Continuing Tales

Nine Lives

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

Part 3 of 18

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Chat Noir only had seconds to spare before he detransformed. He landed with a crash in an alley as a rush of green light took him over. Then an overwhelming pain took over his right side and he cried out in pain.

"Whoa hey kid!" Plagg called out to him. "Take it easy, breathe."

Adrien rested a hand on the brick in front of him, and raised the other to his face. His touch stung and he pulled away quickly to see blood on his hands.

"That's easily a 3rd degree. Maybe fourth in some places." The kwami explained. "Fu's place isn't too far. We can make it."

"Yeah…" Adrien croaked as he began to walk.

His head was clearing as he took careful steps. It felt like someone had rubbed sandpaper over the right side of his face and neck. The back of his hand had blisters on it too, and Adrien felt a draft through his clothes.

"Well," Plagg said softly, from his shirt. "We took care of people recognizing you."

Finally, they reached Fu's house and Adrien knocked once. The door opened to Fu, who seemed confused. "Are you alright, young man? Would you like me to call an ambulance?"


"Oh my stars!" Fu grabbed him and yanked him inside. He pushed him to sit down on a cushion. "What did you do!? What happened?!"

"Sorry, I know it's not what we planned, but the opportunity arose…" he winced. "And I took it."

"Those are serious burns. You'll be scarred for the rest of your life, no doubt."

"Good. Adrien never had so much as a mole. Emile…looks like Two Face."

"I don't think it's that bad." Plagg tried to console. "More like…that one guy from that show."

"Be more specific."

"Fire guy, with the dumb hair?"

"Oh, Prince Zuko."

"Yeah, that one."

Adrien raised his hand to touch his face again, but Fu took his wrist. "Don't touch. I'm going to clean it and make some ointment, but don't touch!"

Adrien nodded with a sigh.

"Plagg, Wayzz, watch him."

As Fu left, Adrien shut his eyes and sighed. The pain was immense, but it sounded like it was worth it.

"Talk to me Adrien," Plagg said, in his face. "You still with us?"

"Yeah, it just…hurts." He winced. Moving his mouth to talk even hurt. "Is there a mirror?"

Wordlessly, Wayzz disappeared for a moment, only to come back with a hand mirror.

Adrien took it with a nod of gratitude and raised it to assess the damage. At first he was confused. It almost looked like part of his mask was still on. But bringing the mirror closer, he realized with growing horror, that it was his skin. Charred black and festering. It was the worst at the side of his face, between his ear and his eye. The area around his left eye was aggravated, blistered and bleeding, but not charred. His eyebrow was gone, and so were most of his eyelashes. The burns continued down by his jaw, and ended at the corner of his mouth. He could see his shirt had holes in it from the fire and assumed the burn continued down.

Fu returned. "Ah, I was actually hoping you wouldn't look, but…what's done is done."

Adrien winced as he spoke. "It actually looks worse than it feels…but it still hurts really bad."

Fu held out a cold washcloth. "Put this around your eye, I have to check the damage." He got to work, cutting Adrien's shirt off his shoulder so he could see the wound. "You're fortunate, this could be much worse."

"Oh good, my bad luck didn't get me this time." He rolled his eyes.

"Because of the Miraculous, you'll heal faster than others. But until then, I'd like you to rest. I'll allow Chat for emergencies only."

"I should lay low anyways. Emile doesn't have anywhere to be."

Satisfied, Fu began the treatment. His charred skin had to be scraped away, and a healing ointment was rubbed in. "The burns continue up into your hairline."

"Cut what you need. It'll only help."

Adrien ended up getting the hair on the side of his head to about two inches up shaved.

"I'm not a barber." Fu chuckled. "You'll have to get this fixed in the back."

"I'm not worried about it right now." Adrien whispered. This was all changing. Everything. "Master?"


"I found out Ladybug's identity."


"She dove after me, to save me from the fire. And when Chat went in to get her, he caught Ladybug instead."

"Does Ladybug know who you are?"

"No…she was rather upset that Adrien fell."

"Perhaps you should tell me the whole story."

"Do you know who she is?"

"Marinette? Of course. I gave her the earrings after all."

Right, it was a foolish question. But he had to be sure. He couldn't protect her from heartache, but he'd protect her from anything else. So he told him of his day. How it was just supposed to be a fun day at the tower with his friends, and had turned into a nightmare for everyone else. Fu listened with attention, his eyes narrowing as he worked.

"Last I knew, they were still looking for Adrien."

"Then we can only hope that they come to the conclusion you're not there."

Adrien sighed. "I know this is what I wanted, but this sucks."

"This isn't what you wanted," Fu posed, carefully applying bandages. "You wanted both freedom and your friends. But Chat Noir demanded one over the other."

Adrien dropped his shoulders feeling defeated.

"But perhaps…Emile could make their acquaintance."

Hope sprang up in his chest. "Really?"

"I didn't recognize you at first. With a little more work, I'd venture to say they wouldn't either."

Adrien smiled, and then winced. "Could I go back to school then?"

"Let us worry about you healing first."

Shortly after he was cleaned and his wounds were dressed, Adrien was urged to lay down and rest. He didn't know if he could sleep. There was too much whirling around in his head. Adrien Agreste was dead now. His friends were emotionally scarred…and Marinette was Ladybug, and she was in love with him.

That alone was a whirlwind of a revelation.

There was nothing more he could have asked for than that. But what did that mean now? Obviously he wanted to tell her who he was, but she would be absolutely devastated. She watched him fall to his death after all, and he did it on purpose! And, despite her adamance on their secret identities, he should have told her in the first place. She would have understood, right? After all, it was for the good of Paris, right?


The little tv in the corner of the room turned on, and Master Fu flipped through the channels. Nadja Chamack was on the scene at the Eiffel tower.

"The akuma attack happened about an hour ago," she was saying. "Since then, the Authorities have been on the search for a citizen caught in the crossfire. One Adrien Agreste, son of Fashion Designer Gabriel Agreste."

"Hey, you made the news!" Plagg said with a little smirk.

"Yeah, great."

"Agreste was last seen falling from the second floor of the tower into the flames below. He was shortly followed by his friend, Marinette Dupain-Cheng, who was thankfully rescued by Chat Noir before tragedy could strike. Dupain-Cheng was unavailable for comment. A question keeps popping up in the wake of this young man's disappearance. Isn't Ladybug's healing powers supposed to set things right? Other civilians were caught in the crossfire and even engulfed in flames, and yet they stand here now, not even sweating."

Nadja made a good point. Obviously, Adrien knew why he hadn't magically appeared at the base of the tower, but why was his face burnt? Wasn't that supposed to heal with Miraculous Ladybug?

A man was speaking. "It was terrifying. I remember being completely engulfed by magma, but I don't remember any pain. It's like…being splashed with water. And my nose was stuffed before this whole thing started, and now I can breathe!"

Adrien sat up, despite the protests of Fu and Wayzz, so he could see the screen better.

"Theories about the failed healing have begun circulating on the Ladyblog, Ladybug and Chat Noir's official new site. But without the heroes final words, we can't truly know what happened. At the request of Gabriel Agreste, any information regarding the disappearance of his son Adrien should be fielded to the police. I'm Nadja Chamack, and you're watching TVi News."

"So…?" Began Adrien. "Why didn't Miraculous Ladybug work on me? Is it because I'm a wielder?"

"No," Fu said with a little sigh. "It's because you resisted it."

Adrien frowned, not following.

"Ladybug's powers usually only listen to her, and therefore no one else can do what she does. But the Chat Noir miraculous is the other pair to hers, and by extension able to respond to and resist her. You cannot call Miraculous Ladybug, but you can prevent it."

That was news. "So if Chat Noir was evil, I could stop her from healing the city?"


Oh, that was a lot of power.

"Luckily for you, it only stopped from healing your face and not the rest of Paris."

"Does Ladybug know I can do this?"

"Perhaps, if her kwami has told her. I'm almost certain she'll ask."

Adrien groaned out loud. "So now My Lady will think that I prevented her healing spell from bringing Adrien, the guy she admitted she was in love with, back to life. Great! She'll hate me if I tell her who I am, and she'll hate me if I don't!"

"Either way, that is a conversation for another time. For now, you rest."

Alya helped Marinette home. She wasn't injured, but her vision was hazy with tears. "I could have saved him…" She kept muttering.

"No, you couldn't." Alya would reprimand. "You're lucky Chat Noir got there in time."

Though Alya meant well, it was of no consolation.

In the bakery, Tom and Sabine ran to them and embraced them. "It's all over the news!" Sabine cried. "Oh honey I was so afraid!"

"Oh my beautiful little girl!" Tom cried. "I'm so glad you're alright."

But she wasn't alright. She didn't know if she'd ever be alright. There was a tidbit she had held back from Alya, from the police, from everyone that asked her. Something she would take with her to the grave.

She had made eye contact with Adrien before he fell, and his face was full of determination. He hadn't fallen. He jumped.

That was enough to make the biggest superhero in Paris cry.

Adrien would have rather died than complied with his father's wishes. And so he leapt. If only she had known! She could have done something! Anything!

But now he was gone, and she never had the chance to say she loved him.

Her tears would just not stop coming.

Eventually, she made it to her room, and she asked to be left alone to cry. She crawled up to her bed, flung the blankets over her head, and wept. She didn't care how loud her wails were, she just cried and cried and cried. Finally, when her eyes felt heavy and she was reduced to sniveling, Tikki rested on her head, sending a comforting vibe through her. "There there…it's alright to cry." She whispered in her sweet little voice.

"I just can't believe he's gone…" She croaked. "I could have saved him."

"Stop doing this to yourself, Marinette. It was an accident."

"No it wasn't!" She near shouted, sitting up. "I saw him! He went down on purpose!"

Tikki was quiet, just watching her chosen.

"Why didn't the healing spell bring him back? It brought back everyone else…but why not him?"

Tikki knew that Chat was Adrien. Ever since that incident with Dark Owl, she knew.

"Well..." she began, screwing her mouth up. It wasn't her business to tell. Especially if Chat was faking his death. It made sense though, she supposed. She had heard from the purse that Adrien was moving to Germany. And if Chat was Adrien...this was a mess.

"I know how much you hate liars, Marinette. So I just have to tell you that...I only have a theory, but I can't tell you yet."

Marinette frowned hard as her eyes squeezed shut. "Please?"

"I can't. Not now." But she offered a smile. "But perhaps someday soon."

Marinette wiped her eyes and continued to lay in misery. "Chat Noir saw my identity. I didn't even try to hide it. And if he hadn't dragged me away, I would have revealed myself to all of Paris."

"That's why you have a partner," Tikki assured. "To protect you when you can't take care of yourself. Adrien meant a lot to you, and his…death would be painful to you."

"Up until now, I had been so adamant about us keeping our identities a secret. I can't imagine how he must be feeling after I blew it like that."

"It's mature of you to think about Chat's feelings at this moment...but right now, I'm more worried about you."

Marinette squeezed her eyes shut. "It hurts so much."

"I know it does." The Kwami said wisely. "But it's important to let that hurt out now, so you can be strong. Paris will need Ladybug, especially when someone famous passes away. So if you protect Paris tomorrow, I'll protect you tonight."

"What about Chat?"

"He knows who you are, so if he needs you, he'll come to you. I'll protect you from him too, if I have to."

Marinette managed a watery smile. "Thanks Tikki."

Nine Lives

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

Part 3 of 18

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