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Black Cats and Broken Mirrors

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His Queen.. his queen, his queen, his queen--

Papillion had done it. He had done it and Chat Noir was going to destroy him and rip him to shreds, even if it wasn't what his Queen would have wanted, even if it wasn't going to bring her back-- he was going to fix this because that was what she would have done, but he couldn't fix it her way, he was no Ladybug. He couldn't right the world, bad luck didn't work that way, and his Queen was gone--

Papillion was going to change the world, but even if Ladybug came back, his queen-- Marinette, his mind supplied unhelpfully, Marinette had been his queen and he hadn't known until Papillion had taken her away from him--

Marinette would never come back. He hadn't caught her in time. His bad luck had overshadowed hers. He couldn't fix that. Nothing could.

He could fix Papillion. He could finish what he started. Papillion had begun this, he had called them out to begin with, he had started the war. His Queen had paid her dues in blood. He would-- he would break, later, when he had time, because he didn't have time now. She had called for him, God, she had called for him and he hadn't made it-- and her last words hadn't been for herself, it hadn't been to ask for help.

She had never even known who he was.

Plagg had made him a cat, personification of bad luck and all, black from the tips of his ears to the tip of his tail. His Queen has brought him in from the cold, a stray she didn't have to keep.

Papillion had made him feral.

Papillion had signed his own death warrant in his Queen's blood.

Chat Noir is going to spread pieces of him all over Paris.

 

The thing about Papillion is that he can fly. He is a butterfly.

The thing about butterflies is that cats eat them.

 

His Queen, his Ladybug, Marinette, did not come back. Chat Noir was a Cataclysm, not a Lucky Charm, but even still, nothing brought the dead back. Papillion had held her Miraculous in his hands, determined to resurrect someone but most people only had one life.

Avenging his Queen felt right. Horrible, terrible, yet right. But that had not brought her back.

 

Tikki and Nooroo were--

Alive. Even if the butterfly would not look at him, and Chat Noir refused to care too much about that. He had bad luck. He had just... liberally applied some to Papillion. It didn't matter if it had freed him or not. Death was death, and he had killed the owner of the Butterfly Miraculous while it was still in use. Nooroo was allowed to hate him. Now, there were more important things to worry about.

Right now, he had to hope the ladybug's luck held true for kwami, otherwise they were all going to legitimately go down with the ship. He offered their jewels to them, feeling Plagg a soft weight on his shoulders. He had run out of time and out of energy; he hadn't exactly gotten out of the fight unscathed, but there was no way to get off a flying, soon-to-crash zeppelin. Not for a mortal man. He couldn't actually fly it. "You two need to go, as quick as you can. I don't know what will happen if these are destroyed..."

"What about you?" Tikki chittered, curling little arms around her earrings. Nooroo took the broach uncomfortably.

Chat's fingers were still stained with blood. More than his fingers were stained with blood. He didn't blame him.

"We're staying behind," Plagg informed her. "The fire should burn all the akuma. We have to make sure."

He felt his gut twist in anxiety at those words. Now that he had lost his Queen, he had no fear of death. He welcomed it. Let death take him. Let it bring him back to his heart. And yet..

He glanced at the cats-head ring where it rested on his middle finger. Plagg shouldn't have to die with him. Plagg should have been able to take the ring and go, save himself and his Miraculous, in the way he hadn't been able to save Marinette. But he couldn't, because the curse still anchored the jewel to him.

It didn't come off.

He wondered if the crash would destroy it, or if it would survive, if Plagg could survive. He wondered if someone would even be able to remove it from his charred bones. The thoughts were conflicting, and he didn't know which one he wanted more.

It didn't matter.

In the end, he'd be dead.

 

Tikki tried to tell him something before she left, but he couldn't bear to hear it. He hadn't been able to save her champion, his red-coated queen. He didn't deserve her forgiveness. He didn't deserve her attention.

Nooroo tried to tell him something too, but in the end, whatever it was had hurt too much, or perhaps he hadn't known the words.

Either way, the fire had made them run out of time. It was his bad luck. They'd had to go. He watched them through shattered windows, until they were just distant spots in the sky.

"..I wish you could have gone with them."

Plagg snorted, tail twitching. "You couldn't have gotten rid of me if you tried."

The truth in those words was enough to drive another knife between his ribs. He managed a tired, apologetic smile. If only there had been more time, maybe his queen could have washed away his bad luck. If only he had known-- or thought to think-- that his queen could be the star-struck youth who followed him through school, begging his attention--

"..I'm glad you're here, Plagg." He closed his eyes. He was Chat Noir, and luck had eaten up all of his nine lives. But at least he did not have to die alone.

"Yeah, kid, me too."

 

The zeppelin fell. The Super Hero known as Chat Noir fell with it, and he let himself fall, and fall, and fall.

Death took him like a comfy bed and a warm pillow.



Felix de Noire woke in a trash dumpster like an alley-cat, with Plagg snoozing on his chest.