Continuing Tales

Nine Lives

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

Part 13 of 18

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When Marinette awoke again, she was surprised to see a hospital room. Hadn't she died? She saw Adrien. It had to be him! She knew him!

But looking around, she came to the conclusion that yes, she really was still alive. It must have just been a dream. A severely realistic dream.

It was nighttime now, and the lights in the room were dimmed. All sorts of machines connected to her with tubes and wires, and she could hardly move. She wasn't in too much pain, but she assumed there were drugs involved in that.

Alya sat in a chair not too far away, her head lulling to the side in sleep.

There was another patient in her room, an arms length away, but a curtain blocked everything above the elbows from view.

"Marinette?" A soft voice asked. Tikki had been asleep on her stomach, but woke up when she began to move.

"Hi Tikki," she managed to whisper. Oh lord she sounded awful.

The kwami smiled weakly. "I knew you'd be alright."

Marinette just twitched the corner of her mouth up in response. She was still very weak, but she couldn't rest until she got some information. Where was Chat? Or Emile, she should say. He had brought her here after all. And what about Hawkmoth?

Tikki floated up and over to Alya, poking her cheek.

Marinette tried to protest, but couldn't make much noise.

Alya awoke, looked at Tikki, and held her hand out for her. Then she glanced up to Marinette. Her eyes widened as she nearly shouted, "Marinette!" She leapt to her feet and ran to her, cupping her cheeks and leaning her forehead against hers. "You're alright! It worked! I'm so relieved!"


"Oh girl, you sound like you're dying." She clicked the pager for the nurse. "Try not to talk too much."

Marinette swallowed thickly, trying to quench the ache in her throat.

Tikki floated from Alya's hand back to the bed and hid under the covers.

"Poor thing. She's been trying to recover and heal you guys at the same time. She's been sleeping a lot."

Marinette wanted to hold Tikki in that moment and let her rest, but she couldn't move very well.

Alya had this look on her face, halfway between relief and awe.

"I'm sorry," Marinette whispered, despite Alya's plea to not speak. "But I couldn't tell you."

"I know…" Alya said with a sigh. "And you know that I understand, because I didn't tell Marinette about Rena Rouge...but I still feel really stupid for not figuring out sooner. I was so devoted to figuring you out for so long...and I totally missed you. It shook me, to be honest. It's not your fault, and I don't blame you...I'm just…" She shrugged. "You know?"

Marinette nodded, reaching her hand out to take Alya's. She sighed in relief. She didn't know what she'd do if Alya was mad at her.

"I was more upset that I'd be losing you and Ladybug in one swoop. Since, you know…you are her."

Marinette 'shh'ed her, pointing at the bed next to her.

"Oh, it's all good." Alya laughed, walking around the bed. "It's just Emile." She yanked the curtain back, bringing Emile's sleeping face into view. He had a tube by his nose, and an IV in his arm.

Marinette frowned. She didn't know how to feel about him. It was unfair to be mad at him for getting so angry. He had the right to be angry at Hawkmoth. After all, they had been fighting against him for the past four years. Seeing his face in person would stir up some ugly feelings.

But it was the revelation of his identity that had pushed him over the edge. What was it about Gabriel Agreste that had invoked so much hatred as to spur him into murder?

It had to come down to Adrien. He had even mentioned it before using Cataclysm. But why? There was a conversation between Adrien and Chat that he refused to talk about. Something big.

She didn't hold her injury against him in the slightest. He would never hurt her on purpose, and he made sure she got here, despite being obviously injured himself. Why else would he be lying in the hospital like her?

Alya let her process this development in silence. Doubtless it was a lot to swallow.

The nurse entered. "Well good morning sunshine!" She chirped. "We wondered when you were going to get up. You've been asleep for 3 days."

"3–!?" She coughed.

The nurse placed a comforting hand on her shoulder and held a styrofoam cup with a bendy straw up to her lips. "Try to relax Miss Dupain-Cheng. You had a punctured lung. Doctor Boucher will be in in a few hours. He'll tell you everything."

Taking some healthy gulps of the offered water, Marinette found it easier to talk. She took the cup in her hand to hold it on her own. "Thank you."

"Do you need anything else? Are you warm enough?"

She really just wanted to talk to Alya, so she shook her head. "No, I'm fine."

"Alright, just buzz me if you change your mind. I'll let you gals catch up." As she left, she closed the door.

Marinette pressed her fingernail into the styrofoam cup. "I felt really guilty about hiding my identity, but I tried to make it up to you."

"Thus Trixx." Alya grinned.

"Well, that was for a different reason. When I first got Tikki, I was convinced the guardian had the wrong person-"

"Guardian?" Alya asked, eyes alight with journalistic interest. If she was Ladybug, no doubt she'd be recording.

Still, Alya could be trusted, and so she continued. "A man that guards over all the Miraculous. That's where Trixx is when you aren't using him."

"Oh that makes sense. I wondered where you got yours from."

"Chat Noir also got his ring from this man. And...I trust you, but I can't give away his identity without his permission."

Alya agreed, "yeah, that makes sense. Anyways, you were saying?"

"Right, uh...when I met Tikki, I thought there was no way I was the right person for the job. I was a mess my first time out. Chat Noir was a natural, and he was so sweet too...but after I failed to catch that first akuma, I really felt like I messed up, so I tried to give the earrings to you."

"What? When?"

"I slipped them into your bag. But when Stoneheart came back, you left it behind and I chased you down, trying to give you your bag…"

"But the car…" Alya said with growing realization. "You were there!"

"So I decided to finish what I started. And the rest is history. Literally, I think there are History books with that battle in them already."

"So I was almost Ladybug!?"

"Yep." Marinette grinned.

"Aw man!" She mocked disappointment. "Oh well, I like my life better this way. Award winning blogger, part time fox themed Superhero. Just enough to be a superhero, without the insane responsibilities…now a lot of things are making sense."

"Like why I'm late all the time?"

"Or don't show up at all?" She snickered. Then Alya's face fell, "that's why you thought Adrien was your fault."

Marinette clenched her bedsheets. "Yeah…" Then she fell silent,not wanting to go any farther down that topic. She glanced back over to her partner. He hadn't awakened with the intrusion of the nurse, or their soft conversation. "So...what happened?"

Alya figured it was only a matter of time before she asked. "Okay okay okay, I'll give you the whole story, from my point of view." She gestured wildly. "But you have to stay calm though, kay? Everything is under control."

Marinette nodded in understanding.

"Okay, so on Friday, it's Monday now, bt-dubs, that Akuma popped up."

"Right, the portal one."

"Right. So I went out to record, while you and Emile suited up—"

That answered the question if Alya knew who Chat was.

"And then you guys showed up at the Eiffel Tower after some time and jumped into a portal. Then like, two hours later, I got a call from Emile and he goes, 'Marinette's in the hospital' and I didn't even think, I just hung up and ran." Alya told the whole story. From arriving at the hospital to see Emile covered in blood and in shock, to the moment where the doctor pulled Tikki out of his coat. "So, she said that you were injured in the final confrontation with Hawkmoth, but it was Emile who confessed it was Chat Noir who actually caused the injury. You should have seen him, he was bawling. We had to reassure him that we didn't blame him, because he just felt so guilty!"

Marinette glanced over to Emile again, eyebrows furrowed. Of course he'd feel terrible about it, she was his best friend. "So wait," she interrupted the story. "He wasn't injured at all?"

"Oh, right. It'll all make sense in just a minute." She continued. "So Tikki told him to put on your earrings—"

Marinette gasped in shock. "He's not supposed to do that!"

"Tikki and Plagg were both pretty adamant that it was okay, but he had a lot of reservations about it." She took out her phone and pulled up the video that Nino had shot. "And then…he transformed."

Marinette took the phone and watched the video with wide eyes. It hadn't been a dream after all. She watched him kiss her, and then begin to heal her, as he took her wounds for his own.

"He took roughly half of your wounds," Alya explained. "The worst, most scarring ones. You've both been asleep ever since."

Tears sprang to her eyes. "He really does love me..."

"Yeah, I could have told you that. You should see the way he looks at you when you aren't looking."

Marinette took in his exhausted face. How had she not fallen in love with him sooner?

"So…what happened on your end?" Alya asked. "Emile said he tried to Cataclysm Gabriel Agreste…"

"Yeah, he did. In fact, Chat was really serious, but focused when we met Hawkmoth, but then once he revealed himself as Gabriel…Chat just...snapped. He was so angry…" She sat up a little bit, and pulled her legs up. "Since you know about who we are…can I tell you another secret? You can't tell anyone."

"Of course. Scouts honor."

She nodded, and took another sip of her water. "I found out…after Hotspot…hmm…" It was hard to say it out loud. "Adrien's death…wasn't an accident."

Alya's eyes blew wide and her mouth dropped open. "…what?"

"I had a feeling, when it happened. He looked over the edge and…he jumped. He didn't fall. He did it on purpose."

"But…why? I know he wasn't looking forward to Germany, but…it couldn't have been a reason for him to kill himself! And—and even if he had gotten hurt, Miraculous Ladybug would have fixed it!"

"That's what I'm saying. After the funeral, Chat and I finally met up…he and Adrien had talked at some point. I don't know about what, but…I found out that Chat Noir has the power to stop my healing spell. Chat said he purposefully stopped Miraculous Ladybug from bringing Adrien back, per his request."

Alya frowned hard, tapping a finger to her chin. "And he wouldn't tell you why?"

"He said he was sworn to secrecy...and he hasn't talked about it since."

"You don't think...Adrien knew?"

"About his father?"

"Yeah. Maybe he was overwhelmed with the secret, or maybe he didn't want to be a pawn."

"I would have thought he would have told Chat if he knew...but maybe not. Chat said there was another side to Adrien that I didn't know, something dark."

Alya shivered. "I guess everyone has their secrets...but...can you imagine how Adrien would react finding out his dad was Hawkmoth? It would totally destroy him."

"Yeah," Marinette agreed, a heaviness in her heart at the thought. "I guess him being gone is a blessing in that regard."

"Well, enough mysteries for now. How are you feeling?"

"Like I got hit by a truck."

"I don't doubt it." She yawned. "Sorry, it's like…4 am."

"Oh really? Why are you here so late?"

"Your parents wanted someone to stay here at all times until you guys woke up. Just so you wouldn't be alone. I took the night shift because I'm usually a night owl."

"Ain't that the truth." She laughed.

A very gravelly voice spoke up from the other side of the room. "What year is it?"

"Same year, just three days later." Said Alya, craning her neck over to look at him. "Glad to see you awake."

"And Marinette?"

"I'm here..." she spoke softly, reaching her hand out for him.

His fingers reached and intertwined with hers. Then he sighed slowly.

"Emile?" Alya asked, seeing his eyes shut again.

He didn't reply.

"Oh, he's asleep again."

Marinette didn't doubt it, since her eyes felt heavy too.

"You can go back to sleep, Marinette. I'll text your parents that you both woke up. Don't worry, just relax."

She still had more questions, but for now, she would let it pass as she fell back into sleep.

A few hours later, she awoke again. Faint sunlight was trailing in through the blinds. It looked rather early still. She heard the television on, and still felt Chat's hand in her own.

"Following the arrest of Hawkmoth Friday night, police have finally released his identity to the public. Hawkmoth, the terrorist of Paris, is none other than Gabriel Agreste, head designer for the brand Gabriel. According to police, Friday night, he used an akuma to lure Ladybug and Chat Noir to his lair where they had a final confrontation. He willingly gave up his Miraculous, and then called the police to turn himself in, as witnessed by Chat Noir. Both Chat Noir and Ladybug have been silent since the arrest. The psychologist who has been working with the police has credited his late son Adrien Agreste with his confession. Despite interrogations and persuasions, M. Agreste has stayed silent on his motives."

"He would…" Emile's voice croaked from her right.

"Mmm…Emile?" She called back.

The TV muted and his grasp tightened. "My Lady…"

Everything was okay. They were here, together. Her family knew, and so did their friends, but they were safe from Hawkmoth, and the battle was won.

"It's over, Chat." She smiled at him. "No more akumas."

"Yeah…" He agreed wistfully.

"So he gave up his Miraculous?"

"Yeah. When they said you were still unstable, and we couldn't see you, I figured it would be best to finish things with him so you wouldn't have to think about it. So I went back to the mansion…and they were waiting for me. He gave up the Butterfly and Peacock Miraculous."

"The Peacock? He had it?"

"Yeah. I turned them both into Master Fu."

"And that was it?"

He hesitated, and then elaborated. "We talked for a bit. He let me in his head…a sick, twisted bastard is what I saw."

"What did he say?"

Chat stayed silent, before pushing off the bed and swinging his legs over the side.

"You shouldn't get up." Marinette reprimanded.

"I know, but…I need to touch you. To make sure this is real." He stood slowly, on tottering legs. He still had an IV plugged into his arm, so he wheeled the pole over with him.

Marinette scooted over so he could sit next to her.

She expected him to maybe hold her hand, or pat her leg, but he reached out and cupped her cheek, his thumb skirting just under her eye. "You are the most amazing woman I've ever met."

She blushed heavily at his touch. "Alya showed me…what you did for me."

"I had to. I hurt you in the first place, and…and I love you. I couldn't lose you…"

She reached forward and held his face in her hands. "And you won't. Emile, Chat…I love you too. You're my best friend…and I'm so happy I finally found you. Even if it was under these circumstances."

"Marinette…" He whispered, leaning in.

A smile stretched over her face as her eyelids fluttered close.

God, she was beautiful. He thought that every time he gazed upon her. And here she was, waiting for him. Lips round and seductive, eyes lowered to cast an embracing glance, glowing with the dull flame of desire.

And yet, he still hesitated. He couldn't indulge himself, couldn't live his life…not yet.

Emile sighed, and pulled away from her.


"I need…to tell you something."

She sat at rapt attention, sliding her hands down to squeeze his. "Anything."

He offered a half grin before standing again. On the table near his bed sat the contents of his pockets when he had been admitted. He grabbed an item, and sat back down on the bed.

"Emile Fu isn't my real name."

"Oh...right. You mentioned that the first day we met. It's honestly bugged me."

He weakly laughed, because he understood completely. "I just…I'm afraid. I've been lying to you for a long time. Not just hiding my identity, but blatantly lying to you…and I'm afraid you'll hate me."

"Chat." She rested a hand on his shoulder. "I can't hate you. I said it before, and I'll say it again. You aren't just a sidekick or a partner, your my other half. Inside and out of the mask."

He saw she was earnest, but he still feared the worst. There was no going back after this.

He held out his hand, a little beaded charm resting in his palm. It had been a few years since she had given it to him, but he always kept it on him. And Marinette recognized it right away, judging by how wide her eyes had grown.

"My real name is Adrien Agreste."

Her mouth fell open as a throaty moan escaped.

He hurriedly explained, "Adrien was being forced to go to Germany, but Chat Noir had to stay in Paris. wanted to stay in Paris…And to be honest, I would have rather died than go to a high security Military School. I had spent enough of my life behind bars, forced to do too many things against my will. Ignored, but placed on a pedestal. I felt like I was constantly choking. That final conversation I had with my dad was the breaking point. Even if I had to pick from the dumpster, I was going to leave." He furrowed his brows. "But there is not a second that passes when I look into your eyes and don't regret all the pain I caused you. Could you ever forgive me, my Lady?"

Finally, she came out of her shock to reach up and touch his scarred cheek. She gently laid her hand to cover the scar as the other played with his hair, parting it to the right, like he used to style it.

"Adrien…oh my god…"

He nodded, shyly, not knowing what to say.

"How did I never notice…?"

"I'm sorry I hid it from you for so long. But…"

He was cut off, as she had flung her arms around him, sobbing and wailing. "Adrien!" Her fingers curled into his hospital gown. "It's you! I knew it! I saw you for a moment, when you healed me, and I thought you were an angel. But I knew it was you!"

"Oh my lady…" He whispered, as he hugged her carefully, aware of both of their injuries.

She pulled away suddenly. "Then Hawkmoth was—oh Adrien!" She bawled again. "Now it all makes sense!"

"Yeah…I'm sorry…"

"I forgive you!" She held his face. "Thank you, thank you so much." Then she kissed him, deeply with unrestrained desperation. It wasn't romantic, or sensual, but filled with longing and absolute joy. And he kissed her right back, only partly conscious of their IVs and stitches.

Nine Lives

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

Part 13 of 18

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