A slight breeze drifted in from the windows, much to the appreciation of the room's inhabitants. The air conditioning, while efficient, wasn't quiet. It's constant hum became annoying to Adrien's ears after some time.
The Winter months had finally faded into Spring, and it took the exhaustion of two certain girls with it. Instead, Marinette and Chloé became more... active. Energy seemed to constantly thrum through their veins, and sometimes Chloé finds it hard to sleep. It's not like they could complain, though. Marinette's made a few hundred euros off of commissions due to her recent over-energetic-ness.
What they could complain about, however, was Hawkmoth and his shitty, over-working, bull-
"Chloé!" Marinette and Tikki yell in apall.
"What!" She looks up from her paperwork(her Daddy wanted her to get an early start on managing the hotel), lounged across Marinette's chaise, "You know it's true!"
"That doesn't make it right to say!" Marinette squeeks, completely disregarding the few times she's cursed him out during particularly cold days. Chloé's pretty sure she can curse in Mandarin, too, despite not knowing how to speak it. Though she is getting lessons from Adrien. Chloé may or may not have bought her a few Mandarin Language books when she first found out.
"Oh, please" Pollen refuted, nibbling on a piece of honeycomb, "We've all been thinking it."
"It's not like we can do anything about it, anyway," Marinette grumbled, pouting at her desk, which is no doubt covered in various designs. A professional camera is next to them. If Chloé had to guess, those designs belonged to some clients.
"Actually," Adrien cut in, eyes not leaving his phone screen. Chloe had bought him a completely new one when she realized Gabriel restricted basically everything. It's kept at Marinette's house for safekeeping. "Why don't we just give another Miraculous to someone?"
"Kitten's got a point." Plagg added, shoving an entire piece of camembert into his mouth.
"But Alya and Nino are the only ones left." Marinette pointed out, a worried look on her face.
Chloé rolled her eyes. "Just give someone else a Miraculous."
"It's not that simple. What if I chose the wrong person again? What if they get Akumatized? What if-"
"Marinette," Tikki said softly, "You are a wonderful person. You will not chose wrong."
"Kurtzberg or Couffaine?" Chloé suddenly asks.
"Miraculous choices," She pauses, hesitant in adding more, "Anciel is a potential option, but I don't know them well enough."
Marinette pursed her lips, thinking. "... Nathaniel has a natural eye for detail, which would be good for the Fox Miraculous. I'm not sure Master Fu will let Wayzz leave him again."
There was the distinctive sound of in-game failure as Adrien asked, "Nath's joining us?"
Chloé shrugged, tapping her pen rapidly against the stack of papers, legs swinging back and forth. "Yeah, if Mari says yes."
Marinette nods, smiling, "He'll be a great addition. We'll meet him tonight, right? At nine?"
There were confirmations from both blondes, and they all went back to doing their own thing. It wasn't long before Chloé threw down her pen. "I can't do this."
Adrien, content from where he lays on the bed, looked confused. Marinette nodded, though, so at least someone understood. "You want to take an early patrol?"
While not the most intelligent, Nathaniel was clever. It was that cleverness, combined with Marc's, which allowed their comic to be decently popular. Who knew adding in foreshadowing with flowers in a flower shop would be so well liked? Totally, definitely not Marc and Nathaniel. Just kidding. That was sarcasm.
But that cleverness wasn't what let him to figure out the Parisian heroes' identities. No. It was the simple fact of seeing Ladybug jump on and from Marinette's balcony. Multiple times. It was a mystery why no one else figured it out. Chat was a little more complicated. Really, he only figured it out because if Ladybug was dating Chat Noir, Marinette(who is Ladybug) wouldn't be two-timing with another person. She was too sweet to do that.
He stuffed those thoughts to the back of his mind, focusing on the monitor in front of him. This draft was self-assigned to be due by Monday, two days from now. And he was only on the fifth panel! He blamed Marc and their tendency to make him forget his job while video-calling. Still, he couldn't be mad. They were too cute for him to be mad at.
A throat clearing pulled him from his work. Nathaniel froze. It couldn't be his mom- she's working the late shift tonight. His sister would barge in the door, and he hasn't heard it's hinges creak. And it definitely wasn't Marc, they hated going out after dark.
Slowly, fearfully, he turned to face the definite-intruders.
Only to see Paris' own heroes. Queen Bee looked ready to laugh, hand over her mouth and eyes alite with glee. Chat Noir was smiling, though it was more of a smirk. And Ladybug herself was wearing a serious face.
The heroine held out her hand, black and red box in her hands. At the sight, the two other heroes followed their leader in being serious. "Nathaniel Kurtzberg," She began, "I am granting you the Fox Miraculous, which grants the power of illusion. Use it for good."
Nathaniel stared at the box. It was small, small enough to fit in the palm of a hand. And a Miraculous, one of the most dangerous items in the world, an object tied to a literal God, was being offered to him. He cast a hesitant glance out of the open window. That was probably how they got in. "There's an Akuma?"
Queen Bee snorted, hiding her smile behind her hand. Chat Noir gave him a dubious look, "Queenie said the same thing. Are you sure you're not related?"
The redhead shrugged, "I don't think I'm a Bourgeois, no."
No one reacted. Right, her identity was common knowledge. Ladybug was smiling fondly, hand still outstretched.
Nathaniel took the box, smiling a grateful smile at Ladybug, "Thank you, Marinette!"
There was a moment where everything was silent. It seemed Paris itself had stopped breathing. Tension bled into the room, too thick to even cut with a knife. Finally, Nathaniel laughed. It wasn't loud or mocking, but it made Ladybug's face turn cherry-red. She dropped her head, holding it in her hands, groaning, "Is it that easy to figure out?"
Nathaniel shrugged, "I mean, I guess? I just saw you go onto Marinette's, uh, your balcony all the time. And you wouldn't two-time anyone, so that made Chat Noir Adrien."
"Just- Just open the box, Nath."
A golden-orange orb of light left the box, going around Nathaniel once before stopping in front of him. The tiny god gave him a grin, one that faltered as the person in front of him registered as someone other than his previous holder. "Eh? You're not Alya? What happened to Alya?"
The kwami turned to Ladybug, expectant. Alya was good, trustworthy.
Ladybug looked away. "It's a personal issue."
Oh. Trixx shrugged(well, as much as any Kwami could shrug), and turned to his new holder. Clever, clever indeed. Spend enough time with Trixx, and this boy will no doubt be mischievous, too. The tiny god grinned, "I like you! What's your name?"
Nathaniel stared at the kwami, awed to even be talking to the creature. "Um. Nathaniel."
"Well, Nathaniel, I'm your kwami. All you have to do to transform is say 'Trixx, let's pounce!'"
The redhead nodded, repeating the words. The same golden-orange light encased him, combining God and Human. When the transformation was done, Nathaniel was left in a costume similar to Rena Rouge and Volpina's. Same dark brown gloves and boots that end in a point, though the gloves only reached his mid-forearm. The Miraculous laid at the base of his color, acting as a pull tab on a zipper, except there was no zipper.
Though, unlike those before him, he had an actual tail. It swayed lazily as he looked down on himself. "Woah..."
"So," Queen Bee broke the silence, "Who are you?"
"She means your superhero name." Ladybug supplied.
"Oh. Um. Filou?"
Chat Noir grinned. Trickster. "That seems fitting."
Ladybug nodded, "It is. Now, come on. We have a few hours until Midnight, and I don't want to keep Filou from sleep too long."