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Heroes Need Protecting Too

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Christophe Guérin, known to most as the Gorilla, was bodyguard to the most famous teen celebrity in Paris. He was used to unruly fan mobs, other teens trying to cosy up to the famous boy, kidnapping attempts, and just about every other issue a teen celebrity could possibly face.

His life was busy and hectic and so when Chat Noir bounced off the back of his car, obviously en route to an akuma attack, it didn't garner a reaction from the stoic man. It was just another day in Paris after all. Besides, if he had damaged the car or scratched the paint, the Miraculous Cure would return it to normal soon enough.

No, Christophe didn't react to the hero of Paris bouncing off his car. At first.

Instead he looked up and down the street, checking to see if anyone was watching, and when he was absolutely certain that no one could possibly see him at all, then he allowed himself to react.

"Damnit kid, you're not making this job easy."

Each word was punctured by a thud as he banged his head against the steering wheel in frustration. It was really hard to be a bodyguard when your charge was a magical cat-themed hero who was always running off.

Christophe knew.

Oh yes, he knew.

Quite frankly, he was surprised that more people didn't know the identity of the superheroes given how careless they were with their transformations. He really hoped that there weren't others out there who knew. It was possible but not something he cared to think about. Those two were not the slightest bit cautious about their transformations.

It was that lack of caution that led to Christophe discovering that Adrien was Chat Noir only one week after he has received his miraculous.

An akuma had struck one morning as he was driving Adrien to school. Adrien had slipped out of the car and raced for the nearest alley. Christophe had followed him, naturally, and arrived just in time to see the magical transformation that left Chat Noir stood in Adrien's place. Christophe had been stunned but his charge hadn't noticed his presence in his eagerness to do his heroic duty.

For the rest of that day, Christophe had walked around in a daze. It was almost like his brain refused to process what he had just seen, like it refused to accept the truth he had witnessed. It wasn't until he looked at the security cameras that he finally accepted it.

Then began three days of agonising indecision.

His job, his head, and his heart were in conflict and Christophe had no clue which one to listen to.

His job was to protect Adrien. He couldn't do that when the boy was throwing himself in danger every other day. He should make some attempt to stop him or get rid of the Miraculous or report it to someone - if there was even someone to report it to? Was there some sort of Magical Oversight committee he could approach to say you've given dangerous magic to an underage boy? He didn't cover anything to do with magic during his training. He was in way over his head.

His head said to keep quiet. To carry on as if he didn't know anything. Chat Noir was needed - even only a week of living with magic, and akumas, and an actual Supervillain made that point abundantly clear. He was Ladybug's partner. He was a hero. He was vital to the defence of the city from this magic-using madman.

His heart said another thing… and ultimately, that was the option Christophe chose.

He remembered the scared little five year old he had first been hired to protect, the one in awe of his strength and size, the one who immediately nicknamed him Gorilla while his mother apologised and tried not to laugh at her son's awe.

He remembered being hired to protect little Adrien from another kidnapping attempt after the first had barely been thwarted. He remembered seeing this bright little boy grow quieter and more withdrawn as one by one his freedoms were taken from him and his father dragged his mother away. He remembered how devastated the poor boy had been when his mother had disappeared and how even more freedoms had been withheld from him as a result.

He remembered that Adrien used to smile all the time, and that he hadn't truly smiled like that again until he got his miraculous.

Protecting Adrien wasn't just a matter of keeping him from physical harm, it was about keeping his heart safe too.

Chat Noir was needed by Paris, true, but Adrien also needed Chat Noir to be happy again. Besides, it wasn't like he was defenceless when he turned into a magical superhero with enhanced agility, speed and strength, was it?

For now, Christophe was going to pretend he didn't know the truth. He would keep Adrien and Chat Noir safe to the best of his abilities. He would keep his silence about Ladybug's identity too, having found hers out in much the same way when collecting Adrien from school one day. Maybe he could find a way to let them know they needed to be more careful with their transformations?

Pretending not to know didnt mean he was inactive though.

Christophe had "upgraded" the many cameras around the Agreste estate so Chat Noir would never be caught by them unless Christophe allowed it, he had false GPS data for Adrien's phone to show that he was safe during akuma attacks should anyone ask, he had hundreds of possible cover stories for his absences, the Ladyblog was now Christophe's homepage on all his devices, and there was always a wheel of camembert and an extra large first aid kit in the car now - but those new measures weren't good enough to truly keep Adrien safe.

No. Christophe had a better way to do that.

He was one of the best bodyguards in the business because he was a former special forces genius, a martial arts expert, a chess master, and had a degree in psychology. He had all of the knowledge, skills, and equipment to hunt down an elusive target such as Hawkmoth… and hunt him he did.

He had the man's profile down. Male, fairly well-educated, financially stable, either his own boss or on flexible hours to allow him to akumatise people at all hours of the day, sees himself as the hero of his own narrative, more than likely self-centred and egotistical, strict, controlling, more than likely a recluse.

Christophe also had a fairly good geographical profile of the madman. He was located in the centre of Paris, somewhere in the first, second, third, fourth, or twenty-first arrondissements, and it had to be somewhere large and private enough for him to have a lair - because Hawkmoth certainly had one. There was no way he didn't have one, not with the theatricality of his introduction.

Christophe would bet good money that Hawkmoth had a job that dealt with spin and public relations - maybe politics, or theatre, or anything dramatic like films and fashion.

He was close to finding and ending the threat to his charge. Hawkmoth was in his sight.

In the meantime though he had to wait for Adrien to return after another akuma battle. He just hoped that Nathalie or Adrien's father didn't phone for an update while Chat Noir was busy.

"Hurry back, kid. I can't stall forever."