"Carapace! Look out!"
Concerned at Rena's urgent cry, Carapace looked up and gasped. The black object whizzing in his direction was unmistakable.
One of Dark Cupid's arrows was coming right for him.
He knew for sure that he didn't have time to grab his shield and block it. He didn't even have time to roll away. So instead, he gaped at it, unable to process what exactly was happening at that moment.
And then Rena Rouge was the only thing he could see.
If you asked him, time literally slowed down. He saw her face as she slowly fell, her mouth agape and eyes wide. His own mouth fell open and let out a small yet desperate gasp as his mind contemplated what was happening.
Rena jumped in front of him and blocked the arrow. She took the hit for herself.
Time went back to normal once she slumped into his open arms. "Rena, no!" he wailed. "Not you!"
Rena started shaking uncontrollably, letting out an irregular growl. Then, she shoved him away with a harsh, "Hands off!" Carapace fell onto his back and quickly held his arm in front of himself defensively, noticing Ladybug turn her head and gasp. Rena was giving him a look of pure hatred as she hissed, "Amateur..." She was holding herself and trembling, clearly trying to fight the influence of Dark Cupid's powerful arrow.
Ladybug threw her yo-yo forward and snatched the red akuma heading for the other superhero. "Rena Rouge, don't let negative emotions take over or you'll be akumatized!" she shouted, continuing to block off attacks from other akumas. "It's what Hawkmoth wants!"
Rena fell to her knees and clutched herself, her eyes shut tight. As cautiously as he could, Carapace walked up to her, murmuring, "Hang on..."
Her head snapped up and she snarled, "You don't have what it takes to be a superhero!" She lunged for him with outstretched claws but he maneuvered out of the way, grabbing her arms as he did so. He held her tightly, sure to keep a firm grip on her despite her reckless thrashing. "Let me go, you mosquito!"
"Shhh...calm down..." Carapace knew every word coming out of her mouth was false, but it still stung a little.
"Carapace!" Ladybug called. He turned his head toward her slightly as an indignation he had heard her and she continued, "Kiss her!"
At that he choked. Rena tried using this to her advantage by struggling more but he merely held on tighter. "WHAT?!"
"You heard me!" Ladybug responded. She did a quick back flip to avoid another attack. "It's the only way to break the spell!"
"I...uh-o-okay..." He glanced back at the girl in his arms, the one he was very proud to call his girlfriend. She was so out of character at the moment, flailing about and shouting harsh curses, but he still loved her all the same. Keeping a steady grip on her shoulders, he turned her around. She gave him a disgusted look.
"Don't even think about it, you litt-mmph!" Their lips connecting cut off whatever she was about to say next. Carapace expected her to push him away once again but was pleasantly surprised when she instantly melted in his arms, tilting her head some to deepen the embrace. He couldn't help but close his eyes and enjoy the moment, finding his hand wander to her hair. He tried pulling her closer than she already was, her lips intoxicating and causing him to groan slightly.
"Alright, KNOCK IT OFF, YOU TWO!" Queen Bee's holler shocked Carapace and Rena back into reality and they pulled away from each other with a gasp, their faces flushed. "Yeeeeesh, guys, I've been defending you for the past twenty seconds! It'd be nice if you could help me now."
Carapace laughed sheepishly while Rena grabbed her flute with a smug look on her face. "Y-you sure you're alright now?" he asked her.
"Better than alright," she replied with a cheeky wink. "Come on, slowpoke, those akumas aren't going to defeat themselves!"
He could tell his gaze was cheesy as he watched her run off, but he didn't care. Hawkmoth was going to regret even deciding to mess with them.