Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 33 of 53

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As soon as Marinette had heard the screams, her inner Ladybug had started showing right away despite her best efforts, much like Adrien's Chat had instantly kicked in. Truth be told, her situation wasn't quite ideal for springing into action: she was standing in the middle of a skating rink, surrounded by friends and bystanders, with skates tightly laced around her ankles. Thank heavens, Adrien had already put his shoes back on at the time, giving him a headstart on her should the need arise. Nonetheless, she had hastily dragged Alya off the ice and had removed the skates just as fast as if they had been on fire. Never in her life had she put her shoes on faster than that night, and by the time Adrien was done giving his safety directives to their startled friends who didn't dare to argue back at the suddenly authoritarian blond model, she had been ready to run with him.

And now, as they both sprinted down the street hand in hand, Marinette couldn't help but berate herself once again for having insisted on keeping their civilian identities to themselves for so long. She could see without a single doubt just how mistaken she had been about the whole ordeal. Sure, the thought of Hawkmoth figuring either of their identities and connecting the dots from there was still a little unnerving, but if Marinette was to be entirely honest with herself, knowing that Chat Noir was her dear Adrien simplified things in more than one way. It was so much easier for both of them to deal with akumas when you have an alibi ready on hand at any given time. Alya wasn't fussing over her going in the wrong direction yet again, Nino wasn't yelling at her to come back, bringing unwanted attention to her as she was searching for a safe spot to transform away from prying eyes. According to their friends, she was currently running to safety with Adrien in tow instead of rushing right into the eye of the tornado, and was left to mind her own business. What would've been nearly impossible to justify convincingly just a few months before now was as natural to her, and surely to him as well, as was breathing.

Once the heroes made it close enough to the scene to confirm without any lingering doubt that there indeed was an akuma roaming Paris' streets and that their intervention was definitely needed, they ducked into a nearby alleyway together, still hand in hand, smiling at each other with wide and exhilarating grins as they both finally transformed into their superhero personas.

Chat Noir was the first to exit the lane, breaking into a comfortable sprint toward the brand new supervillain, while Ladybug soared into the sky above him, swinging from building to building, never leaving her kitty fall out of her sight. They reached the angry akuma in the blink of an eye, and both groaned loudly in disappointment as they took in its uncanny appearance, frustrated at the blatant lack of stars or astronaut suits altogether.

Despite their most heartfelt wishes, today's akuma was not a space themed one.

Therefore, it wasn't the elusive akuma they were both desperately aching to defeat at last and get done with at last. Their sword of Damocles was still hanging above their heads.

Sharing a knowing and heavy look with her partner, Ladybug landed softly in front of the latest of Hawkmoth's victims, who turned out to be a young man no older than his twenties wearing a long lab coat stained with multicolored spots. Three large synthetic belts were overlapping on his hips with what looked to be plastic balls the size of a fist attached to it, full of multicolored mist. His purple hair was sticking up on his head just like something had blown up in his face recently and his safety goggles were glooming with a sickly matching tone.

"I'd watch out, kitty, he seems to be in an explosive mood."

Chat Noir put on a show, gasping loudly and pressing both of his hands on his heart. "A pun! My lady just made a pun! Is it Christmas yet?"

"Chat…" scolded the spotted heroine gently.

Laughing, he pulled out his baton with a few twirls for the show, and took his battle stance. "Yeah right, all work and no play. Let's show the mad scientist just how great our chemistry is, alright, Bugaboo?"

Apparently, that's the line the akuma wasn't willing to cross. If he had previously listened to the heroes silly banter with a defiant look on his face, now it was pure hatred that was splashed on it. "I am Chemical! Hand me your miraculous or feel the wrath of the elements of the periodic table!"

Ladybug couldn't help the loud giggle that escaped her lips, startling both the villain and her partner.

Chat Noir looked at her in disbelief. "Why in the world are you laughing? We're kinda in a fight right now!"

After all, she had just scolded him for not being focused enough! "We found your akuma persona! Your akumasona!"

On second thought, maybe she had gone crazy over the course of the last five minutes.

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"Sure enough, if you come to be akumatized someday, you'd be this guy: a huge science nerd."

"ENOUGH!" boomed the voice of Chemical, instantly sobering Ladybug's laughs and snapping both of their attention to the fight.

"If you're so stubborn about keeping your miraculous to yourselves, I fear our relationship is going to get a little chilly."

Grabbing one of the colorful balls hanging on his belts, the akuma threw it at their feet before either of them even had time to blink. The ground froze beneath them, an icy patch of concrete stretching on a ten feet radius making it really hard for both of the heroes to maintain their balance. After a few seconds of frantic arms flailing and improvised leather boot skating, Chat tried to extend his staff in a desperate attempt to vault himself out of the slippery patch and reach the villain, but the silver baton just slipped lamely on the ice and Chat Noir all but collapsed on the ground. Rolling her eyes at his vain try, Ladybug quickly grabbed him by the wrist and expertly locked her yo-yo onto a nearby building, effectively taking them both out of harm's way. Madly cackling as he watched them fly out of his trap, Chemical grinned from ear to ear, a truly unnerving sight.

"There's plenty of elements to play with, plenty of combinations! I'm far from done with you, don't you worry!"

"Chat, grab his goggles!" exclaimed the spotted heroine as she landed them safely about twenty feet from the mad scientist.

Nodding eagerly, the human feline purred with a smirk before dashing down the street, staff in hand. "Gladly, my lady."

A sudden explosion of some other chemical mix a few inches from his cheek broke his sprint and sprung Ladybug into action. They spent the next few minutes dodging various balls tossed at them sloppily, made out of various chemical substances, as usual having each other's back, deflecting rather aggressive hits meant for their beloved partner, respectively spinning staff and yo-yo to fend them off effectively. Some of the akuma's balls exploded loudly as they hit any hard surface, filling the street with colorful and sometimes stinky blinding fumes. Some of the other plastic spheres covered the concrete with some weird sticky or slippery substance, effectively impairing the heroes movements and making them lose precious seconds throughout the fight.

"Never had a clue Hawkmoth was a Disney fan." Chat Noir sighed after another colorful explosion.

"What do you mean?"

Chat Noir chuckled loudly. "This akuma is clearly a Big Hero 6's Honey Lemon rendition."

She rolled her eyes at him, a smile she didn't bother to try to hide dancing on her lips. They had been at it for far too long already, dodging and deflecting the projectiles without making real progress, and it was getting on her nerves.

The worst blow, though, was the one the akuma tossed at Ladybug with a definite smirk spread on his lips, seeing as she was effectively distracted with the tedious task of ungluing her left hand from a lamppost and wouldn't have time to react. Without any hesitation, Chat Noir jumped in front of her, fully prepared to take the hit on her behalf as he always did.

What the leather clad hero wasn't prepared for, though, was the rather violent reaction caused by that specific projectile.

The ball ruptured right the second it came in contact with his arm, throwing both of Paris' superheroes flying backward and gluing them to the brick wall behind them in some sort of hard substance. Their bodies were intertwined in a rather weird way inside the bubble, and Ladybug couldn't help but think that if they hadn't already been lovers at the time, their position would have been way more than awkward. Chat huffed loudly, rolling his green eyes under the black mask. "First Honey Lemon, and now it's the Bubbler all over again. Honestly, does Hawkmoth have any imagination, at all?"

Prodding the material of their unfortunate prison with a finger, the red-clad heroine whispered, "Spare your breath, this doesn't look very porous."

Sure enough, it only took a few seconds before they both find breathing to be laborious. His lady shot him a panicked glance, and the young man knew instantly what he had to do. He couldn't let them both suffocate to death in their odd prison even if he was a little uneasy at the idea of bursting the bubble without being aware of their current altitude. Sure, they couldn't be that high given the fact that the akuma had latched them onto a building, but they very well could be high enough to cause some serious damage if they were low enough to be short on reaction time once the bubble burst.

Nonetheless, he had to act, and he had to act fast since Ladybug's lips were already taking a bluish hue. Gathering the last of the air he had in his lungs, he disengaged his hands from beneath her to avoid any chance of hurting her on accident and spoke as softly as he could, "Cataclysm."

As soon as his gloved hand came in contact with the unnatural material it disintegrated completely, making them tumble inelegantly to the ground. Just as Chat had feared, there wasn't enough time for either of them to extend the staff or hook the yo-yo somewhere to soften the blow of their fall. Reacting out of sheer instinct, he locked his arms and legs around her lithe body, pressing her head into the crook of his neck and protecting it with both of his hands. Shifting ever so lightly mid-fall, he twisted them so she'd land on top of him. His back hit the concrete, hard, an intense pain shot through his left elbow. It hurt like hell, his whole arm reverberating the impact, but Chat Noir clenched his teeth and dealt with it. His lady was safe from harm, that was the only thing that mattered.

Apparently, he made a poor job of hiding it, because Ladybug almost instantly leaned back, extending her arms to support her weight off him, and eyed him with great concern. "Are you okay? You didn't have to take the hit for us both."

The leather clad boy shook his head as his girlfriend scrambled back up to her feet, extending him a hand to help him up. "Nonsense. It's my job to protect you."

Another ball flew near his ear, barely missing him, answering the question whether or not the akuma had noticed yet they had escaped his trap.

"Stop stalling, there's no way that fall left you unscathed."

Without thinking, Chat Noir rolled his shoulders, extending his left hand to grab his baton, and let out a loud yelp. His lady's focus instantly snapped back on him as he clutched his right hand on his shoulder. He smiled sheepishly. "It's nothing, let's get that akuma."

Right on cue, his ring made a loud beep of warning, earning him a scowl from Ladybug. "You're hurt, and you're about to detransform."

"We have an akuma to defeat."

Swirling her yo-yo to deflect a few other balls coming their way as the akuma began to resent being ignored, she cast him a warning glance. "The skylight is open. I think there are cheese crackers on my desk. Go, recharge and come back. I'll manage in the meantime."

"My lady…"

"Go, Chat," she snarled before taking off, leaving him on his own to fend with his dislocated shoulder by himself. Sighing in defeat, he reached for his baton again - with his right hand this time - and extended it to propel himself toward the roofs, ignoring the searing pain brewing in his shoulder.

Both of You

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

Part 33 of 53

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