Continuing Tales

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A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by DarkReyna16

Part 26 of 37

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That was the smell. It was pine.

Marinette hadn’t registered the name of the smell right away—the shock had been too strong for her to put a name to it.

It had been a ridiculous idea to hug the coat to her anyway, as if it could ever be a proper substitute for one of Adrien’s hugs. But still, Marinette had done it, because admittedly, she was a sentimental type of person.

A sentimental type of person who also had a really strong sense of smell.

So strong, in fact, that the moment the lapel of the coat brushed her face, her eyes flew open wide, a small gasp escaping her as she registered a smell that should not be familiar.

A smell that, given the facts as she knew them, should not exist.

It’s impossible,’ she thought to herself as she stood in her bedroom, staring down at the coat in her hands, as if it were a crucial piece of evidence in a murder trial. ‘Or it’s a coincidence. That cologne is most likely mass-produced. A lot of men probably use it…

And she had just happened to spend time in the company of two men who had decided to wear it on the same night?

Stop that,’ she scolded herself, her grip on the coat tightening as she scowled down at it. ‘There has to be a rational explanation. What you’re thinking is impossible.

…But was it?

Even before tonight, there were times when Adrien reminded her uncomfortably of someone else, whether it was his words or his mannerisms that triggered the cataloging of similarities in Marinette’s brain: the grins that were a little too wild on him, the unexpected teasing nature, some of his gestures, some of his words—

“Anything for my princess.”

Marinette shivered, though the room was far from cold.

Chat Noir had said something strange earlier, too: something about earrings he was sure his ‘someone’ didn’t like.

And Adrien was worried about the earrings he had given her tonight…

That proves nothing,’ Marinette insisted to herself with a fervent shake of her head. ‘This is all circumstantial. They’re weird coincidences. They have to be…

Marinette’s gaze snapped to her balcony doors. She hadn’t heard Adrien’s car pull away yet…

I just need to look at him,’ Marinette reasoned to herself, still clutching his coat as she hurried to her balcony doors, throwing them wide open. Her bare skin recoiled against the chilly winter night air, but she ignored it, approaching the railing of her balcony. ‘One look. Then I won’t have any doubts…

Adrien was standing under the streetlight right across from her balcony. The light filtering down from it set his blonde hair alight, a golden halo perched upon his head. Said head snapped up as she emerged, his green eyes locking with hers in an instant. His face was bloodless, his eyes wide and mouth slack for some reason Marinette could not fathom. He turned to face her, staring up at her as she stared down at him.

See?’ Marinette told herself as she watched him, ignoring the way her heart suddenly pounded so hard in her chest that it might break free of her body at any moment. ‘It’s just Adrien down there. It’s just…

A breeze flew by, slightly disturbing his hair; his gel must be wearing off. He seemed ignorant of it, and the breeze died within a few seconds, but Marinette saw it—for just a moment, with his hair displaced, he looked like…


Marinette’s lips parted of their own accord, the name poised on her tongue, ready to be released—

She bit down, forcibly closing her mouth. Unsure of what else to do, she made herself smile, giving a small wave in farewell. After a moment, Adrien returned the gesture, his smile looking as flimsy as hers felt.

Unable to look at him for long, for she was certain she was losing her mind, Marinette turned her back, preparing to go inside. Her head was whirling, and it surely would have spun right off her shoulders if it wasn’t attached to her neck. Her whole body was buzzing, too, the cold distantly felt as blood raced through her veins with the same adrenaline that usually was inspired by an akuma attack.

It could so very easily be a coincidence. She could just be reading too much into them, making something out of nothing.

There was such a huge possibility that Marinette could be wrong.

But if she wasn’t…?

Marinette chanced another glance behind her, taking in Adrien’s turned back. She could see the planes of his muscles through his snug dress shirt; he really had filled out well ever since he quit following his model diet. And it was clear he had been hitting the gym, too…his figure was still lithe, but there was definitely muscle there, too. And his hair had gotten ridiculously long…so long he probably had to tie it back into a ponytail while he was working…

STOP IT,’ Marinette commanded herself once again, forcing her eyes away from Adrien and forward as she moved back into her room, pushing the balcony doors shut behind her. This was insanity—if she kept torturing herself with coincidences like this, she would never get any sleep tonight. Just because there happened to be a handful of small similarities between Adrien and Chat didn’t mean they meant anything. Besides, Marinette would have known if something like this was going on, would have known if her partner happened to also be her boyfriend—her boyfriend! Not a few minutes after Adrien had asked her to be his girlfriend, and already, Marinette was suspecting him of keeping secrets from her.

Or maybe…

Maybe this was some sick, hidden need of hers to make the two men in her life fit into one role? Because wouldn’t that just be so convenient for her, to have two in one, to be able to have her cake and eat it, too? Wasn’t this just wishful thinking on Marinette’s part, born of a desire so selfish that it shamed her to even consider it within her own mind?

She groaned, burying her face in the coat, as if it would help her hide from her own shame. It didn’t—the cologne was still as strong as ever, and Marinette inhaled deeply, unable to help herself.


It was the smell of pine.

Of a cologne called Mystique.

The smell of Chat Noir.

Marinette’s nose didn’t lie—the two scents were definitely one in the same.

But the question still remained: did this mean anything?


Marinette jumped, startled as her kwami abruptly sprang free of the bag Marinette had left on her computer desk. A surge of guilt went through her; she had forgotten all about the kwami.

“Sorry, Tikki.”

“It’s fine.” Tikki peered up at her, indigo eyes filled with concern. “…But are you all right, Marinette? You look very pale…are you feeling unwell?”


Marinette stared at her kwami. It wasn’t obvious, looking at Tikki, but she was a tiny god that was thousands, if not millions of years old. She had once told Marinette that she and Plagg were created together, and therefore, were two halves of the same whole. Thus, whenever Plagg was near, she could sense him, and vice versa.

So if Plagg had been nearby tonight…

“Tikki?” Marinette began, still clutching Adrien’s coat to her, as if letting go would have dire consequences for her. “Um…c-can I ask you something…?”

“Of course, Marinette,” Tikki allowed, still appearing worried. Marinette idly wondered just how pale her face looked before the matter was pushed out of her mind. Because here, right in front of her, was the end-all, be-all answer that would put her questions to rest and end her sudden restlessness over whether or not her suspicions held any weight. If she was just imagining things, then good, fine with her—that made things less complicated, even if there were some issues she clearly had to work out.

…But if her suspicions were correct…

Marinette swallowed. All she had to do was ask. That was it. Just one simple question, and everything would be revealed…

“Marinette?” Tikki prompted, flying closer to Marinette’s face when she didn’t say anything for a while, her eyes large, concerned…and containing all the hidden knowledge of an all-powerful but benevolent god. She would surely tell Marinette, if she asked…Tikki would never lie to her, never mislead her…

Then why? Why couldn’t Marinette make herself ask the question, when the answer she sought was right in front of her? What was she so afraid of…?

If I’m wrong, then nothing has to change. Adrien will still be Adrien, and Chat will still be Chat. One will be my boyfriend, the other, my partner. If I’m wrong, nothing will be complicated. It’ll be business as usual.

But…if she was right…?

If she was right…it would change everything.

Marinette swallowed again, her fists tightening around Adrien’s coat.

“………Never mind,” she said at last, offering a tiny smile. Tikki blinked in surprise, and Marinette hastily looked away, moving around the kwami to hang Adrien’s coat in her closet. “It’s not important after all.”

“Are you sure, Marinette…?”

“I’m sure,” Marinette assured her, carefully avoiding her kwami’s gaze as she hung Adrien’s coat, and then closed her closet door, crossing to her vanity table to remove her jewelry. “Good work tonight. I’ll get you some cookies, and then I’m gonna take a shower and go to bed. It’s been a long night.”

“Okay,” said Tikki, and Marinette avoided her own gaze in the mirror of her vanity table as she slipped off her necklace; the lie in her eyes would be too much for her right now. “But, Marinette…if you need anything…I’m right here, okay?”

Marinette closed her eyes and made herself take a deep breath. The scent of pine was still heavy in her senses, even after she put Chat’s—Adrien’s—coat away. She forced another deep breath, hoping that would clear her senses, before she turned and offered another small smile to her kwami.

“I know. Thanks, Tikki.”

Sadly, there was no help for Marinette, now that she was wedged between that rock and the hard place, now that she both wanted and did not want to know a secret that could possibly turn her world upside-down, should she choose to seek the truth on her own…

It was going to be a very, very, very long night.



“Hmm…‘irritation’, huh? Something bothering you, Adrien?”

As an answer, Adrien sent a pointed look Plagg’s way, who was busy gorging himself on cheese on Ivan’s desk. The kwami paused only to return Adrien’s look with an unimpressed one before continuing with his meal, swallowing a piece of camembert whole. Ivan glanced between the two, his thick brows furrowed in concern.

“Did you two, er…have a disagreement or something?”

“He’s upset because he thinks I’m hiding Ladybug’s identity from him,” Plagg replied with a nonchalant air that further annoyed Adrien. He glared at the kwami from where he sulked in his armchair, exhaustion making him extra-cranky, due to the fact that he hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before. Half the night, he had badgered Plagg, the all-knowing god of chaos and destruction, whose other half was the being of order and creation, a kwami Plagg at least consented to name: Tikki. Master Fu had told him that the two kwamis, Tikki and Plagg, were created together as two halves of the same whole. Thus, they were connected in ways Adrien could barely grasp.

But he had certainly tried to understand last night. He had thrown question after question at Plagg in an attempt to get him to leak information about Tikki’s whereabouts, but the kwami was stubborn, refusing to answer anything until he had gotten his prize for his good behavior. But once Adrien had consented to feed him, the little brat of a god had the absolute nerve to pass out right after, leaving Adrien frustrated beyond belief as the knowledge he sought was denied him. This morning hadn’t been any better, made worse by the fact that Adrien was tired and running late—he had barely made it into Ivan’s office on time after fighting with Plagg on his sudden silence over his other half, and now here they were, with Plagg still remaining obstinate, and Adrien thoroughly irritated about it, if the shattering beats and angry guitar riffs blaring through Ivan’s speakers was too subtle of a hint.

Ivan, for his part, merely blinked in surprise at Plagg, and Adrien abruptly felt bad. His poor therapist…with all the shit he had to put up with with Adrien alone, it seemed too much to drag him into the supernatural issues he had with his kwami as well…

“You know who Ladybug is?” Ivan asked, sounding genuinely curious. But Plagg gave him a withering glance, rising into the air with his last piece of camembert.

“What I might or might not know about Ladybug is my business,” he insisted, turning his back to both Ivan and Adrien as he flew away, towards Adrien’s coat. “And I would prefer not to be interrogated about it!”

“There wouldn’t be any interrogating going on if you were just up front about what you know!” Adrien spat at him, but Plagg ignored him, disappearing into the pocket of his coat without another word. Adrien huffed and ran his hands through his hair, irked beyond belief. As he stewed in his bad mood, he quite forgot Ivan’s existence before the gentle giant cleared his throat, and Adrien looked up with a cringe.

“Sorry. I don’t mean to be so grumpy. Just…last night was a long one.”

“Looks like it,” Ivan concurred, his eyes scanning Adrien’s face, no doubt taking in the bags under his eyes with a slight frown. “So…what’s all this about Ladybug’s identity, all of a sudden?”

Adrien pursed his lips.

Here was someone he could trust with all his secrets without question: bound by both his profession and his own principles, Ivan would not breathe a single word Adrien said to him about anything, without Adrien having to ask. It had already been proven by now that Adrien could trust Ivan with anything…

…Anything except secrets that were not his to tell, anyway.

That threw a wrench into any complaining Adrien wanted to do on the subject, of course—how could he expound upon his restlessness without giving away sensitive information that may or may not be true?

As he rubbed the back of his neck, trying to figure out a way to explain, Ivan seemed to pick up on his helplessness. He sat back in his chair, folding his hands over his stomach as he observed Adrien.

“Did you…find something out?”

Adrien frowned, and Ivan raised his hands, suddenly looking concerned.

“You don’t have to name names or anything. That’s your business. And hey, if you’re uncomfortable with the subject, you can just say so. I may be your therapist, but the point of these sessions is for you to talk about things you’re willing to talk about. So if you don’t want to—”

“That’s the problem,” Adrien cut in with a chagrined look, “I want to talk about it. Since Plagg’s being…Plagg, there’s no one else that I can talk about it to…but at the same time…I don’t want to fuck up and say something I shouldn’t…”

“…Then speak very, very carefully,” Ivan suggested, smiling a little. “I won’t push for details. Just share whatever you’re comfortable with. I’m listening.”

The words were calming, and Adrien took a deep breath, closing his eyes to focus. Okay…if he could get through this without mentioning names, or giving away defining characteristics…then it would be fine, right? He could do this, couldn’t he?

God, he hoped he could do this, because if he didn’t talk to someone about it, he was going to explode.

Taking another deep breath, Adrien frowned to himself, his eyes still closed as he concentrated, sorting through his words carefully.

“Well…last night…I…might have found something out,” he said, tip-toeing around a landmine of words he should avoid, such as ‘date’ and ‘lipstick’, harmless enough on their own, but too telling if they were put into the right context. “The problem is, everything is…circumstantial. It could all just be a giant coincidence…”

“…But you don’t think it is?” Ivan guessed. Adrien huffed, opening his eyes to stare at his therapist, feeling lost.

“That’s the problem: I don’t know. And I’m more than a little terrified to ask, because if I’m right…”

If he was right…nothing would ever be the same again. And he still was not sure whether this was a good or a bad thing.

Ivan’s gaze switched to the ceiling, frowning thoughtfully into the distance.

“So…I’m guessing you’re worried about Ladybug’s identity…because she might be someone you know?”

Adrien’s jaw tightened. Uh-oh. They were entering into dangerous waters. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all…

Ivan read the tension in Adrien’s expression, and then gave a tiny nod.

“No names needed. But I can see this is very distressing for you, since you’ve been working to get over Ladybug. But now that she might be someone you know, things have gotten complicated. Does that sound like where you are right now?”

Adrien sighed, letting his head fall into a hand.

“In a nutshell, yeah,” he grumbled. Ivan hummed, his gaze going to the ceiling again as he twiddled his thumbs.

“…So let me ask you, Adrien,” Ivan began, glancing at Adrien again, “what does this mean for you? Will something in your life change, in light of this new information?”

This question made Adrien blink.

Would something change? Of course something would change—his whole world would change if his suspicions proved to be correct! A secret so earth-shattering, a secret of this caliber…nothing would ever be the same again if it turned out that Marinette Dupain-Cheng, his girlfriend Mari, was—

“Uggggh, enough already!”

Adrien was startled out of his whirling thoughts by the sound of a disgruntled voice. He and Ivan both looked up as Plagg suddenly zoomed out of Adrien’s coat pocket, looking every bit as disgruntled as Adrien currently was with him.

“Ladybug, Ladybug, Ladybug,” the kwami drawled, folding his arms as he hovered in midair, glaring down at his Chosen. “I thought we were overthis nonsense, kid! Why can’t you just be satisfied with what you have? Are you truly the spoiled rich boy the tabloids claim you are? Can you really settle for nothing less than everything you want?”

“Plagg—” Ivan called, but Plagg ignored him, his narrowed cat eyes focused firmly on Adrien.

“Who cares if you may or may not know who Ladybug is in her civilian life? Is that going to change your relationship with the woman you just asked to be your girlfriend last night? Are you really so fickle?”

Adrien winced, as if he had been struck. He couldn’t help it; the words stung. And they were unfair, considering Plagg was acting like he knew everything, and he still wouldn’t tell Adrien one way or another if he was right or not!

“It’s not like it would change my relationship with Mari—” he began to protest, but Plagg zoomed into his face, making him jerk back in surprise at the uncharacteristically fierce look on the kwami’s face.

“Oh? And just what do you think she’d say if you began to treat her differently? How do you think she’d feel if your infuriating inferiority complex began to interfere with your relationship? Do you think she’d be happy? Do you think, suspecting what you do, that she’d be pleased to know that the reason you’re suddenly worshipping the ground she walks on is because she’s suddenly what you’ve been wanting for all these years?”

Plagg’s eyes narrowed even more as Adrien watched him, his indignity at the kwami’s words fading fast.

Think, Adrien. You have a good thing here. A healthy thing. Must you ruin it by seeking answers that are not ready to be given? Must you sabotage your own happiness? Again?

“Plagg!” Ivan interjected once more, and though Plagg fell silent, he still just stared at Adrien, like he could see right into his soul, and was not happy with what he was witnessing.

And Adrien…could say nothing.

There was nothing he could shoot back that would refute anything Plagg just said. Sure, he could claim that his relationship with Mari wouldn’t change one iota even if she also happened to be Ladybug…but was that true?

For so long, Adrien had loved and idolized the woman in that red and black spotted mask, for so long he yearned for her, to the point of desperation and madness. The minute she finally rejected his feelings was the minute she had set him free, left him to seek his own happiness, wherever it might be. And Adrien had found that happiness in Marinette, whom he saw clearly, for though he still thought she was amazing, she was also still just a person, just like him. She never made him feel like he had to earn her love, never made him feel like he was inadequate. Just by being Marinette, she made him feel…miraculous.

But if it turned out that she and Ladybug were the same person…would Adrien begin to see her differently? Would he begin to treat her differently, thrust her back on that pedestal that he had been working so hard to tear down?

To suddenly behave as if she had hung the stars and the moon in the sky…would Marinette be hurt by such behavior? Especially if she realized that it was because he believed her to be someone he had long loved, like he was trying to shove her into a role that may or may not fit…?

He didn’t know what kind of expression he was currently making, but it made Plagg’s irritated gaze fall, and he gave a huff, perching himself on Adrien’s shoulder.

“Forget about Ladybug, Adrien. There’s nothing wrong with just enjoying what you have. And you’re happy with what you have…aren’t you?”


Adrien closed his eyes and pictured Marinette, the way her eyes sparkled as they shared a laugh, the fire in her expression when she was all holy justice, the way her teeth pressed into her bottom lip when she was unsure, the scrunch of her nose as she was considering some design choice, the swoop of her eyelashes when they brushed against her freckled cheeks…her smile when she agreed to be his girlfriend, just last night…

Adrien’s heart throbbed painfully. But it was a good kind of pain, the kind that told him that he was in too deep, and that it was just fine to be so. Because it was Marinette.

And now that Adrien had finally found his way to her, he wasn’t letting her go. Not for anything.

“…For someone who likes gross-smelling cheese so much, you sure are insightful,” Adrien grumbled to his kwami at last, glancing down to find the smug expression briefly crossing Plagg’s face.

“My love of camembert has nothing to do with being smarter than you,” he informed his Chosen, closing an eye as he peered up at Adrien. “But it pleases me to know that you’re not beyond reason anymore, either.”

Adrien rolled his eyes, glancing over at Ivan…who was looking like he had heard far too much. And Adrien cringed.

Oops. Maybe that argument was just a little too telling…

“Uh…sorry,” Adrien said, unsure of what else to say in this situation. Ivan blinked a couple times before he managed a small smile…though the shock wasn’t quite banished from his face just yet.

“No need to apologize. This room exists for you to work out what’s bothering you…though, uh, I usually have a more active role…”

“I just made your job a thousand times easier, Big Guy,” Plagg announced with all the arrogance of a spoiled prince. “You’re welcome, by the way.”

Ivan chuckled a little, the sound strained.

“Uh, yeah, thanks. So, uh…in the interest of not spoiling the breakthrough you’ve just reached…should we move on to something else?”

The curiosity was evident in Ivan’s eyes, Adrien could see, but he was politely suppressing it, clearly not wanting to tread on any toes. It was just as well—it really wasn’t Adrien’s secret to tell, and he wasn’t even sure that there was any truth to it, in the end.

And that was fine. Though Adrien still wondered, and he no doubt would for a while, it was something that did not need his attention until Ladybug—or Marinette—decided that it needed his attention.

His civilian and superhero life were divided for a reason. Until further notice…he should work to keep it that way.



She was late. That was not comforting.

Alya huffed, tapping her phone screen again. No missed calls, no messages. That either meant that Marinette was close enough that such messages weren’t warranted…or she was dead in a ditch somewhere.

Or she’s fighting an akuma,’ Alya reminded herself, though she had just checked her news app a moment ago for anything she might have missed—now that she knew what she knew, staying on top of the supernatural occurrences in Paris had become a top priority. But according to said news app, there was nothing out of the ordinary occurring in Paris today…

…So where was Marinette?

Alya began to tap her fingers against the surface of the table where she sat, her head propped up with a fist. She glared at the front door, her finger tapping getting faster and faster with every second that it failed to admit Marinette into the restaurant. It was all well and good if Marinette had gotten caught up in class or something, but she usually told Alya these things, because she knew Alya had a penchant for jumping the gun if there was even the slightest hint that her best friend was in trouble and needed her—

Oh, there she is,’ Alya thought with relief as, finally, said best friend appeared, hurrying through the door and stumbling into one of the passing waiters with a harried apology. Alya lifted her hand and waved it over her head, catching Marinette’s attention, and Marinette made a bee line for her.

“Hi, sorry I’m late,” Marinette apologized, bestowing a quick hug upon Alya before taking her seat across from her, pushing dark hair out of her exhausted-looking face. “I didn’t sleep well last night, so I was late for class, too, and now my whole schedule is just all off…”

As Marinette removed her winter bundling—hat, scarf, gloves and all—Alya inspected her, taking in the dark circles under her eyes, which lacked their usual spark. She looked very, very tired…

A grin split Alya’s face.

“Atta girl,” she crowed, and Marinette glanced up, blinking in bewilderment.

“What?” She asked, looking confused.

“Oh come on, don’t play with me,” Alya warned her, pointing a knowing finger at her as she grinned. “I know you had a date with Adrien last night. And now you show up for lunch looking exhausted? Did your bed frame survive what was surely an explosion of years of pent-up sexual tension? Or did you two wreck his bed instead? I bet it’s the second one—he can afford to buy a new one, after all—”

“Wh—Alya, no,” Marinette protested, blushing all the way from her neck to the roots of her hair. “That isn’t—I mean, we didn’t—nothing happened.”

Alya stared at Marinette, uncomprehending. What did she mean, ‘nothing happened’?

“Nothing happened?” She parroted, unable to process anything further than that. When Marinette nodded, instead of banishing Alya’s incredulity, it only grew two-fold. “Nothing happened?!”


“I’m gonna kill that boy,” Alya decided, clenching her fist. “Adrien Agreste is a dead man walking.”


“Don’t try and talk me out of it, we did not spend all that time primping you yesterday for nothing to happen! Hell, literally the only reason I didn’t jump you myself after seeing you in that dress was because I knew it was all for him—oh, and I’m in a loving, committed relationship with my fiancé—so what the hell?! Is he crazy?!

“Alya,” Marinette spoke over Alya’s raging, and she calmed down just enough to note the serious look on Marinette’s face. “I’m not upset about it. We’re taking things slow, and that’s fine.”

“‘Slow’,” Alya quoted with an irritated huff, flicking red hair out of her face with a huff. “I don’t know what your definition of that word is, but I’m pretty sure you guys are stuck at ‘immobile’.”

“We are not,” Marinette insisted, frowning before she glanced down at the table, a new blush filling her face. “…He asked me to be his girlfriend last night.”

Alya blinked.

…Huh. Maybe the mangy cat man wasn’t neutered. Not yet, anyway…

Still, if the small little smile that was spreading across her best friend’s face was any indication, Marinette was more than pleased by this development, so Alya would let it go. For now.

“That’s great, hun,” she replied, smiling as Marinette turned a darker shade of red. She was adorable. “So, no more of this ‘friends’ bullshit, right? You’re official?”

“We’re official,” Marinette confirmed, stifling a yawn. Alya frowned, taking in the bags under Marinette’s eyes once again. Wait a minute…if she hadn’t been kept up all night with wild sex by her official boyfriend…then…

“Then why are you so tired?” Alya wanted to know, tilting her head in concern as she failed to comprehend this mystery. Marinette blinked, and then inexplicably flushed even darker, something that did not escape Alya’s notice, though Marinette ducked her head, staring intently at her menu as if it was the most fascinating thing in the world.

“Marinette—” She began, ready to pry, but the damn waiter chose that moment to show up, even though Alya had been sitting here for a full ten minutes, waiting for someone to take her drink order. Bastard.

“Good afternoon, ladies. My name is—”

“Yeah, yeah,” Alya cut him off with an impatient wave of her hand, “I’ll have a Coke, and she’ll have a cappuccino. Thanks.”

The waiter blinked, apparently startled at this abrupt dismissal. But when Alya raised her eyebrows at him, he walked away without another word.

“You shouldn’t be rude to waiters,” Marinette chastised her with a frown. “Customer service is hard enough as it is.”

“I said ‘thank you’ at the end,” Alya defended herself, although part of her recognized the truth in Marinette’s words and felt the proper amount of guilt over her attitude. She’d give the poor guy a bigger tip to make up for it later.

“He might spit in your Coke, you know.”

Alya rolled her eyes.

“Stop changing the subject. You look like you’re ready to drop, and I wanna know why.”


Marinette looked away again, biting her lip. Alya’s frown deepened as she inspected her best friend’s face. Just what was bothering her so much that it had kept her up all night, after what should have been a really great night with her now boyfriend?

Alya reached across the table, grasping Marinette’s hands.

“Come on, hun. Talk to me,” she coaxed, giving Marinette a little smile. “It’ll make you feel better.”

Marinette’s expression did not change, and that concerned Alya.

“Is it a design thing?” She probed, watching Marinette’s face. “Are you worried about the competition next week?”

Marinette groaned, squeezing her eyes shut.

“Well now I am. I’ve been trying not to think about it…”


“Sorry,” Alya apologized sheepishly, giving Marinette’s hands a squeeze. Marinette sighed, but returned the gesture, opening her eyes to give Alya a tired smile.

“It’s okay. Just…this is it, you know? All of my struggles come down to next Wednesday. And even though I’m prepared—even though every outfit has been approved, every stitch triple-checked, not a thread out of place—it’s still terrifying. Yeah, I’ve been working hard…but so has everyone else in my class. And if it turns out that all my work wasn’t good enough—”

“Stop that,” Alya chided, frowning. “Listen, I’ve met those artsy-fartsy classmates of yours, and lemme tell you: they’ve got nothing on you, girl.”

This made Marinette smile, her usual spark returning to her eyes. Good.

“Don’t you think you’re being just a bit biased?”

Alya snorted.

“I’m a reporter—they teach you nothing but bias in journalism.”

Marinette giggled as Alya winked.

“At least you’re up front about it,” she teased with a shake of her head. “…But thanks, Alya.”

“Of course.” Alya gave Marinette’s hands another squeeze before she let go, folding hers in front of her as her gaze zeroed in on her friend’s face. “…But that wasn’t the reason you couldn’t sleep last night, right?”

Marinette’s face fell. Clearly, she had been hoping the subject would be dropped.

How little she knew Alya if she actually thought that would be the end of it.

Instead of prodding this time, Alya tried a new tactic: she stared at Marinette expectantly, waiting patiently (her fingers tapping in her lap under the table) as Marinette avoided her gaze, fiddling with her menu and chewing on her bottom lip. Alya was just about to give a dramatic sigh when Marinette finally glanced up, meeting her eyes. There was something…wrong, in her eyes. Like something was haunting her.

Alya knew that look, and though it couldn’t be what she thought it was, it still made her worry.

“Marinette?” She prompted, a note of concern slipping into her tone. Marinette sighed, her eyes falling to her menu again.

“Have you…” she began hesitantly, before she paused, biting her lip. Before Alya could prompt her again, she tried once more, eyes kept firmly on her menu. “I mean…was there ever a time…where you thought…you might have…found something out about somebody…that could change how you see them…?”

…Was that a trick question?

“…Maybe,” Alya said, working to sound casual as she carefully inspected Marinette, who was still avoiding her gaze. This irony, though… “Why do you ask?”

Marinette glanced up, still looking troubled. But, despite that…she seemed on the verge of telling her something. Alya could see it—there was a hint of a secret glimmering in her eyes, but there was doubt too, lots of it, as if she was contemplating sharing forbidden information…

Information that could change someone’s viewpoint about somebody…?

Oh shit.’

Was this…was this what Alya thought it was?

Was Marinette about to finally tell Alya her secret? Voluntarily?

Was she about to confess to being Ladybug?

Alya leaned forward as Marinette’s lips parted, eager to finally, finally be trusted with such a huge secret. Granted, she had already been keeping said secret since she figured it out, but Marinette didn’t know that, and it would mean so, so much to Alya to finally be taken into confidence for a secret so wondrous, so amazing, so miraculous—

“Ah, there they are! Afternoon, ladies!”

Marinette glanced away, and Alya had to hastily suppress the absolute rage that threatened to pour out of her. She sent a sharp glare to the owner of the voice—her soon-to-be husband, who was approaching their table.

Soon-to-be dead husband, more like,’ Alya corrected in her mind as Nino paused, finally taking in her expression and eyeing her warily.

“Uh…everything okay?” He asked, rocking back on his heels for a moment.

Alya closed her eyes for a moment and made herself take a couple deep breaths. As much as she wanted to tell him to leave and come back later, it would no doubt be hard to recapture the moment of confidence between her and Marinette, now that they had been interrupted.

Besides, Lover Boy had just appeared at Nino’s shoulder, Alya couldn’t help but note once she opened her eyes, which meant that any conversation between her and Marinette was effectively over until the love birds quit each other’s company. Damn it.

“You said you’d be another half hour,” Alya reminded Nino as he cautiously took a seat beside her, still looking at her as if she might bite him. Nino shrugged and gave a hesitant smile.

“My recording finished earlier than I thought. And Mr. Perfect was right on time, of course, so we—uh, dude? Hello, Adrien? What’re you doing?”

Alya glanced up at Adrien, who, for some mysterious reason, hadn’t taken his seat next to Marinette yet. He was just standing there, and he’d been staring at Marinette before Nino addressed him; he tore his gaze from his girlfriend, blinking in a startled fashion. Alya frowned; he had bags under his eyes, too. What the hell?

“What?” He asked, looking quite surprised, as if it was rare for Nino to talk to him. Alya noticed her fiancé give his friend the same weird look she was giving him.

“Did you forget how to sit down or something?”


Clearing his throat, Lover Boy finally sat, his posture a little too stiff and awkward, considering his past profession. He and Marinette also kept glancing at each other and missing, Alya couldn’t help but note, both of them blushing a fair amount.

Alya caught Nino’s gaze next, and he quirked an eyebrow at her, which she shrugged to. How the hell was she supposed to know what was up with them? The only thing Marinette had told her was that she and Adrien had finally started officially dating…and yet here they were, acting like two pre-pubescent teenagers on a first date. They weren’t ever this awkward before they started dating. What gives?

“Okay, a Coke and a—” Their waiter stopped short, blinking at the sudden addition of two more people at the table. Unperturbed, Nino lifted a hand and smiled.

“Yo. I’ll have a Pepsi, if you don’t mind.”

“Water, please,” Adrien added, smiling as well. The waiter paused for just a moment longer before he set down the drinks he was already carrying, pulling out his notepad.

“A Pepsi and a water,” he muttered as he scribbled them down, glancing up at them expectantly. “Should I…expect any more drink orders?”

“Not for the moment,” Alya replied with a smile that was slightly apologetic. “Some bread would be good, though, thanks.”

The waiter nodded and departed once more, and Nino passed the Coke and the cappuccino to their rightful owners.

“Pepsi?” Alya questioned him, raising her eyebrows pointedly. Nino caught her meaning and rolled his eyes; they had had this debate one too many times already.

“They taste the same, Alya.”

“Then why didn’t you order a Coke?”

“Because I didn’t want a Coke, I wanted a Pepsi.”

“Even though they supposedly taste the same?”

“Would you get off my back, woman?” Nino finally groaned, and Alya grinned. It was a stupid argument to have, sure, but Nino always made it funny with how he reacted. She was distracted from teasing him further by the activity across the table from them: Adrien cleared his throat once again, and finally consented to turn his head Marinette’s way.

“Hi,” he greeted her softly, smiling a little when she met his gaze. Marinette blushed even deeper, hurriedly dropping her gaze to the table again.

“H-hi,” she murmured back, nervously tucking a dark strand of hair behind her ear.

Alya raised an eyebrow, but before she could say anything, Nino broke the moment by bursting out laughing.

“Oh my god,” he chuckled, guffawing at the surprised looks on Adrien and Marinette’s faces. “What’s with you two? It’s not like this is your first date or something. Let’s try being normal, okay?”

This made them flush more, and they took it in turns to shiftily glance at each other once again, not quite catching the other’s eye.

Alya frowned. Why was the air so awkward between them?

“So,” she began, folding her hands under her chin and watching the two lovebirds critically, “How’d my advice work out last night, Agreste?”

Adrien flushed darker, but he managed a smile that looked sincere. Mostly.

“I really owe you,” he admitted, rubbing his mouth with the back of his hand as he glanced askance at Marinette. “You, uh, could’ve warned me about the dress, though…”

It was Marinette’s turn to blush harder, and Alya grinned wickedly.

“Don’t look at me—that was all Marinette.”

“Oh yeah, I saw the pictures Alya took,” Nino said, slowly shaking his head and reaching across the table to pat Adrien’s shoulder. “Rest in peace, dude.”

“I didn’t die,” Adrien grumbled.

“It was close,” Marinette piped up, deciding to join the conversation. Adrien pouted at her, and she giggled behind a hand.

That’s better,’ Alya decided as she watched them warm up to each other. She didn’t know what was causing the weirdness between them—new relationship status shyness?—but it didn’t seem like they were completely hopeless—

“The akuma attack didn’t ruin anything, did it?” Nino asked, his brow furrowing.

Marinette and Adrien stiffened at the exact same time, Adrien staring blankly at Nino, and Marinette glaring at him in reproach. Alya took all of this in, suppressing a sigh.

It was tough, being the only one at this table who knew everything. It was made even worse when she knew that only two of the three oblivious superheroes she sat with knew each other’s identities, the odd man out being the cat man on the path to redemption…otherwise known as Adrien Agreste. So to watch Nino ask such an innocent-sounding question, knowing that he had no idea about his best friend and that Marinette knew nothing about her boyfriend and his secrets—

There it was again—that quick glance that missed, passed between Adrien and Marinette. They looked awfully skittish all of a sudden, Alya noted. She could guess why, of course—no doubt their date had to be put on hold as they separated, only to join up once again in costume to deal with the akuma. She shuddered inwardly at the lame excuses they must have made just to get away and transform…

“It, er, wasn’t a problem for very long,” Adrien mumbled, rubbing his mouth with the back of his hand again. “Uh, L-Ladybug and Chat Noir took care of it, I think.”

“I think Emerald Shell was absent, though,” Marinette said, taking a casual sip of her cappuccino…after she sent a brief, pointed look Nino’s way. He cringed, and Alya had to work not to react; technically, it was partially her fault Nino had been too ‘busy’ to answer Marinette’s summons. Sure, it had been Valentine’s Day, and sure, Alya had told him not to answer the phone when it rang in the middle of their heated love-making, but the fact of the matter was that Nino had a higher purpose to serve now. So, even if the calls were sometimes inconvenient, he had to answer them. That’s just what being a hero entailed, and Alya understood that, even if she did make the effort to put up a fuss when Nino had to go ‘missing’ sometimes. She had to—if she was too understanding all the time, Nino would get suspicious, and they were both working to keep his secret identity just that: a secret.

“Well, at least we know the dynamic duo of the past can still get shit done when they need to,” Alya reasoned, both to spare Nino guilt and to tease Adrien. “I’m glad they still make a pretty good team.”

Again. There was that glance again, as if they couldn’t help but look at each other, but didn’t want to be seen looking at each other. There was something in those quick gazes too, Alya noticed, something…searching.

As if—

“Here we are,” announced the waiter as he suddenly returned, placing the last two drinks on the table along with a basket of bread before whipping out his notepad again. “Are you all ready to order?”

“Er…” Adrien mumbled, and they all exchanged awkward glances—they had been so wrapped up in their conversation that they quite forgot about ordering anything for lunch. The waiter took in this pause, and then gave a little nod.

“I understand. I’ll give you a few more minutes and come back later.”

As he walked away, Alya saw Marinette cringe.

“He’s going to spit in all of our food at this point,” she worried, catching her lip in between her teeth. Alya snorted.

“Please—it’s not exactly busy in here right now. He’s probably taking a smoke break in the back because we’re taking so long.”

“We should probably figure out what we want to order, though,” Adrien pointed out, and they all opened their menus, musing over their choices and remarking which options looked good. Once the waiter came back, they were ready, and after they placed their orders, their talk shifted to safer, more mundane waters.

As Nino was discussing the nearly finished CD he and Bob Ross Records were working on, Alya kept her eyes on the awkward couple across the table, noting every shift and twitch and glance. She didn’t know what had happened between them, but there was definitely something going on; the way they fidgeted around each other was way too telling. Adrien was trying to act normal, Alya could tell, but it seemed like Marinette’s restless energy was affecting him, too; he shifted when she did, glanced at her just when she looked away. His brow was furrowed, as if there was something he was debating within his own mind, and Marinette’s relentless chewing of her lip was threatening to split it open.

Alya frowned. What the hell was with them?

“I gotta go to the bathroom,” she announced, pushing her chair back to stand up. She glanced at Marinette, flicking her eyes away to the restrooms, gesturing for her best friend to follow. Politely excusing herself, Marinette got up from the table and followed Alya to the bathroom. Alya glanced briefly under the stalls, checking that they were indeed alone, before she rounded on Marinette, arms crossed.

“Girl,” she began, her stern tone already making Marinette cringe. Nevertheless, she continued, “what is up with you and Adrien? You’re both wound so tight that I’m tempted to lock you both in a bedroom together until you thoroughly work out your tension with each other. I’m serious.”

Marinette gave a sigh, rubbing the side of her temple.

“Nothing’s…wrong, exactly,” she mumbled, frowning down at the floor. “Just some…oddness…I’m dealing with.”

Alya shook her head, uncomprehending.

“‘Oddness’?” She quoted with a frown. “That’s not the word I’d use. You’ve been watching him since he got here, and yes, I know, he’s pretty and you two are deliriously in love—”

“I wouldn’t say ‘love’,” Marinette protested faintly, though she blushed at the word. Alya ignored her.

“—But it’s like you’re hyperaware of every move he makes, like you’re waiting for him to do something or say someth…”

Alya trailed off, staring at Marinette. Unbeknownst to her best friend—or Adrien or Nino, for that matter—Alya knew everything. She knew that Marinette was Ladybug, that Nino was Emerald Shell, and that Adrien was Chat Noir. She also knew that they didn’t know—at least, Nino and Marinette had no idea that Adrien was Chat Noir, and vice-versa. And neither Nino nor Marinette knew that Alya knew about them. Those were the facts, as Alya knew them…but…

But now, as she looked at Marinette, that ‘something’ appeared in her eyes again: a secret.

…A secret that, perhaps, was not hers to tell? If the anxiousness tightening her eyes was any indication…

‘…oh SHIT.

Suddenly, Marinette’s halting, hesitant question from earlier took on a whole new meaning, and Alya had to slap her forehead in agitation, because seriously, these two were going to drive her into an early grave, she swore to god.

“Alya?” Marinette questioned, blinking startled blue eyes at the sudden gesture of frustration. Alya gave a huff, folding her arms tighter as she gave Marinette a once-over. Though she had no concrete proof, Alya had enough faith in her deduction skills to know she was right—Marinette must have discovered who Chat Noir was last night. It was the only thing that made sense, from her cryptic question from earlier to her edgy behavior around Adrien just now. And Alya was willing to bet her press badge, her most valued possession in her line of work, that Adrien had a similar revelation the night before, because his behavior matched Marinette’s exactly. How it happened, Alya didn’t know—maybe they de-transformed in front of each other before they could get away? But how didn’t matter: the fact was that it must have happened.

And neither of them were discussing it.

The ‘locking them in a bedroom’ idea sounded better and better with every passing second.

Alya frowned. As tempting as it was to straighten this whole mess out herself—because for fuck’s sake, what a mess!—she, unfortunately, had to recognize that such a feat was impossible for her. For one thing, no one knew that she knew, and she was trying to keep it that way since they were working so hard to protect their secret identities, and by extension, trying to protect her. And for another thing, as much as she wanted to force a resolution between her two not-so-clueless friends…this was an awfully delicate situation. Which meant that if Alya came in like a wrecking ball to break down these weird, flimsy walls that were erected overnight between Adrien and Marinette, there was a ninety percent chance that she would be doing way more harm than good. How did the saying go? ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’? Alya wasn’t sure if that was completely correct, but the point still stood…

When Marinette continued to look at her quizzically, Alya let out a long, drawn-out sigh before she stepped forward, embracing her friend. The move was clearly unanticipated; Marinette squeaked in surprise, freezing for a moment before she returned the hug, patting Alya’s back.

“Um…is everything okay?” She asked hesitantly, and Alya couldn’t help the snort that escaped her as she pulled back to look at her friend. Her sweet, totally badass superhero friend, who was clearly having a crisis about her boyfriend also being her superhero partner…jeez. Alya didn’t envy her one bit.

“I should be asking you that,” she responded dryly, quirking a brow. “Seriously: are you and Adrien gonna be okay, despite whatever’s going on at that table with you two? Or do I seriously need to drag you both off to an unattended bedroom somewhere?”

Marinette giggled, a note of hysteria just detectable in her laugh.

“No, don’t do that,” she requested, shaking her head a little before giving a small smile. “Adrien and I…we’re fine. Like I said, just some…oddness…I’m working out. It’s my problem, not his…and I’ll get over it.”

Alya searched Marinette’s eyes for any hint of misgivings. She found them—not that she expected not to, because had she been in Marinette’s shoes, she would’ve had a lot of doubts and questions herself—but there was something stronger there, in her friend’s eyes: bravery.

It appeared that Marinette did not yet know what she would do about the situation she found herself in…but even so, this was by no means the end of it. Once Marinette found her answer, she would see it through. It was her way, after all, as Alya knew good and well.

Huffing one last time, Alya returned Marinette’s smile.

“…Okay,” she relented, reaching out and giving Marinette’s shoulder a squeeze. “I’ll let it go, then, since I have faith in you. But you know I’ve got your back if you need anything, right?”

Marinette smiled, and Alya felt relieved. There was her girl. Good.

“I know. Thanks, Alya.” Marinette gave her a curious look. “Now, did you really need to pee, or can we go back to the table? I don’t know about you, but I’m starving.”

“Yeah, we shouldn’t keep the boys waiting too long, anyway,” Alya replied, making her way back to the bathroom door with a grin. “Who knows what shenanigans they might get into if left unattended?”



“Listen, Fluffy, if you don’t quit dicking around—”

“I’m not dicking around, Squirt,” Chat Noir replied with a huff, and Emerald Shell rolled his eyes as they dodged another attack from the akuma. “I just don’t think it’s a good idea to charge in again until we can figure out what the actual possessed item is. Last time we guessed wrong, Ladybug got clipped.”

Shell felt his expression turn grim. It hadn’t been easy, getting Ladybug to agree to keep out of the fight until they located the true akuma for her to purify—she kept insisting that she could still fight, despite bleeding freely from her right shoulder, which affected her ability to throw her yo-yo. Shell knew that this didn’t make her ineffective, but he couldn’t deny his concern, especially with all the blood. Still, she had been stubborn about being asked to sit this one out…until Chat Noir stepped in, that is. He hadn’t said much—in fact, he only said two words, clutching Ladybug’s good shoulder as he stared down at her, profound worry in his gaze, as if he and Shell had just found her with a knife sticking out of her gut:


And just like that, a red-faced Ladybug had caved, and Shell was stuck marveling over that minutes later as he and Chat continued to fight the blade-based akuma. Something strange was going on between Ladybug and Chat—stranger than usual, in fact. They were being oddly careful and formal with each other, even moving carefully near each other, as if it was a struggle to behave themselves around each other. It made Shell uneasy; though he knew Marinette and Adrien had agreed to date each other officially on Valentine’s Day, here Chat and Ladybug were, behaving as if they were afraid to be caught in an illicit affair. Something must have happened between them when Shell wasn’t here, and though he knew Marinette wasn’t that kind of girl, he couldn’t help but worry. With them acting so weird around each other, what was Shell supposed to think?

Shell heard Chat swear, and he was pulled out of his own head, giving him a questioning look. Chat wasn’t looking at him, however, but away, his cat’s eyes narrowed at something to the side—no, someone

A familiar red-head raised a hand and waved, grinning as she held her phone in her free hand. Recording the heroics of her beloved superheroes.

Shell let out a groan. She was going to be the death of him.

“Can I trust you to handle the akuma for a bit while I get rid of her?” Shell asked, throwing a searching glance Chat’s way. Chat shrugged casually, though he didn’t look happy.

“For a bit, yeah.” His ring gave a chirp, and he gave it an uneasy glance. “Hurry up, though—I’ve already used my Cataclysm for this battle, so I don’t have much time left.”

“See if LB has a Lucky Charm that can get us out of this,” Shell instructed, watching curiously as Chat’s face flushed.

“Oh, uh, right, Ladybug. Yeah…”

That might as well have been a written confession: there was definitely something going on. But Shell couldn’t focus on it right now—his fiancée had attracted the attention of Shredder, and he had to step in before she got sliced up. He acted just in the nick of time, grabbing Alya around the middle and raising his shield just as a row of knives were flung in their direction. They were deflected, but that didn’t seem to deter the akuma. Shell swore as Shredder readied another attack, but Chat distracted him in the next moment, waving something red with black spots around as Ladybug carefully crept around in the background, holding her injured shoulder. They had this, Shell was pretty sure…but still, he didn’t like the thought of Ladybug fighting with such a nasty injury, even if her restorative powers could fix it, in the end—

“What are you doing here?” He questioned Alya, turning on her with a scowl. Alya seemed unperturbed by his attitude; with a smirk, she lifted her phone higher, aiming her camera at his face.

“Well hello, Emerald Shell,” she greeted, just a hint of flirtation in her tone. Shell swallowed as she stepped closer. “Come to finally give me that one-on-one interview you owe me?”

“I never agreed to that,” Shell replied, placing a hand over Alya’s phone to lower it from his face, giving her a look. “And you shouldn’t be here. In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a guy flinging blades over there.”

“And his chosen name is Shredder,” Alya added, giving him a grin as she looked him up and down. “You must be living a really sweet nerdy fantasy right now.”

Shell grew embarrassed. He had noted the akuma’s name with some amusement, sure, but since it wasn’t the actual Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it didn’t quite count. However, it was close enough, and it embarrassed him that Alya seemed to know about his secret amusement. It didn’t even matter when he had a mask on—she still knew him like the back of her own hand, and it was unnerving.

“Don’t change the subject,” he asserted to cover for his sudden nervousness around his too-perceptive fiancée. “You shouldn’t be here. It’s dangerous.”

“I’m keeping out of the way,” Alya insisted, apparently forgetting the fact that Shell had had to step in the way of actual knives that would have skewered her, were it not for his shield. The Butterfly was no longer pulling any punches, and the akumas just kept getting more and more dangerous with every passing day, something that did not escape the notice of Paris’ three superheroes. Shooing civilians and foolish news reporters away from battles was steadily becoming a problem on its own, especially when the stubborn ones refused to heed their warnings, i.e. Alya.

But before Shell could protest further, Alya cut him off.

“Besides, I think Ladybug and Chat Noir have things covered.”

Shell glanced over to where she pointed, just in time to see Ladybug catching an akuma out of the air, one that thankfully did not crumble. The akuma was purified, she flung her Lucky Charm into the air with her magic chant, and in a matter of seconds, the victim was de-akumatized, the damage to Ladybug and the city reversed, and Paris was safe once again. Shell let out a breath, rubbing the back of his head through his hood. Thank god—Shredder was beginning to get exhausting.

Shell watched, his assertion that something was off growing when he noticed the way Chat and Ladybug reacted to each other; after the victim seemed to refuse their offer of assistance home and chose to depart on his own, Chat raised his fist for that bump he and Ladybug used to do. Ladybug hesitated a moment before gently bumping her knuckles against his. They paused, looking at each other, and though Ladybug’s back was to Shell so he couldn’t see her expression, he knew he didn’t like something about the look on Chat’s face as he stared down at her. Time to go auspiticize for them. Again.

“Go home,” he directed Alya, throwing her a brief glance over his shoulder as he slid his shield onto his back. “There’s nothing more to see here.”

Alya raised an eyebrow at him, ignoring his words and choosing to follow him anyway as he paced towards his teammates.

“And since when are you the boss of me?”

“Don’t you have a boyfriend to go home to?” Shell reminded her, rolling his eyes at Chat, who glanced up as Shell approached and gave him a look, presumably over the fact that Alya was still here.

“Fiancé,” Alya corrected him, her tone amused, for some reason Shell couldn’t fathom. He glanced back at her just in time to see her flash her ring at him. He bit the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling.

“Congratulations. When’s the big day?”

“Not set yet,” Alya said with a sigh and a roll of her eyes as the two of them paused next to Ladybug and Chat Noir. “He’s been so busy lately that we barely have time to see each other most days, let alone set a date.”

Shell looked away, uncomfortable. He and Alya had finally stopped fighting over all the time they couldn’t spend together, in between Alya’s class schedule, their respective jobs, and Shell’s superhero duties, but it was still hard. And hearing Alya acknowledge that, to total strangers (as far as she knew) wasn’t pleasant, either.

“Well I’m sure he’s a good guy who has a lot of very important things to do,” Chat said unexpectedly, surprising Shell, who glanced over at him with a startled look, taking in the frown he was giving Alya.

Was the mangy cat bastard actually defending him? Not that Chat could possibly know who Shell was under the mask, but still…

“Besides, don’t you think you’d have more time with him if you stopped chasing us all over the city?” Chat added, folding his arms and ignoring yet another beep from his Miraculous. Alya abruptly smirked at him, and Chat eyed her warily, his cat ears flattening against his head.

“…You would think,” Alya said cryptically, after Chat lost the staring contest in between them by glancing away. Shell glanced between them, privately amused that Chat seemed cowed by Alya for some odd reason. But the moment was shattered the minute he heard it—angry voices on the horizon, accompanied by the march of stomping feet.

Shell turned towards the noise and swore.

Protestors—former Chat Noir supporters, now known as the hate group called the Anti-Akuma Taskforce—were on the horizon. And tonight, there were no picket signs.

Tonight, there were bats and clubs, things that could break and bludgeon anyone, even superheroes, if they weren’t careful.

“Great,” Ladybug groaned, and she and Shell stepped in front of Alya, shielding her from view.

“Go home, Alya,” Shell commanded once again, but he didn’t have time to see if she would listen to him this time: the mob was upon them. They were diminished in numbers now—the police had cracked down hard on the hate group, and so far, there had been no more terrorist acts committed by the AAT. But the hate in their expressions was still real, and as they all filed in a line, glaring at the three superheroes and the single civilian in their midst, Shell became uncomfortably aware of the fact that they were still outnumbered, superpowers or no.

It was the large man directly in front of them—the leader, Shell presumed—that spoke first.

“Chat Noir. You have abandoned us.”

Chat tensed, standing straight and perfectly still, not bulging a muscle, save for his eyes, which flicked up and down the line of hate-filled citizens before him, almost as if he was counting his sins. Shell saw Ladybug take his hand, but he didn’t seem to react to the contact.

“We, who followed your philosophy faithfully, who subscribe to your belief that the akuma menace must end by any means necessary…have been abandoned. People who believed in you have suffered in your name—we have been jailed and harassed, persecuted because we want justice. And yet you continue to walk free simply by pretending you’ve had a change of heart.”

The large man’s gaze flickered to Ladybug, disdain etched in his expression.

“Must be nice, to have the adored superheroine of Paris in your pocket.”

“Leave her out of this,” Chat snarled, taking a challenging step forward and abruptly looking feral, his pupils becoming furious slits as he bared his teeth. “This has nothing to do with her.”

“It has everything to do with her!” Spat a woman in front of Shell, and he recognized with a jolt the woman who had tossed one of the Molotov cocktails at the akumatized victim known as Chisel’s house, the same fire and fury in her gaze from that night present in her thin face now. What the hell was she doing out of jail?!

“If it weren’t for Ladybug, you’d still be on our side!” Shouted another AAT member.

“Our city isn’t safe, Chat Noir!”

“The akumas must be destroyed!”

“No!” Chat shouted, shaking his head so fiercely that his messy hair was on the verge of escaping its ponytail. “Listen to me—I was wrong! Hurting the akumatized victims…it’s wrong! I know I misled you all, I know it’s my fault you’re like this, and I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. But you have to stop this! The real enemy is the Butterfly! It’s them we have to stop!”

“And another thing, Ladybug,” The presumed leader of the AAT barked, ignoring Chat; Shell scowled and stepped forward when he tried to get in Ladybug’s face, staring him down with his shield raised as the man’s grip tightened on his bat. He scowled at Shell, but then craned his neck around him, glaring at Ladybug. “You murdered Hawk Moth seven years ago, and yet there was absolutely no retribution for it. Is it only acceptable for heroes to eliminate threats to the city? Does the weight you throw around with your magic jewelry grant you a ‘get out of jail free’ card, too?”

“Back off, man,” Shell said through clenched teeth, putting pressure on his shield to back the man up. “You don’t know what you’re—”

“Shell,” said a sudden, low voice right behind Shell, “move.

Shell turned to protest—

Ladybug’s expression radiated absolute fire, a torrent of holy justice ready to rain down on the sorry sucker who had foolishly beckoned it forward. Without looking at Shell, she gestured at him to step aside. And when she looked like that, Shell had no good reason to disobey. He stepped out of the way, and Ladybug moved forward, cold fury etched into every feature of her face, her hard, bluebell gaze on the AAT leader.

“…You know, I once pitied you. All of you. I thought your mistaken convictions were my partner’s fault—my fault. I thought I had failed you, that I somehow fell short of your expectations of what a hero should be. But now I see you.”

Ladybug jabbed a finger at the AAT leader, and though she did not touch him, he flinched anyway, betraying, for just a moment, his hidden fear before his expression smoothed over into one of sneering indifference. But Shell had already seen him—the small man beneath the bluster and ignorant anger. And Ladybug had seen him, too, and she seized upon that hidden fear, baring her teeth.

“You’re nothing but scared children, lashing out at something you don’t understand in exactly the wrong way, making the situation worse than it actually is. So in the name of your ‘justice’, you terrorize the city I love in your own way—with fearmongering and ignorance. And then you accuse me of ‘throwing my weight around’, acting like I’m a hypocrite, when you know damn well that the difference between what you want to do to the akumatized victims and what I did to Hawk Moth is intent.

Ladybug folded her arms, judgement in her furious eyes as she looked down her nose at the AAT leader, the look effective even though he was taller than her.

“I didn’t mean to kill Hawk Moth. I was responsible, but I never wanted him dead. But you threw bombs into another citizen’s house for something he had no control over! If you think the akumatized victims are monsters, then what does that make you?”

We’re not the ones tearing up the city and threatening innocent folks every other night!” Shouted the bomb-flinging woman from before.

“Yes you are! You’re persecuting victims, damn it!” Shell shot back, scowling when she hissed furiously at him.

“Those people are inherently evil if they allow themselves to let a madman possess them! Chat Noir taught us that!” Cried another AAT member.

“I was wrong!” Chat protested once again, looking beyond frustrated. “Some of you have even been akumatized, for fuck’s sake! How are you not choking on your own hypocrisy by standing here and claiming that akumatized victims are inherently evil?! At least I realized that there’s something wrong with this mindset!”

A few faces in the Anti-Akuma Taskforce paled, suddenly looking fearful, as if Chat Noir was about to call them out by name. Before he got a chance to, however, the leader slammed the bat he was carrying into the ground next to him, the sharp sound making Shell’s ears ache.

We are not the problem!” He asserted fiercely, an ugly grimace on his purple face as he sneered at Ladybug. “We came to try and make Chat Noir see reason, but clearly you have him on too short a leash for him to think for himself anymore, Ladybug. So this is a declaration of independence—you may not have the nerve to do what needs to be done, but the Anti-Akuma Taskforce will not falter, until the akuma problem has been solved! Permanently!”

The answering cry to this rally call was cut short when something purple and gooey suddenly splattered against the side of the AAT leader’s head. For a moment, everyone froze, blinking in surprise, Shell included.

What…just happened…?

“Over here, jackasses!”

Shell’s head whipped around to his left, and in a second, he felt his mouth come open with a pop.

There was another mob of people, appearing from around cars and buildings…but this mob was distinctly odd in that they were dressed in multi-colored sweat suits, and there was face paint over their faces…in the shape of masks. They all seemed to be congregating around one single figure—a short woman that stood atop a parked BMW with cropped, yet messy pink hair, dressed in black, red, and green clothes not uncommon to a skate park, the top half of her face covered in green paint that gradually faded to black across her nose and cheeks, a sassy little smirk turning up the corners of her mouth, blue eyes bright and excited…

Shell stared. That…wasn’t who he thought it was, was it? Granted, he couldn’t really tell because he hadn’t seen her in a while, but—

“You hear that?” The woman spoke to her comrades, slipping a hand into the bag that hung at her side, and withdrawing a handful of gelatinous, purple goo—the same goo that was still stuck to the AAT leader’s head. “Apparently, they think there’s an akuma problem in this city.” She began to casually toss the goo ball into the air, catching it without effort as she smirked at the superheroes and the Anti-Akuma Taskforce. “What do youguys think? Should we give them a problem?”

“Yeah!” The crowd around her cheered, and before Shell knew, they were all armed with that weird, gelatinous goo, wicked smiles spreading across their painted faces.

It was the leader of the AAT that spoke the question reverberating through Shell’s mind:

“Who the hell are you?

The woman in front smiled, as if she could not be more pleased that he had asked.

“We’re Akumatized Victims Anonymous—that’s AVA for you pea-brains, by the way.” As she raised her throwing arm, so did her comrades, poised and ready to attack. Her smirk wide, the woman continued, “I’m Timebreaker. And we’re here to wreck your shit.

Shell had the presence of mind to think fast—he grabbed Alya and Ladybug, who were closest, and yanked them to the ground, trusting that Ladybug would seize Chat purely on instinct. (She did.) Shell managed to get his force field activated just in time for it to rain purple goo on the Anti-Akuma Taskforce, goo that slid harmlessly off his force field with the four of them inside. He watched, his mouth open in awe as the members of Akumatized Victims Anonymous—AVA—stormed the street, people in face paint and sweat suits fighting the hate group with fists, kicks and goo, the one identifying herself as Timebreaker—which basically confirmed her identity to Shell—fighting in tandem with another woman whose face was painted pink with a splash of yellow in the middle of her forehead to match her amber eyes; she seemed to be supporting more than fighting, supplying the rest of AVA with the goo along with some guy with red hair and a dark purple mask painted over his teal eyes, though this painted mask was more artistic than the others.

“…This is so cool,” Shell heard Alya breathe, and he was both amused and concerned; he hoped she wouldn’t start getting any ideas about reviving Lady Wi-Fi…

“It is not cool!” Ladybug protested, just as one of the AVA members got whacked with an AAT member’s bat. She, Shell, Alya, and Chat cringed simultaneously. “We have to do something!”

“What are we supposed to do, exactly?” Shell asked, staring at the chaos occurring around their little safe bubble as the violence outside continued to escalate. “There’s too many of them! It’s not like we can round up all of them at once.”

There were several shrill beeps, and Ladybug and Chat Noir swore at the same time.

“And it’s not like we have a lot of time to do anything,” Chat added, sending an anxious glance Ladybug’s way as he clutched his right hand within his left, as if to guard his ring from harm.

Ladybug huffed and pinched the bridge of her nose.

“I know, I know! But we can’t just leave them like this! Whatever their viewpoints, they’re all citizens, and they’re our responsibility!”

“Speak for yourself; I don’t claim the AAT,” Shell said dryly, unbothered by Ladybug’s glare.

“…I might have an idea,” Alya spoke up, and all gazes turned to her, Shell taking in her calculating expression. “If it works, it’ll save you guys a lot of time. But you have to let me out of this thing, first.” She tapped a knuckle against Shell’s force field.

“No,” Shell answered with a frown, ignoring Alya’s raised brows. “It’s dangerous out there.”

“It’s not like I’m gonna run straight into the fighting,” Alya replied, giving him a flat look. “Give me some credit, would you?”

“I think it would make us all feel better if you told us what you were up to,” Chat said, glancing away hastily when Alya turned her gaze on him next.

“Do you really have time to debate the issue, Whiskers?” She asked him, tapping his right hand for emphasis.

Chat scowled, and Shell had to work to repress his grin. He loved this woman.

“LB?” Shell asked, looking to Ladybug. He had his own feelings about this idea, of course, but even he had to admit that their backs were against the wall at the moment, with an all-out brawl happening centimeters from them while they all remained safe and unharmed under Shell’s force field, two of the heroes about to de-transform. Ideal situation or not, though, Ladybug was the leader of Team Miraculous. Her team, her call.

Ladybug gave Alya a long, hard stare. Shell sympathized with a lot of the emotions running through her eyes, and Alya seemed to pick up on them as well; she smiled gently, reaching for Ladybug’s arm and giving it a squeeze.

“Relax, Ladybug. Would your number one fan do anything to worry you?”

A corner of Ladybug’s mouth turned up.

“Several things, actually,” she remarked dryly, and Alya grimaced at the truth of her words, “…but I trust you.”

Alya beamed. Recognizing defeat, Shell reluctantly dropped his force field. The four of them leapt to their feet, Alya streaking off in the opposite direction from them. Shell moved to follow her, but was forced to duck a wad of goo that was flung dangerously close to his head, and he lost track a things for a while, amidst fighting bodies and purple goo getting everywhere. Poor Wayzz…as soon as Nino got home, he was going to run a nice, hot bath for his poor, abused kwami. Hopefully the goo wouldn’t be a pain to get off—

There was the sound of abrupt sirens, and at once, everyone paused, picking up on the noise.

“Hey!” Called Alya’s voice, and Shell craned his neck from where he was lodged under an AAT member and an AVA member, shield stuck in the middle of them. Alya looked frazzled as she came into view, pointing a finger back the way she had come.

“The police are coming!!” She cried. The AAT member trying to get to the AVA member behind Shell’s shield cursed, and at once, he and his fellows began to retreat. Shell didn’t blame them—the police had treated their group none-too-kindly as of late. Not that they didn’t deserve it, in Shell’s opinion, but still—

“We’d better book it, too,” said a tall AVA member, red paint splashed across his dark eyes, his cocky smirk matching Timebreaker’s as he approached her right-hand side. “C’mon guys!”

As they absconded as well, the healthy ones assisting the members that sustained brutal bat injuries, Shell saw Ladybug reach out and take Timebreaker by the arm as she tried to pass by.

“Hold on…this isn’t right, you know. Some of you got seriously hurt in this fight.”

Timebreaker glanced behind her, and Shell thought he saw her gaze tighten for a brief moment before she turned her gaze back to Ladybug…and shrugged.

“Everyone knew what they were getting into when they joined,” she said matter-of-factly. “Bloodshed’ll happen.”

“But this isn’t your fight,” Chat said with a frown. Timebreaker turned to him next, her eyes cooling as she gazed up at him.

Au contraire, Chat Noir,” she drawled, sounding his name out like an expletive, “it was made our fight the minute you turned your back on us.”


“I’m coming! Damn!” Timebreaker huffed, wheeling around and speeding after the tall guy; they appeared to get into an argument about him using her civilian name out in the open as they disappeared into the darkness. It was quiet for a moment, save for the police sirens still ringing in the distance.

“…Well. That was interesting,” Shell said with a shake of his head, as if this was all a dream that would disappear the moment he fully woke up.

“Interesting’s a good word,” Chat conceded, his eyes tight; it looked like Timebreaker’s comment to him was still bothering him.

“I’d call it a pain in the ass, personally,” huffed Ladybug, rubbing the bridge of her nose again, covered in purple goo splotches like Shell and Chat, along with her usual spots. “Thank god the police are on their way.”

Shell noticed the way his fiancee’s eyebrow lifted.

“The police?” She questioned, just a hint of a smirk beginning to form on her face. “Why should the police come? Nobody’s called them.”

Shell gaped at her.

“You mean…?”

Grinning, Alya jerked her head back the way she had come, turning on her heel and heading back.

“Come on, I’ll show you.”

The three heroes exchanged looks before following Alya to an alleyway, the source of the sirens loud and unpleasant in close proximity…and very, very fake.

“A speaker?” Ladybug questioned over the loud siren, blinking in surprise as the three of them stopped at the mouth of the alleyway, where Alya’s phone was hooked up to a large speaker set on a dolly. Alya grinned at them as her fingers swiped across the phone screen, and the sound died away.

“I remembered there was a music store near here,” Alya explained, jerking her thumb down the alleyway, where a little hole-in-the-wall music shop could just be seen. “I managed to persuade the owner to let me borrow a speaker real fast and brought it over here. I would’ve gotten flashing lights if I could, but there wasn’t much time.”

Stunned silence followed the explanation of Alya’s scheming.

“…That was a clever trick,” Chat said after a moment. Alya shrugged, though Shell could tell that she was flattered.

“What can I say? I’m brilliant when I want to be.”

There were several shrill beeps, and Ladybug and Chat Noir eyed each other nervously.

“I…I should go,” Ladybug said, though she made no move to leave, nor did Chat Noir, even as he agreed that he should depart as well. The two just stood there, staring at each other with those weird expressions they’d been making at each other all night. Shell huffed, folding his arms.

“What’s with you two?” He demanded at last, scowling at the startled expressions they shot him, as if they had forgotten he was there. Again.“You’ve been acting weird all night!”

“Nothing,” Ladybug and Chat Noir said hastily, avoiding his gaze. With hasty goodbyes, the two departed in opposite directions to de-transform, and Shell shook his head. ‘Nothing’ his shell. What the hell was he going to do with those two?

He began to follow after Ladybug, but then paused, turning to look at Alya, who was busy unlocking the wheels of the dolly. With a grunt, she yanked it backwards, rolling it down the alleyway. Shell took a step forward.

“Here, let me—”

“I got it, Turtle Boy,” said Alya, waving a careless hand in his direction as she continued to pull on the dolly’s handle. “I’m no damsel in distress, you know.”

Shell allowed himself to smile.

“No…I guess you’re not.” He took a step back. “All right, then I’ve gotta run, too. Give your fiancé my regards.”

Alya paused, smirking at him. There was something almost…knowing, there in her eyes…but of course, Shell must be seeing things, because there was no way Alya knew what was really going on here…

“I’ll do that. But don’t be surprised if he’s ready to kick your ass for flirting with me, Turtle Boy.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Shell replied with as much dignity as he could around the grin stretching across his face before he tugged off his shield, turned it into his hover board, and sped away, working to wipe the foolish smile off his face. She was brilliant, his fiancée, and sassy and smart and beautiful…and she had just gotten them out of what would’ve been a huge pain with nothing more than a speaker and her phone. Amazing.

Shell was distracted from his thoughts by the sight of Marinette waving him down from the shadows of a nearby building. He joined her and de-transformed, apologizing profusely to a goo-spattered Wayzz, who accepted his current fate with good grace and settled himself into Nino’s pocket for the time being.

“Damn. Talk about an eventful night, huh?” Nino said to Marinette, scratching the back of his head as they gained the sidewalk, working to look casual as always, even if not many people were around at the moment. From the corner of his eye, he saw Marinette shake her head.

“The Anti-Akuma Taskforce…Akumatized Victims Anonymous…I’m beginning to think nobody trusts us to do our jobs anymore.”

“Yeah…at the same time, though…it’s kind of cool.”

Marinette shot a frown Nino’s way.

“It is not cool, Nino.”

“Well, them putting themselves in danger wasn’t cool, I admit,” Nino backtracked, frowning to himself at the thought. “But what is cool is the victims banding together. That kind of support…I wish I’d had that when I was younger. Because it was scary, ‘Nette, even before all this anti-akuma hate began. Knowing you were used in some crazy man’s schemes and not being able to do anything about it—not being able to remember it, even. So though it’s crazy for AVA to be roaming around the streets, too, picking fights with the AAT—god, there’s too many A’s involved here…anyway, I kind of envy that they have each other.”

Marinette’s expression softened, and she reached up, squeezing Nino’s shoulder.

“You have me, Nino. And Adrien and Alya, too. And though neither Adrien nor I can really relate to what happened when you were akumatized, Alya can.”

“That’s true,” Nino answered quietly, his frown becoming more pronounced. “I don’t always like talking about it, and I know she doesn’t either…but when I need her, she’s there.”

“Gotta love Alya,” Marinette agreed, smiling as they walked along through the nearly empty streets of Paris. They fell into companionable silence for a time, each wrapped up in their own thoughts. It was Nino who broke it first, voicing the concern he’d been harboring all night:

“So are you gonna tell me what was up with you and Chat Noir tonight? Or would I rather not know?”

Marinette sighed, sounding like the action was pulled from deep within her. Nino frowned. Was what was going on that bad?

“It’s not what you’re thinking,” she refuted his concerns, eyeing him with a flat look for a moment. “There’s just…something I’m worried about, that’s all.”


Marinette went quiet, her eyes on the sky. Nino waited, counting seconds in his head—he got to ninety before she spoke again.

“Tonight was too much for us.”

Nino’s frown deepened once again. He didn’t like to think of anything being too much for them to handle—they had superpowers for god’s sake—but even he had to admit, if only privately, that tonight probably would’ve bested them, if it weren’t for Alya’s quick thinking—

“I’ve been thinking…and I want yours and Chat’s opinion on this, but we’ll ask Chat later: what do you think of a fourth Miraculous holder for Team Miraculous?”

That brought Nino up short; he halted in his tracks, staring at Marinette, who paused as well, speculation in her expression as she stared up at Nino. And, Nino, for his part, didn’t know what to say. This was so out of left field that all he could do was stare at her for a moment before he remembered how to respond.

“…A fourth?” He questioned, blinking in a startled fashion. “You want a fourth superhero running around with us? You, who hates new superheroes?”

“I don’t hate them,” Marinette denied with a frown, folding her arms defensively as she scowled at Nino. “The Volpina incident just put me a little on edge, that’s all. And I don’t like being surprised with new superheroes. I’m Ladybug. I should know these things.”

Nino raised a brow.

“So the only reason you’re open to the idea now…is because you’re the one suggesting it?”

Marinette gave a shrug.

“That helps…” she trailed off, her expression becoming troubled. “…But if AVA plans to stick around—and if I know Alix, they will be—we can’t be put in a situation where we’re overwhelmed again.”

That, Nino had to agree with. Being stuck in the middle of a feud between akuma haters and former akumatized victims, like they were in the middle of some sort of civil war, was something straight out of Marvel comics…and Nino did not appreciate his life imitating fiction.

“So, what were you thinking? You wanna see if we can try and get Pavone on our side after all?”

Marinette shook her head.

“No. He’s too elusive. I doubt he’ll show up to help us now, even if we knew how to ask him.”

“Then, what? You wanna try with the two Miraculous we still have?”

Marinette gazed up at him, a spark of something in her bluebell eyes…anxiousness?

“…Actually…I was thinking, if Chat agrees that we need more help…then the decision on who it should be should be left up to you.”

Nino stared at her.

…Okay, she just had to be yanking his chain at this point.

“You’re the leader of Team Miraculous, ‘Nette, not me.”

“But you’re the Guardian now, Nino,” Marinette reminded him, taking his wrist and lifting it so that the jade bracelet he wore caught the light of the nearby street lamps. “Choosing new Miraculous holders is part of your job.”

Nino groaned, unable to help it. He had forgotten all about that part of the job description.

“I’m still new here, ‘Nette. Turtle Miraculous or not, I don’t think I’m qualified—”

“You are qualified,” Marinette cut him off firmly, her tone so sure that it brought Nino’s building sense of self-doubt to an abrupt halt. “Pavone chose you for the Turtle Miraculous, and though we don’t really know what he was thinking, the fact that he acted on Master Fu’s orders—and the fact that Master Fu approved the choice—proves that you’re more than qualified.”

Marinette’s hands went to Nino’s shoulders, her fingers flexing over them as she stared up at him, her eyes determined.

“I don’t care when you joined, Nino. The fact is that you’re a part of Team Miraculous as much as I am, and that your opinions, your actions, youmatter. And it’s heavy, being a superhero. I know it is—believe me, I know. But you can do it, because I’m here, and so is Chat…even if it took him a while to come around.”

Marinette smiled, her blue eyes bright.

“I know you never asked for this, Nino. And I know being the Guardian adds extra weight on your shoulders now…but I know that you know what you’re doing. So, if Chat agrees that we could use a fourth, I’ll leave the decision to you, because I know you’ll choose right. Because it’s you.”

Nino felt himself flush. Well damn…when she put it like that…how could he refuse?

“…Okay,” he replied after letting out a breath, smiling a little. “With so much faith put in me, how can I say no?”

“No pressure,” Marinette teased with a wink, letting her hands slide away from him as they resumed their walk. “And this is only if Chat agrees, too. I want all of us to be on the same page here before we bring someone else into this.”

“He’ll say yes,” Nino said confidently, sliding a sly look Marinette’s way. “If he knows this is what you want—”

“Don’t start,” Marinette warned him with a roll of her eyes. Nino shrugged, unperturbed by her attitude.

“I’m just saying.”

Nino barely registered Marinette’s groan, his mind whirring with thoughts of his status as Guardian, his duty…and how heavy indeed it was. That was a lot of pressure, picking someone who would wear the mantle of “superhero” well…who would get along with the three of them…whose powers would add something to the team, when used wisely…someone who was clever, quick on their feet, strong-willed, and had a good heart…someone who would look good in yellow with black stripes, or orange and white…

Nino stifled his sigh. He didn’t want to start complaining, after Marinette had proved that she had faith in him beyond a shadow of a doubt, but already, this task was shaping up to be impossible.

Seriously, with all the qualities he was thinking of…where on earth was he going to find someone like that?

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A Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Story
by DarkReyna16

Part 26 of 37

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