Continuing Tales

Nine Lives

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

Part 5 of 18

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After the service, Ladybug agreed to talk to Chat, and beckoned him to her house. The trip over was silent, as both lacked the energy to run and attempt conversation at the same time.

They arrived on her balcony, and they both fell into silence. Ladybug held her transformation, feeling on guard. She leaned against the rail, her arms crossed over her body.

"This is such a nice little balcony. You have really pretty flowers." Chat attempted conversation.

"Thanks," she said coldly.

Chat frowned, but held himself a few feet away from her. "Look, Marinette—"

She winced at her name.

"My Lady…" He corrected. "I know you didn't want us to reveal our identities…but I understand why you did. I swear I'm not mad, not in the slightest."

Her shoulders dropped slightly. "If it wasn't for you, everyone would have known who I was. So…thanks for looking out for me."

Chat closed the distance and daintily held her chin. "I told you a long time ago, that I loved you. That hasn't changed one bit since I found you out. In fact, I might love you even more."

Her cheeks colored. "Really?"

"Marinette is strong, sweet, brave, and so so smart. Not to mention gorgeous!"

She turned away with a little smile.

"I couldn't imagine anyone else being My Lady, and I'm so glad it's you."

She tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, just out of nervousness. But she still held herself, fear gripping her.

"I'm sorry I didn't come to talk with you sooner, I'm sure this week has been hard for you."

Ladybug turned around, resting her elbows on the railing. Her gaze was far off, looking at Notre Dame. "This week has been a nightmare."

Chat sighed loudly, a pain taking root in his chest.

"I have plenty of things to be upset and worried about. My identity was one of them…but all things considered, that's the least of my worries."

He knew what was coming, and he had been preparing his story. Still, he attempted to dissuade the inevitable by saying, "your identity is safe with me."

Ladybug nodded, "I know. I've always known you'd keep it as safe as you could…but I also worried if…if maybe you'd be disappointed. Marinette is clumsy and awkward…not someone cut out to be Ladybug."

"Your clumsiness and stumbling are cute. It's…real. You know? Now that I have this complete picture of you, and I can start to see you as a human."

"What did you see me as before?"

"An angel," He confessed, staring at her.

She smiled sadly at him, "even though I hurt you so many times?"

Chat mimicked her stance, glancing out at the church lit up in the night. "I've hurt you plenty of times before too."

Then silence took them again.

"Will you drop your transformation?" He asked softly, "can I see you?"

She hunched her shoulders slightly, and clenched her fist. "Chat…I want to trust you again…but…" She screwed up her face, a frown pulling at her lips, almost a grimace. "Do you know what Reckoning Chat Noir is?"

"Its what killed Adrien Agreste." He answered honestly.

Ladybug was quiet, before her shoulders started to shake. Then her hands raised to her face as she tried to stifle her cries.

Chat had nothing to say of comfort, so he simply stayed silent, his eyes scanning the air for akuma.

When she was able to speak, her voice came out with venom, feeling like a slap to the face. "I trusted you!"

Chat merely stood there, and took it.

"I thought I knew you! But you—why would you ever willingly allow—?" She bit her lip. "Was it on purpose?"


She sobbed in return. "Damnit Chat…why? Why? Please…"

He had to chose his words carefully. It would be so much easier if he could reveal who he was…but he couldn't. Not when she was so volatile. Not when Marinette needed to be grieving. "If we want to defeat Hawkmoth, Adrien had to go."

Her eyes widened slightly. "What? Are you saying…that Adrien was Hawkmoth?"

"No," he corrected quickly. "I don't know who Hawkmoth is."

"But—" her hand rose to clutched at her scalp. "Then why did it have to be him? Why did it have to be Adrien?"

He couldn't tell if she was asking him, or if she was asking God. "I'm afraid I'm sworn to secrecy, My Lady. It was…a last resort."

"Secrecy? By who?…Adrien?"


A trembling hand covered her mouth as she took to staring out over the rooftops again. The face of determination Adrien wore when he jumped popped back into her mind.

"But he would never…"

"You knew him as Ladybug and Marinette. But there was another side to him…something much darker and awful."

"So…he jumped on purpose?" She almost whispered.


"Did you lie to me when you said you didn't see him fall?"

"Yeah." As he answered, his head lowered farther and farther, as he sank deeper into guilt. "If I could go back in time, I'd do things differently. But…I never wanted to get you involved. I never wanted you to deal with the guilt." And the guilt was suffocating.

There was a sudden flash of pink and Marinette stood there instead, fruitlessly wiping her face as the tears came again.

"My Lady…" his heart clenched at the sight.

Marinette simply raised her arms. "You stupid kitty…"

Chat was on her in an instant, crushing her tightly to his chest as she wept.

"I'm sorry I ruined our friendship." He whispered in her ear. "I didn't know you loved him. He didn't think anybody loved him, or that anyone would miss him."

That was definitely not the right thing to say as she clawed his back and began to wail.

"It's going to be okay Mari, I've got you…I'm here." Tears rolled down his cheeks as her cries rattled in the empty hole in his heart. "I'm so sorry."

"I'm sorry that you felt like your couldn't trust me with this…" She whispered back, "I would have helped…"

"I know. It's not that I didn't trust you, I trust you with my life. But I didn't want you to go through what I'm going through right now."

She nodded as she swallowed, unable to speak, but understanding anyways.

"Do…do you want to know my identity?" He asked, pulling away slightly. "I know it's kind of a lot right now, but…I only think it's fair."

She shook her head, gathering herself. "No Chat. I want you to keep your identity. I'll only give you a pass if you're trying to save the woman you love."

He frowned. "I try to keep you from life-threatening situations before they happen."

She barked out a watery laugh. "Even in the darkest situations, you still flirt with me."

He pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. "It makes you feel better."

She pulled back, out of his arms. "Would you like to come in? I'll make us some hot chocolate and get some bakery leftovers."

"Only if you want me to, I know you're probably still trying to cope with…all this."

"Yes but…I've been alone all week, but there's no one I'd rather depend on right now than my partner."

"Then, after you."

He followed her into her bedroom, and down the little loft to her main floor.

"You've been here before, right?" She asked, a little smirk on her lips.

"Yeah," As Adrien and as Chat. "I see you still have a lot of pictures of him…that should have been obvious."

There was a collage of pictures on her desk wall, and she had a candle sitting underneath them.

"I convinced him that it wasn't a crush. That I just admired fashion and I was a fan. Even then…that seemed to make him happy."

"He was so lucky to have you, My Lady. Even if it was just as a friend, you probably made his life brighter."

It looked like it was taking her a lot of effort to keep from crying again. And so he carefully stepped up and cupped her cheek, drawing his thumb just under her eye. "Sorry, I'm probably not helping, am I?"

"I just…" She shuttered, and then whispered, mostly to herself. "It wasn't my fault."

"It absolutely was NOT your fault! You have nothing to feel guilty about."

She nodded once, "okay," and then nodded again, meeting his eyes, "okay." She offered a smile, and then, "how about that Hot Chocolate?"

"Do you need any help?"

"No, my parents are home. I'll let them know you're here…I'll say that you're checking up on Adrien's friends."

"That sounds smart. You and I should probably pay Nino and Alya visits too then, huh?"

"That might be a good idea." She opened the trap door. "I'll be back in a minute." And the door closed behind her.

"Chat?" Said a small, sweet voice.

"Uh, yes?"

A red ball zoomed up and stopped in front of his face. "I'm Tikki," she said softly.

"Ladybug's kwami," he finished. "It's nice to meet you."

She looked pensive, but spoke quietly. "I know who you really are."

"I figured you did…you obviously didn't tell Marinette."

"No, and it's none of my business…but Adrien, do we need to worry about you? Are you safe?"

"I'm fine," he assured. "Plagg and I are staying with Master Fu."

"But why did you—you know…"

He answered quietly, crossing his arms over his chest. "Gabriel wanted Adrien to go to Germany, but Chat Noir had to stay in Paris. We agreed, Plagg and I, that we had to find a way to make it so Gabriel wouldn't look for me." He sighed, unable to look at her. "And if I'm perfectly honest…being in that household wasn't good for me. Marinette thinks I committed suicide…had I not been Chat Noir, I might have."

"Oh Adrien…"

"It's Emile now," he offered softly. "My mom's name was Emilie. It was the first name I could think of."

Tikki nuzzled his cheek warmly. "I can feel your pain. I understand why you can't tell Marinette right now…but I hope you'll tell her someday."

"I will, I promise. I love her so much, there's no way I can hide this for long."

Tikki beamed at his declaration, just as the trap door opened again.

"I told my parents, and they're glad you're here. You can stay as long as you want."

Chat was quick to take the tray from her before she tripped, knowing it was inevitable. "Thanks," she squeaked.

He offered her a smile and set the tray on her desk. Then he shook her mouse to wake up her computer.

"Uh, Chat? What are you doing?"

He tapped at the keys, and then the speakers began to play soft music. Old, romantic, sounded like it was from a different era.

"Chat…" She reprimanded slightly.

He simply took her hands and rested them on his shoulders, and placed his own on her waist. Then he led her in a shy sway to the music.

"Minou, this is romantic and all but…"

"I'm not trying to seduce you." He chuckled, "I'm just trying to pamper you, Princess."

She wrapped her arms around his neck and snuggled into his collar. "Thank you."

"Will you tell me out Adrien? What made you love him?"

"…are you sure you want me to answer that?"


Marinette went back to a day three years ago, when they first started school. "It was raining," she started. "I didn't have an umbrella, and he let me borrow his. He had this earnest look on his face, and said he hadn't ever made friends before. I know it's pathetic, but that's what did me in."

He remembered that day well, because that was the first moment he realized he made a friend on his own, and not with his father's influence. "It's not pathetic," he answered. "It sounds…beautiful."

"Up until that moment, I hated him, actually. I thought he was just like Chloe Bourgeois, since they were acquainted. It was kind of crazy that I went from hate to crush in just a moment."

"You saw his heart for real in that moment, and you loved what you saw." Chat provided, his heart hammering in his chest.

"Yeah," she said softly. "And I continued to see his kindness and optimism in everything he did. I know he didn't have an easy life at home, so it was really admirable that he always held his head high and spoke to everyone with kindness. He even got Chloe to be nice!"

"He sounds like a dream boat." Chat chuckled slightly. "But it makes me happy to know that you loved him for who he was. I bet a lot of people at that memorial just liked him for his looks."

"I'm sure." She agreed, her voice dropping. "It was nice seeing so many people there but…"

"There was a lot there for a free Jagged Stone concert?" He guessed.

"Yeah, I mean, I know why Gabriel chose a public memorial, but it…seemed disrespectful."

"People will do what they do. Thankfully, I think the whole thing went over pretty well, and those that were there for us or Jagged behaved themselves."


They lulled into a silence, just enjoying the music.

Marinette looked up to meet his eyes. "Thank you," she whispered. "You said we needed to remember the good times, and I was just dwelling on him being gone."

"You have to ask yourself, would Adrien want you feeling guilty and lonely?"


"Right, so we can mourn him, but then we'll move on. We'll always miss him, but he'll want us to live our lives."

"Yeah…" She sniffed. Rubbing her eye, she looked up at him again, and furrowed her brows. "Have you always had that scar?"

It wasn't as visible, but being this close, she'd be able to see each line. "Ah, no…it's new. I uh…Reckoning Chat Noir couldn't happen to Adrien if it didn't happen to me too."

"Are you alright?"

"Thanks to the Miraculous, it's totally healed." He smiled awkwardly. "But…that's kind of why it took me so long to reach out to you. I was in the hospital."

"Oh Chat!" She gasped. "I'm so sorry! I had no idea!"

"Of course you didn't," he agreed amicably. He let go of her waist at the promise of hot chocolate. "I didn't tell you, so how else were you supposed to know? ESP?"

"I guess so…but…" She rubbed her arm. It didn't feel right, crying over the loss of a boy she never even dated, while her partner, her best friend, was in the hospital.

"Marinette," he said softly, "it's okay. Tonight, let's put this week behind us and just have fun. Is that okay?"

"Am I…am I going to lose you?"

That was startling. "Wh-what? No, I…I would never leave you, My Lady."

"A while back, you said you were moving away…"

"Oh!" He laughed at the irony. "No, no mon cherie, Master Fu and I figured it all out. I'm staying with a friend, in Paris."

She let out a massive sigh of relief. "Thank goodness, I don't know what I'd do if I lost you too…"

"My Lady, I didn't know you cared."

"Of course I care!" She shouted back, startling him. "I missed my chance to tell Adrien I loved him, but I'm not taking that same chance with you! I love you, Chat. Maybe not the same way you love me…but you're my dearest friend, and honestly this week was awful because I thought you hated me."

Chat just stared at her, open mouthed. His heart was bursting with affection, but he was rooted to the spot.

"You're more to me than what the media portrays. You're not a sidekick…you're not even just a partner. You're my other half, and I would have given up being Ladybug at the very beginning without you."

"Oh Mari…" he breathed. "You beautiful, wonderful, loving girl…" He hugged her again, nuzzling her hair. "I could never hate you…unless I was possessed by an akuma."

She managed a giggle.

"That means a lot to me, to hear you say that. Sometimes…I do feel like the sidekick, since you come up with the plans and do the purifying…But that's our dynamic. We work like that. And so I do everything I can to help you succeed."

"And that's why you're my other half." She grinned.

They stayed up for several hours more, talking, playing video games, and making jokes. Anything Chat could do to relieve her pain. Then, sometime after midnight, she yawned.

"It's time for you to get some sleep, Princess. You look exhausted."



"Would you stay?"

He hummed pleasantly. "You didn't even have to ask."

He turned and stood in the corner while she changed. The lights flicked off and she climbed into bed.

Chat bit his lip, looking at the open spot on the mattress.

"Well?" She asked. "If you're uncomfortable, you can go, or you could sleep on the chaise…"

"No," he interrupted. "I was just thinking…" He glanced over to the little shelf above her bed and saw a sleep mask. "Ah, here. Put this on."


"Just…trust me."

With a nervous shrug, Marinette secured the mask over her eyes. "Okay now—"

A bright green flash peeked around the edges of the mask as Adrien dropped his transformation. "I just think my t-shirt will be more comfortable to snuggle with than my leather suit."


She heard the sound of his shoes dropping on the floor, and then the weight on the mattress shifted. Then, her cheek was pressed to a warm chest, covered by a soft t-shirt.

Her hand reached up to touch his face, but he held her fingers before they could feel skin. "Sorry, My Lady, I can't have you figuring me out yet."

"Oh, right…" she giggled awkwardly.

This was so weird. She never acted like this in front of Chat. It was even weirder to have him without the suit. It felt like a stranger was in her bed instead of Chat.

A low rumble cut through her thoughts. "Are you…purring?"

"A cat's purr is at the perfect frequency to help with headaches, and healing. Don't fight it."

She smiled and relaxed into him. "I think…it's cute."

His fingers tangled in her hair, no claws to scratch. He pressed a soft kiss to her head, "goodnight, Bugaboo."

"Goodnight, Minou."

Nine Lives

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

Part 5 of 18

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