It was that one word that broke her. After all the years of friendship and partners and akumai. After everything they had ever been through.
She had finally moved on with her life. She was done. She was taking an extended vacation from being Ladybug. They had caught Papillion. Hawk Moth was unmasked and behind bars. His Miraculous was returned to Master Fu and they no longer had a reason to be their alter egos.
They were saying goodbye. Or rather, she was. Chat had insisted that Paris still needed them. Despite the fact that they had been heroes for over five years now. Through thick and through thin….they had stayed close despite whatever ways they were going in their personal lives.
But they had finally beat Hawk Moth.
So what was the point?
She was leaving. She had told him that, and told Master Fu that she didn’t intend to be Ladybug anymore. Despite that, he had told her to hold onto her Miraculous. Deep down, she knew she probably would never give up her earrings. Not until her dying breath at least. After all, giving them up meant giving up Tikki. And that was the one thing she didn’t believe she would ever be able to do.
But now….she was trying to say goodbye to her beloved partner.
Chat Noir. His eyes were red from tears that she couldn’t see beneath his mask. He was upset, and she understood. To a point, she had always loved him. But not the way he loved her. And now he was begging her for just one more thing.
How could she deny him?
“Chat…” She was hesitating but she knew this was a fight she was going to lose. If there was one thing she could do to make him happy, after all these years and she simply refused to do it, how could she ever live with herself?
Plus, there was no more Hawk Moth to worry about. He was gone. No one would be coming after them, not ever again. She didn’t know what Chat was going to do with his Miraculous, but if he and his kwami had any kind of relationship like her and Tikki….Ladybug highly doubted he would be giving up his ring anytime soon.
But she was determined to never have to use her powers again. It had gotten too exhausting. Too emotionally draining and it had made her lie to so many people she loved.
Truth be told, there really was no danger in giving him his last wish.
“Please, my Lady. Please, Bugaboo. Please, please.”
Ladybug took in a deep, deep breath and turned to look at him. He was literally kneeling on his knees and his eyes sparkled with tears. Some were falling down his cheeks.
“Okay.” She finally agreed, unable to stop the pain that stabbed through her at his tears. This was her silly kitty. She hated to see him in pain. She took a step towards him and put her hands under his elbows. She made him stand up and then brushed her hands against his cheeks. His tears were warm on her wind-chilled fingertips.
“Thank you.” Though they were whispered, those two words spoke oceans of meaning. Ladybug could tell Chat was trying to tell her so many things with those two words. She could almost hear the silent words in the whispering winds whisking around them.
Thank you for being my partner.
For laughing at my puns.
For saving my life a thousand times over.
Thank you for everything you have ever done.
And thank you, most of all, for giving me my truest wish.
“You are most welcome, kitty mine.” Ladybug’s voice was soft and she wrapped her arms slowly around his shoulders.
He did not respond, but she could tell he was bursting with anticipation and joy as she tightened her hug.
“Close your eyes, kitten.” She leaned into him and whispered in his ear. She could feel the flicker of his eyelids and pulled back slightly to look at him.
She took a deep breath and steeled herself.
It was time.
The de-transformation was quick. She simply thought of the action and her kwami instantly responded.
There was a flash of light, bright enough to light the dark Parisian night. She opened her eyes and found Tikki floating in front of her. Her little friend gave her a sweet, knowing smile and then flew forward to kiss her cheek.
“This was a good decision.” Tikki whispered and then dove into Marinette’s purse to find her cookie snack, leaving Mari alone with Chat, whose eyes were still closed tightly.
“You...can open them now.” Marinette took another deep breath and when Chat didn’t instantly respond to her words, she put her hands on either side of his mask.
“Open your eyes, Chat.” It was a soft, quiet order. One similar to many she had given as Ladybug, and just like every other time, Chat obeyed.
His emerald eyes opened. He blinked, once. Twice.
Then, a huge smile split across his face. He took in a sharp breath and then spoke, his voice full of so much joy Marinette thought she would explode:
A sudden flash of light. It stunned and blinded Mari and she closed her eyes tightly. When the light faded, warms hands touched the sides of her face.
“Open your eyes.” A familiar voice whispered inches in front of her.
Her eyelids fluttered open.
“Adrien?” Marinette was stunned beyond belief at the blond hair and bright green eyes shining less than two inches away from her.
There was a delicious laugh and then his lips connected to hers and the whole world became focused down to the two of them, their lips entwining and the warmth of his hands in her hair...