Continuing Tales

Nine Lives

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

Part 7 of 18

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Adrien flopped down on the park bench with a sigh. "18 stores, 7 cafes, and not one place willing to even give me an application."

"Maybe they just aren't hiring?" Asked Plagg.

"I wish that was the case. But each and every person I talked to refused to make eye contact, and they kept glancing at my right side."

A kid, not to far from him, pointed at him. "Mommy mommy! There's an akuma!"

"Oh!" Cried the mother, ushering her child away.


"Well, now everyone realizes how ugly you really are." Plagg snickered.

"Oh haha, very funny. I always thought my face was a curse because everyone recognized me and fawned over me, I didn't think the opposite would ever happen." Adrien touched his scar. The blisters had finally gone away, but the skin remained wrinkled and almost looked like it still bubbled. It was hideous, to say the least.

"At least your friends didn't shun you. And you got Chloe off your back!"

"Well, that's true. My Lady is too kind to shun anyone based on appearance, and Alya and Nino are too."

"I don't get why you're looking for a job in the first place. You transferred a bunch of money from your old account."

"I don't want to touch that money yet," Adrien sighed. "I want to go to college, and if I start tapping into that money now, it'll be gone before we know it. Especially since your cheese addiction is so damn expensive."

"So I eat a lot of cheese! I'll cut down a bit if it's really a problem…" The kwami drooped in the air, hating the idea.

"It's not just that. I also want to get my own apartment. Living with Fu has been nice and it was helpful, but we have to share a room! It's not fair to him."

"You think you'd be able to afford an apartment with just a part time job? Keep dreaming kid."

"I mean, if I have to live with Fu until I graduate, that's fine. I just…don't want to be an inconvenience."

"He's making you do all the chores. I doubt that's an inconvenience."

"For now…maybe I'll see if I can get a janitorial job somewhere or something…"

Plagg scoffed. "It's too bad you can't make money off of being Chat Noir."

Adrien's eyes widened as he grabbed Plagg out of the air and kissed his fuzzy little head. "Plagg! You're a genius!"

"Ew! I know I am, but let me go!"

"Claws out!"

It wasn't that odd seeing Chat Noir and Ladybug around Paris. It usually resulted in a flurry of pictures and gasps of awe. Chat really could spend the rest of his life like this. Maybe he'd just pitch a tent on the Eiffel Tower. That's what gave him his freedom in the first place, after all.

He arrived at City Hall, scaling to the top, and tapping on the glass of Mayor Bourgeois office.

The Mayor stifled a gasp, but opened the window. "Chat Noir? What are you doing here? Is everything alright?"

"Everything is fine!" Chat assured easily. "I was just wondering if I could talk…business with you? If you have a moment that is. I can come back later too, if I need to make an appointment…"

"No! No, no, no you're fine! Please! I can make time for one of Paris' heroes. You've saved my daughter so many times, I would like to return the favor."

Chat sighed in relief. "Well, actually…here's the thing…without giving away too much about my personal life…I'm broke. Being Chat Noir is a full time job. I can't just leave a shift at work to go fighting akuma. So I…I was just wondering if I could, somehow, maybe receive compensation?"

"You want to be a paid superhero?"

"That sounds bad…I was just hoping…" Yikes, this was not going well.

"You put your life on the line every day to keep Paris safe, not only from super villains, but from petty crooks too! I'd love to be able to compensate you for your time, but…"


"It would have to be approved by the Ministry of Finance. Since we don't have a superhero fund."

"Oh, right, of course. Um…it really doesn't have to be much. You could just put my down as a payroll under the police?"

"No, the police are a different sect." The Mayor pondered. "I'll bring it up at the next board meeting! If financial compensation makes being a superhero easier for you, then that will make Paris safer!"

Chat smiled. "Thank you Mister Mayor, I'll see you later then!"

Though Adrien had vowed that he wasn't going to tap into his savings, he went out and bought a few big ticket items. One, a new phone. Nothing fancy, just good enough to keep in contact with his new friends. And two and three, a laptop and a GoPro.

"What's all this junk?" Plagg asked, hovering over the GoPro. They were sitting in the back room at Fu's, since the main room was occupied with a patient. There was a little table in there, that Adrien used as a homework desk when Fu was with a client.

"It's a camera," Adrien explained. "I can wear it when I'm Chat Noir and record jumping over the streets and rooftops of Paris. Then I'll upload it to Youtube and make money on the ads."

"Oh, you're going to be one of those internet guys…cool." Said the kwami with a shrug.

"Look, I think it'll make people feel safer, knowing that I'm out there patrolling the streets. And maybe it'll give everyone an appreciation for their city. I'll edit music onto it, and I started a twitter account so people can ask me questions, and I'll answer them as I'm running."

"As long as they aren't too personal, right?"

"Right, nothing that would make Ladybug angry…I mean, making money off of my superpowers might tick her off…but it can't be helped."

Plagg snickered to himself. "It's pretty mild, all the same. You could be a Chat Noir themed stripper."

"…do you think that would make more money?"

The patient in the next room sat up quickly, hearing the uproarious laughter coming from the back room.

Adrien got to work editing his youtube page. For a banner, he used a picture of himself that went viral last year. A security camera had picked him up while he was on patrol. It was slightly fuzzy, but perfect like that, since he was in the big foot pose. A real Parisian cryptid, if there ever was one.

"What do you think? ChatCam or NoirFilms? Oh oh! Or ChitterChat?"

Plagg yawned.

"How about Back In Black? Or...the Devil Wears Plagg?"

"Why not just 'Chat Noir's College Fund'?"

"Because it has to be unique and original! And catchy!"

"It is original! It's a kwami idea, never been imagined by man."

"I'm surprised you didn't want me to call it 'Camembert Dreams."

"Because, Doofus, you're not making videos about cheese. Don't lead people on."

Adrien laughed and shook his head, still considering his options.

"How about, 'Definitely Not Adrien Agreste'?"

"Yeah, that's not suspicious at all."

"You wanted my opinion!" The kwami squeaked.

"And it's appreciated, but wrong." Adrien glanced out the window. "Well, we'll come up with a name while we're out. The sun will be setting soon. Perfect time to shoot."

The next day, a pleasant Sunday. Chat Noir dropped in on Marinette's balcony.

He knocked daintily on the trapdoor, and whistled a nameless tune.

Within a moment, Marinette opened the hatch. "Why, Chat Noir! What brings you here?"

A bouquet of roses few up in front of her face, filling the air with a fresh aroma. "Am I not allowed to pay my dearest friend a visit?"

She smiled at him broadly. "You just want a snack, don't you?"

"I mean…I won't refuse one." He snickered.

"Come on in, you mangy cat."

With a grin, he slipped through the trap door and sat on her bed, as she found a vase for the roses.

"Thanks for the roses, they're beautiful!"

"Only the best for you, my lady."

Once the flowers were placed, she turned to him. "I'm actually glad you're here."

"Oh? I thought you'd always be happy to see me."

She rolled her eyes. "Of course, the good thing about akumas is getting to see you."

He gasped happily.

"But there's something I need to talk to you about."

He nodded seriously and took a seat in one of her computer chairs. "I'm all ears."

"Does the name 'Emile' sound familiar to you?"

Chat made a slight choking sound, but didn't give a definitive answer.

"He's a new kid at my school, and he's really nice and all. But I think he knows who I am."

Chat feigned surprise. He wasn't exactly being subtle with his hints. He was hoping she'd figure out Emile was Chat too, but she had been vehement about him keeping his identity a secret, so he would just try to do it covertly. "How would he know?"

"Master Fu is his Godfather and…well, Emile said he had heard of me, and he called me 'My Lady'."

Chat gasped. "He stole my nickname for you!"

"Well, the thing is, I don't know if he knows who you are too…"

"Would you like to know who I am? Make it fair?"

"Chat, I told you—"

"I know, I know…just thought I'd mention it again…I case you changed your mind."

Marinette stepped up to him, taking his hands in hers gently. "I do want to know who you are, I promised I do. But it's not safe. Not until Hawkmoth is defeated."

"But…he's been awfully quiet for the last few weeks."

"He has…but he could come back at any time. Maybe he went on vacation?"

"Hawkmoth doesn't really seem like the type of person to take an Alaskan Cruise, you know?"

She offered a smile, and then sobered. "He's never been this quiet before. I don't know what it could mean." Then she looked up and met his eyes.

They had made eye contact before. But at this moment, with her outside the suit, it felt different. They weren't trying to stay focused in a dangerous situation, they were just two friends, sharing a moment.


"Your freckles…" he murmured.

"What about them?"

He leaned closer, their noses touching, and her breath hitching. "I've never noticed, because of the mask and all…they're precious!"

She blushed, and brushed some hair behind her ear. "Oh…thanks…"

This was weird. Why did it have to be weird? Why couldn't things just go back to the way they were?

Chat took a healthy step back, noticing her unease. "I want to show you something. Can I get on your computer?"

"Oh, sure." She shook her mouse. The wallpaper with Adrien on it glowed back at them. Marinette glanced at him with a wince, but he didn't seem upset at all.

He opened up her internet browser and went to Youtube.

"If this is a cat video, I swear—"

"It's not a cat video," he laughed. "Well…actually it kind of is. But I think you'll like it."

She narrowed her eyes, but looked back at the screen as he typed in 'Chat Noir's College Fund' and then clicked on the first result.

The video opened on Chat's bright and smiley face. "Good evening Paris! And everyone else watching! Chat Noir here, with a...somewhat crazy idea. I've never used a GoPro before, so I apologize for any mistakes.

"As Chat Noir, I get the unique experience of seeing Paris in a way no one else does. Well, except for Ladybug. Often before going to bed, I suit up and go for a run across rooftops, checking to makes sure things are safe, and to just...enjoy my freedom. I wanted to share with the world what I get to see."

The camera turned, and Ladybug realized he was at the very tippy top of the Eiffel Tower, probably on a broadcast antenna. "This is my Paris. My home." He pointed the camera down, showing the weird perspective of the Tower. "Come explore with me!" And he leapt.

For a while, the footage was just of the ground approaching at a dizzying rate, before Chat extended his baton and flung inside the tower. Marinette had experienced a similar route down the Tower as this, but it was cool to see how he travelled, and the thrill of being unable to predict his jumps.

Chat leapt from rooftop to rooftop, his legs and arms occasionally coming into the footage.

Then, Chat was speaking in a voice over. "I made a twitter account. Username is leather_boi. If anyone sends me questions, I'll try to answer them on this channel. Rules for getting your questions answered are simple. Nothing that would endanger me or Ladybug in or out of the costume. While this is mainly my little project, if you have a question for Ladybug, I'll pass it along, but there's no guarantees. And, be sure to keep up with all of our news on the Ladyblog!"

The footage showed Chat Noir dropping down in a park, waving to some pedestrians, before leaping back up to the rooftops. "I think this will be the purrfect opportunity to connect with my, doubtless, hundreds of fans. So tweet me, and wave when you see me!"

Then the footage showed the camera shaking and Chat's confused face. He stuck his tongue out slightly and the video ended.

"Well?" Chat asked, nervously.

"It was cute!"

"You liked it?"

"Yeah! I think this is a really good idea too. It's kinda proof that we're patrolling the city, and it might help ease up some reporters from overwhelming us after a fight."

"So I have your blessing to continue?"

"Yes. Just as long as you are smart with the questions you answer. You're smart, and I trust you…but just exercise caution."

"Always, my lady," he beamed.

Marinette's phone started to buzz, and she held a finger up to her lips to keep him quiet.

"Hey Alya," she greeted.

"Girl! You won't believe it! Chat-Freaking-Noir just emailed me! He has a twitter account and a youtube channel, and he wants to team up with the Ladyblog!"

Marinette smiled at him, glad that he had taken that extra step. "Oh that's awesome! What's on the youtube channel?"

"He's only got one video so far, and it's really cute! He's just jumping over Paris but in it he says people can ask him questions! And then he endorsed my blog! It was awesome!"

As Alya ranted on and on about how absolutely ecstatic she was about this, Marinette couldn't help but stare at Chat. Did he know that Alya was her best friend? Was he trying to make up for what happened to Adrien?

Either way, she was just happy to have such a kind and thoughtful friend.

The next morning, Emile walked to school from his godfather's house. He arrived a little early. Early enough to see his classmates, including Nino and Marinette, surrounding Alya's tablet.

"Good morning!" He chirped.

He was promptly hushed by Alya, who didn't even look up from the screen.

Adrien rolled his eyes and took to his seat. He figured she was watching his video again, and bragging to everyone that her blog was endorsed by none other than Chat Noir.

But as he tuned his hearing in, he heard something far worse.

"Several protestors have arrived at City Hall to protest the superhero fund. While others have taken to social media to show their support. One such site is the Ladyblog, run by Alya Cesaire. Her post, as written this morning reads, 'Chat Noir and Ladybug constantly put their lives on the line to protect Paris from a terrorist. Not only have they stopped him every time, but they repair all the damage done in the meantime, in some cases, leaving things in a better condition then they were before. Our heroes must be able to drop everything thats going on in their lives to help. And they can't offer any explanations to friends, family, or employers, which would make their lives very difficult. While we shower them in fame and praises, they get nothing out of this but headaches. If Chat Noir asked for some financial help, we should be able to give it to him.'"

Adrien winced. Sounds like the board meeting already happened, and now everyone knew the favor he asked. He glanced over to Marinette, to see her frowning in concentration.

Nadja was standing by a protestor out in front of city hall. "Superheroes aren't supposed to be paid. They're volunteers, like firefighters. If Chat Noir wants money so badly, maybe he should try to live a more frugal lifestyle instead of asking for our taxes. It's selfish, honestly."

Adrien didn't think so. And neither did his growling stomach.

"Ladybug and Chat Noir have yet to comment, but we are constantly refreshing Chat Noir's twitter page to see if he has anything to say."

Oh, that's right. He had a twitter now. He took out his phone, only to find hundreds of messages and questions.

That was fast…he mused. A lot of them were repeats, asking for his real name. Some others asked about his relationship with Ladybug. A quick glance through, and he found a couple of questions that would be fun to answer in his next video.

But to get back to the task on hand…how to stop all this hubbub in 140 characters?

nadjiatvinews Thank you for covering this story and showing both sides. I just want to be able to eat. Is that too much to ask?

There. Short, sad, and to the point.

He turned around to try and see the tablet screen, but everyone was too invested.

"Chat Noir has just sent out a tweet about this situation, which says quote ' nadjiatvinews Thank you for covering this story and showing both sides. I just want to be able to eat. Is that too much to ask?' No Chat Noir, I don't think it's too much to ask. But it is ultimately up to the ministry to decide. The next meeting to decide on Chat Noir's proposed Superhero Fund is Wednesday afternoon, and we'll be there to get all the latest coverage. Nadja Chamack, Tvi news."

Adrien pulled out his wallet, and looked at the 5 euro bill he had for lunch. Perhaps his lady would be merciful and provide him with some croissants for dinner.

Nine Lives

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

Part 7 of 18

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