Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 24 of 53

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They hadn't even crossed the classroom's threshold when a deafening howl suddenly pierced the air, closely followed by a loud resonating bang coming from outside the school grounds. Marinette's blood froze in her veins when she realized the uncomfortable situation she was currently in. Adrien's hand was safely clutched around hers, and he wasn't showing any sign of letting go the slightest. Screams and bangs were usually her cue to disappear inconspicuously and save the day in true Ladybug's fashion, but that option had obviously been thrown down the drain as Marinette worriedly cast him a side-glance. She was already racking her brain for schemes allowing her to get away with an unsuspected escape with him stubbornly refusing to let go of her hand…

It was then that the absurdity of her train of thoughts suddenly dawned on her.

Never again would she have to sprint toward danger on her own instead of taking shelter like everyone else expected her to. Never again would she have to come up with silly and barely even believable alibis and lame excuses to explain her most uncertain whereabouts during akuma attacks, every time worrying her lie would be too weak and give her away. From now on she could perfectly get away with safely stating that she had been with Adrien the whole time – and the best part about it is that would be the sheer truth. From now on, she had her beloved kitty by her side to run to safety with, transform and take on the upcoming fight. From now on, they could look after each other in and outside their masks, and the thought was proving to be really soothing, comforting.

Sure enough, Adrien answered her unsure look with a very, very Chat-like wink, and tugged on her hand, motioning for her to follow him. Relief washed over the young woman as she obliged, Alya and Nino having long disappeared at the end of the hallway. They both broke into a sprint, heading toward a secluded place safe for both of them to transform away from prying eyes. He seemed to have a precise destination in mind, so she followed his lead without even a second thought. Once they finally reached a deserted corridor, he opened a door without the shadow of a hesitation and pulled her inside a very tiny room, closing the door carefully behind them.

Marinette took in their surroundings, and couldn't help the grin that spread on her lips. "A broom closet?" she mused. "Kinky."

He frowned briefly, but booped her on the nose with a playful smirk nonetheless. "Mock all you want, girl of little faith, it has served me perfectly well these past years. Best spot I've found to transform without unwanted witnesses on school grounds. Why, where do you usually head?"

She shrugged. "Girls bathroom or wherever works the best at the moment. I tend to go with the flow honestly. Don't worry kitty, your secret fetish for broom closets is safe with me."

"Haha. You're just jealous I've thought about it and you didn't," he retorted. "Plagg, claws out."

She whispered along with him, in perfect sync, "Tikki, spots on."

They intently stared at each other during their transformation, taking it all in, their hands never separating. They marveled in the overwhelming intimacy of actually being front row to each other's most guarded secret with the certainty it was the first of many.

Once clad in his familiar superhero outfit, Chat Noir placed a soft peck on his partner's lips and opened the door with a wide smile, gesturing for her to head out. "Ladies first."

"Ever such a gentleman. Thanks, Kitty. Now let's stop this super villain before it gets out of hand."

"On your heels, m'lady."

And they sprinted together, in perfect sync as they always were, toward the unfortunate akumatized citizen they had to save this time around.

Perched on the school rooftop Ladybug squinted her eyes trying to size up their new challenge from afar. A lean and tall lady with a very sickly pale complexion was towering over the street wrapped in way too many spiderweb-looking dreamcatchers for one's wellbeing. She seemed to be floating mid-air, her whole presence being kind of unsettling and eerie. She held her head a little crooked and was absentmindedly toying with something inside what seemed to be a pocket sewn on her dreamcatcher dress. She looked totally insane, to say the very least. Chat Noir landed beside his partner effortlessly and crouched in his signature stance just as the akuma finally spotted the two heroes and shouted at them with a booming and frightening voice, "I'M THE DREAMWEAVER. HAND OVER YOUR MIRACULOUSES AND SPARE YOURSELF A PAINFUL FATE OR PREPARE TO FACE YOUR WORST NIGHTMARES."

"What do you think, Chat? Seem familiar?" Ladybug asked warily as she broke into a sprint on the rooftop toward the villain of the day. Chat took a few seconds to analyze their opponent carefully, scanning the features and the distinctive marks of the DreamWeaver, and he sighed deeply when he found the answer, drastically opposed to what he would've wished to see. "Sure reminds me a lot of DreamCatcher, the first one I had to fight on my own."

They were now running side by side, seamlessly dodging spiderwebs thrown at them and trying to figure what the akumatized item could be this time along the way. Barely even out of breath, Ladybug laced her yo-yo around a lamppost and swung herself in the air, trying to suppress the anxiety threatening to wash over her upon finding that Plagg's worries were founded. She instead tried to focus on the fight, asking her partner, "And how did you manage to defeat it?"

Chat Noir used his staff to propel himself onto a nearby rooftop before replying sheepishly, "You're not gonna like it."

She snorted, swinging herself further down the street. "Try me."

Another spiderweb was very barely dodged as he replied, "Had to transform three times back to back because I kept wasting my Cataclysm on those lovely webs that wouldn't stop entangling me. The third time I just ran blindly until I tackled the citizen on a one-on-one fight and finally managed to rip his watch from his wrist and break it to release the akuma. Your cure thankfully erased any trace of the very bad and ugly cut I had on my cheek because I would seriously have had a hard time explaining that to-"

"Watch out!"

He jumped sideways without questioning, having long learned to trust his lady's commands without giving them any second thoughts. Sure enough, a spiderweb flew right by his side as he resumed his run toward the elusive akumatized citizen.

"And just what do those dreamcatchers do, anyway?"

He shrugged. "Both times I got trapped, it just kept whispering... things in my mind."

She glanced at him curiously, his oddly timed hesitation not going unnoticed by the heroine. "Things?"

"Yeah. Kept rambling on how no one ever loved me, how no one would miss me if I were to disappear, and how I was an utter and sad disappointment to you and my father."

Ladybug stopped dead in her tracks barely even avoiding another web as the DreamWeaver seemed to begin to resent being ignored.


"Chat... That's..." she began, her voice rendered shaky with unspent emotions. Chat Noir, however, just shrugged as he shook his head, a sad smile spread on his lips.

"Not true, I know, Bugaboo," he answered meekly as he bounced on another rooftop, aiming for the victim slowly making her way down the street without the flow of spiderwebs thrown at them showing signs of slowing their attacks any time soon.

Ladybug forced herself to focus on the task at hand, tearing her gaze away from her partner and shaking away the infinite sadness for her lonely kitty threatening to wash over her. She took a second to analyze the situation they were in and suddenly stopped swinging herself as an idea dawned on her. It was risky, but it could work. The spotted heroine grinned and looked at her faithful teammate dead in the eyes. "Chat, Cataclysm that chimney for me, would you?"

Chat Noir nodded, instantly getting where her plan was, as he always did. The fallen chimney would effectively block the road, stopping the DreamWeaver's progression and bring her to a forced stop for at least a few seconds, hence giving them the chance to get whatever it was she kept playing with in her pocket, as it was more than likely where the akuma was hidden.

He took a deep breath and held his hand up high, conjuring his lethal power. Soon enough, his right hand pulsating with destructive energy, he sprinted toward the indicated chimney, eager to end the fight and go back to his perfect day with his perfect girlfriend…

Everything then happened in slow motion. Ladybug, his Bugaboo, his partner, the love of his life, who should have been waiting for a chance to jump into action on the very other side of the street at that precise second, somehow found herself standing right in his trajectory. He tried desperately to retreat when he noticed her in his way and he tried to swerve around her and touch anything else apart from her body with his hand. But he saw her at the very last possible second, already way too late for his dash to be broken or deflected even if he did really try with all his might.

His right hand collided with her stomach, hard.

"No!" The deafening and desperate scream burned his lungs as he let it out, but he didn't care the slightest. The only thing that mattered was that this couldn't be happening.

Everything froze around them.

She looked at him with a shocked expression, her bluebell eyes widening as she ever so slowly fell on her knees, oxygen brutally forced out of her lungs. Her hands instinctively clenched over her stomach, and her lips contorted into a bizarre grimace. Any concerns about the akuma and hero duties whatsoever shoved at the back of his mind, Chat Noir carelessly rushed to his injured partner and scooped her into his arms, tenderly cradling her head as panic heavily took over him. "Ladybug? M'lady? Answer me, please, please! You can't leave me like this!"

The beautiful blue eyes he had grown so fond of glistened, a single tear gliding down the spotted mask. The fallen heroine painfully clenched her slender fingers around his trembling wrist, weakly trying to say something he couldn't hear. All that came out from her peachy rose lips was a few drops of blood she coughed on his cheek. Ladybug began to shake violently and uncontrollably in his embrace, her beautiful eyes widening one last time in fear before closing themselves. She whimpered ever so barely when he pulled her closer to his chest, trying desperately to gauge the damage he had been stupid enough to do to her and how it could be undone.

His heart instantly stilled in his chest, another desperate cry echoing from his lips.

Her midsection was completely covered in very deep and very wide, singular gashes. A puddle of deep scarlet liquid was forming beneath them as life slowly poured out of her, covering them both. Her complexion was getting paler and waxier by the second. He cradled her head and noticed almost instantly how unfamiliarly limp she felt in his arms. Choking on the hot tears streaming down in face, he buried his nose in the raven hair, stroking them gently with his fingers. The hero couldn't bring himself to let go of her, still completely oblivious to their surroundings. He pressed a kiss at the top of her head, the tenderness in the gesture contrasting with the violence of the sobs shaking him whole.

He didn't need to check for a pulse to be sure.

He just knew.

Both of You

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

Part 24 of 53

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