“No!” screamed Chat, his hand scraping the air where Ladybug had been only moments before.
Hawkmoth, with his dying breaths, had seized Ladybug's uncoiled yo-yo and viciously yanked it from where it was attached to her arm on the balcony above his broken form. He cackled wickedly, before his guise melted away, revealing the grinning body of Gabriel Agreste. Chat felt the torment like a fist in his gut.
In vain, he reached for her. But gravity was against her.
Ladybug toppled over the railing. She gasped in surprise, too shocked to scream. She tried sling her yo-yo, but it was trapped beneath his father's corpse.
The Miraculous Ladybug hit the concrete. An uneasy crack whipped the air upon impact.
A sickening dread loomed over him, and he felt his ears press back against his hair. An un-catlike bark of pain escaped his throat.
Not thinking, Chat Noir hurled himself over the railing. Unlike his Lady, he'd landed on his feet. Crouching beside her, his hands wavered over her. Dread clouded the air. He couldn't bear the idea that he'd hurt her more.
"Chat," she replied, her voice hoarse and feeble. Blood, redder and more evil than any he'd seen before, oozed from her mouth. He knew the damage was done. Chat choked on a sob. Gently, he wrapped her in his arms. He only wished he could've ignored her croak of agony. "H- hawkmoth. A- agreste? I- I didn't mean to... I killed him."
Ladybug was crying, more through pain or guilt he couldn't decipher. He pressed his lips together.
"No... no. You didn't. He's been trying to hurt us. He hurt you."
"I- I can't... Chat-" Her breath was laboured. Chat could hear the wail of sirens approaching, but they were too far away. He knew her time was short. And so did she.
Then, her form began to glow. His breath caught. The familiar red suit and mask melted away. A girl no older than fifteen, in blood-stained pink and black clothes, looked up at him with agonised, fearful eyes. They were the colour of the sky. Chat couldn't believe it was her. After all that time-
"Marinette?" he said, his voice approaching hysterical.
"A- adrien," she said, a small smile tilting her bloody lips. At his obvious surprise and awe, her smile twitched slightly. "I knew. I a- always suspected. I- I just wanted you to... love Marinette. Not Ladybug."
"And I wanted you to love Chat."
Her skin was cold, and his was gradually feeling warmer in comparison. The sirens were close. So close. Not close enough. "We m- made quite the pair," she whispered. Her eyes glistened, but their light was fading.
"Don't leave me! Don't you dare! J'taime Marinette!" Chat wailed. He was angry- so, so angry because he loved her so much. A small, innocent grin curved her mouth in a smile he wished would stay.
"J- je t'aime Adr-ien. Don't w- worry about me. We'll find each other in a- another life. We always ha-" And in one final agonising moment, her beautiful eyes became blank and empty.
And, almost in sync, his heart did too. "Marinette! Please... please no. Je- j-t'aime. Je t'aime!" Distraught, Adrien cradled her to his chest, knowing that he could do no more damage to her shattered body. A small red kwami hovered silently nearby, its small face desperate and tearful. As the last of Hawkmoth's akumas vanished, a familiar black butterfly skittered across an unfelt breeze.
Adrien didn't feel the feathery wings graze his Miraculous as it landed.
Or the bubbling pain as it covered his body, his Miraculous burning into him as it protested against his new transformation. Plagg would be furious. But Adrien didn't care. For once, he didn't care.
Carefully, he pulled the now-black earrings from his dead love's lobes and clenched them in his clawed fist, ignoring the screaming protests of the red kwami.
His Ladybug was gone. His Marinette was gone. And as he rose to his feet, Chat Noir was gone.
Only Chat Blanc remained, and he wanted anarchy.