Continuing Tales

Nine Lives

A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by P-Artsypants

Part 10 of 18

<< Previous     Home     Next >>
Untitled Document

Everything came to a quiet standstill. A ring of darkness blossomed from the ground, and a woman in strange clothing emerged. She glanced around at the assembled, and then created another portal and disappeared.

Silence reigned king as everyone stared at the place she had been a moment ago.

What they had been waiting for had finally happened, at the worst possible time.

An akuma.

"This just in!" Alya said, breaking the awkward tension in the air. "Hawkmoth has finally broken his two months of silence since Hot Spot. I only saw the new akuma for a moment, but it looks like she creates portals. I'm off to track her down!"

"We better get to safety," Emile nudged Marinette.

"Oh puh-lease, that akuma is long gone. I have some reprimanding to finish."

Emile faced her head on, and even loomed over her. "No offense Chloe, but bringing up the past and hurting Marinette like this isn't honoring Adrien's memory. It's ruining it. And I'm sure if it had been you up on the tower, you wouldn't have jumped after him. So get over yourself, you bitch." Then he wrapped an arm around Marinette and guided her into an empty classroom. "I'm going to go after Alya. Good luck out there."

She wanted to reply, 'you too' but she only managed a quiet, "yeah." She was glad he wasn't trying to force his identity onto her right now. Not with these conflicting emotions rampaging through her, not when she had to have absolute focus.

"What a rollercoaster of emotions!" Tikki stated, wisely. "This akuma doesn't look destructive, so please Marinette, take a second to breathe and focus."

"Right," she nodded. With a sigh, she relaxed her shoulders until all the tension disappeared. Of course Chloe had every reason to be upset about Adrien. But it was also obvious that she never got any therapy for it. And she was an attention hog. She had made her peace with Adrien, even if the ache remained. She would not return to dwelling on that accident, and instead get a grip and move on.

She exhaled slowly. "Alright Tikki. Spot's on!"

Ladybug took off out the window, scanning the area for the akuma. She wasn't being loud or destructive, but there were shouts of terror happening all over town.

"My Lady," Chat said, by way of greeting. "Enjoy your time off?"

"Yeah, it was too good to be true."

"Look at it this way, now we get another chance to get Hawkmoth's Miraculous."

She nodded to him, "You make a good point."

There was more shouting by the Eiffel Tower, and the heroes headed that direction.

"This is going to be a hard one, since she can create portals. It might be hard to grab a hold of her."

"Remember Troublemaker?" He asked. "She had to be tangible to touch us. This akuma will have to be outside a portal to hurt us."

"Good thinking, kitty!"

They landed in the park just under the tower. The akuma was just standing there, white skin, black and purple swirling dress, and a red streak in her black hair.

Chat shouted out to her, "The Cake is a Lie!"

Ladybug had her yo-yo at the ready, but glanced over to him. "What the hell?"

"It's a Portal reference…"

"Oh, right."

"I have not come to fight," The akuma stated, crystal clear. "Hawkmoth wishes to have a word." And she summoned a large portal behind her, and gestured to it with one hand. "When you're ready."

Ladybug's yo-yo stopped spinning and hung awkwardly in the air. The duo looked at each other.

"Ladybug…is this it?"

"I…I don't know." She said in a whisper. "But we have to go."

"What if it's a trap?"

"It probably is. But we can't miss this opportunity."

The akuma spoke again. "Hawkmoth assures that there's no gimmick. He is preparing his surrender."

Chat took her hand, intertwining their fingers and squeezing her palm. "I'm with you, Ladybug. Now and forever."

"Okay…okay," then together they walked through the portal, the akuma following behind.

The room was dark, and rather barren. A window with a butterfly sat before them, and silhouetted against it was a tall man with a cane.

The two heroes heard the portal close behind them.

"Ladybug, Chat Noir. It's a pleasure to meet you in the flesh." His voice was cold, emotionless, everything expected from the man terrorizing Paris for years.

"I wish we could say the same." Ladybug returned, still completely on edge.

They heard him sigh as he raised his hands toward the akuma victim. She was engulfed in black and purple shadows, and then returned to a normal human being. The little butterfly flew around in the space.

"Would you do the honors, Ladybug?" The villain asked.

Confusion sat on her shoulders, but she spun her yo-yo and caught the little butterfly, purified it, and watched as it flew out the window.

Hawkmoth turned to the woman. "That will be all Nathalie, thank you."

The secretary nodded and left the room.

"Nathalie…?" Chat whispered in shock.

"I made a mistake," Hawkmoth said. "Two, actually. I spent so much time and effort trying to get your Miraculous to fix the first, that I made another. Now I fear if I continue this trend, I will lose what little I have left." He sighed again, his proud shoulders sinking. "Nooroo, dark wings fall."

And there stood Gabriel Agreste, looking even worse than the last time they saw him.

"M. Agreste…" Ladybug began.

"I don't need your pity," he interrupted, holding up a hand. "I am a villain. And though I could try to justify my actions, it doesn't matter anymore." From his pocket, he took out a box. Then removed his brooch and placed it inside. "It's better if you have this. Keep it for yourself, or give it to the guardian…it doesn't matter. Just…get it away from me."

She hesitated. She was still several feet away, but he held the box out to her. "I…my kwami is a dear friend to me," Ladybug admitted. "I…I don't know if I could take him away from you after this…you need help, Monsieur."

"Don't." Gabriel said with a quivering lip. "I don't deserve anything. I'll be turning myself into the police after this meeting."

Ladybug glanced to her partner, who had been awfully quiet during this whole exchange. She imagined he was in shock, but found a rather different reaction as she took him in.

His pupils were narrowed into slits as his lips pulled into a snarl, baring his teeth. His shoulders rose as he whole body shook with rage. He was coiled like a spring, ready to strike. And yet, tears spilled from his eyes and snot from his nose.

"Chat?" She asked softly.

That was the trigger. "You monster!" He shrieked, his voice breaking. He leapt and ran at the man, who stood unmoving. Waiting for his lot.

Ladybug shot out her yo-yo in time to snag him away. "No! Chat, he's a civilian right now! You'd hurt him!"

"I'll kill him!" Chat hissed back, thrashing like a wild animal. "I'll scratch his eyes out!"

"Knock it off! He's surrendering! There's no reason to fight!"

"No reason to fight!? Are you stupid or something!?" He roared. "He kept his son locked up, like some neglected pet, boasting about how safe he was, and how important Adrien was…but he constantly put him in the line of fire of akumas! He's a liar and he doesn't deserve compassion!"

"It was never my intention—" Gabriel tried to protest, brokenly.

"Shut up! Shut up! You make me sick!" He sobbed. "What you did to him—what you did to—" His breath caught in his throat. "He's dead because of you!"

And he wasn't lying. The facet of Adrien, the personality and the self identity, that had died. Gabriel had trampled his spirit for the sake of safety, while he was the one causing the danger.

Ladybug wrapped an arm around his shoulders and steadied him as she freed him from the yo-yo. She squeezed him, staring him in the eye. "Look at me Chat. He will serve time for his crimes…but we aren't going to be the ones to exact vengeance. Killing him or hurting him is only going to make you feel worse in the end."

He avoided her eyes, blocking out her logic and reasoning. She didn't understand, she'd never understand.

"Chat! Chat, listen to me!"

Chat snatched the yo-yo from her hand and glared at her. "I beg to differ." Then he broke into a sprint again, running at Gabriel. "Cataclysm!"


It all happened so fast. Ladybug ran, not seeing any other option. Gabriel would be obliterated, but with the suit, she at least stood a chance, right?


All of Adrien's anger and rage that had been simmering for years evaporated instantly as his hand landed squarely on Ladybug's chest. His eyes widened for a split second before a burst of energy sent them both flying across the room. The impact was jarring, but it didn't hurt. He got to his feet quickly, his vision blurred and ears ringing from the blast.

"My Lady!" He croaked.

Chat could hear Gabriel speaking. "Ladybug? Are you alright? Can you hear me?"

"Get away from her!" He cried out, staggering over to them. "Don't touch her!"

So Gabriel backed off, sitting just inches from her with clenched fists. "She's still breathing…" he provided.

Chat Noir slid on his knees to get to her. She didn't look hurt, but she was pale, unconscious, and her breathing was haggard. He couldn't even find the courage to touch her. His hand trembled just in front of her face. "My Lady…"

"It was an accident…" Gabriel tried to calm him down. "You should take her to the hospital."

Chat glanced at him, nostrils flaring, ready to tell him to shut up again, but Gabriel continued.

"You can beat me up later. You know where to find me…and I have nothing left to fight for." He had the Butterfly Miraculous in his hand, still closed in it's box. "This will be waiting for you."

Chat wanted to take it right now, but he wasn't thinking straight. All he could hear was her scream, a shrill screech of agony. He scooped her up carefully and only turned to spit at Gabriel before he leapt out the window.

Evening would be approaching soon. The streets were busy with hard working folks going home for dinner. Chat Noir carried his Lady over the rooftops as far as he could while his ring continued to beep.

"C-Chat?" Ladybug whispered, waking up.

"Hang on, LB. We're going to the hospital." He dropped down to an alley, only a few blocks from the emergency room, as his ring gave it's final beep. Adrien was cast in a green light before Plagg appeared and dropped on his shoulder.

"Ugh, my aching head…" The kwami complained. "What did you do?"

Adrien didn't answer as he hurried his steps, but remained in the back streets, away from prying eyes.

"I knew it was you…" Ladybug said softly, reaching up to touch his scar. "I don't know how I missed it."

"Hush, don't waste any energy. We're almost at the hospital, okay?"

"…I'm going to detransform…safer that way…"


"Spots off…" A flash of pink, and Marinette remained. Tikki shot out of the earrings and landed on Marinette's forehead. She whimpered out in pain.

Adrien came to a full stop. The suit had hid all of the damage cataclysm left, but now…there was a huge black spot over her chest, and on closer inspection, he found it was her skin. Her shirt had been incinerated, and all that remained was blackened with bruises. Strange lumps shifted her skin in odd ways, and bones were sticking through, soaking what was left of her shirt in blood.

"Adr-" Plagg started, but then lost his voice. "…cataclysm?"

Adrien's response was nearly inaudible. "I didn't mean to."

"Keep going," Plagg urged. "You're almost there."

He burst into the emergency room. "I need help!" His voice broke. "Please help her!"

The nurses charged into action, and he was caught in a flurry of questions and directions. Marinette was taken from him and lain on a stretcher, but he didn't dare let go of her hand. Absently, he noticed Tikki wasn't on her head anymore, but he didn't have the mind to worry about it.

"Sir, this is as far as you can go." A nurse said, pulling their hands apart.

"No! I have to be with her! I have to see her! She needs me!"

"She needs you to be out here." The woman said, holding his arms. "She needs you to contact her family and to let the doctors take care of her."

"It was an accident…" He whispered, more tears rolling down his cheeks. He hadn't stopped crying since Hawkmoth dropped his mask, and he imagined it would continue still. "My Lady…"

The nurse guided him back to the waiting room while Marinette was whisked off into surgery. He sat down hard, staring blankly at his bloody hands while his thoughts did somersaults. I killed Ladybug. I killed the woman I love. I have nothing. My father is Hawkmoth. I tried to kill my father.

Plagg floated into his field of vision. "Adrien?" He said, wearily.

"I don't have any cheese." He replied distantly.

"I don't need cheese." He returned. Then he nuzzled against his face with a purr. "I just need you."

Adrien cupped his kwami to him and just let himself weep.

"It was an accident." Plagg whispered. "It's going to be okay…"

"No it's not…It's not okay…" He breathed. "I shouldn't be allowed this much power. I shouldn't…"

"Adrien, you just learned that your abusive father is Hawkmoth. No one would be thinking logically. Don't beat yourself up…"

"I keep messing up. I ruin everything and I keep hurting the ones I love…" He quaked.

Plagg sighed. He really wasn't good at comfort and reassurance. "Can you at least pull yourself together to talk to her parents? They have to be called."

"I can't…I can't tell them what happened!"

"Then don't. Just tell them that Marinette's in the Hospital." Plagg poked his face, trying to ground him. "They need to know."

Plagg was right of course, and hopefully he could swing it carefully. He took out his phone and dialed Sabine's number.

"Emile!" She answered, frantic. "Where are you? Where's Marinette!? You never came home from school! And there was an akuma—"

"I'm at the hospital." He breathed.

"What? Honey, I can't hear you. Please speak up."

"I'm at the hospital!" He spoke again, his voice breaking with volume.

"Oh god! What happened?" Then he heard her pull the phone away to shout. "Tom! Tom! We have to go to the Hospital!"

"It was an accident." He began. "Marinette—"

"Don't worry, Sweetie. We're on our way! You can explain later. Why don't you call Alya? She'll want to know!"

He was grateful for a little time to get his story straight. "Okay…I'll see you soon. Be safe."

The conversation with Alya was even shorter. He got to "Marinette's in the hospital," before Alya interrupted with, "be there in 10!" And hung up on him.

As he stared at the screen, his mind just turned blank. It was easier that way, rather there be no thoughts than too many. He wandered over to the window and looked out to the courtyard. It was the golden hour, all the plants and flowers were cast in a radiant orange and pink light.

Adrien would have found it beautiful if not for his whole world going gray.

What a day. It started off so wonderful and light and...then every possible thing that could go wrong did.

He didn't know how long he stood there before someone shouted out, "Emile!"

He turned slightly before Alya embraced him tightly. "Where's Marinette? Is she okay? What happened?"

Where to begin? What to even say? He just swallowed and pointed at the doors she disappeared behind.

Alya took in his appearance. His face was pale and some hair stuck to his face with sweat. Blood smeared on his cheeks, mixing with tears. His hands were totally red, and his clothes were stained.

"Hey," she said, more gently. "You look terrible. Do you need to get checked out too?"

Probably, but he shook his head no. He might have sustained some bruising from that blast, but that didn't matter right now.

"Do you want some water?" Again, her voice was soft.

He swallowed, his throat tight. Then with a simple nod, she patted his cheek. "I'm going to get you a water bottle. You should sit down, you look like you're going to collapse."

But instead, he returned his gaze to the window. He hugged himself with one arm, as the other rested on it and covered his mouth, lest his whimpering be heard by those few left in the waiting room.

"Here," Alya stated, resting the bottle against his arm.

He took a cautious, shaky drink, and pressed the cool surface to his hot, wet face. His eyes hurt, and to everyone else they were totally bloodshot.

"Are her parents coming?"

He nodded.

"Okay, then we'll wait together." She wrapped an arm around his shoulder and just held him. After a moment of silence she said. "I think this afternoon went really well. Well, until Chloe interrupted that is."

He hummed.

"She was really happy. You made her happy."

He shuttered as more tears came.

"Was it bad?" She asked. "When you brought her?"

"I thought I killed her," he whispered. "I don't know how she'll survive..."

Alya stared at him, open mouthed, but didn't press it.

Tom and Sabine arrived soon enough, with a duffel bag on hand. "Emile! Oh honey…" Sabine cried, hugging him briefly and cupping his cheeks. "Oh sweetheart you look awful! Come on, come with me." She herded him to the family bathroom and got to work cleaning his face. "You're in shock." She said simply.

He didn't fight her one bit as she helped him out of his bloody shirt and into a clean one from her bag. Then she helped him wash his hands.

Was he really this helpless? He couldn't even remember how to walk.

"That's right, nice and clean." Sabine said in her motherly tone.

Adrien melted. He let her help him and care for him, because he couldn't care for himself. He hated himself. Hated Adrien, hated Chat Noir…and he was beginning to hate Emile, the helpless liar.

Sabine dried his hands. "Better?"

He clenched his eyes shut and tried to will himself not to cry again.

"It's okay…it's okay…" Though, her eyes were welling with tears too. She hadn't seen Marinette, her own daughter, and he could only be grateful for that. He felt selfish for having her dote on him like this, but perhaps it was for the best to have her focus on other things.

She lead him back out to the waiting room, where Nino had joined Tom and Alya.

"Dude, you look like a wreck."

Adrien attempted a laugh, but it came out as a choke.

Sabine combed her fingers through his hair patiently. "When you can, can you tell us what happened?"

Adrien bit his lip as he hugged himself again. He couldn't possibly lie. But he couldn't bare to tell the truth either.

"I can't." He said simply.

"Okay," Tom returned gently. "It's okay...whatever it was...thank you for taking care of her and bringing her here."

Adrien shook his head. He didn't deserve gratitude.

And so they waited. Sabine pulled out some bakery leftovers she had shoveled into a paper bag.

"Here, it's not a substantial dinner, but you haven't eaten since lunch."

Adrien accepted a croissant, stealthily ripping it to pieces to give Plagg.

Finally sometime around midnight, seven hours after he and Marinette arrived, the doctor came out.


All five gathered by the doctor, ready to hear the news.

"My name is Dr. Ernest Boucher, and I performed a fairly substantial surgery on your daughter Marinette." He was a younger man, tall, dark hair, and very kind eyes and warm demeanor.

"How is she?" Tom began.

"She's in critical condition. We've done all we can, doesn't look good."

Adrien's heart dropped to his shoes.

"As far as we can tell, something of substantial force hit her directly in the chest. Her sternum and front-most ribs were shattered, some to the point of breaking through the skin. Other places, she has flail chest, where her ribs have broken and separated from the thoracic cavity. This basically means her organs are completely unprotected."

Tom wrapped an arm around Alya and his wife.

"In addition, the impact resulted in hemopneumothorax, a collapsed lung due to blood leaking into the pleural cavity. You could think of the lungs as two balloons, and both of them are in another balloon. The rib cage is connected to that outer balloon, and when it moves, we inhale and exhale. But that balloon, the pleural wall, was punctured by broken ribs, and the space filled with blood. Luckily, a chest tube and a respirator are keeping her breathing just fine for now." He sighed, "but what we're most worried about is her bruised heart, specifically her Right Ventricle."

No one knew what to say, so the doctor continued. "No one in that condition should be able to speak, much less breathe. And to be honest, I can hardly believe she was alive. But yet, right up until surgery, she was cognizant and able to answer some questions, not very well, but a few words."

"So what does this mean?"

"It means, she's lucky. Whatever hit her, missed everything but her chest. She has no spinal or cranial injuries, no lower thoracic injuries to her other organs, nothing. But it's still uncertain if she'll recover. We've got a pump for the blood in her pleural cavity, and it's regulating the pressure needed to aspirate. We've set her ribs, and stitched up her wounds. There's not much else we can do for her heart except continue to monitor it. Luckily, it was only bruised and not punctured. The next thing we have to watch for is an infarction."

"What's that?"

"A heart attack. If her right ventricle continues to work the way it should, we shouldn't have to worry. But if it stops, then we need to be prepared for complications like complete cardiac arrest."

"Will she make it?" Adrien whispered.

The doctor breathed slowly, and met his eyes. "At this point, I really don't know. If the bleeding stops, and her heart keeps going, I think she'll make it."

Adrien wanted to cry again, but this time in relief. It wasn't confirmation, but it was hope.

"Now here's the part I dread as a doctor," he continued. "I have to tell you you can't see your daughter yet. It may be a few hours or even days before she stabilizes. I suggest going home for the night."

No one in the group liked that, but of course no one was going to fight.

"Is it alright if we stay?" Asked Tom. "I couldn't bare going home. Not when there's so much uncertainty."

"Sure, you're welcome to wait here as long as you need to."

"Thank you doctor."

"I'll be sure to report any changes as soon as they happen."

Now that things were more certain, Adrien seemed to find the ground for the moment, and gathered himself. He took another drink from the water Alya gave him, and glanced at Plagg in his pocket.

"How are you doing, Plagg?"

"Don't worry about me..." the Kwami scolded.

"Would you be able to transform me?"


"I have some unfinished business."

"Don't do anything hasty."

"I won't. Not this time."

Adrien looked up to the others. Alya was holding onto Nino as Tom and Sabine continued to talk to the doctor.

"I'm going to get some air," he told his friends. "I don't know when I'll be back."

"Do you want us to come with?" Alya asked.

"No, I...need a bit for myself. Sorry. I'll be back."

"Okay, stay safe."

Emile exited the hospital, and Chat Noir raced into the night.

Nine Lives

A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by P-Artsypants

Part 10 of 18

<< Previous     Home     Next >>