have to leave.” Nino said, shrugging. “I know I’m not exactly in the ‘in’ crowd on hero info.”
“Thank you. I’m sorry for the interruption again.” Ladybug said, giving him an uneasy smile.
“It’s no problem. Not either of your fault. Situation is what it is.” Nino said with a shrug. He gave Alya a peck on the cheek before saying goodbye and leaving. Ladybug looked over to Devin and noticed the look he was giving Alya.
“She’s a miraculous holder too.” Ladybug said. His eyes widened slightly before he nodded.
“So how the hell am I here?” He questioned, rubbing his forehead. “And who are you?”
“My identity is a secret. And. .we don’t know how you’re here.” Ladybug said, frowning.
“Alya! I want cheese!” Plagg wined, flying out from a plant pot. Devin had a panicked look on his face before he relaxed again. He obviously wasn’t used to the idea of Alya being there.
“Fridge, like I told you this morning.” Alya retorted, rolling her eyes.
“What.. situation was I in when you found me?” Devin asked, looking up at her.
“My Chat Noir and I were fighting an akuma. He ended up getting thrown.”
“That shit hurts.”
“And he went unconscious. I purified the akuma and when I went over to see if he was ok, he was you.” Ladybug continued, ignoring his quip. She knew it hurt, but she didn’t want to think about it right now. At least he hadn’t thrown himself into danger this time.
“Wait we just.. Switched places?” Devin asked, frowning. “Explains why you’re Ladybug and not Emma.”
“You know each other’s identity?” Alya questioned, surprised.
“You don’t?” Devin questioned, raising an eyebrow.
“Tikki and Plagg have told us to keep it secret.” Ladybug informed him.
“Trixx too.” Alya added. Plagg perked up at the other kwamis’ name.
“Hey wait. Could I talk to them?” Plagg asked, a hopeful look on his face.
“Ladybug costume is still in the bedroom.” Alya said. Ladybug nodded and went into the room, returning to her normal self and changing quickly.
“It seems like Nino was being.. Lenient when he said Devin was having a rough time.” Tikki commented, looking uneasy.
“He’s just a kid, Tikki. I bet he was more scared than anything, but seeing Ladybug helped him calm down.” Marinette said. Tikki frowned, looking at the door.
“We need to get him home. I don’t know what his being here will do to our time or his.” Tikki said, flitting around nervously. Marinette put on the mask and looked up at the kwami.
“Is Chat ok? Do you know?” She asked, biting her lip. Tikki opened her mouth then closed it again, hesitating.
“I can sense Plagg, we have a bond. You know that. But the problem is, I don’t know if I’m sensing the Plagg that’s here, or the one that should be here.” Tikki told her, antenna drooping. “Whichever one I can sense is ok though. Just nervous and confused if anything.”
“They both qualify for that.” Marinette retorted, leaving the bedroom. Tikki followed, silent.
“What can you tell me about the future?” Alya asked as Marinette and Tikki entered the room. Tikki let out a sigh and whispered ‘good luck’ before flying to where Marinette could see Trixx and Plagg sitting down and talking.
“I.. don’t think I’m allowed to? Aren’t there rules about that or something?” Devin asked, hesitant.
“In movies. This isn’t a movie. Besides, don’t spoil anything. Like.. what’s the scariest akuma you’ve fought?” Alya asked, grinning. Devin hesitated, shaking his head.
“Can’t and won’t answer. I’ve read about the butterfly effect. I will say nothing.” He told her, crossing his arms.
“We can learn about the future when we get there, Alya.” Marinette teased, sitting down.
“Huh. You still look transformed.” Devin commented, looking her over.
“Helps hide the identity.” Marinette replied, shrugging.
“C’mon. At least tell me if you know about Adrien Agreste. The ex-model.” Alya said, nudging Devin. “You aren’t that far into the future.”
“Adrien?” Devin questioned, surprised. “Yeah I know hi- know about him. Why?” Marinette frowned, noting the slip. Alya missed it though, or opted to ignore it.
“Well he went missing today. You can tell us where he is!” Alya said, eyes wide. “That way he gets home safe and Marinette can breathe.”
“I.. can’t tell you sorry. I don’t know anything about him going missing. I don’t know much about his past.” Devin said, frowning. “And like I said. I’m not telling you anything. I don’t want to go home to the apocalypse. I already have Ikari to deal with.”
“Ikari?” Both girls questioned, confused.
“Ah.. oops. We don’t have akuma anymore. We have Ikari. They.. are a lot like akuma just mostly based off of rage than the vague variety of negativity.” Devin sighed. Marinette frowned, shaking her head.
“We need to get Chat back then. He wouldn’t know how to fight an Ikari.” Marinette sighed.
“And somehow do this without knowing who he is.” Alya groaned. Devin sighed, looking at them.
“I know who he is, and I just have to say. The sooner we fix what happened to him and I, the better.”
Oh my gosh I love you all so much! I read tour comments and I’m just so glad you like the story!!
I’m a very novice writer, but i will do my best not to dissappint you all. Thank you for the lovely comments!
Marinette blinked at Devin, alarm filling her.
“Did you have to be so ominous about it?!” Alya exclaimed, eyes going wide. “That’s the most cliche thing you could say and I’m officially creeped out, dude.”
“I think Emma’s dad has me watch too much tv.” Devin muttered, rubbing the back of his neck. “But I am serious. Your Chat being in the future and me being here isn’t good at all. Especially the role he plays in my life. If he gets hurt as… how old are you guys?”
“I’m twenty. I don’t know how old he is, but my bet is he’s around there too.” Marinette replied.
“Well, he’s thirty eight in my time. If he gets hurt as his twenty year old self, it may change who or how he is for me.” Devin explained.
“So you and Chat know each other personally?” Alya asked, raising an eyebrow. Devin hesitated a moment before nodding.
“I know both Ladybug and Chat. That’s how I know your identities.” Devin responded. Marinette nodded, thinking it over.
“Did either of us ever mention this time twist? You’d think we would have if iit included you.” Marinette said, raising an eyebrow. To both girls’ surprise, Devin shook his head.
“I don’t remember this happening either, and obviously I was involved.” Plagg called from where he was sitting next to Tikki.
“So.. in your time this never happened.” Alya sighed, looking at the floor. “Is it possible it’s also like.. An alternate universe or something?”
“Parallel universes rarely cross though.” Tikki said, frowning. “The only miraculous able to even attempt that is the peacock, but Duusuu and Nooroo would have to combine their powers, meaning one person had both miraculous and used them if they were going to send someone into the past or future.”
“The peacock miraculous is lost though.” Marinette said, frowning.
“And the butterfly is with the guardian i my time.” Devin said, crossing his arms. “So that rules that possibility out.”
“What else could have happened? An Ikari maybe?” Alya asked, raising an eyebrow. Devin frowned, biting his lip as he thought.
“I.. need to figure out everything that happened while I was on patrol. Maybe I missed something.” He sighed, sitting back on the couch. Plagg’s ears drooped slightly and he looked over to Marinette and Alya.
“You two should try to go about your day. I don’t think this issue will be solved overnight.” Plagg told them. Marinette nodded and went to the bedroom, quickly changing out of the suit and transforming before returning to the living room.
“Might as well check the news for any alerts before you leave.” Alya prompted. Ladybug nodded and the two glanced to the tv as Alya flicked it to a news channel.
“-has gone missing. It has been a full twenty four hours since his last known location. Police are doing everything they can to find him. If you or anybody you know have information regarding his location, please contact the police, or one of Paris’ protectors.” The news reporter was saying.
“Who’s missing?” Ladybug asked, eyes going wide. Please don’t be Adrien. Sure, he hadn’t contacted her, and he’s gone off the chart before. But they’ve never released a missing persons report about him. He.. he could be at home. Maybe she missed him when she checked his room?
“I’m calling Nathalie.” Alya said, pulling out her phone. Ladybug gaped at her, and Devin looked up, watching them with wide eyes. “Hello Nathalie. I just saw the news. Is it true? Is Adrien really missing?” She paused and Ladybug bit her lip, watching her with wide eyes. “Are you sure? He.. he’s just kind of left the house before. You know that. He can’t really be missing?” Devin’s eyes zeroed in on Ladybug, and she ignored him. Please be wrong. Don’t let him be officially missing. “I.. I’ll let you know if I hear anything from him.” Then Alya hung up the phone, looking over at Ladybug.
“Adrien Agreste is missing?” Ladybug asked, hesitant. Alya sighed, nodding.
“I.. need to go over to Marinette’s house. She’s going to be freaking-” Alya cut off, eyes landing on Devin. “Ah shit. I have to stay here with you!”
“Feel the love.” Devin retorted, shaking his head.
“I don’t know you. No love to feel.” Alya said with a shrug. Ladybug and Devin blinked at her, surprised by the blunt statement. “Hey. Love is for close friends and family. He’s got respect because he’s Chat and has been almost a perfect guest.”
“You threw a pillow at my husband and a superhero.”
“Not my fault! You weren’t exactly calming me down by calling me ‘Chat’!”
“I thought it’d help if you weren’t freaking out about whether or not I knew.”
“Kinda. But it also didn’t because I didn’t know how you knew.”
“Both of you calm down.” Ladybug interrupted, shaking her head. “Stay here. Try to go about your normal day. I’ll.. see what I can do about finding Adrien and clues as to how to get Devin home.”
“I can help find Adrien. I’m not helpless.” Devin said, standing up.
“No way kid. Whatever happened with you has me way too tired.” Plagg scoffed.
“Actually tired, or just lazy?” Devin asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Besides, we don’t know how to get ahold of you.” Alya said, turning to Devin. “I may have a miraculous of my own, but I don’t transform often. Hell, I don’t even wear the necklace too much.”
“Why not?” Devin asked, frowning. Ladybug smiled softly when she saw him rub a thumb over the silver ring. It was something she had seen Chat do many times over the years. One of his small quirks that she grew familiar with. A pang of loneliness filled her. She hoped he was ok, wherever he was.
“Hawkmoth might pick up on what my miraculous is and try to take it. As it stands, he thinks I’m a temp that shows up on occasion.” Alya responded, shrugging. “The less time I spend suited up, the less likely he is to seek me out.”
“How do you know when to transform?” Devin asked, frowning.
“Chat and I developed a small signal for her. If she sees one of us do it in battle, she transforms.” Ladybug said, chuckling. “Chat’s idea completely, but I have to admit it’s effective.”
“What’s the signal?” Devin asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Dropping our weapon.”
“What?” Devin asked, laughing.
“They’ve never dropped their weapon. Ever. Have it knocked from their hand, yes. Taken from them, yes. Throw it, yes. But just drop it? Never.” Alya said, grinning.
“Well than.” He hummed, shaking his head.
“I.. should get going. See what I can find about Adrien being missing.” Ladybug sighed, looking to the clock. “Nino should be home soon anyway. It’s three.”
“You sure you don’t need my help?” Alya asked, tilting her head.
“I’ll see if I can find Carapace on patrol. Maybe his kwami knows something. But other than that, I’d like you to keep an eye on Devin.” Ladybug told her. Alya hesitated for a moment but nodded. With that, she said her goodbyes and swung away, heading towards home. She landed on the roof and hesitated, eyes flicking in the direction of Adrien’s house. With a groan, she leapt off of her terrace, swinging away. Maybe she missed something earlier.
~Emma’s Point Of View~
Emma stared down at the man, a scowl on her face. Leaning forward, she poked his cheek, annoyed when he didn’t respond. Not as much as a flutter of his eyelids. She pushed blonde hair away from the black mask, and turned to her kwami.
“Tikki, why isn’t he awake yet?” Emma asked, dropping her hand from his face.
“I don’t know. I.. this is new.” Tikki replied, sitting on her Chosen’s shoulder.
“Do you know who he is?” The blonde asked, her eyes locked onto the blank expression on the man’s face.
“I hate to admit it, but most Chat Noirs are blonde. Plagg has a preference to them.” Tikki admitted. “Not to mention, the suit does have magic to hide identities.”
“Why is he here? And in Devin’s suit?” The two turned to the other voice, seeing Marinette frowning down at the man.
“We don’t know. We found him like this last night. I heard something and went to check on Devin and.. Here he was.” Emma replied.
“Has he been transformed this whole time?” Marinette questioned, eyes going wide with surprise.
“Yes. We’ve tried, but we can’t wake him up.” Tikki added. Marinette walked forward, and brushed a stray hair from his face, much like Emma had done a few moments prior.
“Maman?” Emma questioned, looking up at her.
“He looks familiar. I just can’t place it.” She sighed, glancing to Tikki.
“Think it’s possible that you know him?” Emma asked, tilting her head.
“Ask Adrien?” Tikki suggested, raising an eyebrow. “He was always more immune to the glamors of the suits than anybody else.”
“I’ll go get Papa.” Emma said, leaving the room. She darted out of the bedroom, Tikki and Marinette remained in Devin’s room.
“Hello?” A male voice called when Emma knocked on a door.
“Papa? It’s Emma.” Emma called. The door opened and Adrien looked down at her, grinning.
“Why isn’t it my favorite little bug.” He hummed, moving to tickle her.
“I thought that was Maman?” Emma taunted, dodging his hands. He laughed, shaking his head.
“Touche. What’cha need?” He questioned, tilting his head.
“You know that.. Miraculous discovery in Devin’s room?” Emma asked, tiptoeing around the topic. Louis and Hugo were sitting at the table nearby, drawing. Adrien’s eyebrows went up and he nodded. The two started walking to Devin’s room, out of earshot of the boys.
“What about it?”
“Maman thinks she knows him.” Emma informed him. Adrien grinned.
“Great! That means we can see if we can figure out when he’s from.” He chirped, sounding excited.
“Well, the glamor won’t let her figure it out. Tikki thought you might know.” Emma told him, adding on the rest of the message. Understanding flashed on his face and he nodded.
“I haven’t seen him yet anyway. Ok. Let’s go take a look.” He hummed, thoughtful. The two reached Devin’s door, and Emma opened it. Adrien’s eyes went wide and he froze in the doorway.
“Adrien?” Marinette questioned, seeing his hesitation. Adrien blinked a few times and walked into the room, staring down at the man in Devin’s bed.
“Who is it, Papa?” Emma asked, frowning.
“It’s me.” He breathed, shaking his head. “Holy cats, that’s me.” Just like that, something shifted and Emma could recognize him. She’d seen his pictures from when he was younger, and was surprised to see that he hadn’t really changed much. Now, she could recognize him so plainly, it was a wonder that she couldn’t before.
“Wait, I didn’t know you went to the future.” Emma said, raising her eyebrows at her parents.
“That’s because I never did. I.. not that I remember happening anyway.” Adrien said, looking over at Marinette.
“I don’t remember you being replaced with another Chat Noir either. Certainly not Devin.” Marinette told him. Her eyes flicked over to Emma and Tikki, who were watching with puzzled expressions.
“Wait.. if past you is here, does that mean Devin is with..” Emma turned her attention to Marinette, “Past you?”
“Well yeah. It’d have to be that way.” Marinette said, frowning at the younger Adrien. “Now let’s try and figure out how to wake him up and get him back to his civilian self.”
“I second that.” Tikki sighed, flying to his ring. “Let me try something. I didn’t see a reason to before but.. We might as well.” Tikki rested her paws against his ring, there was a bright flash, and then the man was no longer transformed. Plagg let out a loud groan, and curled into a ball on the unconscious man’s chest.
“Ow.” Plagg groaned.
“Plagg? Are you ok?” Emma asked. The kwami looked up, blinking at her.
“Who are you?” He questioned, frowning. His eyes flicked over to Tikki, Adrien, and Marinette. He sat up suddenly, alarmed. “What’s going on? Why are you older?” He looked down, and frowned, realizing he was sitting on somebody. He turned over and went still when he saw another Adrien, this one the one he was familiar with. He looked between everybody again and groaned, shaking his head. “Not good.”
“You’re from the past too, I take it?” Marinette sighed, giving him a soft smile.
“Wait, Adrien! He may have a concussion.” Plagg exclaimed, flying to the blonde’s head. “We were in the middle of an akuma attack and he was already out of sorts from being slammed on the ground but then the akuma threw him and his head hit the wall. He went unconscious right away. And then something happened and that’s a whole new story of why I need so much cheese right now but he needs to get his head checked.” the kwami said, words flying out too quickly for Emma to catch completely. But she understood the important parts. Marinette and Adrien went into action, Marinette going to the bathroom for the first aid kit and Adrien leaning down, checking over his younger self’s vitals. Emma blinked at her Papa, nibbling her lip in worry.
“I’ll go get you some cheese.” She told Plagg after a moment. Tikki curled up against Plagg, who nodded at her gratefully before the blonde ran from the bedroom. Her eyes lingered on her father for a moment, worry filling her. If his younger self isn’t ok, would her Papa be ok?
Updating early for no reason other than I want to. I'll probably still update it this friday as per usual. I hope you enjoy!
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
Ladybug swung into the bedroom again, this time detransforming. She turned to Tikki and let out a sigh.
“We need to find anything that could explain where Adrien is.” Marinette told her kwami. Tikki hesitated, frowning.
“Are you sure that being in here as Marinette is smart? Someone might come in here and catch you.” Tikki told her. Marinette hesitated, eyes flicking to the door.
“If someone’s coming you’ll hear them and we can transform. Ladybug can explain away her being here easily.” Marinette said. “Besides, I need someone to bounce ideas off and keep me on track. You know how I can get.”
“Just treat this like you don’t know him at all then. A random civilian. I’ll help you.” Tikki sighed, smiling softly. Marinette gave her a soft smile and the two turned to the room.
“Ok so, he left his sneakers behind. Which means he didn’t plan to leave, right?” Marinette said, eyes falling on the orange converse.
“Look over here.” Tikki called. Marinette turned, walking over to her kwami. She blinked at the small pile of clothing in the hamper. They were the clothes Adrien had been wearing when she last saw him.
“He’s changed clothing then.” Marinette hummed, frowning. It’d be a bit harder to describe him if they didn’t know what he was wearing.
“Maybe he’s in his pajamas. You know he likes to get comfortable right away at home.” Tikki pointed out. Marinette nodded, recalling the few times she’d been present for his nightly routine. The second he was free for the day, he changed into a pair of sweatpants and a loose shirt. Claimed he felt more at ease not wearing the Gabriel brand. Like he didn’t have to put up an act for the world.
“It’ll probably be his Chat Noir pants and Ladybug shirt. They’re his favorite.” Marinette hummed, looking up at Tikki.
“Pajamas also mean that he thought he’d be home for the rest of the day. The neat state of his room means that he wasn’t in a rush when he got home.” Tikki gathered. Marinette looked around the room, nodding. It was something she had noted before, and wasn’t too worried about. To her it meant he wasn’t dragged out kicking and screaming.
“What’s that?” Marinette questioned, noting something under his bed. She walked over and crouched down, reaching until her fingers brushed over something. A wire? She pulled it out and blinked, surprised to see his phone. His headphones were plugged into the device, and there was a small crack on the screen.
“Was it cracked yesterday?” Tikki questioned, eyeing the screen. Marinette thought back to when she and Adrien were watching videos on his device. The screen hadn’t even been dirty then.
“No. That probably means he dropped it.” Marinette said, glancing up at Tikki.
“He’s usually pretty careful about his phone. What would have made him drop it before he even got into bed?” Tikki questioned. Marinette pressed the home button on his screen, and was unsurprised to see it didn’t turn on. Either busted or dead. Hopefully dead.
“The akuma was near here. Maybe he heard it?” Marinette offered, looking up. “But that’d mean he was home late, and they said he’d been missing since eight.”
“So not the akuma then.” Tikki reasoned. Marinette’s eyes fell back on the phone and she felt her shoulders sag. Pajamas, no shoes, damaged phone, open window. This was starting to look more and more like something happened and he didn’t just leave. She closed her eyes, resting her head against the edge of his bed and released a shaky sigh. She had hoped that she and Tikki would find things to mean he left willingly. Maybe a shoe stand that showed he had worn something other than his favorite converse. A note that Nathalie or Gabriel had missed saying he was spending a day or two elsewhere. Anything. Instead she finds that he had completely intended to stay home.
“Where is he, Tikki?” Marinette whimpered. The kwami let out a soft sigh, and she felt Tikki nuzzle her neck.
“Let’s keep looking. We might find something else.” Tikki suggested. Marinette released a sigh and stood up, eyes going to the open window.
“Who do you know of that can reach that window?” She asked, zeroing in on that.
“A miraculous wielder or an akuma.” Tikki replied easily. Marinette nodded, walking over to the window.
“Who’d have a reason to be here?” She asked, glancing to the small god.
“You or Alya. Maybe Carapace or Chat if they know Adrien.” Tikki hummed. Marinette nodded, swiveling around.
“I’m Adrien. A hero just came to my room. What do I do?” Marinette questioned. Her eyes went to the bed and she walked over to it, still holding Adrien’s phone. “I was just about to relax in bed, probably watch some videos or play a game on my phone. They surprised me, I drop it.” She gently placed the phone on the floor and nudged it under the bed with her foot.
“He’d go talk to the hero. He always walks over to greet you when you come in as Ladybug.” Tikki noted. Marinette nodded, and walked over to where Adrien usually stood, next to the white couch.
“Ok. What happened next?” Marinette hummed, looking around herself. Her eyes landed on the couch, and she saw small cheese crumbs. She blinked at them, and glanced to Tikki.
“Is this.. Camembert?” She asked the kwami. Tikki blinked at her, flying over to the crubs and smelling them. She scowled and nodded.
“That’s definitely camembert. How’d you know?” Tikki questioned, flying away from the offending cheese.
“It’s my Papa’s favorite. I’d recognize the small stains it leaves behind anywhere.” Marinette said with a shrug. She frowned, confusion filling her. “Adrien hates camembert. Why would he have it in his room?”
“Plagg, probably.” Tikki commented, frowning. “It’s all he eats.”
“So that means Chat was here and untransformed.” Marinette said, raising her eyebrows. “I thought he said nobody knew his identity.”
“Do you think he knew Adrien was missing before anybody else did?” Tikki suggested, hesitant.
“Then recharged Plagg before visiting Marinette.” Marinette hummed, eyes going wide. “If Chat was here and knew about Adrien’s disappearance, he might know something about what happened to Adrien!”
“Except we can’t get ahold of him.” Tikki pointed out. Marinette groaned, shaking her head.
“Of course not. Because he’s in the future.” Helplessness filled Marinette. She had only one lead as to where Adrien had gone, and he was eighteen years in the future. She stared numbly at the cheese stains, frowning. What she’d give right now to hear his dumb puns. Even his flirting or silly advances. As long as it meant he was home, and he could help her find Adrien. Her eyes flicked to his bed and she felt a painful twang in her chest.
“What’s wrong?” Tikki asked, hesitant. Marinette sighed, shaking her head.
“Remember how Chat was yesterday? How shocked and unnerved he had been about Adrien lying to me?” Marinette questioned. Tikki nodded, eyeing the girl. “What if it was because he realized I didn’t know? What if he knew that something bad was happening and Adrien had to hide it from me. Maybe that’s why he didn’t text last night or.. Or why he lied. He was hiding something from me to keep me safe and instead he goes missing and I..” Marinette sagged, falling to her knees. “I accused him of cheating. Not to his face or.. Well not really out loud but I thought he was cheating and maybe he’s been dodging something to keep me safe.”
“I doubt you had a chance of knowing what was going on.” Tikki and Marinette whirled around, eyes wide when she saw a black leather suit. A grin split across her face, but it quickly fell when her eyes landed on black hair and blue eyes, instead of the familiar blonde and green.
“Devin? What are you doing here?” She questioned, confused. Shock then filled her when she realized she was her civilian self.
“I figured I’d find you here. Alya’s worrying herself sick over you. We stopped by the bakery.” He told her, smiling softly.
“I was just.. We had no leads for you so I wanted to-”
“You don’t have to explain. I understand, really I do.” He told her, smiling softly. “Do you realize what time it is though?” He asked, gesturing behind him to the window. Marinette blinked behind him and her eyes went wide. When had the sun set?
“I didn’t realize I’d been here for so long.” She murmured.
“Let’s get you back home.” Devin chuckled, shaking his head. MArinette opened her mouth to transform, but it turned into a yelp when Devin wrapped an arm around her waist then leaped out of the window.
“What are you doing?” She questioned, arms wrapping around him on instinct. She loved soaring through the skies as Ladybug, but as Ladybug falling wouldn’t kill her. As Marinette, it just might be the end if she slipped from his grasp.
“Taking you home. You’ve been transformed a lot today. Giving you a break. Besides, Rena and Carapace are out looking for Marinette too. They’d get pretty worried if they looked for Mari, and found Ladybug and me casually talking in Adrien’s bedroom or on Marinette’s terrace.” He told her. Marinette nodded, silent for the rest of the trip to her home. It wasn’t a very long trip thankfully, and she soon found herself on her terrace, staring blankly at the Eiffel Tower.
“How are you so calm about this?” Marinette questioned, looking over to him. The boy shrugged, smiling softly.
“Chat is still alive where I come from. So obviously he and I have to switch back alright. I just have to make sure I help you fix this, and that we both can get home.” He replied easily.
“So you aren’t worried about him being in your place?” Marinette asked, tilting her head.
“I live with you and Chat, as well as my own Ladybug. He’s in good hands. They’ll take care of him.” Devin assured her. Marinette blinked at him, surprised.
“I didn’t realize you knew us that well. Are we.. related?” Marinette asked, raising an eyebrow. Devin chuckled, shaking his head.
“You adopted me. Parents died in an accident a little over a year ago. You told the police and CPS that you were taking me in, and if they argued, they’d feel your wrath.” He said with a grin.
“I guess I really like you then.” Marinette hummed, smiling softly.
“I like to think so.” He hummed, looking at the floor. “When Emma and I became Ladybug and Chat, we told you right away. You were so proud of us, and nervous at the same time. But, said you’d stick by us and help us if we needed it.”
“How long have you had the miraculous?”
“Four months. Tomorrow will mark the fifth.” Devin replied, glancing over at her. “I was supposed to meet Rena and Carapace tomorrow. You had invited them over to meet Emma and I.”
“I’m sure you’ll still meet them. We’ll get you home.” Marinette told him, smiling softly.
“I know. I trust you. But do me a favor?” He asked. Marinette tilted her head, prompting him to continue. “Calm down about Adrien.”
“But he’s missing and.. What if he’s hurt?” Marinette asked, anxiety washing over her. Devin smiled softly at her, holding out his palm.
“Remember when I said I knew about Adrien?” He questioned. Marinette blinked, remembering the interrogation earlier in the day.
“Yeah. What about it?”
“I know him. He’s alive and well where I come from. So he’s ok now. He’ll show up, Marinette.” Devin told her. Relief filled MArinette and she nearly fell over.
“He’s safe? He’s ok?” Marinette repeated, eyes locking onto his. The blue eyes sparkled with something she couldn’t place, and he smirked at her.
“He’s as safe as possible in his situation.” Devin replied.
“Reassuring.” Marinette quipped. “That could mean in a dungeon below the ground, but as long as he’s fed and given water, he’s safe.”
“Not quite what I meant.” Devin laughed, shaking his head. Marinette chuckled, nodding.
“I know. I can joke though.” She sighed, looking out at the city again. The two fell into a comfortable silence and Marinette looked over to him. “You said Carapace was out?”
“Yeah. You still wanted to talk to him?” Devin asked, tilting his head. Marinette nodded then looked to Tikki, who gave her a knowing smile. She called on the transformation and pulled out her yoyo. She flipped it open, seeing she had two call options. Rena, and Carapace. She was about to click on Carapace when an incoming call alert came in.
“Eager to get ahold of me?” Ladybug quipped, smirking. Rena rolled her eyes, looking amused.
"Very funny." Rena chuckled, shaking her head. "Since you're out, you know if Devin's found my friend Marinette? She's MIA and not responding to messages. I really don't want her to be missing as well as Adrien."
"Yeah we found her. She's ok and probably on her way home." Ladybug fibbed. Rena hummed softly, nodding.
“Good. Girl means too much to me to vanish. Anyway, I found Carapace. We’re gonna head to the tower to see if he can help with Chat. You in?” Rena asked. Ladybug nodded and she looked over to Devin.
“I have Chat here with me. We’ll meet you there.”
“Good. I tried calling him first but it wouldn’t go through for some reason.” Rena said, frowning. “Something about him not being transformed.”
“I have the same message, but he’s in the suit and here. So I don’t really know what to think on that.” Ladybug said, shrugging slightly. Rena nodded, a frown on her face.
“Well, see you at the tower, ‘Bug.” She said before ending to call. Ladybug looked over to Devin with a small smile.
“Hopefully Carapace will know what to do.” The two quickly left, and found themselves on the tower with Carapace and Rena. Once there, Rena and Ladybug gave Carapace a quick rundown on what he’s missed and he seemed to take it all in stride. At least he wasn’t panicking.
“Personally, I think the issue was on our end.” Carapace said after a few moments. “He said the butterfly is with the guardian in the future, so no way it was used. Let alone mixed with the peacock. In our time, we have no idea where the peacock is, and the butterfly is with a villain.”
“So we have to find Hawkmoth and see if he has the peacock miraculous?” Rena asked, frowning.
“I think so. From what I’ve learned from Wayzz, only the peacock and butterfly combined can do something like this. Sending someone to a future and swapping them with someone else.” Carapace sighed, frowning. “Think is, we have no idea who Hawkmoth is.”
“Not to mention a very famous and very missing civilian. Paris will want us working on solving that. Especially since they don’t know anything is wrong with Chat.” Rena huffed, crossing her arms. Carapace opened his mouth, likely to ask a question, but was interrupted by Chat’s baton ringing. Devin frowned, pulling out the device and blinking at the screen.
“Incoming call from Ladybug?” He read, glancing over to the spotted heroine. Ladybug frowned, shaking her head.
“I’m not calling you.”
“Answer it.” Rena suggested. Devin nodded and hit answer, his eyes widening in shock when they locked with a pair of green ones.
Chapter 6: chapter 6
The heroes all gaped in surprise at his exclamation. Even more so at the equally surprised voice in response.
“Devin? Is that you?!” A female asked, sounding out of breath.
“How are you calling me? I’m in the past!” Devin exclaimed, shaking his head in shock.
“Happy to see you too.” Emma retorted through the baton. “And I have no idea. I just finished a fight and noticed I was able to call Chat Noir. I thought he had finally woken up and was transformed.”
“Woken up?” Ladybug questioned.
“Ah. You with-”
“Yes and the other two.” Devin interrupted quickly. “They don’t know each other’s identities apparently.”
“Why not? We knew right away.”
“Who knows. What did you mean by he hasn’t woken up yet?” Devin asked, frowning.
“Oh yeah. Last night when you got home from patrol? We heard a loud.. Noise from your room. Tikki and I. We had no idea what the hell it was. It sounding like your transformation, but it also had a high pitched whine to it. Anyway, we went to check on you and some blonde was in your bed. He was transformed for freaking ever.” Emma sighed, a worried tone slipping into her voice.
“He ok?” Ladybug asked, stepping into view. She was surprised to see a blonde girl, with sharp green eyes. It was weird seeing that combo matched with a red mask, but she opted to ignore that train of thought.
“He was still unconscious last I saw him. My parents are looking after him. Plagg told us you two were in a fight when it happened and he took a couple nasty hits to the head.” Emma said, frowning.
“Plagg? So he isn’t transformed right now?” Ladybug asked, pulling out her yoyo. Her eyes flicked to Chat’s icon, displaying an ‘unavailable’ message.
“Don’t think so.”
“That explains why we can’t call him.” Ladybug sighed. “We’d end up calling our Chat.”
“Ah hell. How are we supposed to get ahold of Devin then?” Carapace questioned, sounding unsure.
“I know where he’s staying.” Rena said, shrugging. “If anything, I’ll just stick around him and if you need us, give me a call.”
“That works.” Ladybug agreed.
“Do you guys know what happened?” Emma asked, biting her lip in worry.
“We think it might be the butterfly and peacock.” Devin responded.
“Emma? Who are you talking to?” A man called in the background.
“Devin! But stay out of the call. The other heroes are there.” Emma shouted. Ladybug, Rena, and Carapace blinked in surprise. That voice was so familiar to them. Ladybug and Rena locked eyes. Was that.. Adrien they heard? He sounded different. Older. But that was him, right?
“Devin?!” the man exclaimed, sounding shocked and more than a little excited.
“And company.” Emma stressed. She turned back to the call with a sigh. “I just got home. I’m going to fill in Maman and Papa about everything. See what Tikki and Plagg think we can do. We need to wake the dude up. He’s been out for a whole day now. Probably not healthy for him since we don’t have a way to feed him.” Maman and Papa? Didn’t Devin say that he lived with Emma, herself, and Chat? Ladybug mentally shook herself. Ignore the small things. Focus on the conversation, Marinette!
“Alright. Keep him out of harm’s way.” Devin warned, sounding uneasy.
“Trust me. I will. He’s detransformed so.. Maman, Papa and I know exactly who we’re dealing with.” Emma sighed, a new tone in her voice.
“It’ll be ok. This’ll get fixed.” Rena said. Emma smiled softly at the voice and nodded.
“Thank you random voice in the background.”
“Rena.” Rena laughed, grinning.
“Well, thank you. I hope you’re right. Goodnight guys. Stay safe, Devin.” She sighed. She gave a two finger salute before ending the call. Ladybug bit her lip, almost able to see Chat do the salute instead of the blonde girl. The four heroes stood in silence for a few moments before Carapace spoke.
“So Devin can call his Ladybug.” He hummed, thoughtful.
“Which means that we can call our Chat.” Rena added.
“Once he wakes up.” Ladybug sighed, worrying at her bottom lip.
“I missed the fight you two were in. She said he took some hits to the head?” Carapace asked, frowning. Ladybug nodded, shifting uneasily.
“Two nasty ones. At one point the akuma lifted him up and slammed him into the ground. He didn’t say anything, but he looked a little out of it after the hit. I had us take cover for a short while until I thought he was ok.” Ladybug told them. “The second one.. He was hit in a backswing. Hit a wall and went unconscious. His head probably hit the wall.”
“So a concussion could be likely.” Rena said, frowning.
“Which could explain why he’s still out. Body trying to heal what happened to it.” Carapace noted.
“You can also die if you fall asleep too soon after receiving a concussion.” Ladybug whispered, horror settling in her gut. She hadn’t considered the possibility but now that it’s crossed her mind, she was terrified.
“I’m sure he’s ok.” Devin said, voice stern. “Like I said earlier, Chat and his civilian self play a major role in my present. So he has to make it through this and back here ok. There’s no way my time will be as it is without him.”
“So, Bug?” Carapace called. Ladybug glanced over to him, tilting her head. “What now?”
“We go about our lives as usual. I’ll be spending my downtime looking for a way to help Chat or find clues on Adrien.” She responded.
“I’ll see what I can find on the model.” Devin said, shrugging. “Be helpful in that area at least.”
“Going about our lives as if nothing’s changed will be difficult.” Carapace noted, frowning.
“I have to agree. I know Adrien as a civilian and.. Him being gone is a bit hard to think around. Not to mention his girlfriend.” Rena sighed.
“We’ll figure it out. For now, let’s go home.” Ladybug said, smiling softly. “Make sure to keep your miraculous on for now. Who knows when we’ll need one another.”
“Especially since Chat was usually the first one on scene to an akuma.” Carapace hummed, frowning. None of them knew how or why, but Chat was always the first one there. Even after a race determined that Ladybug (with her yoyo) and Rena were both faster than him (on two legs). Ladybug sighed, nodding.
“This’ll be a learning curb for us all.” Ladybug hummed.
“Let’s all go home and sleep. It’s late and.. To be honest I’m not sure staying up and worrying about this will help anything.” Devin said after a few moments. “Let’s go to bed and sleep on everything. There’s four people thinking on this now instead of three. Unless you want to count Emma and the others, then there’s seven.”
“He’s right. Goodnight everyone.” Rena hummed, jumping away. Ladybug and Carapace bid goodnight as well, both leaving. Devin remained for a few moments, pulling out his baton and looking at the option to call Emma. She wasn’t transformed anymore but.. That call had done wonders for him. He felt better knowing that they were working to bring him home too. As well as keeping an eye on Adrien.
“Marinette!” Marinette’s eyes shot open and she flailed, falling off of her bed. She pushed herself to her elbows and looked over the edge of her loft. Nino and Alya were standing below, the female looking quite proud of herself while Nino looked more than a little concerned.
“Thanks Alya.” Marinette huffed, rolling her eyes as she got to her feet and walked to her stairs, leading to the main floor of her bedroom.
“Are you ok, ‘Nette?” Nino asked, frowning.
“I’m fine. At least it wasn’t I've water this time.” Marinette responded, making Alya cackle. “What am I late for?”
“Our brunch.” Alya informed her. Marinette groaned, remembering the plan.
“I completely forgot about it.” she groaned. After leaving the tower, she had gone back to Adrien’s room, looking for clues. It wasn’t long before Tikki told her she was too tired, and that she should go home.
“We noticed.” alya teased. “Get ready. We’ll be waiting downstairs with your parents.” Marinette shooed them away and quickly got ready for the day, making sure to give Tikki a cookie before the kwami hid in her clutch. She walked down the stairs and smiled at her friends.
“Ready.” They said goodbye to her parents, then walked a small way to a garden the group often ate at. Nino and Alya would usually supply breakfast foods, while Adrien and Marinette often found themselves in charge of lunch. The three sat down and Marinette watched as they emptied the small basket they had prepared.
“So what are the plans for today?” nino asked, looking up at Marinette curiously.
“I hear that Chloe and Nath are going swimming.” Alya said nonchalantly, thought Nino and Marinette both knew that look. She had a scheme.
“What are we going to be doing?” Marinette asked, grinning. Deep down, she knew the three were trying to escape Adrien’s absence. They were all scheduled for questioning later in the day.
“I hear that fish oil is clear.” Nino hummed, grinning. Marinette let out a surprised laugh.
“Isn’t that a bit harsh?” Marinette asked, laughing.
“And putting blue hair dye in your shampoo wasn’t?” Alya asked, laughing as well. Chloe and Nathaniel were a couple, and the two often participated in harmless pranks against the group of four. Ivan and Mylene sometimes joining. So the four would retaliate. A system that had been going on for nearly a year and a half.
“You could barely see it!” Marinette argued.
“Poor Adrien though!” Nino reminded them. The three nearly doubled over, laughing. Adrien had slept over, and had showered early in the morning. Marinette hadn’t told him about the dye in her shampoo, so when the blonde came out of the bathroom sporting bright blue hair, Marinette fell off of her chaise with laughter. It had taken two weeks to get it back to its original color.
“Alright. Let’s go.”
The group found themselves outside of the theater, waiting for the final two for the movie date. Chloe had texted, saying they ran into trouble, so they’d be a little later than expected. Alya refused to go inside of the theater, eager to see if she would smell, or see Chloe first. Marinette and Nino were happily recounting some fun pranks they had done as kids, ideas that they may be able to use later on. The conversation froze at the shout they heard.
“Why aren’t you in the movie? Didn’t it start already?” Nathaniel asked, walking over. Chloe was walking beside him, and alya pouted.
“Damn. So i’d see you before I smelt you.” The couple froze at her words, and Chloe’s eyes went wide.
“You!” she shouted, “You are why i smell like fish!”
“Not me per-say.” Alya laughed.
“I must have dropped it in the pool. I was wondering where my fish oil went.” Nino hummed, placing his hand on his chin in a thoughtful expression.
“Ridiculous!” Chloe screeched. “Utterly ridiculous!”
“It’s not too ridiculous. It’s like the time you dropped your dye into my shampoo.” Marinette teased. Nathaniel let out a laugh, elbowing Chloe gently.
“You have to admit. They got us good.” He chuckled. Chloe huffed, grinning as she crossed her arms.
“Just you wait. I’ll get you guys back.” Chloe informed them.
“I’ll see if Ivan and Mylene are busy.” Nathaniel hummed, grinning.
“You know we’ll still one up you.” Alya boasted, propping her hands on her hip.
“As if.” Chloe laughed. The five continued throwing taunts and teases, and soon found the theater emptying. They had missed the movie completely.
“We missed the movie?” Nathaniel questioned, eyes wide.
“I hear there’s a good roller rink nearby.” Nino hummed, thoughtful.
“Like.. roller skating and food?” Marinette questioned, eyes going wide.
“I’ve heard of it too. It’s been open for forever.” Chloe said, adding her input.
“I say we go. Probably more fun than standing outside of a theater.” Alya laughed. The four nodded, walking to the rink. They skated, and indulged in the cheap food. Having fun as if they were kids again. More than a few times was someone tripped, sending anywhere between three, or all five of them sprawled out on the floor. They had been asked to leave due to the business closing, and they each went home, smiles on their faces. It wasn’t until Marinette was laying in bed that she remembered that the police were supposed to visit earlier on in the day, and that her friends had managed to get her to forget about Chat and Adrien. Even if it were for one day.
~Time skip (Ha) and P.O.V. change.~
Plagg flitted about the room, bored. He had already explored the house, and figured out their perspective. It’d been a week since he and the kid had appeared, replacing Devin and.. well, himself. Adrien was still out like a light, and it was starting to worry everybody. Plagg could feel Tikki reaching for him on occasion, and he’d send a soft pulse back to her, reassuring her that they both were still ok. After Emma had recapped her call with Devin and the others, Plagg reached for Tikki. The two kwami did it often now, and it brought him comfort. His eyes snapped back to Adrien and he scowled, flying over to the boy.
“C’mon kid. What’s wrong with you?” He sighed, curling up against Adrien’s neck. The other Adrien and Marinette had deduced that his kitten didn’t have any serious head injuries. He was just.. Unconscious but ok. Thankfully, they found that he would drink whatever they poured into his mouth, so long as they pinched his nose shut. Through that, they gave Adrien the nutrients he needed. Plagg knew that wouldn’t work forever though. The kid needed to wake up and actually eat food.
“How’s he doing?” A soft voice asked, walking into the room. Plagg looked up, seeing Marinette crouch next to the bed, smiling softly at him.
“Out like a light. Nothing new though.” Plagg huffed, curling against Adrien more.
“He’ll be ok.”
“How are you so sure?” Plagg snapped, scowling. “The blonde said this didn’t happen to you two. How do you know he’s going to be ok?”
“Her name is Emma. And I know because she’s here. Adrien, the boys, and Emma are still here and existing. Nothing has changed with them, so whatever is going on with your Adrien, he’ll make it through ok.” Marinette replied, brushing a finger against Plagg’s ear. His ear twitched and he frowned at her, doubtful.
“What if tomorrow you wake up and they’re gone?”
“Then I’ll try and fix it. But for now, Adrien is ok and nothing is wrong with him. We just have to wait for him to wake up.” Marinette replied easily. She looked calm, but he could see a torrent of emotions in her eyes. The biggest thing he saw was fear.
“Do you really think that?” He asked, frowning. Humans were known for lying to help someone else feel better.
“Yes.” Marinette replied firmly. “I’m scared that I’m wrong, that Adrien will never wake up and that Devin will never come back home. But I believe he will wake up. That Devin will come back. I just hope I’m right.”
“I hope so too. I actually like the stupid kid.” Plagg huffed, tail twitching. “Him and his stupid obsessions.”
“Obsessions?” Emma asked, walking into the room. Plagg frowned at the blonde, feeling uneasy. He could sense that she held a miraculous but.. It just felt wrong to him. Sure, that was Tikki and her earrings, but she wasn’t his Tikki.
“Kid’s obsessed with Marinette and Ladybug. They’re all he talks about.” Plagg huffed. He looked over to Marinette, watching as she beckoned Emma to her. The blonde sat down next to her mother, leaning against her. Marinette wrapped and arm around Emma and the two continued to watch him, waiting for him to continue. This had to be something they did often.
“Really?” emma questioned, eyes going big.
“Unfortunately. He doesn’t even give me all the camembert I ask for!” Plagg complained, scowling. Emma and Marinette both laughed, making him frown. Did he say something funny?
“You are always asking for the stupid cheese.” Emma chuckled, grinning. “Glad to see it’s not a new thing.”
“Cheese is the best thing in the world.” Plagg responded easily. He glanced backwards, frowning at the blonde hair behind him. “Why won’t he wake up? I don’t understand.”
“Trauma probably.” Marinette hummed, thoughtful. “It happens sometimes when the body experiences something it can’t handle. It just.. Shuts down for a small while.”
“But he still drinks things.” Plagg argued, frowning.
“Bodily response to liquid in his mouth. So he doesn’t drown.” Emma told him. “By the way, I’m going to call him Bacon Adrien.”
“Bacon Adrien?” Marinette questioned, raising an eyebrow. “Why?”
“His outfit.” Plagg flew up slightly, looking over the sleeping male, before grinning. He had a blue T-shirt on that showed a picture of an egg talking to a slice of bacon. The words ‘You’re bacon me crazy!’ were written on it. It was a new outfit he had gotten, amused to no end by the pun.
“That’s a horrendous pun.” Marinette sighed, shaking her head. She was grinning though, so Plagg knew her outlook on puns had changed slightly.
“I’m offended. The pun is amazing.” Emma responded, a laugh bubbling from her. The two girls continued to talk, filling the silence that Plagg would otherwise be left in. He drowned them out, sitting on Adrien’s chest as he watched him sleep. The boy’s face was blank. Even in his sleep, Adrien would smirk or smile. Sometimes frown, or scowl, depending on what he was dreaming. But for a week, there’d been no emotion shown at all on his face. Almost as if he wasn’t really there. He didn’t respond to any outside stimuli either, something Emma demonstrated by slapping him in a fit of frustration.
“Plagg, did you want some cheese?” Emma asked, bringing his attention to the girl again. He flew over to Adiren’s neck and curled up again against the warm skin.
“No thanks. I’m going to take a nap.”
“You’re really bent out of shape about him.” Marinette hummed, thoughtful.
“You declined cheese, and you didn’t make a pun about a cat nap.” Emma pointed out. Plagg blinked, surprised. He kept forgetting that they knew him.
“I’m just worried about the kid. I’d happily listen to him obsess over Marinette if it just meant he was awake.
“Mri’s no obsession.” Plagg went still and both Emma and Marinette gaped in surprise at the voice. It was slurred with exhaustion and definitely didn’t belong to either of the girls. Plagg almost questioned if someone else was in the room when suddenly, the bed shifted and the warmth of Adrien’s neck was gone. Plagg quickly flew up, looking to the blonde. A look of pain was on his face. Pain.. Adrien.. He was awake! In pain, but awake!
“Adrien? You’re awake?” Plagg asked, flying over to his face. A green eye opened, eyeing the kwami.
“Please don’t ask for camembert. My head is killing me.” Adrien groaned, his eye closing again. “The hell happened last night?”
“Who cares! You’re awake!” Plagg exclaimed, flying over and nuzzling the blonde.
“Seriously Plagg, no cheese.” Adrien chuckled. “So stop sucking up.”
“You’ve been out for a week, who can blame him?” Marinette asked, returning to the room. Plagg looked over to her, seeing she was holding two pills and a glass of water. When did she leave? Adrien went rigid, and his eyes shot open, staring at Plagg in shock. He slowly sat up, looking at the two females he was in the room with. Plagg watched as Adrien took in his surrounding, growing more confused with every unfamiliar item he saw, tense with fear.
“Where am I?”
“Transform, we’ll talk later.” Emma said, grinning. “Tikki, spots on!”
“What in the-”
“Language, Adrien.” Marinette interrupted. Adrien snapped his jaw shut, his eyes were wide.
“You’re in the future kid.” Plagg informed him.
“And we’re going to call your ladybug. So transform unless you want to spill the beans.” Emma instructed.
“The case on the missing person, Adrien Agreste, is officially closed.” The tv said. Marinette stared at the screen, numb with shock. “The police have found no leads as to where his whereabouts are, and have decided not to pursue the case any longer.” Marinette turned off the tv with a shaking hand. She slowly looked to Nino, who was staring in horror at the screen.
“They.. they gave up on him.” Marinette whispered. Nino looked over to her and crossed the room, wrapping his arms around her. “They gave up on Adrien.” She gasped out, her voice cracking. Her knees went weak, and she felt herself start to fall, Nino being the only thing holding her upright as she started to sob. He was talking to her, saying words, but she couldn’t understand them. He let her slowly go to the floor, supporting her the whole way as she sobbed into his shoulder. Her heart felt like it had been ripped in two. Like her lungs wouldn’t let her breathe. Like her head was going to explode. Her phone was vibrating on the table. It was too loud. She couldn’t think, she couldn’t breathe. Nino moved and her phone went silent.
“Breathe ‘Nette. With me. Breathe.” Nino’s telling her to breathe, but she can’t. Her lungs won’t do anything other than let her gasp out her pain. His grip loosened slightly, and she could hear him telling her to breathe again, this time his own chest was rising and falling in exaggerated breaths. She forced herself to follow, unable to at first beyond her panicked gasps and cries. After a while, her crying died down, and she was calm, breathing normally as Nino held her. Her phone began buzzing again, Nino silencing it once more.
“He’s gone.” Marinette whispered, tear tracks drying against her face. Nino sucked in a breath and she closed her eyes.
“No. He’s just.. Missing. They’ll find him.”
“They gave up.”
“Not the police. Ladybug, Carapace, Rena, and Devin.” Nino said. Marinette’s eyes snapped open. Did he say Devin? “They won’t give up on Adrien.” Her eyes moved to his wrist, where one hand was holding onto her arm. Did he always have a turtle bracelet? “They know us and I’m sure they’re friends with him too. They won’t give up on him” Marinette pulled away, looking into the familiar brown eyes of her friend.
“Nino?” She questioned. He tilted his head, prompting her to continue. “How are you so sure?” He hesitated and she saw the momentary panic in his eyes. The same one Alya had those years ago when she was first Chosen as Rena.
“I don’t know. They visit Alya a lot,” A lie. Rena can’t visit herself. “So I got to know them that way.”
“You’re Carapace.” Marinette breathed. Nino’s eyes went wide and he shook his head.
“Y-you’re not thinking right. You just cried a lot and you’re probably dehydrated.” He stood up, backing up slightly towards her kitchen. “I’ll get you some water. And.. mint ice cream. That’s still your go-to comfort-cream, right?”
“You said Devin. Not Chat.” Marinette told him. He froze in his retreat, eyes locking on hers. The panic grew, and Marinette watched as it slowly faded into shock.
“L-Ladybug?” He questioned. Marinette nodded softly, and Nino sagged as if he was hit by a weight. “That’s why he kept finding you in Adrien’s room. You were trying to find him and.. It didn’t make sense why you were so consistent and.. Oh Mari.” Nino walked over to her, kneeling in front of her. “You know we won’t stop looking for him, right?”
“I.. how? The police haven’t found anything.” Marinette whispered, eyes squeezing shut. “They’re professionals. We’re just.. Us.”
“We haven’t found anything on him either.”
“But we won’t give up.”
“We haven’t even found anything to bring back Chat.”
“But we will.”
“How are you so sure?” Marinette asked, looking up at her friend. Nino hesitated, a thoughtful look falling onto his face. They’d known each other since they were six. Always the misfits in class and had banded together as best friends. Somehow, they stuck together through the hard trial that was life. He’d always been so insecure about his abilities. Doubting himself for years. What made him so sure they could save Chat and find Adrien?
“We have to.” Nino said after a moment.
“Doesn’t mean that we will.” Marinette sighed. Nino opened his mouth to respond when her phone rang once more. “Who keeps calling me?” She huffed, annoyed.
“Chloe. I think she’s worried about you.”
“Oh.” Tikki and Wayzz flew into the room then, both watching their chosen with worry and caution.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but you have a call from Rena.” Tikki told Marinette. The two stood up, and Marinette frowned.
“Has to be an emergency if she’s calling me.” Marinette sighed. “Spots on.” Her yoyo started chirping instantly, and she opened it, answering the call.
“Is there an emergency?” Ladybug asked. Nino stepped closer, so that he could see Rena in the screen, but she couldn’t see him.
“Yes. There really is. You need to get to my place now. Bring Carapace.” Rena said.
“That’d tell him your identity.” Ladybug warned.
“To be honest, we already know each other’s. So it won’t be an issue.” Ladybug blinked at her, startled by the information. Since when did Alya and Nino.. nevermind. They’re married. It made complete sense.
“Alright. I’ll try and call him. Though he isn’t transformed right now.” Ladybug told her. She looked over to Nino, who only smirked at her.
“Ok. Just.. get over here.” She ended the call and looked to Nino.
“Let’s get going.” She’ll call Chloe back tomorrow.
“What’s the emergency?” Carapace asked as they swung into the living room. Rena had opened a window for them, and they were confused to see Devin transformed and holding his baton, but not looking like he was going to fight. Rena hadn’t even grabbed her flute yet.
“Hey heroes!” A voice chirped from the baton. Ladybug blinked, confused. Devin held it out, and she looked to the screen, seeing A blonde Ladybug grinning at them.
“Your emergency.. Is that Emma called?” Carapace questioned, beyond confused.
“With news. About the Chat situation.” Emma told them. Ladybug and Carapace walked over to the screen, eyes flicking to Rena and Devin. Neither of them looked like they knew what was going on yet.
“Ok, that could qualify as an emergency meeting.” Ladybug hummed. “Is it good news?”
“If you call me being awake good news, then yes.” Ladybug’s eyes widened at the voice. Emma shifted the yoyo, and they saw a familiar blonde with cat ears grinning at them.
“Chat!” Ladybug exclaimed happily.
“About time!” Rena laughed.
“Thank god.” Devin breathed. Carapace just sighed in relief, though he was grinning.
“Aw. I feel special.” Chat laughed.
“In the head.” Emma quipped. Chat laughed in response, shaking his head.
“How’s the future’s doing?” Rena asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Maman and Papa are ecstatic. We’re glad to see he’s ok. Big relief all around.” Emma responded. Chat gave her a questioning look, but seemed to brush it off.
“What’s it like being around the future you?” Carapace asked, grinning.
“Future.. Me?” Ladybug’s eyes went wide. Chat didn’t know the specifics yet, did he?
“Yeah. Devin told us that he lived with the future you and Ladybug.” Rena added. Chat looked over to Ladybug with wide eyes, mouthing something, but it was hard to see on the small screen.
“I.. haven’t seen myself yet. Just Emma, Tikki, Plagg, and.. Ladybug.” Chat said. Emma inhaled sharply, Devin going tense. Ladybug frowned. Why did he say her name differently?
“How’s everything on your end? Ladybug and Carapace look like they’ve been hit by a train. Bad news I take it?” Emma asked, changing the subject quickly. Chat raised an eyebrow at her, but his eyes flicked over to Ladybug and she knew. He knew her identity. It was obvious. He was more tense, and he kept looking at her.
“Evidently. I was at a friends house earlier. Ladybug was there too.” Carapace huffed.
“It’s.. unrelated to bringing Chat back though. Something else entirely.” Ladybug added.
“Adrien?” Rena asked, looking over at them. Chat went rigged, his eyes going wide.
“They closed his case.” Carapace told her, cringing.
“Oh no..” Rena sighed.
“His.. case?” Chat questioned, looking beyond confused.
“You know the ex-model, Adrien Agreste?” Rena asked. Chat nodded. “He went missing. He’s been gone for a week.”
“They just closed his case.” Ladybug said, closing her eyes.
“W-what? He.. wait. Didn’t he have a girlfriend?” Ladybug looked up at him, seeing panic on his features. “How is she? Is she ok?”
“She’s the friend Ladybug and I were with.” Carapace said. Devin and Emma raised an eyebrow, looking between Ladybug and Carapace. Chat frowned slightly.
“How’d she take the news?” Rena asked, eyes locked onto Carapace’s.
“She turned off the news before it even finished.” Carapace told them. “Broke down. She.. seemed to think he wasn’t coming back.”
“Of course he is.” Chat retorted. Everyone looked to him, surprised by his outburst. Ladybug’s eyes went wide, recalling something she had seen in Adrien’s room.
“That’s right! You were in his room!” Ladybug exclaimed.
“What?” Rena questioned.
“I went there to see if I could find anything! Tikki and I found camembert stains on the armrest of his couch. She said it’s what Plagg eats.” Ladybug said, looking to Chat with wide eyes. “You were in his room before we went to that akuma, weren’t you?”
“I.. was. But he wasn’t there.” Chat said, looking on edge.
“Why were you in his room?” Carapace questioned, looking confused.
“He had.. Asked me to swing by at some point.” Chat said. “He wasn’t there when I got there and Plagg needed to recharge.” Ladybug’s shoulders dropped. She had thought he knew something about Adrien’s disappearance.
“He was already missing by that point then.” Ladybug sighed, feeling defeated. No leads, once again.
“Hey look. Let’s focus on getting me back to the right time, then I can help you guys find the blonde.” Chat said, voice gentle.
“Any luck on finding Hawkmoth yet?” Emma asked, joining the conversation again.
“No. He hasn’t been active at all.” Devin replied.
“No akuma?” Chat questioned, raising an eyebrow in confusion.
“None. We haven’t had to fight an akuma since the American one.” Ladybug replied.
“Which is totally unfair. I’ve had to fight Ikari on my own.” Emma huffed, looking annoyed.
“Not anymore. Chat’s up.” Devin countered.
“Like he’ll be able to help.”
“Hey!” Chat exclaimed, sounding offended.
“Be nice.” Devin scolded. Emma rolled her eyes.
“Is Hawkmoth the one that did this?” Chat asked, refocusing the conversation.
“We think he got ahold of the peacock miraculous. Only the combination of that one and the butterfly can do something like this.” Carapace said. Chat nodded, frowning.
“Too bad we don’t have any leads as to who he is.” Chat muttered.
“I have a theory.” Rena spoke up. Everybody looked to her, curious. This was something that neither Devin or Emma knew either. They said that the future’s refused to tell them who Hawkmoth was.
“What’s the theory?” Ladybug asked, tilting her head.
“Well, it may be dumb, but there used to be akuma every night, right?” Rena prompted. Chat and Ladybug nodded, confused. “There hasn’t been one since Chat was put in the future.”
“You think he’s in the future too?” Carapace questioned, frowning.
“No. Because then he’s switch with whoever is sending out the Ikari. You’d have akuma, and we’d have Ikari. Anyway, that’s the same night Adrien went missing.” Rena told them. “What if he’s someone close to Adrien?”
“Like who? All of his friends have been akumatized. He wouldn’t akumatize himself.” Ladybug said, frowning.
“Actually.. He can.” Carapace said after a moment. “The akuma will keep its power even after Hawkmoth detransforms.”
“So we’re down to everyone and anyone could be Hawkmoth?” Devin questioned.
“How? We don’t know anything about him.” Ladybug huffed, crossing her arms. Back to square one. Chat and her had thought that narrowing it down to people who haven’t been controlled would work, but apparently not.
“With the theory that he’s close to Adrien, it narrows down the pool.” Rena pointed out.
“Dude’s not close to many people.” Carapace hummed, considering it. Chat and Ladybug shared a look, both hesitant.
“Who though?” Ladybug asked after a moment. “Who could be so.. Evil?”
“Not necessarily evil.” Emma said. “From what I’ve heard, he has a wish, right? That why he wants the miraculous?”
“Maybe it’s someone who’s lost something that they desperately want back.” Devin suggested.
“But who would.. Be willing to hurt other people for something he lost?” Ladybug questioned, mind whizzing through everybody that Adrien was around. Modeling friends, old classmates. Nathalie, The Gorilla. Hell, even herself. Nobody matched the description, or she didn’t know them well enough to say yes or no.
“His father.” Chat whispered.
Sorry for the late update! but here is the next chapter! Thankfully only a day late XD
As always, thank you for reading my fic and I'd happily take any feedback you can give!
“His.. father?!” Ladybug exclaimed, eyes going wide. She looked over to Chat, who’s face was uncharacteristically blank as he thought.
“That.. makes so much sense.” Emma breathed, her own eyes going wide. Ladybug watched in surprise as Devin had the same look as Emma. As if a question they’ve had forever was finally answered.
“Uh. Hey. Look. I’ve met the man and.. He can’t be Hawkmoth.” Rena said, shaking her head. “What could he have lost? I mean.. All he cares about is his dumb business.” Ladybug watched Chat flinch, and she frowned. What was going through his head?
“He lost his wife a few years back.” Carapace said, frowning. “I mean.. Adrien told me how his father used to be really cool. Then his mom went missing and it was like a switch was flipped. Dude started controlling Adrien and everything he was around.”
“Including us.” Rena added, scowling. “Adrien got lucky his father let up on Marinette.”
“I.. are you sure?” Ladybug asked, looking up at Chat. He finally looked up from his lap, locking eyes with her.
“We suspected it before, back when we were kids. Around the first year of being us.” He told her.
“But.. that doesn’t matter. Are you sure, now?” Ladybug asked.
“I don’t want to be right,” He sighed, shaking his head. “But I say check it out.” several beeps sounded then, and Chat looked down at his hand.
“Think Plagg is still out of it from whatever happened to get you here?” Emma asked, frowning.
“He might be. My Plagg still is.” Devin said. Emma and Devin shared a look, one Ladybug knew meant ‘talk later’.
“Ok. I guess we’re going to end the call now.” Emma said. Chat looked up, and grinned, but not before Ladybug saw the pain in his eyes.
“It was nice seeing you all. Hopefully it’ll be in purr-son soon enough.” Chat said, grinning. Ladybug let out a startled laugh, surprising the other heroes.
“See you soon, Kitty. Thank you for calling us, Emma.”
“Pleasure was mine.” And then the call ended, Ladybug letting out a soft sigh.
“You two were with Marinette?” Rena asked, rounding on them. Devin detransformed, heading towards the kitchen to feed Plagg.
“Yeah. We were.” Carapace replied easily. Rena frowned at him, crossing her arms.
“I know you lied to Chat. You started fiddling with your thumb. Spill.” She turned, a analyzing look landing on Ladybug. “Both of you.”
“I visited her house as Nino, left as Carapace.” Carapace sighed. Rena sucked in a breath, eyes going wide.
“Marinette knows your Carapace? Since when?!”
“Since today. I heard Ladybug’s call with you and.. Somehow had to explain why I had to leave.” Carapace replied easily. Rena groaned, shaking her head.
“At least it was Mari. Whelp, since you obviously know who we both are, I’m detransfroming.” Rena quipped, looking over at Ladybug. She only shrugged in response.
“This is your home. Don’t stay in the suit on my behalf. I know it can get uncomfortable after a while.” She said. Both Alya and Nino were standing beside her within a few moments, and Alya sucked in a breath when she saw Nino’s still wet shirt.
“She cried hard.” Alya whispered.
“She’s ok now. Probably asleep. I gave her mint ice cream before we left.” Nino told her. Ladybug looked behind her to the window, frowning at the setting sun.
“I’m going to the Agreste manor. See if I can find anything on Gabriel being Hawkmoth.” Ladybug said.
“Can it wait? Until tomorrow?” Alya asked, sounding hesitant. Ladybug turned around, seeing Nino giving her a worried look.
“I’m sorry but… this isn’t something I’ll be able to sleep on.” Ladybug sighed. “If it helps, I’ll wait until tomorrow to tell you guys if I find anything.” Nino sighed, nodding.
“If you’re sure. Just be careful. If he is Hawkmoth I.. don’t want you getting hurt. That wouldn’t be good for anybody.” Alya admitted, frowning at her. Ladybug nodded, smiling at them.
“I’ll be careful. First sign of trouble, I’ll run and hide.” And with that she left, swinging out the window. She let her yoyo take her to the familiar mansion, and landed on the building across the street, frowning at it. Every light was off, and it looked unwelcoming. Her eyes glanced over to Adrien’s bedroom and, before she could debate her actions, she found herself inside of it once more. Nothing had changed since the many times she’d been to the room, so it made it easy to look for small details. She recalled that Gabriel’s logo was a butterfly, so she found herself searching around for any sign of the symbol. She was a little surprised to see none. In fact, there was a small cat theme to some of Adrien’s belongings, but nothing too odd. She moved to his bedroom door and paused, listening. She could hear Nathalie and Gregory talking in the hallway, the bodyguard too quiet to really hear. She couldn’t really just go through the house freely then.
“Outside it is.” Ladybug hummed to herself, crossing the room and jumping through the open window. She tossed her yoyo, and swung herself around the building. She took a few pauses, looking through windows for anything that would be weird. Her question was finally answered when she was behind the manor. It was a large, circular window. It had a butterfly design to it, and was a soft shade of purple. The floor seems to glow white, and the walls were a dark violet. Ladybug frowned, eyes flicking over the white floor. There was absolutely no furniture in the room and.. Was there even a door? She threw her yoyo and landed on the rooftop, looking down into the room. She sucked in a breath in shock, trembling slightly. The floor wasn’t white. If she looked hard, she could see it was the same deep violet as the walls. The white.. There were hundreds, maybe a thousand glowing butterflies. They seemed to be at rest, just sitting on the floor. Not a single one flew around the room.
“He’s.. those are.. Oh god.” She breathed. She knew those butterflies. She’d seen them almost every day for six years. She’d been seeing them since she was fourteen. Since she had received magic earrings. Those were pure akuma. She threw herself to her feet, stumbling backwards. His interest in her earrings as Ladybug.. That wasn’t as a fashion designer. It was because he was a villain who wanted them. She threw her yoyo, desperately wanting to escape. Gabriel Agreste was Hawkmoth. Adrien’s father. Her idol. She fell onto a roof, numbly noting it was where she used to meet with Chat. They had both realized they could see their own rooms from the spot, and decided it was somewhere to go if they needed each other for non-hero related things or an emergency.
“He.. he can’t be Hawkmoth.” Ladybug gasped out. She refused to believe it but.. It made so much sense. The interest in the earrings. The butterfly logo. His seclusion. The attitude towards any visitors. His neglect of Adrien, yet the uncanny need to control every aspect of his life. She pulled out her yoyo, looking at the call options. Nobody was transformed. Of course they weren’t. Alya and Nino probably went to bed. Chat’s ring had beeped so he needed to take care of Plagg. She released the transformation and pulled out her phone, staring at her lockscreen.
“Marinette?” Tikki whispered, sounding uneasy. Her lockscreen was a picture of Adrien. He was laughing at something Nino had said and, unable to help herself, Marinette took a picture. They rarely saw the enthusiastic laugh of the boy outside of private areas. He always had an image to uphold, even after quitting the modeling business. But the joy in his face, the way his eyes crinkled at the corners with his laugh and grin.
“How could someone like Adrien, have Hawkmoth as a father?” Marinette whispered. The two sat there in silence. Neither of them had an answer to her question, and Tikki looked like she’d rather avoid the topic. Marinette opened her phone, eyes landing on the messaging screen. It was silly, but she had started texting Adrien after finding his phone. She knew he wouldn’t be able to read what she sent, but it was a source of comfort. Her eyes fell closed and she released a sigh, looking to the screen again to what she last sent.
Mari: I miss you. I’ve said it a lot but.. I keep thinking you’ll text back. Or call. Or come visit the bakery while I’m working. When you come back, you’ll never leave my sight again. Constant cuddles, responsibilities be damned.
Mari: Please come back. I love you and.. I miss you so much.
She looked up to Tikki, who was watching her with worried eyes.
“What would he think? If we defeated Hawkmoth and he came back to.. His father being a villain?”
“I.. think it’d be hard. He’d need Marinette for a while.” Tikki replied, voice soft. Marinette nodded, shifting on the cool cement of the roof she was on. She laid down, her head landing on a soft surface. She blinked in surprise before she remembered the pillows she and Chat had brought the last time they were here. They ended up falling asleep as they stargazed, talking about mindless stuff. She tilted her head and breathed in, able to smell his scent. It was an odd smell, hair products, camembert, and a hint of something she couldn’t name beyond ‘Chat’. The smell was almost faded, the pillow having been unused and on a rooftop. She looked up to the stars, a frown firmly on her face. The only good part of the day it seemed, was that Chat had woken up, and both of her best friends were her trusted partners. She lifted her phone to her field of view, and typed.
Mari: So much has happened today. I need you so much. I.. don’t know what to do. I feel like this is a nightmare.
Mari: I’m going to do something and.. I can only hope that you’ll understand when you get back. I’ll explain in so much detail but.. Right now I can’t say anything.
Mari: Not that you’re able to read these anyway.
Mari: Where are you? I hope you’re ok. I don’t know what I’d do if you were hurt. Please be ok, Adrien. For me if anything. Just be ok.
Mari: I love you.
She closed her eyes, letting her hands fall to rest on her stomach, her phone cool against her skin.
“Should we go home?” Tikki asked, tentative.
“No I just.. Want to stay here for a while. Enjoy the stars.” Marinette replied, watching the small lights above her. Tikki curled up against her neck.
“Ok. Just.. sleep in your bed tonight. Please?”
“I’ll wake you up when it’s time to leave.”
“Well. That’s certainly not how we found out in our time.” Marinette sighed, watching him. Adrien nodded, chuckling.
“I bet not. Since this apparently didn’t happen to you.” He said. Emma shifted, uneasy.
“I feel like this was something Devin and I screwed up. It was so easy to tell them that hey, your Chat is ok because he’s with himself and past Ladybug! No worries.”
“It’s ok. I doubt either of you knew Rena or Carapace would question it.” Adrien said, looking up at her. “It’s just.. A bit to process.”
“How? Wouldn’t it be so easy? Your girlfriend is Ladybug.” Emma pointed out.
“Except for the part where she doesn’t know I’m Adrien.” He responded, wincing. “I don’t know what’s going through her head right now.”
“One thing’s for sure. She knows you know.” Emma told him.
“How do you figure?” Marinette asked, raising an eyebrow. “I used to be incredibly dense.”
“Used to be?” Adrien and the girls looked up, seeing a man leaning against the doorframe. Adrien blinked a couple times in surprise, realizing this man was himself. He.. really hadn’t changed at all. Except he wore a different ring than the one he had grown used to.
“Hey! I’m not that bad!” Marinette scoffed. His future self laughed, settling down next to Marinette.
“We both were horrible as kids. It’s ok, Mari.” He chuckled. Marinette rolled her eyes, swatting at his arm.
“You torment me.”
“You love me.”
“Sometimes.” Marinette laughed. Older Adrien played mock offence, whining dramatically.
“Emma! Mari doesn’t love me anymore.”
“As if. I have brothers.” Emma retorted. Both of the adults choked then, startled by her words before Older Adrien let out a loud laugh.
“Speaking of, they’re quiet. I’m going to go check on them.” He said, standing up. He paused, looking over to Adrien. “I know it’s a lot to handle. Mari being your Lady. But I don’t recommend telling her who you are right away. Let her come to terms with you knowing, and when she asks, then and only then do you tell her.”
“I.. why?” Adrien asked, frowning.
“Because I used to overthink myself into oblivion. You knowing who I am without me telling you will be one thing for me to work through. Based off of that call, she’s going to find out who Hawkmoth is pretty soon, so that’ll be two things to work through. A third, would be too much.” Marinette told him.
“Am I right? About Hawkmoth?” Adrien asked. The adults shared a look before the blonde sighed.
“No point in hiding it. It won’t change anything for him when he goes back.” Older Adrien said before leaving the room. Adrien turned to Emma, who only shrugged before they both looked to Marinette. Her eyes were closed, but she nodded. The move was so small he almost missed it.
“Is.. that why our last name is Dupain-Cheng?” Emma asked. “Because his used to be Agreste?” Marinette looked up at Adrien, and he fought a wince at the look in her eyes.
“Yes. After the battle.. Adrien didn’t want anything to do with his father. Including the name.” Marinette said. Adrien closed his eyes, feeling more disappointed than anything else. He had grown used to his father being the villain of his civilian life. The wild card that was rarely positive. It only made sense that he was the villain of Paris as well.
“Ok? That’s it?” Emma questioned, shocked.
“My father is a very.. Stubborn man. He’d never been the same after Maman left so.. It’s not a hard jump to make.” Adrien replied. “I just wish I could be there to fight him with Ladybug and the others.”
“Why?” Emma asked, voice soft. Adrien opened his eyes, glancing to her.
“I know how my father fights, having seen his abilities when he’d go against my instructor in karate, fencing, as well as taekwondo. None of the others do.”
“Is he.. A skilled fighter?” Emma asked.
“Very.” Marinette replied, in unison with Adrien.
“Maybe.. I dunno. Give her pointers or something.” Plagg said, finally speaking up. Adrien looked over to the kwami, seeing the empty plate he was resting on. Plagg had eaten three entire wheels of Camembert.. Good lord.
“How?” Emma questioned. “Identity, hello?”
“Say you knew the dude. Fought or seen him fight a couple times. Not a lie.” Plagg hummed. He tilted his head, considering. “Hell, you could do that now. I’m good to transform you again, and Tik’ll feel the incoming call if she isn’t transformed.”
“Are you sure?” Marinette questioned.
“The kid and pigtails need to talk. Even if he is wearing ears.” Plagg said with a shrug.
“Tikki, wake up.” Marinette sighed, nudging her kwami. Tikki opened her eyes, looking over to her chosen.
“Ready to go home?” she asked. Marinette nodded and stood up.
‘Yeah. Figured it’s pretty late. And if any of the others are out, they’d have some pretty major questions as to why Marinette is on a roof.” Marinette chuckled. Well.. except Nino since he knows now.
“Ok. Well go ahead and-” tikki cut herself off, frowning.
“You have a call.”
“Then I better answer it.” marinette sighed. She said the chosen words, and found herself vaguely amused that twice in one day she had to transform because she had a call from one of the team. She pulled out the chirping yoyo and blinked in shock.
“Greetings, M’Lady.” Chat greeted, smiling softly at her.
“To what do I owe the pleasure?” Ladybug asked, grinning at him. She had seen him just a few hours ago, but it was still relieving to be able to talk to him again.
“Just wanted to get a feel for what’s going on in that head of yours.” chat hummed. Ladybug sighed, nodding.
“A lot. Since you now know who I am, as well as other recent reveals.” Ladybug told him. Chat chuckled, nodding.
“I noticed that. Carapace knows who you are?” Chat questioned.
“We know each other. He, as a civilian, was there when we saw the report on A- A-.” ladybug stopped, releasing a slow breath. “He made some comment about the heroes, and Devin finding him. The slip gave it away, and my noticing devin gave myself away.”
“Ah. Recent then.” Chat hummed, smiling softly.
“Very. Kinda relieved by who it is though. He’s a great guy. I trust him completely.” Ladybug said. She sat down on the roof, leaning against the ac unit behind her. Might as well get comfortable.
“I’m glad you approve of my choice.” Chat chuckled. Ladybug blinked, confused until she remembered that he had been the one to choose Carapace, like she had Rena.
“Well, it’s easy since he’s one of my friends.” ladybug quipped. Chat chuckled, nodding. His chuckles stopped and he eyed her, a frown on his face.
“How are you? About the whole Adrien situation?” chat asked, tone cautious. Ladybug winced, looking away from him.
“A mess. Carapace wasn’t lying about my reaction. I just.. I’ve been to his room, and his house so many times since he went missing. Half beating myself for thinking he was cheating because of him lying and half panicking because of what I found in his room.” ladybug sighed. It was odd. Now that he knew who she was, she could release. Talk to him about both sides of her life without censoring herself. Why didn’t they do this before? It was.. A weight off of her shoulders, talking with him.
“Cheating?” Chat asked. Ladybug looked over to him, seeing his eyes wide with shock.
“Well.. i dunno. It was the only thing I could think of. Him being busy every Friday night and.. The random vanishing acts and the lie over a book.” Ladybug sighed. “Sure, the vanishing acts make it easy for me to transform for an akuma, but I can’t help but wonder. Now I’m just wondering if it was because he knew something was going to happen to him.”
“I.. can see how you made that conclusion.” Chat hummed, looking thoughtful.
“And now i’m sure he’s going to hate me when he gets back. He doesn’t know i’m Ladybug but.. Dammit I’m going to tell him next I see him. Especially after what I found.”
“What’d you find?” chat asked, raising an eyebrow.
“You were right about Hawkmoth. It’s Gabriel i.. I found his lair. There were so many akuma, chat. It was unbelievable.” Ladybug breathed. Chat cringed slightly, but nodded. “It’s a wonder we never saw it before. But.. god. If Adrien comes back-”
“When.” Chat interrupted. Ladybug blinked at him, confused. “When he comes back. Not if.”
“Ok. Well, when he comes back, his father is going to be a villain, and his girlfriend one of the people that defeated him.” Ladybug said. “What.. what would he think?”
“He’d probably be glad you did what was needed, even if you knew him personally, and knew it’d hurt someone you love. Because it’s the right thing to do.” Chat told her, giving her a stern look. “And I know Gabriel too. As well as Adrien. So I’m pretty confident in that assumption.”
“You know them?” Ladybug asked, raising an eyebrow. Is it possible she knows Chat as a civilian then?
“Yeah. I also know that Gabriel is an excellent fighter. As a civilian nonetheless.” Chat told her, frowning.
“Glorious.” Ladybug chuckled. “What does he know?”
“Karate, taekwondo, and fencing.” Chat told her.
“None of which I know anything about.” Ladybug groaned. Chat chuckled, shaking his head.
“Didn’t Adrien once tell you it’d be helpful to know those?” He teased.
“Hardy har. I’ll let him say ‘I told you so’ later on.” Ladybug replied.
“Either way, don’t plan your moves when you fight him. Act on instinct, so he can’t see your move and counter it.” Chat told her.
“I always think through my attacks though.” Ladybug said, frowning.
“I know. Just.. trust me on this. Acting on instinct and not thinking things through is the only way you’ll beat him.”
“Thanks for the tip.” Ladybug hummed. She looked to her phone, which was still laying on the rooftop next to her.
“When you were in his room, did you notice anything strange?” Ladybug asked. Chat blinked at her, confused.
“Like what?” He questioned.
“I dunno. Anything. I.. like I said. I’d been there a few times. Looking for anything and.. He didn’t mean to leave chat.” She sighed. “Left behind his shoes, had changed from his day clothes. His window was open and.. His phone is broken. I found it under his bed.”
“His.. phone?” Chat questioned, frowning. “It was on the couch when I was there. Don’t know how it ended up under the bed.” Ladybug blinked at him, surprised.
“What time were you there?”
“It was after patrol, right before I visited you at the bakery.” ladybug did quick math and frowned, confused.
“That was hours after he went missing. He was already gone by that point.” Ladybug breathed. “Someone else was in his room.”
“Why toss his phone?” chat questioned, frowning. Ladybug looked to the manor, frowning at it.
“I’m near the mansion still. I left his phone under the bed and.. His screen is cracked but it might just be dead. Think I should charge it? See if I can find anything?” She asked. Chat nodded, frowning.
“Might tell us why someone was in his room.”
“Or where he went.” Ladybug said, standing up.
“Say on call. Knowing that Hawkmoth is there, hell. I’d rather know you got out safely, M’lady.”
“Will do.” She took off running, leaping across rooftops with ease. She quickly found herself landing in Adrien’s bedroom, and shuddered. “It’s so.. Lonely in here.”
“I couldn’t agree more.” Chat sighed. Ladybug gave him a soft smile and walked over to Adrien’s bed, leaning down and pulling out the device. She gripped it tightly, and quickly moved to the window. She froze when she heard a voice approaching.
“No, Nathalie. I am fine entering my son’s room on my own.” Her eyes widened in shock and Chat had a panicked expression.
“Get out of there!” He whispered, careful to be quiet. The doorknob turned and Ladybug threw herself to the floor. Hiding behind the couch. She heard the door open and someone walk in.
“Sir, you know the police have been through his room. There isn’t anything here to find.” Nathalie sighed, following Gabriel into the room.
“Nathalie, must i remind you of the circumstances here? My son went missing the same night I used the miraculous.” Gabriel sighed. “Nooroo said there would be a price. I must have confirmation that my son was not the price.”
“I agree with you sir, but being in his room will not help you gain that confirmation.” Nathalie told him. Ladybug blinked in surprise. Nathalie knows Gabriel is Hawkmoth?
“You know I must have him well. For Emilie.”
“I understand. While we wait for his return, you could try to gain the miraculous from Ladybug and Chat Noir.” Nathalie suggested. “Occupy yourself with your goal, and be ready for the wish when Adrien returns. He’ll be pleased to see his mother again.” Ladybug and Chat stared at each other with wide eyes. The wish is to get Adrien’s mother back? Ladybug felt a hand drift to one of her earrings. Just such a simple choice could give Adrien his mom, someone he looked back at with such fondness and longing.
“May i have a few moments alone, nathalie? I wish to speak with Nooroo and you know how he is around others.” There was the sound of someone walking away and the door closing. “You’re safe to come out now, Nooroo.” Ladybug’s eyes went wide in horror when the kwami came from under the bed. He put a paw to his lips, shushing Ladybug and Chat before flying to gabriel.
“Why haven’t you told her yet, Master?”
“Told her what, Nooroo?” Gabriel questioned, sounding annoyed.
“The terms of the miraculous wish.” Nooroo replied. Chat and Ladybug eyed each other, uneasy. “You know you can not bring someone back, without sacrificing another.”
“She doesn’t need to worry herself over the terms of the wish. The price isn’t hers to pay.”
“True, but she does care for Adrien. She may be.. Deeply troubled when she finds you plan to use him as the sacrifice.” Nooroo said. Chat’s eyes went wide, and his ears flattened against his head. Ladybug covered her mouth with a hand, blinking back tears. She had almost offered her miraculous. Just so Adrien could have his mother back but.. No. She can’t. She can’t let Gabriel sacrifice Adrien. Not for anything.
“Nathalie’s emotions towards my son doesn’t concern me. My wife does.” gabriel quipped.
“We’re done talking. I have matters to attend to elsewhere.” Gabriel sighed. “Stay here, and report to me any sign of my son returning.”
“Yes Master.” The heard the footsteps walk away, and the door click shut. Nooroo flew over to her, smiling softly.
“He... his son.” Ladybug whimpered, shaking his head.
“You two had to know. I saw your faces when you heard the wish. You had to know the price he is willing to pay.” Nooroo told them.
“Oh god.” Chat whimpered, his voice cracking painfully. Nooroo looked over at the yoyo, wincing when he saw Chat’s pained expression.
“I’m sorry you had to hear this. Either of you.” the purple kwami sighed. “Please, get yourselves home quickly.”
“Trying.” Chat sighed, looking down.
“For you.. The peacock. Gabriel carries her miraculous on him at all times. You will have to fight him for it, or find a way to get it from him.” Nooroo told them. “Find someone to use her miraculous, and they’ll be able to change you and the black cat you’ve replaced back to normal.”
“Thank you for helping us, Nooroo.” Ladybug said, smiling softly.
“It is my pleasure to undermine him whenever I can.” He replied, smiling at her. “Now leave, before he returns.” ladybug nodded, and quickly flew the room. She was almost home before she realized Chat was oddly silent. She looked at him in her yoyo, seeing he was staring down at the floor, his hair hiding his eyes. She landed on the terrace, releasing a sigh.
“Some day for you, huh?” Ladybug chuckled. He looked up at her, tilting his head. Ladybug tried not to wince at the pain in those green eyes. They.. looked wet too. Like he was trying not to cry.
“Pardon?” He asked, clearing his throat.
“You wake up, find out you’re in the future, find out my identity, Hawkmoth’s, and what the wish was.”
“And the price.” chat sighed, looking away.
“Must be a bit to think through.”
“Not.. really.your identity just.. Makes so much sense. Future is.. Kinda weird. But I can work around it I think. Hawkmoth.. Makes sense. It’s not a hard leap to make anyway.” Chat admitted. He hesitated then, sighing.
“But the wish.” Ladybug surmised, understanding his hesitance.
“I almost said ‘hell yeah, here you go. Get the kid his mother back’. You know?” Chat chuckled, the sound void of humor.
“Me too.” Ladybug admitted.
“But then Nooroo said the price of it and..” Chat’s voice cracked and he shook his head. “I might be too selfish but.. I can’t let him make that wish.”
“Then we’re in the same boat.” Ladybug admitted. Chat looked over at her, pain in his eyes.
“Will.. will you tell Adrien? When he gets back and after you tell him you’re Ladybug?” Chat asked.
“I.. don’t know if I could. Learning your father is a villain is one thing. But that he was willing to-” Ladybug cut herself off, shaking her head. “If i do tell him, it won’t be right away. Just when i think he can handle it.”
“Do you think it’s possible that he knows already?” Chat asked, hesitant. Ladybug’s eyes widened, horror sinking in.
“If he does.. No wonder he would leave.” Ladybug whispered. “Oh Adrien.” She sighed, closing her eyes. Her earrings beeped then, in unison with Chat’s ring.
“Farewell then?” Chat chuckled.
“I’ll charge his phone and.. Let you know what I find. I’ll have to meet with the others tomorrow to tell them about Hawkmoth anyway.” Ladybug sighed. “Maybe Adrien’s phone could tell us if he knew already or not.” Chat nodded, smiling softly.
Adrien dropped the transformation and curled into a ball on the bed. Plagg was silent, but curled against him, purring softly. Tikki flew over, and nuzzled Adrien’s cheek. The three listened to Emma and her brothers, laughing and running around in the living room. Occasionally, he heard his older self and Marinette laughing, and teasing the children. He was alone in the bedroom, Emma having left to give him and Ladybug some privacy.
“He’s planning to kill me to get Maman back.” Adrien whispered, his voice cracking. He closed his eyes, and released a shaky breath, finally letting the tears fall.
Sorry for the late update! I had no internet on Friday and just now had the time to sit down at the computer. I'll update this tomorrow (Friday) as well! once again, thank you for reading!
Marinette stared numbly at the device. It displayed a battery icon with a lightning bolt. It was charging. Her own phone rang on her bed, but she ignored it. She couldn’t talk to anybody right now. Tikki flew up to her loft, then back down to the girl with the phone.
“It’s Alya this time. Not Chloe.” tikki told her, voice soft. Marinette looked over to the phone, seeing alya’s grinning face. She took the phone from her kwami, and declined the call. Tikki gave her a worried look, but said nothing else. She sat in silence and watched the device charge, until the screen shifted and it powered on. A soft thump sounded above her, but she ignored it.
“Mari? May I come in?” a muffled voice called down. Ah. Nino was here.
“Come on down.” Tikki called flying to the hatch and unlocking it. Carapace fell in through the hatch, and looked down from the loft at her. Marinette ignored him, staring at the lockscreen of Adrien’s phone. It was a kitten with a ladybug on its nose. Something he claimed was too adorable to ignore. Marinette agreed.
“Mari? I.. Alya and I are really worried about you.” Carapace said, walking to the main floor of her bedroom.
“Ladybug found out something last night.” Tikki told him. Marinette swiped on the screen, being prompted to enter a password. Alphanumeric. Nino sighed as he released the transformation, sitting next to her.
“Password is the cat’s meow. No spaces, cat in all caps.” nino told her. Marinette looked up at him, raising an eyebrow.
“I know. I was there when he made it.” she chuckled. “Stupid cat puns.”
“Go ahead and open it. Then we can talk.” Nino prompted. Marinette nodded, unlocking the phone. His phone went off, alerting him of the texts he had that he wasn’t receiving. Marinette frowned, looking at the web browser that was open on the screen.
“Is that a.. Compilation of something?” Nino questioned.
“All on hawkmoth.” marinette whispered, her eyes widening in surprise. Her eyes skimmed over everything, recognizing Adrien’s shorthand. He had written this. “It’s.. every similarity between akuma, separating them and Hawkmoth.”
“Did he have any suspects?” nino asked, moving so he could read the screen.
“Some names are listed in the header, but they don’t make sense really.” Marinette said, frowning at this list.
“What are they?” tikki asked, frowning. Wayzz flew closer, looking over Nino’s shoulder.
“Adrien, Nino, Fu, Chloe, Alya, Lady, Hawk.” Wayzz read.
“Those.. Some of those are miraculous holders.” nino said, eyes wide. Marinette frowned, shaking her head.
“Why add himself and chloe though?” marinette questioned. She paused,frowning at the other names in the header.
“Plagg, Wayzz, Pollen, Trixx, Tikki, Nooroo.” tikki breathed, sounding stunned.
“Those are all kwami names!” Nino exclaimed, shocked. Marinette stared in silence, shocked.
“Excluding Dusuu, the peacock.” Wayzz hummed.
“What else is in here?” Marinette questioned as she scrolled a little further, seeing that it wasn’t only Hawkmoth Adrien was looking into. Carapace, Rena Rouge, Ladybug and Guardian were all there.
“Why not add Chat?” Nino questioned.
“And who is Queen bee?” Marinette questioned, frowning at the name. There wasn’t much on her. Just ‘new with plenty to learn’ under the name.
“I haven’t heard of her.” Nino hummed. Marinette’s phone rang again, and she let out a sigh.
“I can’t talk to her. I don’t know what i’m going to tell her.” she confessed.
“I’m guessing his phone isn’t what Tikki meant by what you found.” Nino sighed. Marinette shook her head, cringing.
“I found out who hawkmoth is and.. Chat and I were on call. He and I heard him say what his wish was and Nooroo said what the price was and.. I can’t. Marinette shouldn’t know it, but Ladybug does. But Marinette is the one Alya is trying to reach.”
“Then let ladybug call for a meeting, and then you can release.” Nino suggested. Marinette hesitated, but nodded. The two transformed and she pulled out her yoyo to call rena. She hesitated when her eyes saw chat’s icon. He wasn’t transformed but.. The pain in his eyes when she last spoke with him. She shook her head, clearing her thoughts and called Rena.
“You rang?” rena asked as she answered the call.
“It’s time for a meeting. Carapace and I will be there shortly. Get Devin up.” ladybug told her.
“Is it about hawkmoth?”
“See you in a bit.”
“What’d you call the meeting for, Ma- Ladybug?” Devin asked, yawning as he entered the living room. Carapace and Alya smiled softly at his slip, likely thinking he was going to say ‘Maman’. Ladybug tried not to wince, unsure if he was going to say that, or her name.
“She went to the Agreste mansion last night.” Carapace said. Plagg looked up at them from Devin’s hair, frowning.
“Find anything interesting?” the kwami asked.
“I found Hawkmoth’s lair, and overhead him talking to Nathalie.” Ladybug told them. Devin and Alya blinked at her, surprised. Carapace just sighed, releasing his transformation. Wayzz and Trixx shared a worried look while Plagg just looked down at Devin’s hair.
“You know his identity and the wish then?” Plagg asked, looking up.
“He is Gabriel Agreste. And.. the wish is to get Adrien’s mom back.” Ladybug said.
“Well shit. Why not?” alya questioned, eyes wide. “I’m sure Chat would be on board too.”
“Chat and I were on call actually. While I was there.” ladybug informed her. “And neither of us are going to.”
“Why not?” alya asked.
“What was the price for the wish?” Nino asked, his voice soft. “Before we arrived, you mentioned the wish had a price.”
“You can’t bring someone back without sacrificing someone else.” Plagg informed them. “It’s a catch. Makes it so you really want to go through with it.”
“Is it any random person, or do you have a choice?” alya asked.
“It’s either yourself, or someone you are on equal terms with. Bring back someone you hate, sacrifice someone you hate. Bring back someone you love, sacrifice someone you love.” Plagg informed them. “Everything remains in balance that way.”
“Then if he’s bringing back his wife, who is he going to sacrifice?” Alya asked, her voice a whisper.
“He plans on using Adrien.” Ladybug whispered, eyes closing.
“What?! His own son!” Alya screeched. Nino swore under his breath. Ladybug watched as the two dealt with the news. Alya was pacing, and nino had a hand in his hair, glaring at the floor. “No wonder adrien fucking ran. He probably found out.”
“Wait, nathalie knows?” nino asked, whirling to face Ladybug.
“Not the price of the wish, but she knows he’s Hawkmoth and what his wish is.” Ladybug replied.
“You can’t let him make that wish.” Devin said, shaking his head. “You absolutely can’t.”
“We aren’t planning on it, Devin. My earrings are staying where they are.” ladybug replied. “And Chat isn’t too keen on giving him the ring.”
“We have to.... We can’t.. What are we going to do?” Nino breathed, shaking his head.
“Nooroo told me how to get chat home. Right now, Gabriel thinks Adrien was the price of him sending Chat to another time. So he’s not on guard about us. That’s why there haven’t been any akuma.” Ladybug told them. “Nooroo told us to get the peacock miraculous and give it to someone so they can switch devin and chat to their respective places.”
“How would we get it from him? The guy is pretty tough.” alya questioned, crossing her arms.
“For one, not be as emotional. We aren’t supposed to know. They didn’t even know I was in the room.” Ladybug told them. “If we go in as we are, he’ll know we know and will use it.” ladybug sighed. “As much as I want to curl up somewhere and pretend this isn’t happening, i’m thinking this through like any normal akuma.”
“Except it’s the final boss akuma. End of the videogame.” Nino groaned.
“Hey, isn’t pigtails a fashionista?” Plagg spoke up, raising an eyebrow.
“Pigtails?” Alya echoed, frowning.
“That’s what he calls Marinette.’ Devin sighed. “I thought you were going to stop that.”
“Old habits die hard.”
“Whatever.” Devin groaned, shaking his head.
“Marinette is a designer. Why?” alya asked, frowning.
“You could have her ask for something peacock related. She’s making an outfit and needs to make a brooch, but can’t find any good references online.” plagg said, shrugging. “If I remember correctly, the peacock miraculous is the only peacock thing in the mansion.”
“That could work.” Ladybug said, thinking through the lie. She could actually use that excuse. If given a few moments, she could draw a rough sketch of a dress that would be distantly peacock related. Obviously unfinished and in need of guidance, but clear on intent.
“Great. Now let’s get ahold of her and convince her to talk to Hawkmoth about magical jewelry.” Alya scoffed. “The girl isn’t even answering my phone calls anymore, Plagg. She’s probably drowning in ice cream and stupid baking shows because they aren’t looking for Adrien anymore. How can we convince her to do this task?”
“She’s already convinced.” Ladybug said, eyes going wide when she realized they heard her. Nino raised an eyebrow, and Alya whirled around, giving ladybug a confused look.
“How would you know? We just thought up this plan.” Alya stated.
“Alya, how would I know as much about Marinette as i do?” Ladybug sighed. “I am
Marinette.” She paused for a moment, thinking, then frowned. “And my baking shows aren’t stupid.”
“You’re Marinette?!” Alya exclaimed, looking shocked. Ladybug nodded and released her transformation.
“So Marinette is aware of.. Everything.” She said, her voice soft. She looked down at the ground, biting her lip. “I know what needs to be done. We need to defeat Hawkmoth. We need to get Chat back. We need to get Adrien back.” She looked up at her friends, lifting her head high and pushing her shoulders back. “I don’t care what the cost is. We need to fix the damage, and end Hawkmoth’s reign of terror.”
“Ah, Girl.” Alya sighed, crossing the room. She pulled Marinette into her arms, and she returned the hug tightly. “I had no idea.”
“Neither did Nino until yesterday.” marinette joked. Alya let out a laugh, backing away.
“I’ll kill you for telling him first, later.”
“I’ll accept that.” Marinette responded, grinning. “Even though you told him you’re Rena before you told me.”
“Fine. We’ll just be even then.”
“So what now?” Nino asked, crossing his arms.
“Marinette gets the miraculous.” Devin sighed. “Somehow.”
“I’m a designer. I’ll think of something.” marinette replied, shrugging. “To be honest, I already have an idea that could work as an excuse for a brooch.”
“Good. who will we give the miraculous to though?” nino asked, frowning. “We can’t just hand it off.”
“Give Dusuu to someone who likes to draw or something.” Plagg huffed. “She loves being fawned over and drawn.”
“Plagg, that’s rude.” Tikki scolded from Marinette’s shoulder. “She is more than just vanity.”
“How about Nath?” alya hummed. “Dusuu sounds like she’d enjoy an artist, and Nath could be that for her. Plus he’s really trustworthy and creative.”
“Nathaniel?” tikki questioned. Her and Plagg shared a look, thinking it over.
“I think he’d work pretty well.” trixx called from another room. “He always smells like seeds, and Dusuu loves the stuff.” Marinette smiled, amused that talk of the kwami got the others to start speaking. They usually remained quiet and just observed, but talking about giving the miraculous to someone, they are all suddenly so vocal.
“It’s officially up to the two of you.” wayzz said, smiling at Tikki and Plagg. “We belong to your circle of course.”
“Circle?” Devin questioned, frowning.
“Tikki and Plagg are creation and destruction. The two most powerful powers of the circle. The two of them could either create and entire world, or destroy it within seconds.” Wayzz informed him. “I stand for wisdom.
“I’m Illusion.” trixx offered. “Nooroo is companionship.”
“Dusuu is emotion, and pollen is strength.” Tikki offered. “Plagg and i work together to keep our circle stable and in turn, keep each other stable.”
“It’s an entire unit really. Thing is, the others can be active or dormant whenever. No qualms about it. Tik and I? We must both be active or dormant at the same time. Else the circle will topple.” Plagg drawled.
“Then why can’t the two of you save Nooroo on your own? Why have you called in more heroes?” devin questioned, frowning.
“Because we aren’t all powerful on our own. First of all, we need Chosen. What you guys are. And Plagg and I aren’t capable of astounding feats on our own, just the powers you’ve seen us display through Chat noir and Ladybug. We need the members of our circle, not only because they strengthen us, but because they are our friends.” tikki informed him. “Which is why it’s so horrible that Nooroo is being used for Evil.”
“Companionship is being used to tear people apart.” alya mused, sighing.
“Which is why we need to save him.” Marinette stated.
“Miss Dupain-Cheng?” nathalie questioned, opening the door. Marinette ducked her head, and looked up at the women through her bangs.
“Hello, nathalie. I was wondering if I could.. Come in?” Marinette asked, smiling sheepishly. Nathalie hesitated a moment before nodding, and stepping to the side so Marinette could enter.
“Is there something I could help you with?” nathalie asked, tilting her head.
“Well.. yes. I’m working on a design and.. Well it’s something to keep my mind occupied until..” Marinette trailed off, looking at the ground. She saw Nathalie’s feet shift and she fought a smile. She was winning over the assistant quiet easily. Maybe it’ll make it easier for her to reach Gabriel.
“I understand. You’ve seem to have taken his absence quiet hard.” Nathalie sighed, worry in her tone.
“I just want him to come home.” Marinette sighed, biting her lip. Her mind wandered and she felt a pang of longing for Adrien. Even though she was using his absence for her personal gain… it wasn’t like she was lying about it. She really did miss him and want him home. Focus Marinette. Get Chat back, then find Adrien.
“You said you were designing something? To keep your mind busy. What is it?” Nathalie asked, changing topics.
“Well, it’s a peacock theme. A suit as well as a dress. But i just.. Can’t get it right. I feel like i’m missing a jewelry piece but there aren’t many good references for me to go off of.” Marinette said, looking back up at the woman. ‘Is there any way you could help me?”
“We don’t have many peacock themed items here.” nathalie said, frowning. “I don’t know why-”
“Miss dupain-Cheng. What a surprise.” the two females turned at the voice, and marinette fought a wince when her eyes landed on Gabriel, who was walking down the stairs towards them.
“Bonjour, Monsieur Agreste.” Marinette said, waving slightly. He tilted his head in acknowledgement and came to a stop next to them.
“To what do we owe this visit?” Gabriel asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Marinette was looking for assistance in a design she is doing.” Nathalie replied.
“A design?” Gabriel questioned, frowning slightly.
“Yes. She said it was to keep her mind occupied until Adrien returned.” nathalie replied. Gabriel looked over to her then, and she felt herself shrivel under his gaze. He was silent for a moment, and Marinette swore she could see his eyes soften just slightly. Though it may have been a trick of the light.
“What assistance could I offer?” He asked after a moment.
“It’s themed after a peacock. They have such bright and beautiful colors, i figured they’d make an amazing outfit theme. As well as the colors could bring out the green in Adrien’s eyes.” Marinette mumbled, ducking her head.
“As well as the blue in yours. Is this for the dance your academy is hosting?” Gabriel asked. Marinette blinked in shock. She had completely forgotten about the dance. She hadn’t even designed an outfit for herself yet… or, well she suppose she had.
“Yes. the theme for the dance is Indian, and the peacock is native to India.” marinette said, looking back up to gabriel.
“How would i be able to assist you in this? I seem to recall your designs are quite satisfactory without any assistance from anybody else.”
“I was wondering if you had any.. Jewelry that may resemble a peacock? I looked online and couldn’t find any that worked well enough. And jewelry is hard to match to clothing, so I had meant to get the jewelry first, and match the clothing to it.” Marinette replied. Gabriel shifted slightly, and his eyes flicked to Nathalie.
“I do suppose it wouldn’t hurt. I only have one piece and.. It is quite dear to me.” Gabriel said slowly.
“I won’t harm it.” Marinette assured him.
“Alright. It is a brooch, that used to belong to my wife Emilie.” Gabriel said. He reached into his coat and pulled out a small brooch. Marinette’s eyes widened at the sight of it, and she felt Tikki shift in her coat. Just being near it, they could tell it was the peacock miraculous. Was it really this easy to get ahold of?
“It’s beautiful.” Marinette said, voice soft.
“Much like she was.” Gabriel said, smiling softly. “I will lend it to you, but I require you treat it delicately. There are no others like it. Please return it once you are finished with it.” Return it? Fat chance.
“Of course, sir. Thank you so much for trusting me with this. I can tell it means a lot to you.” Marinette said, accepting it when Gabriel held it out to her. He tilted his head in acknowledgement and began to walk away before pausing.
“I will be in touch later to give instruction on how to clean it properly. Have a good evening, marinette.” gabriel said before walking away. Marinette politely said goodbye to Nathalie and nearly sprinted home. She said a quick greeting to her parents before ducking into her room. Tikki flew from her purse and the stared at each other with anxious eyes.
“I actually got the miraculous.” Marinette whispered, in awe.
“We found the peacock miraculous.” Tikki squealed. “We have Dusuu!”
“Is it really that easy?” Marinette questioned, looking down at the brooch in her hands.
“I suppose so. Let’s call the others so we can let them know it worked.” Tikki said, nodding firmly. Marinette pulled out her phone and called Alya, who answered almost immediately.
“Did you get it?” the blogger asked.
“Yes. He just, gave it to me. Said it belonged to Adrien’s mother and that i have to treat it carefully but he gave it to me.” Marinette rushed out in a single breath. What she said then clicked in her mind. “It belonged to Adrien’s mother.”
“Yeah. You said that.” alya said, sounding hesitant.
“Adrien’s parents are both miraculous wielders, one of which is evil and the other is either dead or missing.” Marinette said, eyes wide as she looked at Tikki.
“That family is so screwed. I feel bad for Adrien.” Alya hummed. Marinette watched Tikki eat a cookie for a moment before pushing her thought process to the side. It could be answered with a simple question later on, and she didn’t want Alya present for it, nor did she need to stress out about it before even asking if it’s possible.
“Ok. next step, give it to nathaniel.” Marinette sighed.
“This feels too easy.” Alya muttered.
“I agree.’ marinette sighed. She flinched when her phone buzzed and pulled it away, glancing at the notification. It was an email from Gabriel. “Gabriel emailed me already.”
“What’s it say?” alya questioned, curious. Marinette powered on her computer and opened her email.
“Not sure. Let me read it.” Marinette replied.
Subject: The Brooch
“I think it’s the cleaning instructions for the brooch. He said he’d email them to me and the subject says ‘the brooch’.” Marinette hummed.
“Doesn’t hurt to know how to clean a miraculous.” Alya chuckled. Marinette scoffed and shook her head as she skimmed the email. The email did contain of a peculiar cleaning instruction, but from her earrings, she knew it wasn’t too odd. Her earrings couldn’t be cleaned like any other pair of earrings, else she’d make Tikki sick by accident.
“It’s the cleaning instruction.” marinette hummed. “Nothing too horrible or fancy.” she pushed away from her desk as Tikki flew to the screen.
“Except for the end.” tikki voiced.
“That bottom part is usually just the email signature. Something posted on every email he sends out.” Marinette told her.
“What’s his? I heart fashion? Ooooh. Maybe it’s black butterflies 4 life!” alya chirped with a laugh. Marinette giggled at her friends’ teasing and looked to the screen. Her blood ran cold.
-For any worries and concerns, please respond to this email, or contact me through my business phone line.
Thank you for revealing yourself to me, Ladybug.
“Mari? Hello? What’s it say?” Alya questioned. Marinette stared in horror at the screen, mind spinning. Alya spoke to someone else on her end and the phone shifted.
“‘Nette? ‘Nette what’s going on?” Nino said, his voice filled with worry.
“She got an email from Gabriel. She read it and it had a signature or whatever but then she went silent.” Alya’s muffled voice said.
“He knows i’m Ladybug.” Her voice trembling.
“This isn’t good.” tikki whispered, curling into the side of Marinette’s neck.
“What’d you say?” Nino exclaimed, shock in his voice.
“He knows i’m ladybug.” Marinette repeated.
“Son of a fox.” Nino swore under his breath. Alya said something in the background, but Marinette couldn’t hear her.
“Mari, get yourself packed. You’ll stay with Alya and I tonight.” Nino told her.
“What am i supposed to do? He.. he knows Nino.” Marinette whimpered, shaking her head, fear piling in her gut.
‘Breathe for one. He doesn’t know we know he’s hawkmoth.” Nino told her. “So calm down. He can’t openly attack you without risking himself being revealed to all of Paris.” Marinette’s eyes flicked to the trapdoor of her room that lead to the rest of her house. She could hear her parents playfully bickering while they baked.
“No. I’m staying here.” Marinette said, frowning.
“Why stay there? He could go after you at any point.” Nino said, sounding hesitant. “And your parents would let him in. they know you love his work.”
“My parents are exactly why I have to stay here.” marinette sighed. “I’ll be careful with Tikki and the earrings. But I can’t leave them alone. He could hurt them.”
“Alright.” Nino sighed. “Be warned, Alya’s on her way. Transformed after she gave me the phone.” a thump sounded on her terrace and marinette shook her head.
“I think she just arrived.” She hummed as rena dropped down into her room. “Convenient anyway. Is Devin around?” Rean walked over to her and made a ‘get a move on’ motion with her hands.
“Yeah. Let me put you on speaker.” Nino replied. Marinette did as well and released a breath.
“Tonight Rena is going to give nathaniel the miraculous.” Marinette stated. “Devin, Nino and I will go after Hawkmoth.”
“Why tonight?” Devin questioned.
“Because we know who he is, where he is, and he knows Ladybug has the peacock miraculous.” Marinette stated. “And who I am.”
“So we’re kinda being peer-pressured into a fight. Fun.” Plagg sighed.
“More like shoved into a corner, but that analogy works.” Rena scoffed. “What’s the battle plan?”
“We won’t have one.” Marinette replied.
“And why not?” Nino questioned, sounding uneasy.
“Chat knows Gabriel and said the best fighting plan is not to have one. Act on instinct, nothing else.” Marinette replied.
“Are we going to wait for Chat to get back, or let Rena and Nathaniel do that while we take on Hawkmoth?” Devin asked.
“I say we do it at the same time.” Rena said. “Let Hawkmoth go against you three, and then when he isn’t expecting it, two more come and join the fight.”
“That way even if us three are tired out, you two won’t be.” Nino hummed. “Fresh reinforcement.”
“Should we warn Emma and Chat?” Marinette asked, giving a hesitant look to Rena.
“I say yes.” Nino replied. “I think they’d be a bit freaked out for chat to vanish and a battle worn Devin to come back.”
“Then let’s give-”
“Marinette! You have a visitor?” tom called up from downstairs, cutting off Rena. The boys on the other end of the call went silent.
“Who is it?” Marinette called down, nervous. Anybody that would visit her, was speaking with her right now. Chloe and Nathaniel excluded, but they didn’t tend to visit the bakery. There was no reply from her mom or dad. She stood up from her desk chair and handed Rena the miraculous. “Go.” she said quietly. Rena hesitated, but nodded when Marinette gave her a stern look, and firm nod.
“We’re heading your way.” Nino said before disconnecting the call. Marinette looked to Tikki, who moved behind Marinette. It was possible they were being paranoid, so Ladybug would be hard to explain. She heard someone approach the trapdoor and tensed up.
“Maman? Papa?” Marinette called out, keeping her voice steady. “Who’s the visitor?”
“I think you know well who it is.” Her blood ran cold as her hatch opened, revealing Hawkmoth grinning at her as he entered her room. Since when did she have Chat’s bad luck?
“Tikki, spots on!”
Rena ran quickly over the rooftops, easily leaping over alleyways. Her hands were in a fist as she clung to the brooch, determined not to let anything happen to it. Her flute was strapped to her back, and was a steady reassurement that everything was going to be ok. Well.. nobody had called her yet. So that was good, right? It hadn’t gone off with an alert for a battle yet either. Which was also promising. Her eyes flicked to the side when she saw a flash of movement and she cringed. Carapace and Devin as Chat Noir were racing across the rooftops to Marinette’s house. That isn’t promising at all. They caught sight of her, and Devin gave a small wave. She waved back and turned, refocusing on her destination. They had marinette’s back. She was going to be ok. Her eyes landed on a familiar pool where a blonde and a redhead were lounging. She scowled. It’d be beneficial if Nat was alone when she talked to him, but at this point, she didn’t care. At least they were together, and it wasn’t like Chloe was some random stranger or acquaintance. Besides. If anything happened to him at the fight, Chloe wouldn't be left wondering why he never came back or where he went.
“What in the hell?” chloe exclaimed as Rena landed next to Nathaniel.
“Please keep all questioned to a minimum.” Rena said. She turned to nathaniel and sighed. “I need.. Well. The entire team needs your help.”
“Help.” Nat repeated, blinking owlishly at her.
“You know how the akuma always want something they call a miraculous?” Rena questioned. Chloe sucked in a breath and Nathaniel’s eyes grew larger.
“Yes. why?” He breathed. Rena held out her palm and showed him the brooch.
“I’m giving you this miraculous.” Rena said. “At the moment, it is for temporary use. I’ll request you give it-”
“Right back yada ya. He knows the drill. What’s his words? Where’s his kwami?” chloe asked, moving over to look it over.
“What?” Rena questioned, blinking at her. “How do you know about kwami?”
“Oh that’s right, you have to put it on. Nat, honey. Clip it to your shirt. Better yet, let me do it.” Before Rena could object, Chloe snatched the brooch from her palm and clipped it to Nathaniel’s shirt. The miraculous glowed blue, and soon Dusuu was floating in the air in front of the three.
“This is different.” Dusuu hummed, looking between the three in front of her. “Where is Emilie?”
“I’m sorry, but she isn’t around anymore.” rena said, voice soft. “But we request your help to save her son, as well as fix the time tables.” Dusuu’s eyes widened and she seemed to realize something that made her upset, but stayed silent. Rena turned to Chloe, and frowned. “How do you know about kwami?”
“Ah screw it. Pollen, buzz on!” in a yellow flash, Chloe was now in a bee themed suit, and she rested a hand on a cocked hip. “Name’s Queen Bee. Chat’s been training me. Now please, give nat and i a rundown on what’s going on.” rena blinked at her a couple times before slowly nodding.
“Hawkmoth put chat in the future. He’s been switched with another Chat noir. We need Nat to use the miraculous and fix what happened. Hawkmoth is fighting carapace, Ladybug, and the future Chat right now, and need backup.”
“Then let’s get a move on. What’re my words?” Nathaniel asked, standing up.
“Say Dusuu, feathers spread.” Dusuu told him. He nodded and said the words, becoming a blue, peacock themed superhero. Rena eyed him and frowned when she saw he had no weapon. What was he supposed to fight with? Thinking a little more, she realized that nathaniel knew how to fight as a civilian. Thank goodness for that.
“Your name should be Le peon.” Queen Bee told him. He shrugged, dismissing her.
“What do I do?” He asked.
“Your power is called Time Table.” Rena said, thinking back to what she and nino had discussed when they read the miraculous book. “Use it, and that should bring our chat here, and put the future one back in his time.” Natha-Le Peon nodded and put his hands together, as if he had punched his palm.
“Time Table!” He said. His hands flashed blue, and then quickly returned to their not-glowing state. The three looked around, and Rena frowned when she didn’t see anything different.
“Did it work?” Queen Bee asked.
“I don’t know. But the others need help. Let’s go.” rena said. The three then took off, and Rena found herself relieved that chloe had a miraculous. At least they had a stubborn blonde as a companion. It also meant more backup for right now, which increased their chances. Even just a little.
Adrien raised an eyebrow at Emma, who was pacing back and forth in her room. Tikki and Plagg sat next to one another on her dresser, watching her as well.
“You’re going to wear a hole in the floor.” Adrien commented.
“Ok look, you just told me that my grandfather, who as far as i’ve ever known just had some mental break when you were younger and was locked in some mental institute, planned to kill my Papa to get my grandmother back.” Emma retorted, whirling to face him as he sat on her bed.
“Mental break.” Adrien hummed. “Good phrasing for it if you want to keep it a secret.”
“How are you so calm?!” Emma shouted, throwing her hands into the air.
“I’m not, but I don’t exactly see a point in wearing myself out because of it. I don’t know what’s going on back home.” Adrien told her. “I don’t want to panic until i know for sure everything that’s going on.”
“Your dad’s psychotic, that’s what’s going on!” Emma groaned. “Sometimes I hate how reasonable you are.” Reasonable? Adrien had to keep himself from laughing at the thought. More like practise so he’d never end up akumatized. Especially after Ladybug had first suspected his father. To think she was right all those years ago.
“It’s a gift.” Adrien quipped. “Now can you stop pacing? I’m starting to feel bad for your floor.”
“Fine. Only because you asked.” She huffed, sitting down onto her bed next to him. She was silent for a moment before looking over at him. “What are you going to do when you get home?”
“I’m not sure. Fess up my identity to marinette for sure. Beyond that, no idea.” He admitted. It’d depend on how everything went down. Adrien plopped backwards so he was laying down and stared up at the ceiling. It was almost a wonder they hadn’t figured it out already. Chat got sent to the future the same night Adrien went missing. And none of them had mentioned any other missing persons. Wouldn’t it be easy to connect the dots? His eyes flicked to Tikki and Plagg, who were quietly conversing amongst themselves. It’s possible their magic had something to do with it. Like the glamour while he was wearing the mask.
“When do you think they’ll get the miraculous?” Emma asked after a small while. Adrien shrugged, glancing over to her.
“They’ll let us know when they have it I’m sure. It’s just a matter of how they’re going to get it from my fat-” adrien hesitated and swallowed the lump in his throat. “Gabriel.”
“If it helps, he loves you.” Tikki said, voice soft. Adrien glanced over to her, raising an eyebrow, skeptical. “Equal exchange, we already explained it to you.”
“I know. I just have to wonder if he wanted to love me, or if he loved me out of convenience.” he sighed. “It doesn’t matter right now anyway. I’ll deal with it when I get back home.”
“They’re probably getting it right now.” plagg offered, his ears twitching slightly.
“Then we’ll hear from them soon.” emma said, nodding as if to confirm her statement.
“What makes you think they’re getting it?” Adrien asked, sitting up.
“All of them are transformed.” Plagg replied. “Rena, Carapace, Ladybug, and Queenie.” Adrien blinked in surprise at the last name on the list.
“Queen Bee? How?” He questioned, mind spinning. “They don’t know she even has a miraculous.”
“They do now. She transformed just a second ago.” Plagg replied. “Can I have some cheese?” Adrien stood up and pulled a slice of camembert from his pocket, handing it to the kwami. He turned to Emma, frowning in confusion.
“I don’t know what’s going on over there, but it’s probably intense.” Emma said, looking hesitant.
“I was hoping you had some idea. Mari and i really didn’t tell you squat.” He chuckled.
“Not really.” she admitted. Adrien sighed and closed his eyes, rubbing his forehead. The hardest thing about being in the future, is not knowing if his friends were ok. He knew marinette was, because the one he was with was perfectly fine. But he’s not once seen any sign of Chloe, Alya, or nino.
“-uck off of me!” Adrien’s head snapped up at the voice and he looked around in confusion. Plagg was floating next to him, but Tikki and emma were nowhere to be seen. Where was.. Was he in his bedroom? He looked down and saw a red suited hand loosely holding his arm.
“Emma?” Adrien questioned, turning around. His eyes locked with a pair of familiar blue and he froze. “Ladybug?” he whispered. His eyes snapped from her blue ones to her black hair, pulled into pigtails. She blinked at him and yanked her hand off of his arm. Her mouth opened and closed a couple times, neither really sure what to say. Dumbly, Adrien noted he wouldn’t have to tell her he was Chat Noir.
“Adrien?” She questioned. There was a crash and she whirled around. “No time. Transform. Carapace is fighting Hawkmoth alone right now. Rena should be on her way.” Ladybug said, gripping her yoyo. “Hopefully you were with emma?”
“I… was. What in the hell?” Adrien breathed.
“Devin got hurt. I was making sure he was ok. We were about to head back. Transform, Adrien. Let’s go.” She said, giving him a stern look. Then he noticed the marks on her face. Her right cheek was bruising, and her hair looked wet on her left temple. Was she bleeding? Wait.. that crash had to of been Nino. And if they’re at his house, that means it’s the fight against Hawkmoth. Adrien blinked at her in shock and nodded. He looked over to plagg, who released a low whistle.
“Guess they didn’t have a chance to tell us they had Dusuu.” Plagg hummed. Adrien nodded, a grim expression on his face.
“C’mon Plagg. Claws out!”
Hey guys. As you may have guessed, this story is about near it's end. I've already written several chapters ahead of where I am currently publishing, and I can say I like where it's going.
Keep an eye on the chapter mark. Once the question mark turns into a number, you know I have technically completed the fic!
Thank you so much for reading this, it has been a pleasure to read all of your comments, see all of the kudos, and all of the bookmarks you all have been leaving me.
Honestly, I never expected this many people to read it and I just get more ecstatic every time I see even the slightest number change.
Chapter 13: Author's Note
I know you probably thought this was an update, and I'm oh my god sorry it's not. And here's why.
I hit a wall and have absolutely no idea as to how to continue the story. I know what I want to happen in the next chapter, but I don't know how to write it. I've written six different variations and they all just seem wrong to me. i haven't given up on the fic, nor do i intend to. I'm just having a bit of issues with the next chapter. The next update from here you will get will be the next chapter, I just don't know when that will be. I am so sorry for the long wait before I decided to let you know what's up, and for the even longer wait for the next chapter.
Thank you all for reading my story! All your comments and kudos are absolutely wonderful! I hope you're enjoying it as much as i enjoy writing it for you!
-Fly And Die