Continuing Tales

Nine Lives

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

Part 11 of 18

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Chat Noir landed in front of the Agreste Mansion. It was far too late for anyone to be awake or to be taking company, but he was hardly a guest. A light was on in the lobby.

Someone was waiting.

He pressed the doorbell, and the familiar camera swiveled out and looked at him. He didn't say a word, not knowing what to say in the first place.

The gate simply rolled open as did the front door.

Nathalie greeted him, but he almost didn't recognize her at first. She was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and her hair was braided over her shoulder.

"We didn't know when you'd return." She said simply.

"I'm sorry." He didn't know why he was apologizing, but he felt bad more for making her wait than anything, probably an old habit. He saw the Gorilla sitting on the steps and two large suitcases next to him on the floor.

Gabriel was sitting in a chair when he entered, head in his hands, but when Chat came into the lobby, he stood. "How's Ladybug?"

Chat didn't fight the scowl. "Why do you care? You didn't mind trying to kill her before."

A pained look took over the man's face, as he whispered. "I only wanted her Miraculous...I don't want to be responsible for another death."

That made Adrien feel better, slightly, but he didn't comment.

"Well?" Began Gabriel. "Aren't you going to beat me up?"

God, he wanted to. But he supposed faking his death was the greatest blow he could give.

"No," he responded. "I shouldn't have let my anger take me like that in the first place."

Gabriel only nodded, not arguing with a blessing. He spoke again, staring at the floor. "I'll be calling the police once I hand over the brooch. I wanted to make sure you got the Miraculous, and Nooroo could return to the other Kwami's. No point in someone else with a darker agenda getting ahold of it."

Chat frowned, watching this shell of a man. When his mother died, he went from kind and gentle, to hard and harsh, and now he had become just...sad. Adrien could not recognize his father. There was no hint of the man he once was.

Chat held out his hand, and Gabriel placed the box in it. He flipped the lid at the last minute so that Nooroo came out.


"I'm not your Master anymore." Gabriel breathed. "Chat Noir will be returning you to the Guardian."

Nooroo swooped up and nuzzled his cheek. "You're doing the right thing."

The man didn't say anything, just nodded again and closed the box. Then he turned to his secretary. "Nathalie, will you get that other item, please?"

"Sir." And she departed into the office.

Chat's thumb rubbed over the top off the box before he looked back up to the man he once called Father. He really wanted to return to the Hospital, but he knew if he didn't ask, it would keep him up at night. "Why?"

"I thought it was fairly obvious…After my son...I just couldn't find the drive to—"

"No," interrupted Chat. "Why did you want our Miraculous?"

Gabriel was quiet, considering. "You know, for a little while, I thought you were Adrien."

Chat widened his eyes.

"But when his bodyguard was akumatized, you and Adrien were there together, so...that theory quickly changed."

Nathalie returned with another little box in her hand. She passed it to Gabriel, and he beckoned Chat along.

"I'm sure you only see me as the villain. But I promise my actions come from a place of desperation, and not a thirst of power. I'm sure you're aware of what happens when the Black Cat and Ladybug Miraculous combine."

"Um...something about Ultimate Power, but I wasn't given the details."

"Probably for your safety." Gabriel acknowledged. "When the two come together, the wearer has the ability to bend reality, they can grant whatever wish they could ever want."

Gabriel led him into his office and up to the painting of Emilie. "I lost my wife four years ago, not long before I became Hawkmoth." Pushing some buttons, the floor started to move and sunk down, lowering them to another level. Chat was immediately on edge, but he had the butterfly miraculous in his hand, so if Gabriel tried anything, he could easily overpower him.

The platform lowered into a large atrium. Chat carefully followed the man down the bridge in the middle.

"I told the media that she went missing, but the truth is much more harrowing."

They reached the end of the bridge to see a glass coffin, and Chat's hand clamped over his mouth.

There, laying in ageless sleep like Snow White, laid his mother, Emilie Agreste. A bouquet of wilted flowers rested under her entwined hands.

"She can't wake up." Gabriel choked, looking at her. "It was my fault." He held out the other box, allowing Chat to take it.

Gingerly, Chat opened the lid to see a Peacock brooch before it glowed and it's kwami came out. Blue in color with red accents, the little kwami looked up at him with small, sad eyes.

"Hello?" She said softly.

"This is Duusu, the Peacock Kwami." Gabriel explained.

At the second voice, the kwami turned quickly and stared at him with horror. "Gabriel?" Then after only a few seconds of eye contact, she started wailing. Horrible, painful, heart wrenching sobs, punctuated with glittering tears.

"Chat Noir, you should put her back to sleep."

Chat's hand quaked before he closed the lid. The kwami returned to the box and the crying ceased.

"Duusu was my wife's Miraculous. Gifted with the power of integrity, the Peacock was able to fortify a hero with strength and resilience. But, in my research, I found that the secret of immortality was within the peacock as well. Emilie and I talked about how wonderful it would be to have our family live forever. Never having to worry about death or loss again…and so we tried to unlock the secret, even without knowing the consequences." He paused, apparently struggling to finish his sentence.

Chat swallowed the persistent lump in his throat. "But…?"

"Duusu…took her soul instead. I don't know where, or how or…" He pressed his lips into a tight line. "I thought that the Black Cat and Ladybug Miraculous together could have the power to retrieve her…"

Chat wanted to stop him right there. He wanted to stop him from calling the police, from turning himself in. He wanted to rush to the hospital and get the Ladybug Earrings and try to bring her back here and now…but he didn't. He didn't say anything, and let Gabriel continue.

"But there's no point if Adrien isn't coming back." The man finished.

Chat exhaled shakily, and managed a quiet, "yeah, it's not much of a family without him, huh?"

"Well, no." Gabriel expressed. "But Adrien had a bigger role than just son."

Chat frowned, confused. He couldn't remember any other obligation his father had bestowed upon him, besides modeling and his extra curriculars of course.

"You remember that I said a balanced must always be maintained? When using the Black Cat and Ladybug? In order for Emilie to get her life back, Adrien would have to sacrifice his own."

And just like that, the air around Chat grew cold. He almost forgave his father for all his terrible deeds, for being overbearing and protective…but this changed everything.

Gabriel saw the panic on his face and tried to placated him. "But you see, it had to be Adrien. Because he would be born again, after Emilie awoke. He may look different and have all new memories, but he'd be Adrien. A new infant, with no memory of loss."

Gabriel Agreste was insane. Immortality, sacrifice, reincarnation…it was all too much. This was all wrong, so very wrong.

Chat tried in vain to clear his throat, but his mouth had run dry. He raised his hands, looking at the two Miraculous in his hold. He'd give these to Master Fu and then…and then he'd go back to being Emile. This life was over for him. There was no reason to go back.

And yet…his mother's sleeping form was so close…


He'd had enough.

"I think it's time we call the police, M. Agreste." He tried to keep the anger out of his voice, but did so poorly.

How dare he have this sob story? How dare the try to win pity? Gabriel had emphasized how important trust was between them…and yet when he missed his mother most, Gabriel had never even mentioned that she was sleeping so close. Just to see her in the flesh…to hold her hand, to kiss her cheek…was that too much to ask?

Apparently for a man like Hawkmoth, he was too selfish to consider it.

As they crossed back over the bridge, Chat spared a glance back at the coffin as his chest ached.

Though it wasn't his life anymore, he just had a feeling there was more to be done. Perhaps Master Fu would have an idea.

But that was something to worry about another day.

Coming back up to the main floor, Gabriel just glanced at him. "Take good care of those two."

"They're in good hands." He stated, slipping both boxes into his suit.



"I know it doesn't mean much…but I am sorry. And thank you."

In the lobby, Nathalie, the Gorilla, and about ten police officers were waiting.

"M. Agreste," began Officer Roger, eyeballing Chat Noir. "Your secretary called us over here in the middle of night, and said you have something to tell us. It had better be important."

And just then, Gabriel looked at Chat…for reassurance. He was afraid, and uncertain. It was so startling to see, Chat had no words to share.

"Yes, I'm turning myself in." He finally answered.

"For what?"

"For…for crimes against the city of Paris. I am…or was…Hawkmoth."

The room fell silent as Officer Roger glanced at Chat. "Is this true?"

"Yes. Ladybug and I found out earlier today."

The policeman frowned. "And where is Ladybug now?"

"She…had to leave. As I will have to soon."

The policeman took off his cap and scratched his head. "This…is not how we expected this to end."

"Neither did we." Chat agreed.

"Alright, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney. If you cannot afford one, which I doubt, one will be appointed to you by the court. You can decide at any time from this moment on to terminate the interview and exercise these rights. Do you understand each of these rights I have explained to you?"

"Yes." As he was cuffed, he glanced over to Chat and offered a meek smile. "Give my regards to Ladybug, will you?"

Chat chortled. "I'm sure they'll mean a lot, coming from you."

As Gabriel was escorted out, Nathalie came to his side. "Would you like a ride to the hospital?"

"No, thank you…I have somewhere I need to go first."

"I see…then may I have a word before you go?"

"Ah, I guess?" He had already been away from the hospital longer than he wanted to, but he had to make sure everything was taken care of here.

For Ladybug's sake.

They waited until the police left and they were alone.

"Alright, what did you need to—" Chat didn't get the opportunity to finish, since Nathalie grabbed him and yanked him into a tight, sure hug. It was more affection than she had ever given him before as Adrien, and it was startling.


"I'm sure that was very hard to see, but I'm proud of you, Adrien."

He gasped, his mouth falling open in shock. "You knew?"

"It's my job to know everything about you, and where you are at every moment. So when you decidedly went missing every time there was an Akuma attack, it wasn't hard to figure out."

"How long?"

"Nearly since the beginning. One day I heard you talking to someone. I thought you were on the phone at first, but then when I peaked in your room, I saw a little black creature. About the same size as Nooroo."

"So you knew my father was Hawkmoth?"

"The whole time, yes."

He furrowed his brow in thought. "But you didn't tell on either of us…"

"Your father asked me specifically not to tell you. And, as I said, it was my job to know everything about you. But I used my discretion on what to tell your father. I saw Chat Noir on the news and he was lively, and goofy…everything that a boy your age should be. I knew you needed this, just like your father needed Hawkmoth."

Adrien frowned harder. "And so you let him be a madman? A Terrorist?"

"If it gave him hope…" She turned away from him, slowly bringing her arms up to hold herself. "Love makes you do crazy things."

He had always wondered. She had continued to stand by him even when he was abusive to her and other employees. She never argued, never questioned him…it wasn't blind obedience, but reckless devotion.

She continued, "I always wondered what it would take to make you run away. I tried to tell him the Germany wasn't a great idea, but he insisted. I wasn't expecting you to fake your death."

"Drastic means to an end." He supplied.

"Well, if your youtube channel is anything to go by, I think you're doing alright."

"I was…but now…"

Nathalie nodded. "I've kept you long enough. Go on. Your father arranged for Arthur and I to have a two week vacation to the Caribbean. We're on our way to the airport."

He snorted. "That's the most decent thing he's done in years. And now? Of all times?"

"He's put me in charge of his finances while he's incarcerated. This will likely be the last time I have any free time for a while." She offered a small smile. "If you ever need anything, you know how to contact me." She took his old phone out of her pocket and gave it to him.

He returned the smile and took the phone, "Thanks Nathalie."

Dr. Ernest Boucher. A young man, very smart, very talented, at the top of his class even...and on his feet for the last 26 hours. He was planning on going home to his little apartment around 5pm. But then that kid burst in with his girlfriend in his arms.

He had never seen an injury like that before.

Of course, he'd seen victims of blunt trauma and shattered rib cages...but this was different. Unexplainably different.

After he checked on Miss Dupain Cheng, he took a moment for himself and went to the vending machine. He promised himself he'd eat healthier, but the cafe was closed at this time of night and he wanted something sweet. The bag of mini cookies would hit the spot nicely.

The second he opened the bag, he felt a rustling in his coat pocket. Carefully, he peered in the pocket to see a little red toy, staring at him. How did that get there?

Then it blinked.

"Augh!" He cried out in surprise.

Tikki whispered back in her sweet voice. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."

Curiously, he reached into the pocket and took out the small creature to rest in his hand. "And who...or what, are you?"

"My name is Tikki, and I'm a kwami. I give Ladybug her powers."

"Oh, so that's how she does it. But why were you in my pocket?"

"You have to keep everything about your patients a secret, right?"

"Except for their legal guardians, yes."

"Ladybug is one of your patients right now, and I need your help to save her."

A chance to save Ladybug? After all the times she's saved Paris? "It would be an honor. Just tell me what you need."

Tikki smiled slightly, still weak from Cataclysm. "First, I'm going to need some of those cookies."

Finally, he left his old home and headed to Master Fu's. He knew the man would be asleep, but this was too important to be polite. He released his transformation and used his spare key to get into the building.

Sure enough, Master Fu was sprawled out on the floor when he entered.

"Master?" He asked softly. When he didn't stir, he spoke louder. "Old man Fu?"

A snore turned into a gasp and a mutter of, "don't call me that…" He blinked his eyes open and then looked up. "Oh, Emile. What are you doing here?" He glanced over to the clock. "It's nearly 3 in the morning! If you needed a place to stay, you know where the blankets are!"

Adrien shook his head simply and took the two boxes out of his pockets. "Here."

"What's this?"

"The Butterfly and Peacock Miraculous, Hawkmoth just surrendered."

"What!?" The man set the boxes on the table and the kwamis shot out. "These are the real Miraculous…" He whispered.

Adrien sighed, tired. "It's a long story, but I'll have to tell you later…I have to go to the hospital."

"Are you alright?"

He was resigned. Maybe he was still in shock from the waves of trauma that had assaulted him all day, or maybe he was just exhausted. "I'm…fine. But Marinette…I tried to hit Hawkmoth with Cataclysm…but she jumped in front of me."

"Oh thank heavens!" Fu cried out.

Adrien stared at him in shock, and a little horror.

"No, you misunderstand," the man placated. "If you touch anyone with Cataclysm, they crumble into dust, everyone except for Ladybug. As I told you before, you two balance each other, and therefore the Ladybug miraculous is resistant to absolute destruction."

"Oh…but I saw her. Her chest was completely bloodied and bruised and the doctors said her lungs were punctured and her heart might stop!" As he spoke, he began to panic again.

"Resistant, but not impervious."

"So instead of a quick and painless death, it's a slow and agonizing one. Great." He sunk lower into his self inflicted depression.

"No one said death was inevitable. She's Ladybug. Her luck may preserve her."

Adrien wasn't so sure, and the look of defeat on his face said it all. Another racing thought crossed his mind. "I suppose you want the ring back now that Hawkmoth is defeated."

"Chat Noir and Ladybug are still needed. And you two still need Tikki and Plagg. Don't worry about that now."

Adrien sighed in relief. At least he had that much.

"Go Adrien. You can tell me all about Hawkmoth later."

Wordlessly, he got up and left.

"And in the meantime," Fu glanced at the two quiet Kwamis. "Perhaps you can tell me what's happened since you were lost."

Nine Lives

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

Part 11 of 18

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