Continuing Tales

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

Part 4 of 37

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“Marinette, please, tell me what’s wrong. I’m really worried.”

Marinette shook her head, where it was buried in her pillow. Though Tikki had been trying to coax her for half an hour now, she refused to look at her kwami. She didn’t deserve her concern.

She was so embarrassed. To be told, to her face, by the former love of her life that she hadn’t known anything about him was, to put it lightly, shattering. Even now, a part of her still wanted to deny it, wanted to deny that she had been completely ignorant for so long, that the Adrien that had her smitten had existed in some way. But her more rational mind laughed at her. Her, know Adrien Agreste? Having all his photos up on her bedroom walls didn’t mean that Marinette knew him. Attending the same school at him, sitting just behind him in the same class, did not mean that Marinette knew him. The few opportunities she snatched to be alone with him did not mean that Marinette knew him.

And the fact that it had taken so long for that truth to be brought to her attention made her want to crawl under her covers and never face the light of day again.

“Marinette—” Tikki tried again, but was interrupted by the abrupt sound of a news cast beginning, cutting through the mindless sitcom Marinette had turned on to drown out the sound of her sniffling. Marinette made herself sit up, rubbing the moisture from her face and blinking her eyes, trying to rid herself of the blurriness so she could focus.

“Good evening, Paris. With the apparent resurrection of the supervillain known as Hawk Moth, there has been a resurgence of akuma terrorizing the city once again. We take you live to the Pont des Arts, where an akumatized victim, going by the alias ‘Seductra’ has been rampaging.”

The camera view switched, showing an akuma in a tight red corset dress, black knee-high boots and long black gloves striding across the lock-laden bridge, her luxurious dark brown hair falling in soft curls to her shoulders, a black mask with white film hiding her eyes from view. There was a dark rose pinned to one side of her hair, tucked just above her ear, her fingertips brushing it as she flipped her hair at a nearby man. His jaw slackened, eyes glazing over. Ignoring the cries of the woman he was with, he slumped like a zombie towards the akuma.

A love-sick zombie.

“Seductra, a few questions!” The familiar voice of Nadja Chamack called, rushing just ahead of the camera as she approached the akuma. Were she in a better mood, Marinette would have huffed under her breath. Why did reporters insist on putting themselves in danger, all for a news cast? It made no sense to her, and added grievances to her job…especially when Alya was involved.

“Seductra, can you tell us what caused this sudden surge of…mind-controlling powers?” Nadja asked urgently, daring to shove her microphone in the akuma’s face. She didn’t seem to mind, however, and seized the microphone on her own, clearing her throat daintily.

“I, Seductra, am on a mission—I seek Adrien Agreste. He has spurned my advances for too long, and now, he will pay. I will make every single man in Paris my slave and part of my personal army, and if Adrien Agreste does not show himself within the hour, I will hunt him down myself. So come out, Adrien. I’m waiting for you~”

She blew a kiss to the camera, and quite abruptly, it fell to the ground—it was probably safe to assume that the cameraman had joined the ranks of Seductra’s mindless army.

“Oh no!” Tikki zoomed into the air, giving Marinette an anxious look. “Marinette, I know you’re not feeling well right now, but—”

“It’s okay, Tikki,” Marinette said, wiping her face free of excess moisture before she got to her feet, determination hardening her features. “There’s no use crying over problems I can’t solve, but this is something I can do.”

Tikki breathed a sigh of relief, and Marinette smiled.

“Tikki, transform me!” She cried, and Tikki obligingly zoomed into her earrings. With a blur of red sparkles, Marinette became Ladybug, and she leapt out into the Parisian night, letting her yo-yo fly.

The Seine came into view soon enough, and the scene on the Pont des Arts was enough to make Ladybug pause on a nearby rooftop, gaping. There had to be about fifty men in Seductra’s army already, and they all trailed after her confident strut, like love-sick puppies.

“Her powers only seem to work on men,” Ladybug murmured to herself, straightening up as she gripped her chin in thought. “And she wants Adrien, huh…”

Well, this had to be the first time in history that Adrien Agreste had caused an akuma…but with his brand-new attitude, Ladybug didn’t find that as surprising as she might have, once.

Ladybug leapt to the adjacent rooftop, studying the akuma now. Her posture was perfect, and she walked like she was on a cat walk, suggesting that she might be a model in her civilian life. That might explain the connection between her and Adrien…but then again, Ladybug couldn’t be certain of anything, at this point. For all she knew, Chloe Bourgeois could be under that mask.

“I bet the akuma is in that rose in her hair,” she muttered to herself, zeroing in on the dark rose nestled in Seductra’s dark locks. “If I play this right, it should be pretty easy to capture it…as long as a certain cat jerk doesn’t show up—”

“Are my ears burning?”

“Is your head on fire?” Ladybug shot back, sending a dry look to the dark shadow that just appeared beside her. Chat Noir slid a grin her way, and while that might’ve made her just roll her eyes once upon a time, now, it made Ladybug’s lips harden into a line. That’s right—she had to talk to this jerk, too. Ugh, too many jerks today, she was going to have a headache later.

“So, that’s the akuma, huh?” Chat Noir leaned over, the muscles in his shoulders working, as if he was preparing to pounce.

“Do you see anyone else leading the love zombies?” Ladybug reached out and seized Chat’s tail once again. “And you’re not going down there.”

Chat looked up, blinking in surprise.

How could he look so shocked?

“Why not?”

Oh, I don’t know…because you might try to throttle the akumatized victim…?

“She’s making the men of the city her slaves,” she pointed out, waving at Seductra, who had just winked at a passing man. Instantly, he dropped what he was holding and joined the ranks of her mindless followers. “And we’ve had too many close calls with you being under the influence of an akuma for you to go anywhere near her.”

Chat’s eyes glittered strangely behind his mask.

“Are you benching me, My Lady?”

The nickname made Ladybug scowl. She couldn’t believe he was trying to be so informal with her after what he almost did last week…but she had a stash of cookies on her civilian form should Tikki’s transformation run out, so scolding him could wait until later; she wasn’t about to let him get away tonight.

“No,” she eventually answered his question, pulling out her yo-yo computer to quickly punch in letters. “I’m sending you in the opposite direction. Seductra’s after Adrien Agreste—something about him rebuffing her advances or something.”

“Really.” Chat sounded thoughtful for a moment, but Ladybug didn’t look at him, focusing instead on her screen as it pinpointed Adrien’s residence. She was a little surprised when it pulled up a place on the opposite side of the city from where he once lived as a boy…but perhaps there were too many unhappy memories for him to return to his childhood home. She hit the send button, satisfied when Chat’s baton beeped.

“I’ve sent you the address. Make sure he’s safe—you’re going to be the last resort if I can’t stop Seductra here.”

“Wouldn’t it make more sense for me to just take care of her now?” He stood up, rolling his neck. “If, by some miracle, she gets by you, and I’m the last defense, all she has to do is use her powers on me, and then I’ll hand Adrien Agreste right to her.”

Ladybug frowned. He had a point. She hated that.

“She won’t get by me,” she replied stubbornly, casting her yo-yo out, prepared to intercept Seductra and her army of love-sick men. As she tensed, prepared to fly, a clawed hand gripped her shoulder. Ladybug startled, jumping away from Chat. He blinked, apparently surprised at her reaction. But when she frowned at him, he gave a shrug.

“I can help,” he insisted, looking so sincere that Ladybug almost hesitated. But all she had to do was glance down at his hands—the way his claws flexed, as if itching to get around someone’s throat—and her resolve solidified. He would not be getting anywhere near this akuma. Not if Ladybug had anything to say about it.

“Help by keeping Adrien Agreste safe,” she told him sternly. And then she was off, swinging through the street, coming to a landing a few meters from the akuma. Seductra paused, and so did her hoard, giving Ladybug just enough time to straighten up and smirk at her. A quick glance to the rooftop she had just jumped from told her that Chat Noir was no longer there. She hoped he had taken her orders seriously, because she really was not in the mood to deal with this strange new callous attitude he had towards the bad guys.

“My goodness, all this fuss over one man?” Ladybug asked, whirling her yo-yo beside her. “You’ve got it bad, Seductra.”

Seductra’s scarlet lips pursed.

“Don’t get in my way, Ladybug,” she threatened her. Something about her cool voice tickled the back of Ladybug’s mind, and she squinted, as if she could see right through that mask… “I’ve wanted this for years. I will not let you stop me.”

“What’s so great about Adrien Agreste?” Ladybug dared to question, a hand on her cocked hip as she gave Seductra a flat look. “Sure, he’s a pretty face, but have you talked to him lately? Guy didn’t turn out so nice, in the end.”

“You know nothing about Adrien Agreste, Ladybug.” There was a steel note in the akuma’s tone now. “I have watched him for so long, helped him grow into the success he is becoming. He may not have wanted me when I was simply working for him, but now that I am powerful, he will see the error of his ways. I will make him see the error of his ways.”

Well, that was threatening. A few years ago, Ladybug would have bristled at the thought of anyone trying to force Adrien into a romance he might not want. But she was older now, wiser. And while the thought of this akuma wanting to force anyone into a relationship upset her, Ladybug was able to think through it to try and pinpoint said akuma’s identity.

She said she worked for him…but that could be anyone, from models to employees to—

“Mr. Agreste will see you now.”

That cool, collected voice…

“Sylvia,” Ladybug accused, and Seductra flinched. “So you’re in love with your boss…I sympathize. But even you must see he’s not all that great, don’t you? Why go through all the trouble if he treats you so terribly?”

“You don’t know anything!” The composed mask was slipping, and Seductra now bared her teeth. “I will have him, and you will not stop me!” She pointed a directing finger at Ladybug, turning to her love-sick army. “Attack!”

Annnd here we go.’ Ladybug sighed inwardly as the men who knew not what they did lunged at her, their war chant “For Seductraaaaa!!!” tearing through the streets of Paris. Ladybug’s mind went into auto-pilot as her body did most of the work, ducking and dodging and punching and swiping, using the bigger opponents’ weight against them, causing them to run into or fall over or crush the others. It was a good workout, Ladybug had to admit, feeling the uncomfortable tension of the day leaving her as she fought, but this was not her goal. As she wrapped one man up in her yo-yo and sent him whirling into oncoming zombie traffic, Ladybug glanced around, gritting her teeth when she saw Seductra fleeing the scene. She was getting away!

“Sorry, boys, but I don’t have any more time to play. Gotta go!” With a salute, Ladybug took off from the scene, her yo-yo flinging her skyward. She kept her eyes on Seductra, who was quite fast, despite how high her heeled boots were, waiting for just the right moment to drop down on her—

A flash of black flew past, and suddenly, there was Chat Noir, sliding down his staff and cutting Seductra off.

Ladybug growled under her breath.

“Well hello, Beautiful,” she could hear him purring from below, and her stomach turned as he dared to step closer to the akuma. “Lovely evening, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Oh, what a pretty kitty,” Seductra hummed, and Ladybug cursed Chat Noir to the deepest pit in existence as she swung down into the alley. “You’ll be purr-fect for my collection.”

“Hey lady, you may be gorgeous, but cat puns are my thing,” Chat Noir said, looking almost indignant…like his old self. The contrast made Ladybug’s heart constrict, and she touched down behind Seductra just in time for the akuma to blow a kiss Chat Noir’s way. Growling under her breath at the situation, Ladybug sent her yo-yo out, wrapping around one of Chat’s ankles. She gave an almighty tug, and with a small yelp, he went down, sliding past Seductra with a cheeky salute.

“What did I say?” She told him, scowling as he jumped back to his feet after she relinquished her yo-yo. Chat gave her a shrug.

“Adrien Agreste is safe, don’t worry.” He leapt out of the way as Seductra blew another kiss his way. “Don’t you have bigger things to worry about at the moment anyway? Perhaps, the akuma trying to enslave all the men of Paris?”

“Don’t you tell me how to do my job!” She called after him as he jumped around on all fours, making it very hard for Seductra to catch him.

“Then do it,” he reasoned simply, landing for a second in front of Ladybug, his eyes glinting. “Or I’ll do it for you.”

Was that a threat?

Ladybug upped Chat Noir’s future ass-kicking from “big” to “huge fucking ass-kicking”.

While Seductra was distracted trying to cast her womanly wiles on Chat, Ladybug used her Lucky Charm. A silk, polka-dotted sash popped out, and Ladybug sighed to herself. These things could never be straightforward, could they?

No matter: her eyes spotted a nearby dumpster, the top closed—she could use that as a springboard—Chat’s baton, which he was using to swing around, avoiding the charms sent his way, and Seductra herself. Thinking through quickly, Ladybug ran up the left wall of the alley, towards the dumpster. She gave one strong hop, and flung herself towards Chat’s extended pole, pushing off on his shoulders, simultaneously sending him down the pole to avoid Seductra’s blown kiss, and sending Ladybug forward, directly at the akuma. She gave a yelp, her arms going up to protect herself—perfect.

Casting out her yo-yo, Ladybug swung around Seductra, using the silk sash to wrap around her so tightly from head to toe that just a tiny wiggle of struggle caused her to fall over, unable to move. Dropping down to the ground again, Ladybug swiped the rose from Seductra’s hair and tossed it to the ground. She brought her leg up high to stomp down on it, but then paused.

Would this akumatized item be impossible for her to break as well? She didn’t see how it could be, it was just a flower. But what if…

Her knee pulsed unpleasantly, as if to remind her of her last failure. Her teeth clenching together, Ladybug slowly lowered her leg, choosing instead to pick up the rose and toss it Chat’s way.

“Destroy it,” she ordered simply. Much like last time, Chat gave her a long look before he ultimately shrugged and did as she commanded.


Within seconds, the rose was ripped to shreds, and the akuma popped out. Ladybug braced herself, dreading the inexplicable screaming…but there was nothing. It merely flapped away, desperate to escape. But Ladybug wasn’t having it, and one purification ritual later, it was a harmless little butterfly once more, flitting away into the night.

Unraveling the silk sash from Seductra—who was de-akumatizing—Ladybug tossed it into the air.

“Miraculous Ladybug!”

And just like that, the spell was broken. In the distance, Ladybug could hear confused grumblings from the men who had been enslaved, all wondering what had happened and how they got there. Ladybug ignored them, certain they would find their own ways home, and went over to Sylvia, who was stirring feebly.

“It’s okay,” she promised when Sylvia woke with a start. “You’re going to be fine.”

“Oh, Ladybug! Thank goodness…thank you.” It was the least composed Ladybug had ever seen her, and yet she didn’t judge, merely helping her to her feet.

“Can I help you get home?”

Sylvia was flushed, closing her eyes as she breathed in and out slowly.

“Thank you, but…I think I’ll head home on my own. I’m…a little embarrassed.”

“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” Ladybug insisted, but her eyes found Chat as he stood a ways away, his staff resting across his shoulders, wrists draped over the staff as well. “It wasn’t intentional, so it’s not your fault. You’re not the bad guy.”

Chat’s eyes glittered, inscrutable.

“Thank you, Ladybug,” Sylvia thanked again, carefully shifting her hair to one side. “But I’m fine, I promise.”

“Then a word of advice,” Ladybug said, laying a hand on Sylvia’s shoulder and fixing her with a serious stare. “Any guy that doesn’t give you the time of day isn’t worth your time, either. You could do better. A lot better.”

Sylvia flushed deeper and lowered her head, but she gave the tiniest of nods before she walked away, arms crossed around her.

“A lot better, huh?” Ladybug hated herself for jumping at the sudden voice at her ear. “Sounds like you’re not too fond of Adrien Agreste.”

“Speaking of him,” she began, turning to glare at Chat, “didn’t I send you to protect him?”

“Yeah.” Chat shrugged carelessly. “And I just checked in because he’s a grown man who can look after himself.”

“You should’ve stayed put.”

“I could’ve. But then I remembered that you’re not the boss of me.”

Ladybug scowled. Boy, he was just refusing to be a team player, wasn’t he?

“We need to talk,” she stated once again, though admittedly, her thoughts were more on punching Chat Noir than talking to him.

In response, his Miraculous chirped.

“Whoops. Looks like I’m almost out of time.” He made to jump away, but Ladybug seized the back of his collar this time, making him yelp as she tugged, his bell jingling with the motion.

“We are not done here, Chat Noir.”

Chat turned, giving her an exasperated look.

“I realize that, My Lady,” he told her in a tone she took to be condescending, “but I’m about to lose my transformation.”

“So?” Chat’s eyes widened at the question, but Ladybug continued, “You’ve been amiable to the idea of revealing our identities to each other before. Or did that change too, while you were gone?”

Chat turned slowly to face her, Ladybug’s grip shifting to his arm. His eyes were suddenly narrowed, focused on her, a starving cat spying a fat bird.

“Does that mean I get to find out who you are, then?”

Ladybug scowled. “Absolutely not.”

“I’m not showing you mine unless I get to see yours,” Chat countered with a stubborn look of his own, arms folded across his chest. Ladybug wanted to point out that she wasn’t the one in the hot seat at the moment, but his Miraculous beeped again, and she huffed. Now was not the time to argue—there would be plenty time for that after he refueled his kwami.

“Meet me at the Eiffel Tower in ten minutes,” she told him sternly, finally letting go of his arm, as if further contact would harm her. “I’m going to go check on Adrien, and I’ll meet you there.”

“Didn’t I say he’s fine?” Chat sighed, ruffling the back of his blonde hair, jostling his ponytail. “Why are you so obsessed with him?”

“I’m doing my job,” Ladybug growled, hating that her face felt warm at the insinuation. “I’m serious, Chat, you better show up. Don’t make me hunt you down.”

Chat’s eyes glittered, and he smirked at the challenge.

“I think you’ll discover that I’m a bit harder to sniff out than you believe,” he teased. “After all, I did disappear for seven years. What stopped you from finding me then?”

“I didn’t have the time to be hunting for strays,” Ladybug shot back, setting her yo-yo loose. She pointed a stern finger at him. “Ten minutes, Chat Noir.”

“I may be pretty, but I’m not dumb, My Lady. I heard you the first time.”

Scowling, Ladybug left first, letting her yo-yo send her high into the air in a vain hope to leave her irritation behind on the ground. What the hellwas his problem?! Honestly, the sooner she got this sorted out, the better.

Her Miraculous beeped its first warning of the night—Tikki was getting tired. Ladybug sighed and swung her way through Paris. If she remembered correctly, Adrien now lived on the west side of the city…

She found the address soon enough, pausing on the rooftop behind the building.

It lacked the extravagance of his previous residence, perhaps by choice, but it was still elegant—everything was just a more reasonable size. The gate out front was not giant, but modest, and there were no walls surrounding the house, just fences. He even had a little garden out front, which was nice.

Ladybug forced herself to focus, swinging around the house. A back window was lit up, and so she carefully approached, leaping onto the balcony.

It was Adrien’s room. It was smaller than the one from his youth, more functional: a large, king-sized bed sat off to the side, outfitted in dark sheets, and there was a sitting area facing the T.V. on the opposite wall. Instead of the rock-climbing wall and the arcade games, there was merely a desk on which his computer monitors sat—three just like his office. On the far wall, next to the door that must enter into the hallway, sat a large painting Ladybug had only seen once, when she had met Gabriel Agreste for the first time. Adrien’s mother looked down on the room, her kind, benevolent features somewhat distorted by the odd art style of patterns of the painting, as if the artist hadn’t wanted anyone to look at her too closely. Despite its strangeness, it was still unbearably beautiful, and it was here that Ladybug found Adrien, standing in front of it. Swallowing her nerves, Ladybug crept forward, tapping at the glass.

Adrien turned, his green eyes widening at the sight of her. Ladybug made herself stand straight, reminding herself that she was not Marinette right now, that she could do this…that she could not avoid seeing Adrien as Ladybug forever…

Adrien opened his door, stepping out onto the balcony. He was dressed casually in a white tank top and black sweat pants, as if he had been getting ready for bed, but his tank top stuck to him, clinging to the planes of his body and leaving little to the imagination.

If Ladybug hadn’t already seen him shirtless, she would’ve ogled him right then and there. She also knew now that his pretty face was disguising razor sharp teeth, and so she held herself in check with ease, waiting until he approached her.

“Ladybug,” he greeted, somewhat breathless. Ladybug made herself breathe evenly, nodding towards Adrien.

“You’re okay. That’s good.”

Adrien tilted his head to the side, frowning slightly at her.

“Why wouldn’t I be?”

“There was an akuma attack earlier,” Ladybug explained, leaning against the balcony railing behind her, her arms crossed. “The victim was your secretary. Sylvia, right?”

His frown grew more pronounced.

“Yes…is she all right?”

“She is…but it seems she was akumatized because of…her feelings for you. She said something about you ‘spurning her advances’…”

Adrien sighed, rubbing his temple and glancing away awkwardly.

“She thought a bouquet of roses that arrived for her today was from me. They weren’t, so naturally, I told her the truth...but she didn’t take it well, admittedly.” He took a deep breath, closing his eyes. “I’ll talk to her. Thank you.”

Ladybug nodded. There was an awkward moment, in which they just stared at each other. She felt she had to say more—that Adrien was owed more from her, despite her personal feelings towards him at the moment—but how in the world did she begin?

Her Miraculous gave another beep, and Ladybug sighed. As much as she hated leaving things unresolved, she had to meet Chat in a few minutes, and she needed time for Tikki to rest before she did that. Sadly, it appeared that this conversation would have to wait for another time.

“Well…glad to see that you’re okay,” she said with another nod, still feeling awkward as she stepped away, hopping onto the balcony railing. “Sorry to interrupt your night—”


A hand slipped around her wrist as she raised her yo-yo, and she glanced over sharply, surprised at the sudden gesture. Adrien seemed surprised as well; he blinked, and then hastily let go, rubbing the back of his neck as he glanced away from her. A warm blush spread through his face, and Ladybug stared, like…

Like she was looking at fifteen year old Adrien Agreste.

The one that twenty-two year old Adrien Agreste said never existed.

So how do you explain this?’ She wanted to ask him, frowning to herself. If that boy she had been in love with wasn’t real in the first place, then what was she supposed to make of such a display?

After a moment, Adrien cleared his throat and seemed to regain his nerve.

“Ladybug, I…would like to talk to you.” He glanced up at her, green eyes uncertain, guarded. “If you have the time.”

She wanted to have the time. She really did. But…

Beep beep!

Ladybug put a hand to her earring and sighed.

“I would like to talk to you, too, Adrien,” she admitted, giving him a helpless look. “But I’m afraid I can’t stay. Maybe next time?”

She raised her yo-yo again, but this only made Adrien take her wrist once more. She paused, staring at him as he gazed up at her, that strange desperation she had seen earlier that day coming into his eyes once more and closing up her throat.

“When?” He asked, his fingers flexing over her wrist. As if he was afraid that if he let go, he would never see her again.

Which made Ladybug stop and think: would she ever bother to see him again as Ladybug?

The tightness of his eyes, despite Ladybug’s reservations, made the decision for her.

“How about Friday? I’ll stop by again, around this time. Sound good?”

The tension left his expression, and he let out a quiet sigh, letting his fingers slide away from her wrist.

“Yes. I’ll, uh, see you then.”

Ladybug nodded, giving a tentative smile. A corner of his mouth quirked up, which was enough, and she was flying again.

A block away from the Eiffel Tower, Ladybug made herself stop. Her transformation was about to break, and she didn’t want to be out in the open when it happened, so she dropped down into one of the many convenient alleyways in Paris, catching Tikki as her transformation dispelled.

“Here you go, Tikki,” Marinette crooned, handing the kwami a well-earned cookie. “I promise, we’re almost done.”

“What are you going to say to Chat Noir?” Tikki asked through a mouthful of chocolate. Marinette frowned, glancing around her, paranoid of the shadows.

“I don’t know yet…but I do want answers. None of this is making any sense: why is there another Hawk Moth on the loose? What does he want? And why didn’t Chat deliver the Miraculous to Master Fu like he was supposed to? And where does he get off trying to kill the victims of the akuma attacks? There’s so much going on that I don’t understand.”

Marinette shook her head, her loose hair brushing her shoulders. She had long since stopped wearing pigtails herself; they automatically appeared when she transformed into Ladybug now, as if it was Tikki’s preferred hairstyle on her. She was still dressed in her pajamas, and she shivered in the chilly air, which prompted Tikki to eat faster. The sooner they could get this over with, the better.

Once Tikki had swallowed the rest of her cookie in one big gulp, she helped Marinette transform once again, and Ladybug zipped up to the very top of the Eiffel Tower, where she sat down, folded her arms, and waited.

She counted twenty seconds in her head before she could just make out the sound of muted footsteps behind her.

“Ten minutes,” Chat Noir quoted at her. He sat down a certain distance from her, as if he knew space was required for this conversation. Ladybug was both thankful and bothered by the necessity. She merely watched for a moment as Chat let one leg swing from where they sat, his other leg bent, his arm resting over his knee. His cat eyes flicked around the city, looking anywhere but at her. After a tense minute, he finally spoke. “You wanted to talk?”

“Yes,” Ladybug confirmed, getting to her feet. Chat eyed her from the corner of his eyes, but she ignored the look, leaning against one of the tower’s beams, her mouth thinning into a hard line once more. “Let’s start with these akuma attacks that have been happening. Why is there another Hawk Moth on the loose when I gave the Butterfly Miraculous to you to take care of?”

“Ah…” Chat rubbed the back of his head, grinning sheepishly, causing Ladybug to scowl. How dare he try and look cute right now. “Well, uh, honestly, Ladybug, the truth is…I kind of, er…lost the Butterfly Miraculous.”

Years ago, while Ladybug would have been annoyed, she would have accepted this, trusting that Chat hadn’t been careless on purpose—bad things just tended to happen to him, after all.

…Now, however…

“That’s convenient,” she said dryly, and Chat’s gaze turned to focus on her.

“You don’t believe me?” His tone was insulted, but his eyes were guarded.

“There’s something you’re not telling me,” Ladybug insisted, stepping towards him with a frown. “How did you lose the Butterfly Miraculous?”

Chat huffed.

“I’m…not sure,” he admitted, glancing away as Ladybug’s gaze narrowed. “I was gonna take it to Master Fu the day after…after what happened to Hawk Moth…”

Ladybug stiffened at the mention, but she didn’t say anything, merely nodding her head, silently urging him to continue.

“I was busy that day with—some stuff—but I managed to stop by for a minute. I stopped by Master Fu’s, but when I got there, he wasn’t home. I didn’t think it was safe to just leave the Butterfly Miraculous out in the open, but as I was trying to find a hiding place, something…jumped out at me.”

Ladybug’s frown deepened.

“What do you mean, ‘something’?”

“I mean like some thing. I couldn’t tell what it was, not even with my night vision. And it was too fast for me to look at it, let alone catch it—before I knew it, it swiped the Butterfly Miraculous and darted away out an open window before I even knew what happened.”

Chat growled under his breath, his claws flexing; the memory was still frustrating, it appeared. Ladybug inspected him, staring hard, as if she could penetrate the secrets hidden beneath that mask. How sad it was that this day had arrived, the day she found that she just couldn’t trust Chat’s word for what it was. He had been her partner once upon a time…but now, he was suspicious. Mysterious.

A stranger.

“You didn’t chase after it?” Ladybug wanted to verify. Chat Noir frowned up at her.

“How would I have? It disappeared before I could even get to the window it got out of. I looked all around the massage parlor, but it was just…gone.”

“Why didn’t you tell me this?”

“I was kind of on a time crunch, Ladybug.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means that I had other things to do,” he said evasively, not looking at her. This brought back Ladybug’s scowl, and she moved closer to him, her arms tightly crossed.

“Okay then, next question: where have you been the last seven years?”

Chat’s gaze cut to her again, his expression guarded.

“I can’t tell you that, Ladybug.”

Ladybug’s eyes narrowed.

“Why not?”

“Because it’s none of your business.”

“Chat!” Ladybug burst out in frustration, stomping her foot. “What is wrong with you?!”

Quite unruffled by her attitude, Chat leaned back to gaze up at her, his form-fitting outfit paying his body so many compliments that Ladybug had to work to ignore them. It didn’t matter how attractive he’d gotten, damn it. This was wrong, he was wrong. And Ladybug needed to know why.

“Nothing’s wrong,” Chat contradicted her nonetheless, staring up at her with an inscrutable expression once again. “I’ve just grown up, Ladybug. And I know enough about how I work to know that I don’t always have to take orders from you. Your way of stopping the akumas isn’t the only way.”

“So murder is the correct answer now?” She questioned, hands on her hips as she stared down at him, eyes desperately searching for any sign of her former partner…but his expression still gave nothing away. “Have you even considered the fact that the akuma could just fly away after you kill an innocent victim, thereby not solving the problem at all, but creating an entirely new one?! These people don’t choose to become akuma! Heroes don’t murder victims, Chat Noir, no matter what!”

His pupils contracted at her.

“Hawk Moth,” he said simply. The reminder was designed to hurt her, and while Ladybug felt the sharp sting, she did not let it control her. She had made peace with what she had done, and she would not allow Chat Noir to disturb that peace.

“Stop throwing that in my face,” she ordered him, her voice low and furious. “That was a mistake. You know it was.”

“But are you really sorry he’s dead?”

“Of course I am!” Ladybug burst out, the passion of her cry apparently startling Chat. “Do you really think there’s ever a day when I don’t regret that he’s dead?! Hell, I’d rather it be him we’re fighting right now than some unknown copycat!” She lowered her voice and her fist, which had clenched unconsciously in front of her, tearing her gaze away from Chat. “He might have been a villain…but he was still a person, under the mask. Just like you…and just like me.”

“We’re nothing like Hawk Moth,” Chat spat with an amount of venom that surprised Ladybug. “We don’t turn people into monsters.”

“No,” Ladybug agreed, turning her eyes onto Chat Noir. “But we don’t kill them for becoming monsters, either.”

For the first time, there was a spark of something in Chat’s eyes that made Ladybug lean forward, hope surging in her chest. It was uncertainty, and he seemed to have noticed that she had noticed, for he looked away from her again. But Ladybug pressed her perceived advantage; she knelt down, hesitating for a moment…before she laid a hand on his shoulder.

He was warm beneath her touch.

“Costumes don’t make us heroes, Chat. Our compassion—even for our enemy—does.”

Chat returned his gaze to her, seeming to measure her with his eyes for one long moment. Ladybug kept his gaze, willing him to believe in the wise words of their master, hoping with all her might that he could be convinced—

Chat sighed in defeat. Ladybug’s heart leapt as he got up, shaking off her hand.

“Well, My Lady…I’m sad to say it, but I feel that we’ve come to an impasse.”

Her heart immediately dropped to the pit of her stomach. Slowly, she stood up, staring at Chat Noir’s profile. He had changed, certainly, but it wasn’t the physical changes she was seeing in him now, but the ones within. He’d become feral.

“…Meaning?” She dared to ask after a moment. Chat shrugged, turning his back on her as he strode away.

“Meaning that you can keep doing things your way…and I’ll do things my way.”

She waited until he’d reached the end of the beam they were standing on, peering down, as if he was pondering if he would still land on all fours from such a height. The urge to push him was irrational, and she stifled it immediately.

“You do realize this means I’ll have to stop you,” Ladybug said to his back, and that cold fact hardened the already freezing air between them. Chat straightened up again, turning to her. His smirk was almost familiar. Almost.

“You can certainly try.” His smirk became a savage grin. “In fact, I look forward to it, My Lady.”

Ladybug’s fists tightened at her sides.

“I am not yours,” she spat at him.

But this only made him chuckle.

“Hah. I know that.” Though he grinned as wide as he could, Ladybug still spotted it—the hint of pain in his gaze, as if he, too, could feel the crevice cracking open between them, vast, deep, and most importantly, impassable.


“After all,” he continued quietly, turning to fully face her, that painful grin still in place, striking an unexpected chord within her, “you were never mine to begin with.”

The bow he gave her was ironic, the salute even more so as he fell back, off the tower.

Despite the situation, Ladybug’s heart still leapt into her throat, and she rushed forward, intending to send out her yo-yo to save him—

The flash of his staff in the distance drew her eyes. It was descending, shrinking just enough for him to jump to a nearby roof, using it as a propeller for leverage. As Ladybug watched, Chat Noir streaked off into the distance, becoming one with the night.

And Ladybug stood for a long moment at the top of the Eiffel Tower, the way she had for seven long years:




“You’re quiet today.”

Marinette gave a start. It was one of those rare days when she didn’t have a million and one tasks to run for Symone, and so she just sat at her desk, idly doodling in her sketchbook. She was supposed to be working on designs for her Carnivale line, but since her heart wasn’t really in it, it was slow-going. In fact, all she had managed to do was create a mask that was too eerily similar to Chat Noir’s.

Breathing a sigh, Marinette closed her sketchbook, finally glancing up to Felix. His face was as imperturbable as ever, but a pale eyebrow was slightly lifted. As if he found her ridiculous.

Marinette was beginning to hate that look on blonde men.

“I’m just tired,” she told him, which was true—she hadn’t slept at all the night before, too shell-shocked to shut her eyes. While it was true that, in the seven years of his absence, she had convinced herself that she didn’t need Chat Noir, the blatancy with which he’d ended their partnership the night before just illustrated how much Marinette had been counting on him to inexplicably return one of these days…and how devastating it felt to have her wish come true in all the wrong ways. She sighed again, though she repressed the forlorn sound of it, aware that she had company. Felix merely looked down at her for one more moment before setting down what he was holding—a yellow envelope.

“Symone has requested you deliver these mock-ups to Adrien Agreste…” He paused when Marinette groaned, slumping in her seat.

“Do I have to?” That was another person she was not eager to see right now, the promise of Friday burning uncomfortably in the back of her mind. She never should have agreed. After all, what else could he want to see her for, if not to demand answers about the night his father died? True, he was owed the answers, but it didn’t mean that Marinette—Ladybug—was excited to give them. She just had to go check on him, despite knowing that the akuma had never made it to him…Miss Marinette Dupain-Cheng, everyone, a bona-fide glutton for punishment.

Felix lifted both his eyebrows this time.

“Do you have a problem with Mr. Agreste?”

“To put it in so many words,” Marinette grumbled. She sighed, her gaze briefly going to the ceiling before settling on Felix with a cringe. “I don’t have a choice, do I…?”

“Afraid not,” Felix replied, stoic as ever.

Marinette sighed one more time before deciding to pull on her big girl pants. She got to her feet, slinging her bag over her shoulder and tucking the yellow envelope inside.

“Fine, I’ll go deliver it to his office.”

“Symone specifically requested the envelope be delivered to his home address,” Felix corrected, and Marinette groaned.

“Super. All right, then I’m leaving—”

“Marinette,” Felix’s voice called her back, prompting Marinette to pause and look at him. There was something in his eyes that suggested she was behaving strangely. She frowned, but just as she opened her mouth to ask, he spoke. “I haven’t given you Mr. Agreste’s address yet.”

…Shit, he was right.

Amateur move. Way to go, Marinette.

“Oh, right, ha ha,” she laughed it off, forcing an awkward grin. “I would’ve had to just come right back in after getting in my car, heh heh…”

Felix did not join in her laughter—Marinette was certain that he didn’t even know how to laugh. He merely recited the address she already knew, and then nodded when she bade him farewell, something like speculation in his gaze. It made Marinette uncomfortable, and her departure from the boutique was all the more swift because of it.

During the twenty minute drive, Marinette scowled to herself.

The last thing she wanted to do today was see Adrien Agreste after he had basically humiliated her the day before. In fact, there was a lot she had to say to him about that…or she would, if the memory of his desperate smile wasn’t so clear in her mind’s eye. She huffed, slowing to a stop at the traffic light and hitting her head against her steering wheel. Why did this have to happen to her? Her childhood crush calling her mediocre, her former partner turning to the dark side…why did her life seem to be unraveling so rapidly all of a sudden? Was the Hawk Moth copycat purposefully spreading discord in her life as punishment for her causing the death of their predecessor? Honestly, Marinette wouldn’t be surprised at this point.

There was a honk behind her, and she jumped, realizing that the light had turned green, and that she was holding up traffic. Cringing in apology in her rearview mirror, she pushed the gas pedal and drove off, mentally scolding herself for daring to be distracted while driving. A distracted Marinette while she was walking was dangerous enough as is—she didn’t need to cause a traffic accident while wallowing in her angst.

All too soon, she reached the residence of Adrien Agreste for the second time in forty-eight hours. Marinette let herself sigh one final time, and then sucked in a calming breath. She could do this…this wasn’t about her…this was just an errand for Symone. Besides, it was likely that she wouldn’t even have to see Adrien—he probably wasn’t home, but even if he was, a butler or maid or something would probably come to the door and deliver the envelope for her. That thought was more comforting, and it strengthened Marinette’s resolve.

She could do this. She would not let Adrien Agreste get to her again. She refused.

Getting out of the car, her spine straight, Marinette walked across the street, bag slung over her shoulder. She paused at the gate, wondering if she needed to buzz in or something, but there was no fancy technology nearby signaling such. In fact, there was just a handle on the gate. Marinette tried it, and it swung open easily. She took another breath. One hurdle down…

She passed through the garden, resisting the urge to stop and admire the flowers—Adrien must have one hell of a gardener. The sunset blazed at her back as she stepped up the stairs, pausing at the door. One more breath…in…out…

Marinette reached out a pale finger and pressed the doorbell. She could hear the chime echo from outside, and she waited, sternly telling herself not to fidget. In no time at all, the door began to open from the inside, and Marinette put on a smile, expecting to greet a butler—

Green eyes met hers, carefully styled blond hair above a tanned face, and below…

Marinette took one look and strangled the groan rising in her throat. He was only wearing the sweatpants she had seen him in last night, when she had come to check on him as Ladybug.

Why did Adrien Agreste insist on being half-naked around her?!

For his part, Adrien merely blinked at her, surprise etched into his features. His, dumb, stupid, carved, devastatingly handsome features—

That’s mature. You gonna pull his hair and call him names next?

If Alya’s voice kept popping into Marinette’s brain whenever she had to deal with Adrien, she was gonna—

“Miss Dupain-Cheng,” Adrien greeted, seeming to gather himself together. “This is a surprise. I don’t…remember giving you my home address.”

She didn’t appreciate the implication that she was stalking him, and let the scowl on her face say as much. Nose in the air, she retrieved the envelope from her bag and held it out.

“I’m here on business,” she told him dryly. “I’m interning at Tres Bien Boutique, and Symone asked me to deliver these to you. She was the one who gave me your address.”

“Ah.” Reaching out, Adrien took the envelope, the tips of his fingers brushing Marinette’s. She snatched her hand back too quickly, cursed herself, and tried to look unaffected as Adrien seemed to weigh the envelope within his grasp. “These are the mock-ups for her new winter line, I’m assuming.”

Marinette nodded, noting that Adrien sighed a little, as if he was being put out. She hardly sympathized—if Chloe hadn’t claimed Symone’s work as her own in the first place, then she wouldn’t be designing a whole new line. Really, Adrien should know better by now when it came to Chloe…but birds of a feather, Marinette supposed.

He set the envelope down on a table just inside the door before turning to look back at her, eyebrow quirked.

“…Is there something else?” He asked, bringing attention to the fact that Marinette was just standing there. She startled at the realization, and she hated, hated, hated the blush that filled her face.

“No,” she said hastily, stepping back from him. “That’s it.”

She turned away, intending to leave. No reason for her to stick around—her job was done.

“…All right, then. Until next time, Miss Dupain-Cheng.”

Marinette paused.

And then, with speed and force that was very un-Marinette-like, she whirled her palm into the door, halting it before it could close. Adrien’s face appeared around the door again, surprise flitting across his features once more.

“…You know what? That’s not all,” Marinette insisted, feeling her eyes burning as she held the door open, boring holes into Adrien. “As a matter of fact, there’s more.”

What are you doing?’ Alya’s voice questioned, but she banished it to the back of her mind, her free hand balling into a fist. She wasn’t about to just walk away now—that would be like admitting defeat, like when she’d run from Adrien’s office yesterday.

And if there was anything Marinette hated, it was admitting defeat to a battle she could easily win, if only she tried.

Adrien stared at her a moment. He opened the door a little wider, so that her hand fell away from it, and propped himself against it, an arm resting on the corner of the door over his head, his free hand resting on his hip. Posing.

Marinette’s lips pursed, and before she could overthink it, she rushed into speech.

“You were unnecessarily rude to me yesterday,” she prefaced, scowling when Adrien sighed.

“That wasn’t rudeness, Miss Dupain-Cheng. It was constructive criticism, and if you want to survive in this business—”

“Shut up,” she snapped, and Adrien’s mouth shut, his eyebrows flying up. “Don’t you dare preach to me. I know what constructive criticism is, and that wasn’t it. If you truly meant to be constructive, you would have suggested changes I could’ve made to my design to make it more interesting. That would have been helpful. But you didn’t do that. You just demeaned and belittled me.” Marinette narrowed her eyes at him. “You were callous.”

Adrien stared at her for an immeasurable moment. Marinette stared back, refusing to be the one to look away first…which was why she noticed immediately as his lip pulled down into a frown, damn near a pout. He glanced away from her, proving her the victor of the staring contest, a hand reaching up to rub the back of his neck. He looked…tense. Uncomfortable.


“…Well…” he began quietly, “perhaps I could’ve…been more gentle, in my delivery…”

“Wow, what a stunning apology,” Marinette drawled sarcastically. Adrien’s brow furrowed, and she noticed the slight hunch that suddenly bowed his back. Like he had been caught doing something wrong.

Though she didn’t want it to, the gesture softened her, and she let out a sigh.

“…But, not everything you said yesterday was unfair,” she made herself admit, her turn to look away now. “You were right: I don’t know you. I didn’t even know you in Dupont, really. I was just some stupid teenage girl…” She forced herself to meet his gaze, despite the blush thrumming under her skin. “…With a stupid, teenage crush on a boy I idolized. A boy I put on a pedestal, based on his surface alone.”

Adrien stared at her. It was hard to tell, what with the setting sun glowing in his face, but Marinette rather thought that he might be blushing…but no, that was impossible. Adrien Agreste wouldn’t blush over something so simple…

But then again, how would she know? That was part of the whole, original problem, wasn’t it?

“I can’t fix my mistakes from the past,” Marinette readily admitted. Talented though she might be, time-travel was not one of her powers. Standing her ground, she continued, “What I can do is be better in the present. So…this is me, tearing down that old pedestal. This is me, wanting to start over.”

She managed a small smile.

“I’m still irked with you, but…still, because we’re going to be working closely together for the next seven months…I think it’d be better for us to start from scratch, person to person.”

Holding a breath, she lifted a hand for him to shake.

“Can we do that?” Marinette asked, voice quiet, eyes intent on him. “Start over?”

Adrien’s eyes glowed in the fading light of the sun as he leaned against his door, the light setting off the honey tints of his hair. He looked even more like an angel fallen to earth like this…but Marinette firmly smacked the idea from her mind. This was part of the problem—she shouldn’t look at Adrien like he was a god to be worshipped. He might be good-looking, but if anything was proven to her yesterday, it was that he was just as human as the rest of them, despite what his modeling might suggest.

Adrien Agreste, CEO and international supermodel…was human.

And it was high time Marinette realized that.

Adrien appeared to consider her, his pose unintentionally seductive. But Marinette held herself in check, refusing to break his gaze, not even as she saw his lips part, as if he was about to speak—

“Adrihoneeeey, where did you go??”

Marinette froze.

That voice—

“Adrien, what is it? Has the sushi been delivered yet or—oh.”

Marinette tore her gaze from Adrien, spotting the other blonde rich kid from her class at Francois Dupont just a ways away. Her long hair was down her back, and she was wearing a shirt that was clearly too big for her—Adrien’s shirt. Her make-up was flawless as always, and her baby blue eyes blinked as she paused, spotting Marinette. She eyed Marinette up and down, a crease forming in between her brows.

“Marinette Dupain-Cheng,” she drawled, disdain creeping into her tone.

That’s it—no more blondes were allowed to use her full name. It was now an official rule.

“Chloe Bourgeois,” she replied, not bothering to hide her lack of enthusiasm.

Well well…despite the years, it seemed that Adrien and Chloe had only grown closer. Much closer.

And yet, it was amazing just how much that didn’t bother Marinette. Really, a part of her, still stinging from yesterday, was convinced that they deserved each other.

Chloe’s lip twisted, as if it were an insult for Marinette to even speak her name.

“What is she doing here?” She asked of Adrien, the old tactic of pretending Marinette wasn’t there coming into effect. Marinette scoffed and rolled her eyes, so not in the mood for the childish antics. Even if Chloe couldn’t claim the same, Marinette, at least, had grown up.

“Nothing. I was just leaving.” Turning on her heel, Marinette marched down the stairs, quite happy to get away from the two blonde, rich people in that house. She had better things to do than to be talked down to, anyway. And Adrien had never answered her question, so she was going to assume that he just wasn’t interested—

“See you later, Miss Dupain-Cheng.”


“Stop that,” she turned with a snap, glaring at him. Chloe made an offended sound, as if Marinette was being abominably rude, and Adrien had his lips pressed together.

But…he didn’t look annoyed, like Chloe did. No, there was something else in his expression…something almost like…

“Stop what?” He dared to ask, and Marinette spotted it: that twitch at the corner of his lips. He was trying very, very hard not to smile.

Was he…playing with her, right now?

The thought only annoyed Marinette further.

“You know what, don’t play dumb. Stop calling me by my last names all the time.”

She turned to fully face him, hands on her hips, feet planted in the middle of his walkway.

“If you’re trying to be professional, fine, but leave it in the office. Outside of those industry walls, it’s Marinette, damn it.”

Chloe gave another sputter, as if actually shocked by Marinette’s audacity. But Marinette couldn’t care less, her eyes fixed on Adrien, and Adrien alone.

After a moment, he smiled.

And, though it might’ve just been the glow from the setting sun, his eyes appeared to warm, too.

“Then I’ll see you later…Marinette,” he bade her farewell. There was just a hint of irony in his tone, and Marinette took it as a challenge, cocking her hip and flipping her hair in an exaggerated Chloe impression.

“Mr. Agreste,” she returned, spinning around and strutting out of his garden, missing the brief grin that flashed across Adrien’s face.

Adrien waited until she got in her car and pulled away before he closed the door, turning to contend with Chloe’s pout.

“Why was she here?” She whined, immediately clinging to Adrien’s arm. He gave a sigh and dislodged her, picking up the envelope he’d previously set down.

“For business,” he told her, moving past Chloe to head further into the house, feeling her trail behind him. “She’s in the senior class of a fashion collaboration my company is doing with IFA.”

“Hmph. Is she still pursuing her doomed career in fashion? She’d be better off in her parent’s bakery, learning how to make wedding cakes for women who actually have love lives—”

“Chloe,” Adrien cut her off, turning abruptly to face her. “What’re you doing in my shirt?”

She paused, blinking her blue eyes at him before she laughed in what she evidently thought was a charming manner.

“Oh, well, you know, I was looking for you in your room, and I missed you when I couldn’t find you. So I kind of just pulled your shirt on as, uh, a comfort, you know? Doesn’t it look good on me?” She struck a pose, one hand behind her head, one leg lifting up, fluttering her eyelashes at him.

Adrien did not so much as blink.

“The guest room you’re staying in is full of your spare clothes for a reason,” he reminded her, folding his arms as Chloe pouted at his lack of response. “And when are you going home anyway?”

“Never!” Chloe protested, her features warping in fury. “Daddy’s being completely unreasonable!!”

“Just because he won’t buy you a new Mercedes?”

“It’s not the Mercedes, it’s the attitude! He’s supposed to be my father, the man who takes care of me! Well, until I get married, that is…” She looked to Adrien again for a response, pouting once more when she didn’t get it.

“I think he takes care of you just fine. The reason he won’t buy you a new Mercedes is because you just wrecked the new one he bought you last week.” Adrien arched an eyebrow at the pouting girl before him. “Maybe you should be more careful with your toys.”

Chloe gave him a disgusted look and turned her back on him.

“Ugh! If you’re going to sit here and lecture me, maybe I will go home.”

If she was hoping that would be some kind of devastating threat, she was about to be sorely disappointed.

“Make sure you go home in your own clothes, then,” Adrien said. With another disgusted huff, Chloe flounced away, stomping up the stairs and slamming the door to the guest bedroom. Hardly ruffled by her theatrics—because those days were long over—Adrien headed to his study, moving to the desk to drop the envelope Marinette had delivered, resolving to look at whatever Symone had sent him later, since he didn’t quite feel like working this evening. The best thing about being a CEO—he got to set his own hours.

Slumping down on the leather couch he had been occupying to avoid Chloe before the doorbell rang, Adrien focused on the window on the opposite wall, watching the color fade from the sky, giving way to night.

As they inevitably did, his thoughts strayed to Ladybug.

She was not happy with him—with Chat Noir—right now. Adrien supposed he couldn’t blame her: he had basically told her, to her face, to fuck off, and that he was going to be doing things his way from now on. And while a part of him was upset that he had to go against her, Adrien would not be deterred. He had already decided on his path—the hard part was over. Now, he just had to see it through. And he would. He refused to be deterred.

As he sat there, pondering—brooding—over Ladybug, Marinette suddenly invaded his mind. The way her blue eyes burned as she glared at him, stern and unyielding, was a look he had never seen on her before. At least, not aimed at him. And he didn’t hate it—rather, it sort of reminded him of Ladybug when she was facing down an enemy.

And Marinette had basically confirmed what Plagg had said—she had had a crush on him when they were in school together.

Explained her awkward shyness around him, he supposed, now that he thought about it. He had just always assumed that she was intimidated by him, possibly because of who his father was…but that wasn’t the kind of intimidation that was going on there, was it?

She had certainly grown out of it, in any case, even daring to tell him to shut up so she could scold him properly. No one talked like that to Adrien anymore: it was always “Yes, Mr. Agreste” or “Of course, Mr. Agreste,” or even “Right away, Mr. Agreste.” He rarely ever heard the word “no” anymore, so it was quite a shock for him, hearing someone tell him to shut his mouth. Especially someone whose fashion career might fall into his hands.

But career or not, one thing was clear: Miss Dupain-Cheng was clearly not a woman to be trifled with.

“It’s Marinette, damn it.”

Adrien chuckled under his breath. Very well—Marinette was clearly not a woman to be trifled with.

The sky outside his window was losing the last of its fiery red color, which made Adrien’s thoughts return to Ladybug, wondering where she was, and what she was doing now…if she was thinking about Friday as much as he was.

Of course she’s not,’ Adrien’s thoughts chided him as he sighed, laying his head on the armrest of his couch. ‘She’s a superhero, way out of your league. What would she want with you?

Adrien closed his eyes with a sigh. As Chat Noir, there could be no question that he had ruined his chances with Ladybug—not that he really had a chance with her to begin with.

But as Adrien…

As Adrien, he was still quite unworthy, he had to admit. But maybe…maybe she’d be able to talk with him, as Adrien. After all, she said that she regretted his father’s death—she didn’t want to kill him. Though he already knew this, somewhere deep down, to hear her say it was blessed relief. And now, he just had to wait until Friday, and hopefully, all his questions would be answered…

He felt his face split into a wide grin.

Friday couldn’t come fast enough.

Back to Us

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

Part 4 of 37

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