"Your Majesty," A messenger says, bowing in front of his monarch. He straightens up and prepares himself to deliver some of the worst news he has ever had to deliver in his lifetime, his voice shaky with nerves, "Your eldest daughter Marinette... she has yet to return from her trip to the village. The guards haven't seen her all day. They think the Kwamis might have gotten hold of her."
At the messenger's words, the king's usually calm and happy demeanor darkens. He seems to grow and tower even farther above the shaking man in front of him, even though he hasn't left his seat. The large, burly ruler leans forward slightly and speaks in a dangerously calm, low voice,
"You mean to tell me that my own soldiers, my own guards, let one of my daughters get kidnapped by those savages in the east? Who was in charge?" The king booms his last question, his anger at his soldiers' failure overflowing.
"I-I-I don't- I don't know. I wasn't told that, your Majesty. I can find out if you want me to." The messenger stutters slightly, his nervous habit coming in full force. The king sighs and calms down slightly. He knows it's not the messenger's fault; he shouldn't be taking his anger out on the poor boy who's just doing his job.
"Don't bother. Just bring me him." The king orders.
"Him? You don't mean..."
"Yes. Summon the Knight of Destruction, Chat Noir." The messenger immediately scurries out of the room, wanting to get this daunting task done as soon as possible.
====== • ======
Chat Noir walks into the throne room, casually twirling a dagger in his right hand, a large sword strapped to his back. This isn't the first time he's been summoned by King Tom, and he doesn't think it will be the last. He stops spinning the dagger and bows once he's in front of the monarch's throne, but somehow even that simple action is sarcastic.
Chat isn't one for authority figures.
"Chat Noir, I have a job for you, if you are willing to accept it." King Tom speaks, his loud voice slightly irritating the sensitive ears of the knight who has better hearing than most.
"It depends on the job, your Majesty." Chat responds with a small smirk across his face. His confidence seems to know no bounds, even when in front of a powerful man such as King Tom.
Tom takes a deep breath in order to stay calm. Chat might be insolent, but he is the best knight in the kingdom. He does his assigned tasks quickly and with accuracy. He can be quite destructive, though, which is why he is known as the Knight of Destruction. Chat Noir isn't afraid to destroy anything in order to finish his goal. It makes him terrifying, yet effective.
"My eldest daughter, Marinette, has gone missing. We believe that she has been taken by the Kwamis in the forest to the east. I want you to find my daughter, and bring her home." Chat nearly gasps at the news. He cares deeply for the eldest princess since he and Marinette are quite close friends - they have been since they were young - so hearing her father say she's missing isn't an easy thing for the feline-like knight to hear.
He considers it for a moment, but decides to take on the task. Chat Noir knows he's one of the best knights in the kingdom and would have a high chance of finding Marinette. Also, he's bored, and he's sure to get a large reward for this. He gets to rescue his closest friend, and the reward is just the cherry on top.
"I'll find her. Leave it to me." Chat Noir salutes to the king and runs out of the room, leaving the king sitting alone in this throne room, wondering if asking Chat to get his daughter back was truly a good idea.
====== • ======
Chat Noir spends the next couple of days asking casually around the town, gathering as much information as he can without causing a panic. From what he has learned, it seems like the Kwamis were the ones that took the princess. The idea of him trying to infiltrate the Kwamis' camps to look for the princess is a bit frightening to the cat-like knight, but he is determined to see this job through.
Chat decides to search the main Kwami settlement first - well, that's if he can even get there. He has never tried before, but apparently this group of 'savages' has good security measures around all of their bases. Not much is known about the Kwamis, actually. They are a very secretive people that rarely leave the forest they inhabit. They must have had a good reason to take the princess; they don't seem like the type of people to kidnap someone randomly, at least, not to Chat. He'll have to investigate further. He chooses not to bring his sword, knowing it will hinder his movements.
The deeper he goes into the woods, the more his feelings of fear escalate. The trees get larger and closer together, meaning less light is able to shine through to the forest floor. What a convenient moment to have good night vision, Chat Noir thinks to himself. He makes his way as quickly as he can through the forest while also being absolutely silent. He can't get captured himself, or there wouldn't be anyone left to rescue the princess.
The sound of a footstep makes Chat pause. He slowly scans his surroundings, looking out for any movement or anything that sticks out. After a few moments, he notices a bit of red peeking out from around the trunk of a tree. Chat Noir considers his options before deciding to climb up a tree next to him. He's thankful to his past self for deciding to have claw-like points added to his gloves. It's making his task much easier.
Once he's up in the tree, Chat is able to look down at the forest floor while being almost completely hidden in the thick foliage on the branches surrounding the one he is crouched on. This proves useful, since after a few minutes, two people come over to the area where he was standing just a few minutes prior.
One of them has bright red hair with black highlights pulled to the back of her head in a bun, pale skin with a pinkish tinge almost like she's slightly sunburned, and seems to be quite short. She has red and black swirls painted on her face, the black paint coalescing into dots across her skin, almost like the pattern on a ladybug. She's wearing all black, as is her companion.
Her companion is a couple inches taller than her. He has black, unruly hair and dark skin. He has black paint surrounding his eyes and in lines extending out all over his face, almost looking like fur or whiskers. Like Chat, he is wearing a hood with two cat-like ears poking out from the top and gloves with sharp points. This stranger immediately makes Chat more curious since he is wearing cat-themed clothing like himself.
"Ugh, where'd that stupid copycat go?" The man says, annoyance clear in his tone.
"Really, Plagg? Copycat?" The female retorts. Chat continues to watch as the man, Plagg, rolls his eyes,
"Come on Tikki, both you and I know I didn't mean it to be a pun. I'm just annoyed that someone that dares to copy my look is intruding in our forest, and has now apparently vanished."
"I doubt he stole your 'look' on purpose Plagg. Come on, let's go looking for him. We can't have him getting too close to camp, at least, not without permission." The two run off as Chat stays still in the tree, pondering their words carefully. After a moment of contemplation, the identity of the two strangers called Tikki and Plagg finally clicks in his head: they're Kwamis.
Chat sighs to himself as he makes his way down the tree then runs in the general direction he saw the two Kwamis go in. This decision is stupid and might end up killing him if the Kwamis are a violent people like so many in his kingdom believe, but Chat Noir has a task to complete, and he's determined to see it through.
After some time of Chat running as quickly as he dares through the forest, he stops abruptly when he hears talking. Or, to be more accurate, yelling. He crouches and slowly moves forward to try and catch a glimpse of who is yelling. He grins to himself when he sees the two same people he saw before, and starts to think up a plan while watching them argue.
"Well, which way do you want to go then, Tikki? Maybe you'll be better at tracking my copycat!" Plagg exclaims, obviously annoyed at his companion, "But please, let's make this quick. I'm getting hungry!"
"I don't even think he'd venture this far into the forest! The villagers never do, they're scared of us!" Tikki replies, "I say we go back to the area where he disappeared. We might be able to find a clue as to what direction he went in. Come on, let's get going. We can eat later."
"But I wanna eat now!" Plagg whines, but follows his companion towards where Chat is hiding anyway, "You're so cruel sometimes, Sugarcube."
"Maybe it's because you won't stop calling me Sugarcube. You know I don't like that nickname. How would you feel if I started calling you Stinky Sock?"
"That'd be delightful, Sugarcube." Tikki groans at Plagg's response, making him snicker. All the while, they get closer and closer to Chat's hiding place. Once they are close enough, Chat Noir leaps into action, grabbing Tikki around the neck and lifting her off of the ground with his left hand while whipping out a dagger from its place on the belt around his waist and holding it at Plagg's throat.
"Take me to the princess, and nobody gets hurt." Chat snarls. Plagg growls and moves his body slightly, but that action just causes Chat to slightly tighten his hand around Tikki's neck.
"Plagg..." She gasps, clawing weakly at Chat's hand.
"I am the Knight of Destruction, Chat Noir. I have been sent to retrieve Princess Marinette, and I am not afraid to destroy anything I must in order for me to reach that goal, even your friend's neck." Chat states, hoping they can't tell he's bluffing. He may be destructive, but he's not that destructive. He wouldn't destroy something as precious as a life. Especially since it'd mean breaking a promise to the one person that he cares for more than himself.
Thankfully, they can't tell that Chat Noir is lying through his teeth. His words cause Tikki to stop scratching at his hand and cause Plagg to stiffen, but stand so he's no longer in a fight-ready position. Plagg glances sadly over at Tikki, who looks back at him forlornly. He cares too much for his red-headed companion to not comply with the knight's demands.
"I'm sorry, Tikki." Plagg whispers under his breath, just loud enough for the three of them to hear.
"Now that we're all on the same page," Chat forcefully pushes past his feelings of guilt in order to focus on his mission, "lead me to the princess."
"Only if you put Tikki down." Plagg automatically demands, obviously concerned for his companion. Chat lets go of Tikki, wishing he didn't have to be cruel. However, he must. He has a princess to rescue, and a facade to keep up. He has portrayed himself as violent, so he must stay that way.
Once Tikki is no longer held by Chat Noir, Plagg immediately runs over to her side, helping her stand, all the while glaring sharply at the man who is now pointing two daggers at them.
"Let's get moving." Chat orders, making his voice cold and emotionless.
The two Kwamis slowly stand and start walking forward towards their settlement. Chat keeps a dagger pointed at each of their backs to keep up the image. It also works to make sure they do as he asked, yet the convenience of his actions won't stop the guilt festering in his heart. He pushes it aside, focusing on his task instead.
After a few hours of Chat Noir and the two Kwamis walking through the forest, wooden structures come into sight. When he sees the structures, Chat can tell they're at the Kwami settlement. He can sense the two Kwamis in front of him getting antsy, so he presses the daggers into their backs with a bit more force. He snarls to them under his breath,
"Don't get any ideas. I am only here for the princess." Tikki stiffens at Chat's words but doesn't react otherwise. The three of them slowly walk up to the gate leading into the Kwami base. Once they are in front of it, someone calls down from the top of the wall,
"Hey Plagg, Hey Tikki, who you got there?" Chat studies the Kwami standing on the wall. He has lightly tanned skin that's a bit darker than Chat's, long ginger hair, and vivid purple eyes that are impossible to miss, even at a distance. His face paint is similar to Plagg's, but instead of being black, it's bright orange, with some white streaks of paint on his chin and cheeks. He's wearing a similar outfit to Plagg too, but his is a similar shade to orange as his hair and the ears on his hood are longer. Also, he seems to have a long piece of fabric in the back that looks like a flattened fox tail. The outfit also has a large white patch over the entirety of the front of the torso. The long-haired ginger doesn't seem to have any weapons on him from what Chat Noir can see, but he's getting a mysterious vibe from the Kwami that automatically puts Chat on edge.
"Trixx, open the gate. We have someone that wants to see the princess." Tikki commands, sounding like a leader. Chat grimaces to himself as he realizes he probably threatened the leader of the Kwamis, and is currently holding a knife to her back. Well, go big or go home, right?
Right then, Chat Noir gets an idea that could help him immensely, or end in his death. He sighs to himself as he puts his plan in action, wondering why he still allows the princess to affect him so strongly.
Chat moves quickly. He moves his left hand, the one holding the dagger behind Tikki, to around the female Kwami's waist in a vice-like grip, also pinning her arms to her sides. In that same moment, he moves his right hand away from behind Plagg and instead positions it so the dagger is held against Tikki's neck.
"Tikki!" Plagg and Trixx exclaim in shock and fear simultaneously. Plagg involuntarily takes a step forward, wanting to save the girl he cares so strongly for, but Chat simply takes a large step backwards away from Plagg, bringing Tikki with him.
"Bring the princess to me, or you'll need a new leader." The Knight of Destruction growls. He is determined to see this task through. He will rescue the princess and bring her home to her father.
Trixx growls at Chat Noir, reaching towards his belt where multiple brown pouches dangle. Plagg sees this movement and puts his hand out, yelling in a desperate voice,
"No! Don't do anything Trixx, we can't risk Tikki's life." Trixx seems to hesitate, his orange glove covered hand hovering near the pouches. With a frustrated noise, Trixx drops his hands to his sides, looking down at the ground, disappointed in himself for not being able to do anything to help his leaders.
Suddenly, the gate slowly rises, surprising the three Kwamis and the knight. They all turn to look at who's standing on the other side of the gate, only to be shocked even further by the person who commanded the gate to be opened for them. Chat gapes at the new presence, unable to help himself as he calls out her name,
Marinette glares sharply at Chat Noir. Her fiery stare almost makes him let go of Tikki on the spot. Almost. Her command made through her anger-filled voice is what makes him release the short redhead,
"Let her go right now, Chat." He immediately follows her orders, partially because she is terrifying when she is angry and partially because she is his superior. Mainly, it's just because it's Marinette telling him to do so. Once Tikki is safe and with Plagg, the bluenette doesn't hesitate to stomp over to Chat and punch him in the face. He doesn't dodge, knowing he deserved it.
"Nice to see you too, Princess." He says jokingly, smiling slightly in order to try and calm down the angry princess at least a little bit.
"Why are you here, Chat, and why the hell did you have a dagger to Tikki's throat like that? Who gave you the right?" Marinette yells at the knight, not calming down in the slightest. Chat flinches slightly at her sharp tone, letting her release her anger before answering her questions,
"Your father is worried about you. When you didn't return home, he asked me to find out where you are and bring you home. He thinks you got kidnapped," Chat can tell Marinette is there by her own will. For one, she was able to leave the settlement, and she's wearing a similar outfit to Tikki. Hers is red with black spots, however, instead of Tikki's all black clothes. Marinette also has red and black swirls painted on her face in a beautiful, intricate pattern that makes her eyes stand out in such a way that almost distracts Chat from what he's saying, "I had the dagger to Tikki's throat to give them incentive to bring you out. I thought, at the time, that they had taken you against your will. I was willing to do almost anything to get you home safely, Princess. Also, at least it wasn't my sword." Marinette glares at Chat for that, shakes her head then sighs, deciding to ignore his comment.
"But still, threatening someone with a dagger? Chat, that's not you." Marinette speaks softly this time, looking at Chat sadly and with disappointment instead of anger. She cares for the knight as much as he cares for her, and this sort of behavior doesn't seem like something her sweet chaton would do.
"Like I said, I was desperate. You should know I'd never actually do anything. I may be the Knight of Destruction, but I won't ever destroy a life. I promised you that years ago. I still live by that promise." Chat Noir and Marinette smile at each other for a moment before a frown takes over Marinette's face.
"Still, Chat, that's not the right thing to do. You should apologize."
"Okay, Princess," Chat agrees with a sigh then nervously looks over at Tikki and Plagg. Plagg is glaring strongly at him, while Tikki just looks kind of confused as well as angry. Chat takes a deep breath before apologizing sincerely to the two Kwamis, "I am so sorry for what I did to you two. The rumors I have heard of your people and my own concerns for the princess had me acting out of character. You two, sadly, were in the crossfire of that. Again, I apologize for my actions. I hope neither of you are injured too badly." Chat looks back at Marinette and she nods at him, her sign of approval for the apology he delivered. He smiles sweetly at her in return.
"I forgive you, Knight of Destruction, but only because I can tell my friend Marinette cares deeply for you. If you try something like that with any one of my people again, I will not be as forgiving." Tikki says. She can understand the knight's motives. If she thought Plagg was kidnapped by someone, she can't imagine she'd be any more rational than he had been. Love does interesting things to people.
In reply to Chat's apology, Plagg just huffs and mutters things under his breath that even Chat Noir's sharp hearing can't pick up. Chat doesn't blame the male Kwami, though. Plagg's anger is justified.
"Well, now that all of that is done, are you ready to return home, Princess?" Chat Noir turns to look at Marinette once more, sticking his hand out for the bluenette to take. She ignores his gloved grasp and crosses her arms over her chest, simply stating,
"No. I'm not returning home."
"Why not?" Chat asks.
"I don't want to."
"Well... why not?"
"I'm not happy there. I don't want to be a princess. I'm no fit to be a ruler, Bridgette has always been better at ruler related things than me. Also, unlike me, she's actually in love with a prince so her marriage wouldn't be seen as scandalous or wrong. If I went back home and tried to marry who I want to marry, however, there would be an uproar. I don't even know if my father would allow it! He's so determined to get me to marry a prince, after all, to ensure I have strong offspring," Marinette shudders. She wants to marry for love, not power, "So you can take me back there if you must, but know I won't be happy, and probably never would be while living in those stone walls."
"Marriage?" Chat can't help but inquire. Marinette mentioned it so much in her explanation, it seems to be a main reason why she doesn't want to return home. Even though it'd hurt him to know, the young knight still wants to know who has captured his princess' heart, "You must really be in love if you're thinking of marriage." His words bring a blush to Marinette's face, causing the princess to look away from him.
"Yes. I am in love with someone, but I doubt they return my feelings." Marinette admits, albeit reluctantly. She doesn't want to continue discussing this topic, since it might lead to the object of her affections to figure out how deeply her feelings go past friendship, when all they have been to each other is friends since they were young. Her friendship with Chat Noir is one of the only things in her life that makes her truly happy, and Marinette doesn't want anything to jeopardize that.
"Who would be blind enough to not fall for you, Princess?" Chat retorts. With a small smile and a shake of her head, Marinette says,
"You'd be surprised, chaton."
Meanwhile, Tikki, Plagg and Trixx are all watching the exchange between the knight and the princess, wondering how the two of them could be so oblivious to each other's feelings. It seems all too clear to the three observing Kwamis that they are in love with each other and care for each other deeply, yet they can't see it in each other. The whole situation is quickly becoming annoying to the three bystanders having to watch them tiptoe around each other. This leads to Plagg, probably the most impatient of the Kwamis, to call out,
"Oh just kiss already!" Chat Noir and Marinette both look at Plagg, then at each other, then at the ground, their faces bright red from embarrassment the whole time. Chat clears his throat and glances at Marinette before looking away again. He speaks, deciding to ignore Plagg's words,
"I understand your reasoning Princess, but your father is extremely worried about you. How about you come back with me, at least temporarily, in order to voice your concerns to him? Certainly he will be understanding. Even then, if you're not happy, I will help you return here to the Kwamis and protect you until the end of my days. That is, if you'll have me." Chat couldn't help but look at Marinette as he spoke, but by the time he finished what he was saying, he was again bashful and looking away from her.
"That sounds like a good idea, chaton. I'll try talking to my father, but only if you're with me," Marinette states. Her words bring a smile to Chat Noir's face. Marinette then turns to look at Tikki, saying, "I'll probably be back soon, no matter what my father says. Thanks for being willing to take me in, and I'm sorry for this silly kitten's behavior. If we return to stay, I'll make sure he's properly trained."
"Hey!" Chat exclaims, making Marinette and Tikki laugh. Tikki pulls Plagg's arms off of her (much to his annoyance) and hugs Marinette, telling her,
"You are always welcome here, whether it be as a visitor or a resident. I hope to see you soon, Marinette. Bye for now."
"Bye for now." Marinette says with a sad smile. She then walks over to Chat's side, grinning brightly up at the feline knight. He smiles just as happily down at his princess. With a final wave back at the Kwamis watching them, Marinette and Chat start walking away, back through the forest on the way home.
"Do you think those two will ever realize that their feelings for each other are mutual?" Trixx asks from his place atop the wall. With a sigh, Tikki answers,
"I sure hope so."
====== • ======
Once Chat Noir and Marinette are back in the village, they get swarmed by concerned villagers and guards trying to see if the princess has indeed returned safe and sound thanks to the fearsome Knight of Destruction. Most of them look at the princess strangely due to her Kwami-like appearance since she is still in their clothes and still has paint on her face. Chat can tell Marinette is growing uncomfortable by all of the attention her return and her outfit has received, so he puts his arm around her shoulders and growls out a warning to everyone around them,
"Back off." Everyone becomes silent and backs away from the princess. Marinette is thankful for Chat's actions, but also can't help but wonder if he could have done it a nicer way. They are just concerned for her wellbeing after all. She decides to say something to hopefully calm down the people around her,
"Don't worry about me, I am fine. I appreciate the concern, and I thank you all for caring so deeply for me. Please, get back to your duties while Chat Noir and I go speak to my father." The people all do as their princess commanded, now in better moods thanks to her words.
Only once the crowd dissipates do Chat Noir and Marinette realize that his arm is still resting on her shoulders. Due to a bout of courage, Marinette takes Chat's arm off of her shoulder only to grab his hand instead. She desperately hopes that he won't drop her hand and that he can't feel how clammy her hands are becoming. She also hopes he doesn't notice how deeply she is blushing.
Marinette doesn't need to fret, however, because unbeknownst to the bluenette, Chat Noir is feeling as flustered as the princess. His face became bright red when she slipped her hand into his. He is glad he wears gloves, because he's sure his hands are sweating right now. Still, he doesn't want to let go of Marinette's hand. Not now, not ever. If this is a dream, Chat doesn't want to ever wake up.
The two of them casually walk through the streets of the village hand in hand, Marinette waving to people that notice her and Chat scowling at anyone that gets too close. The closer they get to the castle, the more nervous Marinette gets. Luckily, Chat knows his princess well, and can tell how anxious she is starting to get. He occasionally squeezes her hand to remind her that she's not alone, and each time she feels that light squeeze from her knight, her heart flutters and she is able to calm down.
"Are you ready?" Chat Noir asks Marinette when they're standing outside of the throne room. Marinette takes a deep breath, answering,
"I am as ready as I'll ever be. Let's get this over with."
Chat pushes the doors open and lets Marinette enter first. Marinette decides not to hold his hand in front of her father, not yet anyway. Not until after she tells him about her desire to marry someone not royal.
"Marinette, oh I'm so glad to see you home safely!" King Tom exclaims happily at the sight of his daughter, deciding not to comment on her strange appearance. He's just thankful to see his daughter unharmed and safe.
"Hello, Papa." Marinette greets her father, stepping farther into the room with Chat following behind. Once she is closer to the throne, Tom stands up and walks over to her, bringing his daughter into a tight hug.
"I was so worried I lost you. I don't think I could handle losing you or Bridgette, too. I've already lost your mother." Tom says.
"I'm sorry Papa, I just couldn't handle the stress. But Chat convinced me to return and talk to you about my feelings, so here I am. So please, can we have a serious talk?"
"Of course. Let's go to my chambers, we can talk freely there," Tom agrees, then looks behind Marinette at Chat Noir, only then acknowledging the knight's presence, "Thank you for bringing my daughter home, Chat Noir. You are dismissed."
"No. Father, I want Chat to stay. I'll feel better having this conversation with you if Chat is in the room."
"Fine. Follow me."
Hand in hand once more, Chat Noir and Marinette follow her father to his room. They all stay silent as they walk through the corridors of the castle. The silence is only broken once the three of them are sat in the king's chambers, Marinette and Chat Noir sitting next to each other and across from the king. King Tom is the one that starts the conversation off,
"You two must be hungry. I'll get some food brought up to us while we talk." Tom stands up and walks to the door, speaking to a guard standing outside about what food he wants brought to his room.
While Tom is preoccupied, Chat takes the opportunity to calm Marinette down as much as he can. He noticed earlier that she calms down when he squeezes her hand, so he temporarily wraps his hand around hers in order to do just that. It hurts him to pull away when her father turns around, but Chat knows his princess is in love with someone and he wouldn't want to give the king the wrong impression. You see, Chat Noir thinks the bluenette is in love with someone else.
Little does he know Marinette is using this conversation as a way to also confess her feelings for her destructive knight.
"Marinette, what did you want to talk about?" King Tom asks once he's again settled in his seat across from the two young adults.
"Well, Father, the main issue I want to talk about is marriage," Marinette states. She takes in a deep breath and releases it shakily, trying to prepare herself for how her next words will be received, "I don't want to marry a prince. I want to marry Chat Noir."
Everyone is silent for the next few moments. Chat and Tom are both shocked (for different reasons) while Marinette is internally panicking. Her father and the love of her life are just staring at her. They're not saying anything. She doesn't know what to do.
"Me? Really?" Chat is the one that breaks the silence, turning slightly to look at Marinette better. He grabs both of her hands in his and stares into her eyes, wanting to know beyond a doubt that she wants to be with him. Maybe not marriage just yet, but he wouldn't mind considering it in the future. No, he wouldn't mind marrying Marinette at all.
Marinette blushes deeply and nods in confirmation, fighting the urge to look down at their intertwined hands. She loves Chat Noir, and thinks he should know. The bluenette is pleasantly surprised to see the massive, joyous grin cross Chat's face. Chat seems like he's going to say something more but is cut off by her father's loud voice,
"Marinette, what has brought this on? You have never expressed feelings like this before, and now suddenly you want to marry some random knight? Actually, he's not even some random knight. He's the most feared knight in the whole kingdom! Why in the world would you choose him over any one of your many prince suitors?"
"I want to marry Chat one day because I love him! He's not some random knight, he's been my best friend for years. He cares for me, is always there for me, listens to me, and helps me in so many ways. He is kind, courageous, funny, and so many other amazing things. Chat Noir is the love of my life, and that is why I will always choose him over some random prince, no matter what you say!" Marinette passionately declares, letting go of Chat's hands in order to stand up in front of her father. For once, the princess is looking down at her father, not the other way around. Meanwhile, Chat is just trying to wrap his head around the fact that his princess just said she loves him, something he has hoped to hear for years.
"This is ridiculous, Marinette!" Tom also stands, back to standing above his daughter due to his huge stature, "Marriage for royals isn't about love, it's about doing what is best for the kingdom. Your silly infatuation with the Knight of Destruction is preposterous and never going to happen while you live in this kingdom, mark my words. So abandon your idiotic crush on him this instant, and start thinking like the princess I raised you to be!" In that moment, Chat stands up and grabs Marinette's hand, ready to support her with whatever she chooses. But first, he has to let his princess know her feelings are returned,
"I love you too, Princess. I always have. I will follow you, wherever you choose to go. Whatever decision you make, know I am by your side, supporting you no matter what." He whispers in her ear, loving how she shivers due to his close proximity. But once Chat looks back at the king, he sees his action has just made King Tom even angrier than he was before.
"Chaton?" Marinette calls for him. He immediately turns to look over at her, her eyes drawing him in as usual.
"Yes?" He replies.
"Of course, Princess."
Before King Tom can properly react, Chat Noir is running with Marinette right next to him. They run out of the king's chambers, they run through the castle halls, and they don't stop until they are out of the castle grounds and in the village. Only then do they take a moment to breathe, admiring the swirling colors in the dusk sky as the sun finishes its descent for the evening. Yet once they hear voices calling out after them, the two lovebirds are on the move, simply happy to be next to each other, finally knowing their feelings are returned. They don't hesitate to run into the forest to the east, where both of them are pleasantly surprised to see Tikki and Plagg waiting for them.
The sight of the Kwamis makes Chat hesitate for a moment as he remembers his horrid actions from just earlier that day, but Tikki smiles brightly at the feline knight that fills her bluenette friend with such joy, to the point that she can't bring herself to be angry at him. Of course, Plagg follows Tikki's lead. He loves her too much not to. He knows Tikki won't ever steer him wrong (not on purpose, anyway).
"Come on, we have a place waiting for you." Tikki cheerfully states, grinning at the princess and her knight and noticing how their hands are still tightly linked together. Then, the four of them start to run, chasing each other playfully through the forest as they make their way to the Kwami settlement.
"Longg, open the gate!" Plagg orders once they all arrive at the village. A Kwami clothed in dark red clothing follows the order, and soon enough, the gate is opened. Plagg and Tikki then lead Chat Noir and Marinette through the Kwami village, making sure to keep quiet since it's the middle of the night. They go to a cabin, the two Kwamis leaving Marinette and Chat alone once they've reached the location. Both Plagg and Tikki remember how it felt to move into their house together, and they want Chat Noir and Marinette to be able to experience those feelings by themselves.
Chat and Marinette slowly enter, exploring the medium-sized house side by side. Both of them blush when they realize there's only one bed in the house, even though there's a room that could function as another bedroom. Marinette knows Tikki and Plagg too well to think this was an accident. Chat, however, just brushes the 'mistake' off, too focused on the fact that he is practically living out his dream.
"Are you ready for our lives together, Princess?" Chat Noir asks, looking down at the love of his life who is now standing directly in front of him and smiling. She grins back, telling him as confidently as she can,
"Of course, Kitty. With you by my side, I'm ready for anything."
He knows her words are true, for he would do anything to protect his princess, and she knew as well that her knight would always be by her side. So, no matter the obstacles, they will always be by each other's side, forever the Knight of Destruction and the lost princess.