Continuing Tales

Nine Lives

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

Part 2 of 18

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For the next two weeks, Adrien worked tirelessly to make things perfect. Everything he needed to start his new life was set.

Except for the death part. They were still having trouble figuring that out.

Being the kind of person that Gabriel was, Adrien's safety was top priority. There was rarely a moment that he was alone, except in the house. And even then, check ups happened regularly. Adrien himself wanted to avoid anything that would get someone else hurt. Plagg had suggested a house fire, and Fu had suggested a car crash. Both were turned down to keep Nathalie, Arthur, and his father from the line of fire.

"Well, what are we supposed to do?" Asked Plagg. "Just wait for a catastrophe?"

That seemed to resonate with Adrien. "Well, you are the god of Destruction and Bad Luck, something is bound to come along."

But they were running out of time. Half of Adrien's earthy belongings were packed up in boxes, prepared to been sent to Erhard's in a week. Another smaller bag, with Adrien's most sentimental and irreplaceable items, lived at Fu's for the moment. Pictures of friends and his mother, some of her jewelry, the blue scarf that his father had given him for his birthday, and a lucky charm bracelet from Marinette. These would not be missed by his father, and so they were allowed to be snuck out.

Adrien had also bought a meager wardrobe, mostly of thrift store finds. Things that his father would burn off of him if he saw.

For all intents and purposes, Emile Fu was a real person, living in Paris with his guardian, Wang Fu. He was born in Shanghai China, and adopted by Mr. Fu after the tragic death of his French born parents. Emile had his own bank account with funds he inherited. This was what existed on paper. All they had to do was have Adrien fill that role. Fu had provided the Birth Certificate, one stating that he came from China. He also produced a visa and passport.

There was one other snag. Adrien's face.

How was one of the most recognized faces in Paris supposed to hide? Plagg suggested a face tattoo. Fu suggested perpetual sunglasses. The conundrum was that whatever changed Adrien's face would also change Chat's. It couldn't be anything noticeable or recognizable. So for a start, he would just style his hair differently and try to stay low.

Adrien was beginning to worry this wouldn't work. If he were any other person, it might, but there were just too many unforeseen variables. Who knows if they missed something?

And while all this planning was going on, Adrien was still fulfilling every duty he had in normal life. School, homework, fencing, piano, Chinese, the photoshoots, and a few akuma to shake things up.

It was safe to say, he was exhausted.

So when he found out he had the day off, he was elated. It was a Saturday, and he was quick to text Nino to hang out.

"You're going out with friends? Are you sure that's a good idea?" Plagg asked.

"Yes. If I'm really going through with this, then who knows how many more times I'm going to be able to hang out with them?" He paused in getting dressed, a melancholy settling on him. "Nino's going to be so sad."

"Yeah…" Agreed Plagg. "But not forever."

Adrien nodded. "It's for the best."

Nino texted back an affirmative, that he'd be waiting at the Eiffel Tower.

Adrien replied that he'd be there in a minute, and then left his phone on his desk.

And with that, he threw on his over shirt and headed out.

He arrived at the Eiffel Tower, which was bustling with the daily crowds. A bright red hat was raised in the air, and Adrien hurried over to find Nino. It was with joy that he also found Alya and Marinette. Alya, the friendly and sassy girl who never had a problem speaking her mind and telling it how it was, and Marinette, sweet and shy.

God he would miss them.

"Have you guys gotten tickets yet?" He asked.

"Nope, waitin' on you dude."

"Good, because I'm buying."

"Oh, that's okay! It's not that expensive!" Marinette protested.

"Come on!" He grinned, "let me spoil my friends for once. I have to make up for all the times we couldn't hang out."

"Which reminds me," began Nino. "How'd you convince your dad to let you come?"

Adrien smiled sheepishly. "Uh…I didn't. I snuck out. But he won't notice for a few hours."

"Then let's get up there before all the tourist show up!"

Though it was the slow season, it was still a 15 minute wait to get tickets, but true to form, Adrien shoved his friends out of the way and insisted on paying for them. Then they were making their way up the stairs.

"Why are we taking the stairs?" Asked Nino.

"Because," Alya said, matter of factly. "It's good for you, and the tickets were cheaper."

"I really didn't mind paying for elevator tickets…" Adrien tried to protest.

"The elevators are always crowded with smelly tourists! The stairs are where it's at!" Alya cheered.

"You sound like you come here often." Said Marinette. "I don't live that far, but it's been a while since I've actually been up in the tower." Of course, it really hadn't been that long for Ladybug.

"It's only the best place in the city to watch for Ladybug and Chat Noir," Alya supplied. "They hang out up at the tippy top! I wish they let civilians up there…"

"Have you guys eaten yet?" Adrien steered the question away from the superheroes. "My treat!"

"Dude! Stop spoiling us!"

"Yeah, what's your game? You doing the old 'Honey and the Hatchet'?" Alya asked.

"The what?" Everyone asked in unison.

"You know, you say and do a bunch of sweet stuff, that's the honey, and then you drop the bad news, that's the hatchet."

Adrien winced. True to her reporter nature, she had figured it out right away.

"Well…it's something like that."

Everyone stopped on the stairs to look at him.

"Adrien?" Marinette asked softly.

"I…might be going away for a while."

Three gasps followed, and Adrien could only wince.

"My father is sending me away to a Military Boarding school in Germany."

Alya rolled up her sleeves. "That's it! Fashion Icon or no, I'm going to sock Gabriel Agreste right in the goddamn mouth!"

Adrien put calm hands on her shoulder. "Please don't."

"When do you leave?" Marinette asked softly.

"…next week."

"Dude!" Nino cried. "No! No no no! You can't be for real!"

"I'm sorry…I didn't know how to tell you…"

"And so you waited until the last minute!? That's so cold, man!"

Adrien winced and tensed his shoulders. "I'm sorry…" he whispered again.

Marinette touched his arm gently. "It's not your fault, Adrien. Thank you for telling us. It can't be easy."

"This isn't fair!" Nino shouted again, a tear running down his face. "You're my best friend! You can't just leave!"

A few tears leaked from Adrien's eyes. "We'll…we'll Skype. It'll be like…like usual. When I can't hang out." He attempted humor, but it fell flat. He knew he'd never see them again. Not like this.

Alya punched Nino in the arm and patted Adrien on the cheek. "Alright buckos, we came here to have fun! And so that's what we're going to do! We're going to have so much fun, that even this news can't bum us out!"


So everyone wiped their faces and continued their climb.

Marinette was having her own problems with this realization. The possibility of never seeing Adrien again? It was awful. She had to do something, anything! At least she should confess to him. If she didn't, she knew she'd have regrets. But the day was young, and she wanted him to be as comfortable as possible. Still, as she glanced over, she saw the visual sadness on his face. He looked tired and drained. So summoning all her courage, Marinette took hold of his hand and intertwined their fingers.

Adrien looked at her in surprise. Then down to their hands, and back at her.

"Is that okay?" She asked softly.

"It's great." He replied with a genuine smile.

She beamed.

Finally, they reached the second floor where The Buffet was. Adrien happily held Marinette's hand the whole way up, and even as they relaxed to look over the city.

"I'm glad you came," he commented, looking at her. "I like hanging out with you."

She blushed and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "I hang liking you too."

He barked out a laugh at her utterly butchered French and gave her a friendly squeeze. "And you crack me up."

Her smile was wide and dopey.

After a while, they made their way into the little restaurant and got in line.

"What're you getting, Marinette? I've never been here before."

"What?" She said with a little giggle. "It's just fast food. Nothing very special."

"Well, I don't really get fast food either. I have a pretty strict diet."

"Screw the diet!" Called Alya. "Stuff your face!"

Adrien laughed freely. "Gladly! I just don't know what to get!"

"Well, don't bother with the pastries." Marinette pondered. "We can get some from my bakery later for dessert. But for now, I'm thinking—"

There was a horrible grinding sound the echoed through the whole tower.

"What is that!?" Nino shouted over the noise.

"Akuma?!" Alya called back.

The floor started to tilt as the temperature began to rise. The crowds of people were shouting and running, pushing and shoving, all causing more chaos than needed.

"Let's go!" Marinette called, grabbing Adrien's hand. Nino followed her lead and snagged Alya.

They rushed to the outside rail, only for the whole tower to shutter and shift to one side. Heat continued to rise, and compared to what was a cool April day, it was stifling.

The stairways were being crowded out with people trying to get down. Other people had gone inside the shops for protection. But as Adrien's feet started to slide across the floor, he knew there was no escape.

Adrien, Marinette, Alya, and Nino all slowly slid down until they were pressed to the railing at the edge of the tower. From there, they could look down and see the chaos ensuing below.

Fire. Flames had engulfed the gardens and esplanade, and what looked like a river of lava. He could only pray that everyone down there had begun to flee at the first sign of trouble.

The flames were so tall and so hot, he was sweating profusely as his light jacket clung to his skin.

"Where are Ladybug and Chat Noir?!" Alya cried in dismay.

The tower gave another loud groan and the metal jolted. The railing was now perpendicular to the ground at the top of the tower was arched way too far over.

Adrien had to work fast. He had to get away, had to find a safe place to transform but…maybe not.

There would be enough cover from the fire and smoke. But were they ready? Was he ready? Could he do this?

He looked to his friends that were hanging onto the railing for dear life. Oh, how he hated what he was about to do. How could he do this to them? But there was no other choice. They were out of time.

He heard Alya cry out, "Ladybug! Chat! HELP!"

And he let go.

"ADRIEN!" Marinette's voice followed him as he fell into the fire. It burned, obviously, stinging for only an instant before the side of his face went numb.

"Claws Out!" He shouted right as he hit the flames. Chat Noir was protected by leather, and faired a little better. Quickly, he shot out his baton and caught himself on the tower, zipping to safety. And right as he peered into the fire to try to spot the akuma, he saw another body falling.

"Marinette…" His voice caught in his throat.

He bolted off the tower, extending the staff back into the smoke. And came out the other side with Ladybug in his arms instead.


Ladybug stared at him for only a second before pushing on him. "Let me go! I have to save Adrien!"

"You can't! It's not safe!" And to further prove his point, the akuma sent up another blast of heat, hitting Chat in the already burnt face. "Gah!"

Ladybug returned his hold and swung them into the tower again.

Once in the beams, she let go of him and started to hyperventilate.

"My lady…"

"I could have saved him! You could have—" She wept.

"I'm sorry Ladybug, but we have to fight. I know you're upset but we have to stop the akuma. Please!" He begged.

The noise that Ladybug let out a moment later would haunt him for years to come. It was a cross between a sob and a yelp of pain. He assumed that's what a heartache sounded like.

"Damn Hawkmoth…damn him!"

"You said it." Chat agreed. "I'm with you, Ladybug!"

And with resolve, they both jumped into battle.

The akuma called themselves 'Hotspot', an appropriate name, given the magma he shot from his hands. He looked like he was made of coals, all except for the very obvious hat on his head. All things considered, he was a pretty lame villain. His motive was his hatred for the tower itself. Something about how it mocked him. All he wanted was to melt it into a pile of hot steel. Was that too much to ask?

Chat and Ladybug both felt guilty, looking at the destruction. Had they been paying attention it wouldn't have gotten this bad.

Chat's cheek throbbed as the heat continued to irritate his burn. They couldn't get close to him like this. "Any clues, My Lady?"

A permanent scowl marched across her face, before she answered. "Lucky Charm!"

A giant wrench fell into her hands. She resisted the urge to just throw it at the akuma, but no, she quickly found two fire hydrants nearby.

"Chat, on your right!"

"On it!" He called for cataclysm at the same time Ladybug opened the other hydrant.

The akuma cried out in pain as the water fell and extinguished the flames. Steam replaced smoke and the lava turning from bubbling, to solid rock. And with it, the akuma was stuck.

Ladybug was quick to swoop in and grab the hat from his head and tear it apart. The akuma was caught and purified.

"Miraculous Ladybug!" She called, cleansing the garden of steaming rock. The Tower righted itself and everything went back to normal.

"Pound—" Chat began, but Ladybug was already whizzing through the air. "Ladybug?" He followed her quickly, watching as she scanned the ground and tower.

"I don't see him…"


Her reply was short as her earring beeped. "Adrien! I was jumping to save him!"

"Your earring—"

"I don't care!" She shouted. "I just need to see him! I need to know he's okay!"

"You did Miraculous Ladybug, he's probably fine."

"No! Chat! I need to see him! I saw him fall! I saw the fire! I—If he's gone, it's my fault!"

"It's not—"

"Yes it is!" She sobbed. Finally, she stopped running and hid within the beams of the Tower. "I couldn't live with myself if something happened to him." Her final dot blinked away, and Marinette remained, sobbing.

"…Why?" Chat asked softly.

"Because I love him!" She wailed. "And-And I have to tell him today! Or I'll never—I'll never see him again…"

He messed up. He messed up big time. Had he known that his Lady felt this way about his other half—there could have been another way. But not now. This was it. No going back.

"Marinette, I—" he began. "I'm sorry…I didn't see him fall."

She wiped her cheek. "I'm sorry for yelling."

His ring beeped insistently. He had to go, now. Without another word, he took her into her arms and lowered her to the ground. With a soft, 'later' he was off toward Fu's.

Marinette watched him leave, a wave of nausea coming over her. Chat knew now. He knew everything, and she didn't try to hide it at all. Once Adrien was in peril, it didn't matter. She just hoped he was right, Miraculous Ladybug should have worked on him too, right?

Her phone rang, and she was quick to answer it. "Alya, thank God." She breathed.

"Thank God me? Thank God you! I saw you fall! Are you okay!? Where's Adrien!?"

"I'm fine—" she wasn't, "Chat Noir saved me. I…I don't know where Adrien is. Chat said he didn't see him fall."

"Well, he's got to be around here somewhere. We'll look up top. It'll be okay."

Nine Lives

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

Part 2 of 18

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