Continuing Tales

Nine Lives

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

Part 16 of 18

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It is generally known to wear a suit to court. Adrien was, in fact, suited up, though Skintight leather was a bit different from what everyone else was wearing. And they weren't even in the courtroom yet.

Chat Noir and Ladybug sat together on a bench, outside the courtroom, in a secluded hallway. Vaulted ceilings and polish marble added to the depressing aura of the hall. Dr. Florin Rayne stood nearby, glancing over his notes. He was the lawyer that Mayor Bourgeois had appointed to run this trial. He seemed like a nice man, a little cold, but he was sharp as a tack and the best in the business.

"Are you two feeling alright?" He asked, glancing at the two heroes.

Ladybug offered a smile. "I'm a little nervous. This is it! This is the end…"

She glanced over to Chat, who was bent over, his foot jiggling incessantly. "This is it…" he whispered.

"Well, just try to relax. He won't be getting out with a slap on the wrist. Not with all this evidence." He gestured with the fat folder in his hands.

But worst case scenarios still circled through Chat's head. What if they took into account that Gabriel no longer had a Miraculous? What if they let him off easy since there was no lasting damage?

"Chat, it's time." Ladybug said softly, her hand on his shoulder.

He swallowed heavily and stood. Then they both followed the lawyer into the courtroom. But oh how it felt like he was walking to the guillotine.

The chamber was absolutely packed. Every chair in the gallery was taken while a dozen people stood in the back, and as he looked over the crowd, he recognized most faces. He glanced up, noticing a balcony, also full. A light bulb pinged in his head when he remembered this trial was not open to the public, nor were the press allowed in. That just meant all these people were involved.

Akuma victims.

Having them all here in one room was daunting. Yes, he and Ladybug had saved all of them…but how many could have been avoided if he had just…noticed sooner?

His steel boots clicked upon the hardwood floor, as the duo headed up to the front, and sat at the counsel table on the left.

Chat felt a tap on his shoulder from behind. He turned quickly to find Alya, Nino, Tom and Sabine sitting right behind the bar. Never before did he feel so relieved to see his friends and family (how Tom and Sabine got in, he wouldn't know, though he assumed Alya had something to do with it.) He reached across and took their hand clasps gratefully before turning back around.

The Palais de Justice was a beautiful historic building, the gothic fortress where Marie Antoinette met her end. A truly monumental chamber to hold the biggest trial in recent Parisian history. And since it was such a huge trial, the State of France decided to move the trial straight up to the Cour de Cassation, the Supreme Court. Chat glanced around the room, letting his attention wander over the gold plated rococo filigree scrawled along the walls and ceiling. There was so much to take in, he could get lost in it.

Which is what he wanted to do, instead of being here.

But his attention was diverted from the ceiling and back to the room, as three men entered. His father, and two police officers holding his arms. Gabriel never looked so small. So feeble.

It made Chat want to run over and punch him in the face. Instead, he just allowed the sheer displeasure of his presence to show on his face…and in his cat ears flattened to his head.

"All rise," bid the plaintiff.

The Judges entered, nine in total. With one man to preside over them as the president. A rotund man with large jowls and a long pointed nose. His eyes were dark, inset, and held no mercy. This was a man that would decide the future of Gabriel Agreste:

Magistrate Severin Boucher.

He sat at the bench, shifting his robes to get comfortable. This would be an ungodly long trial.

"You may be seated."

The room erupted in chair squeaking before falling deadly silent once again.

"Will the defendant please approach the bench?"

Gabriel stepped over to the little box in the middle of the floor, right in front of the judges.

"This is a criminal case brought by the City of Paris charging the defendant, Gabriel Agreste, with acts of domestic terrorism and one count of involuntary manslaughter. The City claims that Agreste, with an impulsive intent to cause destruction of the city, caused multiple attacks which were carried out by unwilling victims. Agreste willingly turned himself over to the police, stating that he was, in fact, the menace known as Hawkmoth. Chat Noir was there at the time of arrest, and confirmed that Agreste's claim was true."

He glanced up from his notes and spoke, staring right into Gabriel's soul. "Gabriel Agreste, how do you plead?"

"Insane." He said calmly.

"Bullshit!" Chat shouted, but only in his head.

"Have you had any psychological examinations to support that claim?"

Gabriel's lawyer answered. "You honor, with all due respect, my client and I believe his actions speak for themselves."

Judge Boucher steeled his lips into a tight line and wrote down a note.

There was really no arguing with that logic.

"Regardless of our perceptions and experiences with your actions, we will be reviewing this case as if we never saw anything. Each attack will be reviewed, each victim, if they are willing, be interviewed. Through this process, we will decide if you are truly capable to stand trial, if you are truly guilty of those crimes, and what your sentence will be." His glance shifted to the Prosecution. "We are lucky enough to be joined by Ladybug and Chat Noir, the heroes responsible for keeping the city safe and stopping the akuma when they emerge. Due to the nature of their jobs, they will not be required to reveal their identities during their testimonies." Finally, he looked over the assembled crowd. "This trial is the largest in recent memory, with 97 attacks over the course of two years. We will take periodic recesses to evaluate all given facts at a time. If you have to leave, the State asks that you do so after you've given your testimony."

Dr. Rayne glanced over to Gabriel's lawyer and made eye contact. They both shared a look of sympathy.

"M. Agreste," Judge Boucher stated, "You have confessed to holding the Pseudonym Hawkmoth, correct?"


"And you confess to instigating the attacks, as well?"


"It is recorded that the first akuma emerged two years ago on September 6, a school boy named Ivan Bruel, would you say that information is true?"

"That is correct."

"Can you explain the process in creating an akuma?"

He nodded. "With the aid of a Miraculous, the Butterfly Miraculous, I could take a butterfly, and imbue my will upon it. Then, I would send it out into Paris to find a willing host. The host was chosen by negative emotion. The more angry, scared, or sad a person was, the more powerful the akuma. The Butterfly would then possess an item on the person, and they would transform into my Champion."

"And would the akuma victim lose self-control?"

"No, they would…develop tunnel vision. I often had to bargain for them to do my bidding."

"And what was your bidding?"

"I asked them to retrieve Ladybug's and Chat Noir's Miraculous."

"And for what purpose did you require these Miraculous?"

Gabriel was silent. He glanced back at Ladybug and Chat Noir, blank faced.

"M. Agreste. You will look at me when being questioned." The judge said sternly.

"Yes, your honor."

"I repeat, why did you want their Miraculous?"

Again, Gabriel said nothing and just stood there, wasting everyone's time.

"You can choose to answer, or you can abstain, but you can't stay silent!" The Judge spoke sharply, making Chat wince at the piercing tone.

"I would rather not divulge my intentions."

"Are you ashamed?"

"I abstain."

"Do you feel guilt about using the people of Paris for your own gain?"

"I abstain."

Judge Boucher narrowed his eyes and wrote something down.

Another judge spoke. "M. Agreste, how did you come into the possession of your Miraculous?"

"My wife and I took a trip to Tibet about eight years ago. We bought both jewels from a vendor."

"Both?" Questioned another judge.

Gabriel winced, realizing he said too much. "Yes…the Butterfly and the Peacock."

"And are those Miraculous in your possession still?"

"No, I handed both over to Chat Noir. I don't know where they are now."

"Mr. Noir," said Boucher, "is this true?"

"Yes, your honor."

"M. Agreste, you and your wife both possessed Miraculous?"


"Did she have any knowledge of your activities as Hawkmoth?"

"No. I became Hawkmoth after she went missing."

"If she went missing, how do you know she didn't know? She knew you had the Butterfly, correct?"

Gabriel hesitated. "Yes, she knew…"

"Do you know the whereabouts of your wife?"

The courtroom listened anxiously.

Finally Gabriel said, "I'd rather not say."

Chat Noir huffed, and unwillingly growled in the back of his throat. But he didn't say anything. His time would come.

"Previously you said that you no longer are in possession of the Butterfly, but if you were to acquire it again, or any other Miraculous, would your end goal remain the same?"

"No." He answered shortly.

When it looked like he would not elaborate further, the judge said, "can you elaborate on that? What was the change?"

Gabriel hung his head, looking as awful and pitiful as possible. "My son, my Adrien…he was very precious to me. When I lost him…nothing mattered anymore."

"Was it because of your direct action in his death?"

"Yes, if I hadn't sent that Akuma that day, Adrien would be alive."

"Let me rephrase. If Adrien died due to some other circumstances, not involving you, perhaps a car accident, would you feel the same?"

Gabriel frowned as Chat held his breath. He really rather they not speak the name of the dead.

"I think I would feel less guilt, but the sorrow of losing my only child would not change."

"Guilt, sorrow, remorse, I don't know if those are words of an insane man."

Gabriel smiled softly. "I was advised to plead insanity."

The judge glanced over to his lawyer. "A daring plea to make, considering the lack of psychological evaluation."

"Your honor," the man returned. "With all due respect…the trial has only just begun, and M. Agreste is a salesman."

"Are you conflicting with your own client? Highly unusual."

"A super-villain in Paris is highly unusual, your honor."

The judge sighed, his eyes flicking across the front row. "That will be all for now, M. Agreste." Boucher stated. Gabriel was dismissed to return to his seat.

Chat assumed the questioning for him wasn't very extensive since he had already confessed he was guilty.

"Will Alya Cesaire please come forward?"

That was surprising. Then again, she would know the most.

Alya scooted down the aisle and came up to the stand where Gabriel had stood. She had her hair pulled up in a bun and wore a dark blazer over a button down blouse. She looked like a real reporter.

"Do you swear to speak without hate or fear, and to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth?"

"I swear."

"State your name for the record."

"Alya Cesaire, of the Ladyblog."

The judge offered a small smile. "We've reviewed your blog for this case, since it's critically acclaimed as the most accurate and thorough source for all things Ladybug and akuma. Would you say that's true?"

"Ladybug and Chat Noir have both endorsed my blog. I try to cover as many akuma as possible, but there have been a few that I wasn't able to get any information on, or Ladybug cleaned up before any real disaster took place. But yes, I tend to be pretty thorough…much to the dismay to my friends and family."

"To their dismay?"

"Well, following the akuma and Ladybug gets pretty dangerous."

"Have you gotten hurt?"

"Not permanently, thanks to Ladybug, but yes. And I've been used as a hostage several times." She turned slightly and grimaced at Ladybug. "Sorry."

Ladybug waved her off with a grin.

The judge continued. "Excluding posts based on theories and conspiracies, can you verify that your information is accurate?"

"If there is video evidence supporting it, then yes it is true. I don't fudge evidence."

"Are any videos edited?"

"The live streams aren't, but some videos are trimmed for time and to cut out me running. But nothing is edited with the intent to hide or change information."

"Do you get paid for running the blog?"

Alya bobbed her head sheepishly. "I get money for running ad space. But, it's just pocket change really. The rest of the blog is for me."

The defense lawyer spoke up, "let the record show that M. Cesaire is not financially dependent on the outcome of this case and can be considered an impartial witness."

"Yes, of course." Agreed the judge, "we just have to make sure the information we have is as unbiased as possible." He cleared his throat. "What made you want to run the blog?"

A wistful look came over the blogger as she recounted the first video she got of Ladybug and Chat Noir. "I've always loved Superheros. And I always looked up to Lois Lane as a role model. So when I found out there was a super villain loose, I jumped on my chance to be that reporter. My friends can confirm that it's my life, and I love it!"

"Thank you, Miss Cesaire." The judge said with a hum. "One of the akumas that you weren't able to cover was you yourself, correct?"

"Oh, yes. Lady Wifi." She rolled her eyes, remembering that awful name.

"Can you explain what happened prior to your akumatization?"

"Well..." she told the whole sad story, of snooping around and getting caught and punished. "Then I blacked out for a bit, and when I came to, I was on top of the Mayor's hotel."

"And you have no memory of the event?"

"Not one bit."

"Any effects from the akumatization? Thoughts or feelings?"

"I feel guilty sometimes, and anxious. I don't remember what I did, but I know it was mean and bad."

The questioning lasted a little longer with Alya, mostly recounting her most serious and near death experiences on the field with the akuma. Then, she was dismissed to sit down again.

The next witness was Ivan Bruel, the first akuma. They asked him short, simple questions, mostly focusing on the events prior to his transformation, and the lingering feelings after.

The case continued on and on, with akuma victims being called forward one at a time in chronological order.

"Please state your name for the record."

The fifth witness answered, "Nino Lahiffe."

"Mr. Lahiffe, would you tell us your akumatized name and abilities?"

"I was the bubbler, and...I bubbled people. Mainly adults, parents."

"Can you describe the situation that led to your akumatization?"

Nino looked over at Gabriel, frowning, then turned back. "Adrien Agreste is-was my best friend in this whole world. It wasn't too long after school started that he turned 15. I figured, this rich kid would have a really awesome birthday party...but then he said he never had a party before. So I went over to his house to talk to his dad, to convince him to let me throw the party for him." He met Gabriel's eyes, glaring daggers at him. "Instead, he coldly refused and told Adrien he wasn't allowed to be my friend anymore."

"All because you wanted to throw him a party?"


"Can you recall the tone you used? Were you accusatory?"

"No! I was practically begging him! Though I did call him dude a couple of times on accident."

"M. Agreste, is this all true?"

Gabriel crossed his arms. "I don't remember such an occasion."

Nino sighed. "The only other people who were there were...Adrien and Nathalie! Nathalie would know!"

Gabriel's lawyer spoke up, "Mme. Sancoeur is on an extended vacation, and is unavailable to testify."

Chat rolled his eyes. "How convenient."

"So you left the mansion? After he turned you down?"

"That's right. And I was akumatized after. I was told that I bubbled all the adults and I forced our classmates to throw a party for Adrien. Though it was based more around fear than fun…"

"And after you were purified?"

"I still wasn't allowed to go over to his house, but Adrien still wanted to be my friend. And you that I think about it. He filched Marinette's gift!"

"What?" Boucher asked, confused at what this had to do with anything.

"Yeah! My friend Marinette knitted him a scarf for his birthday, and M. Butthole claimed it was from him! And I'm sure it was the only present he got that year!"

"There's no need for name calling, M. Lahiffe."

Chat leaned in closely to his girlfriend. "That was from you?"

" just...seemed so happy to think it was from your dad, I didn't want to rain on your parade."

He wanted to kiss her, but instead he just held her hand under the table.

Chloe Bourgeois had a little more time dedicated to her, since she had been akumatized twice and was the only other auxiliary hero able to take the stand.

"We would have taken the stand too, you know." Alya whispered to Ladybug.

"I know, but you've already been so helpful." Ladybug assured, holding out her hand. "The Ladyblog was a wealth of knowledge. But we still want to keep the secrets of the Miraculous."

Alya sighed, holding her hand. "I know. But you two still owe me an interview!"

Chat smirked. "Once this is over, we'll all sit down and tell you whatever you want…within reason."

Alya narrowed her eyes at him. "Don't think I'm not still pissed at you, Pussy Cat."

They took an hour long recess for lunch, and then continued with the witnesses for several more hours.

It was torture. Chat sat there, with his head in his hands and his foot bouncing. This was unfair and cruel. Making him go last…even if they did get to him today, it was unlikely that the trial would end.

At around 4pm, Ladybug was called to the stand.

"Please state your name for the record." Said Boucher.


"Do you swear to speak without hate or fear, and to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth?"

"I swear."

A different judge asked, "your first appearance on the Ladyblog is dated September 8, two years ago. Is that correct?"

"It would have been the day Ivan was akumatized, yes."

"Were you in possession of your Miraculous prior to this?"

"No. I received my Miraculous in response to the Butterfly being activated."

"And how did you get your Miraculous?"

"I'm afraid I can't answer that, for my own safety and the safety of Paris."

"You had several encounters with Hawkmoth over the years, correct?"

"Yes. But not often in person. I met Gabriel Agreste a few times in person, as well as an akuma, too."

"Can you describe the final showdown with Hawkmoth?"

Ladybug could feel the tension in the air change. She and Chat hadn't told anyone that story, except for those at the Hospital. "Well," she began. "Back in April, the akuma known as Hotspot marked the first casualty from Hawkmoth, and afterwards, he went silent for about two months. About three weeks ago, the first akuma since then popped up. She didn't even give herself a name, just created portals around town to get our attention. When we finally caught up to her, she made a portal and said that Hawkmoth wanted to talk to us, directly. She insisted there were no gimmicks or tricks and beckoned us inside." She exhaled harshly, her nerves setting in. It wasn't that Ladybug was shy at public speaking, but this just felt different. Heavier, and balancing on the tip of a needle. "We went in and saw Hawkmoth. He said he didn't want to fight, rather he was surrendering. Then he dropped his transformation. I…I kind of understood then, why he wasn't sending out any akumas. I didn't know if it was guilt or just depression…but he confirmed that it was the loss of his son Adrien that prompted his surrender."

Judge Boucher nodded, his brows furrowed. "And then what happened?"

Ladybug swallowed. "I…don't remember much. Chat became angry and tried to attack him."

"Why did he become angry?"

"It's not my place to tell." She glanced over to her partner. "But I think he was justified." She bit her lip and elaborated, "he…he tried to Cataclysm him."

"And what stopped him from doing so?"

"I did. I stepped in front of him and took the blow. I woke up several days later in the hospital, though I can't tell which hospital or what my wounds were."

"So, you have no knowledge of what happened after his attack?"

"Only what Chat told me. That he brought me to the hospital, and then returned to the Agreste Mansion later that night to retrieve the Miraculous. I have seen their final resting place with my own eyes, so I know it's true."

"Then I suppose we should have Chat Noir come up to elaborate further." Said Judge Boucher.

Chat clenched his hand on the edge of the table, his claws scratching against the surface. His time had come. It was time to say it all, but…how? There was so much to be said. So much pain and anger. So much disgust and betrayal. It was overwhelming trying to sort through his feelings and the truth. This was unfair. Why him? Why?

"Mr. Noir?" Boucher asked again.

Chat stood on weak legs. A small chorus of 'good luck's echoed behind him as he glanced to the podium. What was it? 15 steps? He doubted he could make one.

Ladybug was beside him suddenly, though he had never seen her walking back. She laid a gentle hand on his shoulder, and then spoke softly, "do what you think is right."

But what was right and what he wanted were two different things. His wants were rooted in violence and hatred.

His feet started moving, moving up in front of the merciless eyes of the Magistrate and all the other Judges. His chest hurt, he felt like he was going to puke, and his pulse echoed in his ears.

Finally, he reached the podium.

"Please state your name for the record."

Chat swallowed, clenching his eyes shut. He had prepared for this, even without telling anyone, just in case. But if this put his father away for good, then so be it. His whispered, "Claws in."

The courtroom saw a flash of green, echoing with a cloud of gasps.

Where Chat Noir was, now stood a young blond man, with hair parted to the right, like it used to be. He wore a black striped T-Shirt, and a white over shirt, jeans, and orange converse. The scar on his face was covered by a layer of Makeup in an attempt to conceal it.

He looked up, meeting the Magistrates eyes and declared, "I am the late Adrien Felix Agreste, son of Gabriel Agreste."

Nine Lives

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

Part 16 of 18

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