Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 25 of 53

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It all happened so fast. One second, her partner was dashing toward the chimney they had agreed to destroy with his usual confident smirk spread on his face, and the very next he was tumbling down the street, his trajectory deflected beyond repair and his expression suddenly one of sheer terror. Ladybug couldn't do anything but stand helpless, horror-stricken, as the webbed dreamcatcher hit Chat Noir right in the middle of the chest, tangling itself around his leather clad body like a sick plague making him trip on his feet, falling hard onto the concrete and waste his precious Cataclysm on a nearby manhole.

Less than a second later, just as she sprung into desperate motion toward him, he let out a blood-curdling scream and curled up upon himself in the middle of the street, sobbing loudly as he tenderly cradled something invisible to her against his heart.

His very obvious and inhumanly intense pain at whatever he was feeling or seeing made her blood instantly boil underneath her skin.

She was very aware that she only had five minutes ahead of her before his transformation failed him and revealed him as Adrien for the whole world to see. Hopelessly looking around for some sort of solution to protect her boyfriend's secret identity, Ladybug spotted Alya and Nino standing nearby, the aspiring reporter recording everything on her phone as usual to later post on her dear Ladyblog. The heroine struggled briefly with an inner dilemma. She was running rather short on time, and would those two being in on their otherwise safely guarded secret really be worse than if all of Paris knew? Resolve shot through her veins almost instantly as she made her decision. Chat Noir's safety was way, way more important than their secret identities. Choosing the lesser of two evils, she called out to Alya before she had time to change her mind. "Hey there, take him into hiding and keep an eye on him for me until I'm done with this, okay? If you hear the fourth beep, make sure no one else can see his face. I'll be as quick as I can."

Her brunette friend's head shot right up, looking like she was about to have a heart attack. Ladybug was talking to her, hell, her favorite heroine was entrusting her with her partner's very safety. She stood there speechless, stunned into a catatonic state, and it would have made Marinette chuckle if the stakes weren't so painfully high. Hopefully, Nino stepped in, smiling reassuringly. "Don't worry about him. We got him covered. Four beeps?"

She nodded, a lump forming at the back of her throat. "Hide him, please. He doesn't have much time left. Don't worry about me, I'll find you."

As the young DJ and the still-shocked reporter took off running with the leather clad hero tucked into his unsuspicious best friend's arms, Chat Noir kept sobbing rather violently, and Ladybug desperately itched to ease his unbearable pain as fast as she could.

Marinette knew what being angry felt like. She had wished to rip Chloe's head off more times than she could count before, sometimes had some heated arguments with either Alya or her parents, and her recent fight with Chat Noir/Adrien had made her gone berserk on the poor man. But none of these occurrences came close to the pure fury pouring with a violence into her veins as she shifted on her heels, facing DreamWeaver again. The akuma smiled wickedly, nodding toward the direction her friends had disappeared. "Not so fierce once your pet is out of order, now, are we?"

Through tightly clenched teeth, Ladybug removed her yo-yo from her hip, sustaining her foe's defiant glare. "You've just made a really, really bad mistake, Hawkmoth."

As soon as the words had left her lips, the black-spotted heroine conjured her lucky charm hastily, being granted with a very ordinary fire extinguisher and the craziest idea of her whole career as a superheroine so far at the same time. Time to think wasn't a luxury she had on her hands, and she unwittingly recalled how Chat Noir had managed to handle this sickening akuma on his own the first time around. Heart heavy with concern for her Chat Noir, her Adrien, who was probably still helplessly crouched in the middle of some alleyway weeping uncontrollably, she put the fire extinguisher between her thighs and pressed the handle without the shadow of a doubt as hard as she could. The chemicals set free from their metal prison shot out with a sudden burst, propelling her toward the akumatized like a rocket, faster than the blink of an eyelash.

As soon as she was within reach, Ladybug jumped on DreamWeaver, all claws out. She wasn't fighting for Paris' safety and defending her miraculous anymore, she was battling for the safety of the man she loved more than anything, even more than her very own life. If she had previously thought foolishly that giving into love would be a weakness to both of them, she was proved wrong at that very second. Her love for Adrien, for Chat Noir, gave her a newfound strength, gave her an unwavering motive to protect him from any harm that might come toward him.

So the young heroine blindly scratched and clawed, desperately stuck in a one-on-one catfight with the poor unsuspecting akuma, never backing out despite the injuries inflicted upon herself until she managed to get her fingers on whatever it was hiding in its webbed pocket.

Ladybug tore the family photograph off hastily without even a second glance at it and cured the evilized butterfly, never minding a single bit the nasty bruises and deep cuts she had gotten in the encounter. She would get time to heal later on, she would restore Paris' previous state later.

All that mattered to her right now was Adrien and his wellbeing.

Checking her yo-yo quickly for his current location, she swung herself over the nearest building without wasting another second. Luckily, Alya and Nino hadn't wandered that far away, and the heroine landed effortlessly beside her partner in a nearby alleyway. He had stopped sobbing, but he was still lying restlessly curled up on the concrete. Her anxious gaze noticed he still had one pad to go before Plagg unwillingly failed him. She cast a worried glance to Nino, who was still looking eager to help, "Hey, would you take care of that akumatized lady for me, please? She's most likely confused and isn't aware at all of what had happened. Police aren't that good at dealing with victims, Chat usually does but... She'll probably need some medical help as well."

Her friend smiled warmly. "I got it. Fourth beep just rang, his secret's safe. Take him to shelter."

She nodded, wrapping her arms around the still shivering body of her partner. Just as she wrapped her yo-yo onto a nearby chimney, readying herself to take both of them out of sight, she heard Alya harshly snapping out of her previously frozen state. "Ladybug! You truly care about him, don't you?"

Ladybug looked down at how she was wrapped around Chat Noir's broken body, at just how tight she was clinging to him, and how her unwavering feelings for him had given her a steel-like will to come back for him before the transformation failed him. Holding him tighter before swinging them both into the Parisian sky, she answered Alya truthfully, "I love him with every fiber of my being."

And they were gone.

Chat Noir's transformation finally dropped just as Ladybug landed on a secluded rooftop. She carefully deposited him on the tiles, laying his back against the cold material and looked at him worriedly. He was still shaking rather violently and his tears had left deep streaks on his cheeks.

Her gaze still fixated on Adrien's face, she warily released her cleansing spell and dropped her own transformation, crouching on the rooftop beside him. She hesitantly put her hand on his arm, startling him out of his catatonic state, his eyes jerking open fearfully.

"Hey, it's alright. It's over," she whispered softly. He choked down on yet another sob as he raised a weak hand to cradle her face, gently caressing her cheek tentatively as his stare never left hers. Marinette leaned into his touch and smiled softly. "I'm right here. Whatever it was, we'll get ov-"

She was cut short as he suddenly pulled her into a tight hug, clinging to her petite figure as if his very life depended on it. She stroked his hair reassuringly, taking in his familiar scent as he sobbed into her neck, "You... you were..."

He sniffed, and she kissed his blond locks tenderly. "Shhh, it's okay. I'm right here and I won't go anywhere."

"There... there was blood everywhere... and you wouldn't open your eyes..."

She stiffened a little, her heart aching at the atrocity he had to go through because of the akuma. He went on anyway, still refusing to loosen his grip on her. "You were supposed to be on the other side of the street... and I hit you with my Cataclysm... I couldn't do anything about it... you just laid there in my arms... and you stopped breathing..."

Smiling sadly, Marinette pressed his head onto her heart, whispering softly, "Listen to my heart beat so strongly for you, Kitty. You never harmed me in any way, I'm still very there and I still love you with all my being."

The young woman kept stroking his hair softly, reassuringly, kissing Adrien's forehead as he cried all his pain away in her arms. His nightmare apparently had been pretty vivid and had actually managed to successfully convince him not only that she was lying dead in his arms, but also that he had been the one to kill her, although unwillingly. She couldn't even begin to wrap her mind around how traumatic an experience like that could be, so she just responded to his embrace, reassuring him that she was very alive and that he had never even hurt a hair on her head in his life.

After long minutes, he finally seemed to calm down a little, so Marinette pulled away from him a little, searching for his familiar green eyes. "Are you okay?"

He sniffed and looked at her hesitantly. "I... I think I'll manage. Thank you, Mari."

She smiled softly at him and stood up, offering him her hand. "Come on, let's get you home before it gets dark."

Adrien nodded weakly and hesitantly got up, taking her hand in his and squeezing it lightly, tenderness present in the gesture. Placing a chaste kiss on his lips, Marinette reached for a tissue in her purse where both kwamis were resting and gently wiped the remaining tears on his face. The young woman transformed briefly, safely getting them both down the roof before releasing the charm and claiming his hand once again. They walked side by side toward his mansion in complete silence.

As they passed by the bakery, unease suddenly pooled inside her stomach. Despite the events of the day, they were still expected to be at school the next morning and her parents must already be worried sick about her current whereabouts. But she didn't want to - she just couldn't - leave Adrien on his own right now.

He stopped in front of the bakery door, looking at the tip of his orange shoes intently.

"Mari... Do... Do you think you could sleep at my place tonight?"

She eyed him warily, prompting him to add a little more firmly, "It's just that... I think we'll both sleep better if I don't have to call you every time I wake up to make sure you really are not..."

She nodded, a soft and reassuring smile still dancing on her lips. "Sure, just come in while I pack an overnight bag and explain everything to my parents."

The second they passed the door her parents were all over them both. "We were so worried!" Sabine squealed just as Tom asked, "Where have you both been this whole time?"

"Alya is worried sick!"

"Adrien, you look like a mess, son. What happened to you?"

Once they calmed down a little, Marinette explained them shortly that Adrien had been caught in one of the akumas nightmare-inducing dreamcatchers, and that she had found him in an alley once Ladybug had used her cleansing spell. Since he obviously wasn't feeling too well, she was going to spend the night at his place to watch over him and make sure he was really okay.

Her parents voiced their concerns about their safety walking to the Agreste mansion so late in the day and suggested they both stayed at the bakery instead, but they also understood Adrien was kept on a rather tight leash by his father and that an impromptu sleepover wasn't a viable option without a really good excuse. So Marinette's parents reluctantly let the pair vanish into the night, knowing very well that trying to keep their daughter from watching over her clearly very upset boyfriend that night would be like asking her to stop breathing for a few hours.

Her heart was way too kind and she loved that boy way too much to leave him dealing alone with this obvious torment.

Both of You

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

Part 25 of 53

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