Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 37 of 53

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The next morning found Adrien staring absentmindedly through the dining room window, toying with the food on his plate as he was raking his mind yet again about a way to bring his girlfriend back to his side. A crumpled magazine opened a to specific page startled him out of his morning grim thoughts as it was slammed on the table right next to his barely even touched breakfast.

"Care to explain this, son?"

Sure enough, displayed in bright colors on the glossy paper was the picture that had started his nightmare. Gulping painfully, the blond averted his gaze from his father's glare, "Oh! This really is an interesting concept for the next season's line, father. Amazing what they can do with a computer these days."

Pinching the bridge of his nose, the older Agreste sighed. "Don't try to play dumb with me, Adrien. Please tell me that this photography is the result of the twisted mind of some lowlife paparazzi."

"Why would I ever cheat on Marinette," Adrien snapped, painfully conscious that he was avoiding the question. "And in the middle of the street, no less. I'm not that stupid."

"Then, Adrien, did I pay for all those image managing classes for nothing?"


His curiosity satiated, Gabriel latched his hands together in his back, and ended the encounter on a cool note. "Whatever happened, fix it immediately."

Without another word, his father left the room, leaving a stunned Adrien in his trail. Worried about his charge, Plagg flew into view as soon as the doors closed behind the designer. "Hey, are you alright, kid?"

Unexpectedly, a pleased smile stretched the blond's lips as he looked at his kwami with hopeful eyes. "I think we'll be okay now, Plagg."

"You," answered the deity while grinning mischievously from ear to ear, "came up with a plan, don't you?"

Adrien smirked at his kwami. "Maybe. It's… I'm not sure it'll work, but that's all we have left by that point."

"What is it then?"

"We just have to hope Chat Noir's acting skills can rival Adrien's modeling ones."

Their next akuma fight happened in the late afternoon that day. He had been unable to talk to Marinette at all that day, Alya still guarding her away from him dutifully to his utter dismay. The telltale screams brought by an akuma attack had come as an immense relief to both of them, though neither of them would ever dare to acknowledge that shameful fact out loud. Alya had been quick to remove herself from her best friend's room, still eager somehow to record the whole thing. Surprisingly enough, her passion for her blog had not passed away along with her admiration for Paris' resident superheroine. Marinette wouldn't complain, though, as it left her free range to transform without any trouble and join the man she missed so much it ached. The fight itself was rather quickly handled. As it quickly turned out, some university student had unfortunately misclicked, erasing his entire doctorate thesis instead of submitting it to his mentor and hadn't been dealing very well with the unappealing prospect of having to start all over again months of unpaid work and researching.

Calling himself Blankspace, he had roamed Paris' streets for a few minutes, erasing the color in random things until Chat Noir dropped in front of him and effectively blocked his progression with his staff. His partner had joined the encounter shortly after, and all too soon, Ladybug had been brushed by one of Blankspace's color-ridding attacks. The unfortunate hit had prompted her goofy lover to go on an endless string of puns about colors, making her groan out of annoyance once or twice, a playful grin spread on her face nonetheless. Then again, she figured it must have been quite unsettling for the poor kitty to fight alongside a black and white Ladybug, and she knew perfectly well that he, too, was somewhat disappointed that yet again they hadn't found the uncured akuma. Once the akumatized offending computer mouse formerly safely tucked inside the messenger bag of the villain of the day had successfully been retrieved by the heroic pair and its butterfly released and cured, once the useless lucky charm had been tossed in the air to restore Paris to its previous glorious state, both heroes did their signature fist bump while openly grinning at each other, and they readied themselves to take their leave.

Alya's voice stopped them dead in their tracks, though, making Ladybug's yo-yo fall loosely on the concrete as Chat Noir stumbled over his baton with a questioning look. "Hey, Ladyfickle, would you care to answer some questions for the Ladyblog, or are you in a hurry to get to your other lover?"

Had he not noticed the way his spotted partner unmistakably stiffened beside him and the flash of hurt crossing her by then really familiar features, Chat Noir might have reacted differently. Had he not been already stressed out by a whole week of undeserved separation from his dear girlfriend and unwarranted scandal about his personal life, the black-clad hero might have listened to his lady's previously stated crystal clear wishes on the matter. But as things currently were, something within the young man snapped badly hearing those accusations. Figuring now was as good a time as any to put his plan into motion, he switched direction mid-leap and headed toward Alya, his lips stretched into a determined line. "Oh hell no. This has gone way too far."

Ladybug, completely unaware of her partner's intentions, stumbled for a second and reached for him as they landed back, putting her hand on his arm in a vain attempt to calm him down. "Forget it, Chat. It's not worth it."

Marching toward the brunette reporter, the leather-clad hero stood straight, eying his lover without any trace of hesitation. "Nope, my lady. We already tried your method, and it has done nothing but hurting you. Don't think I haven't noticed how you wince every time someone calls you out on your so-called unfaithfulness toward me."

Crossing his arms in front of him, Chat Noir cocked his hip sideways and openly glared at Alya. "We're stopping that sick little game of yours right here and now. Whatever bone you have to pick with my lady, we solve that right this second. I won't let you hurt her further as long as I'm breathing."

The brunette had the grace to look dumbfounded. "W-What are you talking about?"

Recalling Chloe's sound advice from the day prior, Chat Noir straightened himself and glared at Alya as severely as he could. "I respected Ladybug's wish to not intervene and let things cool off on their own all week, but I'm sick and tired of this bullshit. She doesn't deserve to be called a cheater, and my spine is right where it's supposed to be, thank you very much."

The spotted heroine took a step forward, placing her hand on her partner's shoulder to get his attention. "Chat, let it go. Please."

He shook his head, his green eyes never leaving their friend. Raising an accusatory finger in the air, he punctuated his next statement. "You have the nerve to call yourself a professional reporter, and yet you didn't bother to check your information before writing a bunch of crap about us. What kind of journalist does that make you?"

"Chat, that's enough," placated Ladybug, to no avail.

Somehow, the bespectacled girl managed to keep filming the encounter as she stuttered painfully, confusion clearly written all over her face, "B-b-but, t-t-the picture-"

"We're living in the 21st century, for God's sake. Has it even occurred to you that the goddamn picture could have been tampered with? Ever heard of Photoshop? I got hurt that day fighting the akuma, fuck! How on Earth would it makes sense for Ladybug to hide in some alley to kiss another man, bawling her eyes out, literally minutes after sending me to safety after I took yet another hit to protect her? She had no reason to be crying in Adrien Agreste's arms and a million reasons to be kissing me out of relief."

Recalling the classes supposed to teach him how to flawlessly deal with media and avoid scandals his father had mentioned earlier, Chat Noir focused on his task. He only had to stir doubts about the information that had been revealed without his consent, yet tell enough of truth to keep the story believable. Stressing the fact that he had kissed Ladybug that day (which was obviously true) would hopefully be enough to achieve such a feat. Convincing Alya would mean convincing all of her followers. And that was a lot of people.

"My lady's lips have never touched another man than me," he insisted. "Should you have checked your sources before going all berserk on us, either of us would have been more than happy to set the record straight. I think even the Agreste kid, who is one of your friends I believe, would've explained to you what really happened that day."

Alya's eyes began to fill with unshed tears, but Chat Noir wasn't done with his rant. He was dead set on his goal, and he couldn't afford to let himself be driven by guilt. Not yet. Not before she believed him. "You obviously let your emotions cloud your judgment and alter your work because you were personally involved with that boy and his girlfriend. You won't survive in the media world if you keep jumping to conclusions like that. You'll have a painfully short career filled with libel lawsuits and before you know it you'll be stuck writing the gossip pages for the local newspaper. Because that's the only place where they actually encourage writing lies."

Alya stopped the recording then, mostly because she didn't want her followers to hear her sniffle so close to the microphone of her phone. Eying the leather clad hero warily, she gulped painfully, and whispered so softly Chat Noir wouldn't have been able to catch it without his magically enhanced hearing, "I'm sorry…"

Ladybug stepped forward again, tugging on her partner's arm more forcibly, her voice firm as she said again, "Chat, enough."

To their surprise, though, Alya shook her head dejectedly. "No, he's right. Checking the information is the basics in this line of work and I… I failed that because I wanted to protect my friend."

The superhero's features considerably softened upon hearing those words, and he stepped forward, pulling the dumbfounded reporter into a tight hug.

"It's okay. I know you didn't mean any harm, and that Dupain-Cheng girl is lucky to have you to watch her back."

Hesitantly returning the hug, Alya whispered softly, "You… You're not angry with me?"

"Nope," answered Chat with his signature grin as he pulled away from the embrace, ruffling the brunette's hair before stepping back and grabbing his lady's hand, ignoring the insistent beeping coming from her earrings. "You're our favorite reporter of all time, and I'm actually glad you made this unfortunate mistake with us, and not with someone who will actually sue you."

The fourth beep on Ladybug's earrings suddenly pierced the early evening, and Chat Noir bowed before Alya. "Sorry, but this is our cue to take our leave. See you next fight, Ladyblogger?"

"Don't worry, I'll be there," she said, and smiled shyly. "As always."

"Well then, we'll go now, we're about to turn into pumpkins. Have a lovely evening."

Scooping his partner into his arms, the cat boy extended his staff, and with a last reassuring wave to their bemused friend, he vaulted both of them onto a nearby rooftop just as the last beep rang furiously, giving them a last warning. A flash of pink engulfed his now very pissed off girlfriend, who punched him lightly in the chest while he ran across Paris' rooftops, carefully remaining out of sight of bystanders, clutching her precious lithe body to him.

"Chat, what was that? Do you really want her to get akumatized again?"

"She believed me, Mari! We did it!"

The sound of the wind rushing past their running figure must have altered Marinette's hearing because the answer the sly feline offered her inquiry didn't even make sense. She stiffened in his arms as the bakery came into view. "What are you talking about, silly cat?"

Openly grinning, he planted a kiss on her forehead as he leaped on her balcony, twirling around with her still held tight to his chest, laughing and giggling in victory. "She believed me! She believed me!"

Straightening her up, he placed a quick peck on her lips and jumped on the railing, his obvious joy contagious.

"You're proud of yourself, aren't you? You were incredibly harsh on her, and I swear to God if we had to face Lady Wifi again because your recklessness I'd-"

"Mari? Are you up there?" Alya's voice coming from the skylight interrupted her rant, and Chat Noir smiled smugly at her, kissing her hand with his everlasting grin plastered on his face.

"See you really soon, princess."

Just as the skylight trap opened, the leather clad boy jumped over the railing, disappearing in the street below. Sighing through her amusement, Marinette turned around, readying herself to face her most certainly upset best friend.

Both of You

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

Part 37 of 53

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