Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 48 of 53

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Instead of their usual and playful gallivanting on the outside structure, that day, at high noon, Chat Noir and Ladybug took the elevator to the second platform of the Eiffel Tower, like any other civilian.

They hadn't heard back from Hawkmoth ever since their little stunt on television, not a single reply to Ladybug's unplanned challenge. But he had to be there. For both of their sanity, they had to put a stop to this violence, to this nonsense. Before anyone else got hurt, before anyone figured out the loophole in the miraculous cure.

The elevator doors opened with a small ding, and apprehension suddenly clutched both of their stomachs. Chat Noir looked at his partner, his lips stretched into a thin line. This was it, as soon as they'd step out of that elevator there was no going back. When she nodded imperceptibly, his left hand reached for his baton in his back while the other grabbed hers, squeezing her fingers with a confidence he didn't even possess. He saw her seize her yoyo in a similar fashion, and they stepped over the threshold, easily falling into the same pace.

They didn't have to wander really far into the viewing platform to catch sight of their opponent, as he was standing about fifty feet from them, stiff as a guitar string. Despite having seen his face in a giant cloud of butterflies prior, during the Stoneheart mess, facing the man himself was kind of uncanny, surreal. He was lean and tall, and a definite aura of steel-like authority emanated from him. He obviously wasn't the kind of man who'd ever consider taking no for an answer, and something about his whole demeanor made Chat Noir squirm. He had no clue if it was the well-tailored purple suit with wing-like pitch black lapels, or the silver mask that followed closely every line of his skull, but the man seemed oddly familiar to him, and it made him nervous. His miraculous, a white butterfly with the wings spread, was pinned to the collar of his shirt. He held a dark, sharp cane in his hands. The unnatural, straight line of Hawk Moth's back made the cane more decorative that functional.

Upon seeing the superheroes approaching, an evil smirk lightened his face, his eyes gleaming menacingly within the enclosed space of the Tower's viewing platform. "Word is that you wanted to see me, Ladybug?"

His voice was deep, imperious, with hints of something akin to a sneer seeping through it. A shiver ran down Ladybug's spine, but she took a step forward nonetheless, ignoring how dry her mouth felt all of a sudden as opposed to the wetness of her palms. "This has gone way too far and has to stop, Hawkmoth. Give us your miraculous right now so we can return it to its rightful owner."

Her voice was calm and assured, a total opposite to how she truly felt. Hawkmoth shook his head, his evil grin never leaving his face, "I'm afraid we won't be able to reach an agreement today, then. You see, I walked in here with the firm intention of finally claiming ownership over both of your miraculous, not surrender mine."

"We won't abandon them as long as we're breathing," Chat Noir snarled through clenched teeth, extending his staff, all of his muscles ready to pounce. Beside him, his partner started swirling her yoyo, ready to take off in a heartbeat.

Hawkmoth's daunting smile only grew larger. "So be it."

The supervillain lunged forward, wielding his cane like a sword. Both heroes instantly spurred into motion, easily avoiding the incoming attack. They fell into their favorite combat position, back-to-back, weapons in hand, ready for anything.

Despite the years fighting akuma side by side they hadn't accounted for one thing. Hawkmoth wasn't an akuma and they didn't have a single clue what he was capable of.

To their sheer horror, a swarm of white butterflies flew out of the tip of his cane, engulfing Ladybug and Chat Noir in a terrorizing mess of white and wings beats. Instinctively, Chat Noir moved in to shield his partner and take the brunt of the attack, but to no avail. Thousands of little wings stung their exposed skins as the overwhelming mob suffocated them.

Soon, both heroes were captured and hoisted into the air. They floated, flailing futility to regain control while the butterflies tightened their deadly grip on them.

"Pitiful, insignificant fools."

As Hawkmoth marched toward both immobilized heroes, a mad glint sparkled in his eyes. "I was never successful in akumatizing either of you from afar, alas the butterfly miraculous isn't nearly powerful enough to overcome the powers of the black cat miraculous, let alone the ladybug. But here, in close quarters, with the incredible feast of negative emotions?" His arms linked in his back as he spoke, and another uncomfortable flare of recognition sparked within Chat Noir.

Reaching forward, he ignored the look of pure disgust from Ladybug to forcibly lift her chin. "What an easy feat to achieve now. Fear. Doubt. Regret. Guilt. This is all but a banquet for me and my dear akumas."

Wrestling with his restraints, Chat Noir spat menacingly, "Don't you dare lay a single finger on her!"

Ignoring the feline's threats, the villain ran a gloved finger along her jawline, not even retracting his hand as she tried to bite him. "Your pretty magical suits might be almostindestructible, but you can still get hurt underneath and are still vulnerable to other miraculous weapons. And it just so happens that the butterfly miraculous allows its wielder to create champions to fight on his behalf. You know what that means?"

Their eyes widened as Hawkmoth flicked his wrist, summoning a butterfly in his open palm. "Now… Who will that be?" Hawkmoth taunted Chat Noir by swinging the butterfly in his direction. "The lonely, self-deprecating kitty?" Still taunting them in that haunting sing-song tone, Hawkmoth pointed the butterfly at Ladybug. "Or the terrified, guilt-ridden bug?"

With a flourish, he opened his hand again, letting the butterfly fly toward Ladybug. Time seemed to glitch, slowing down to an unbearable pace as Chat Noir watched, helpless, the evillized butterfly reaching its target. Seconds later, her mask shone a weird purple shade, and a lone tear spilled on her cheek as she shook her head relentlessly.

With an evil cackle, Hawkmoth snapped his fingers and the remaining butterflies dropped the heroes on the ground, flying back into the cane.

Circled in an almost fetal position, Ladybug was shivering violently, and her partner rushed to her side, taking her face into both of his hands. "Fight it, my lady, fight it! You're stronger than this, we're stronger than this. I'm right here, I'll help you through—"

"Enough." Hawkmoth raised a hand, and she rose fluidly, swinging her yoyo above her head. "Ladybug, get me the black cat miraculous. NOW."

Tears fell from her eyes, her face crestfallen as she advanced on Chat Noir. Choking on a sob, she mouthed helplessly, "I'm sorry," and lunged.

The fight that ensued under Hawkmoth's amused gaze was messy and unfair.

Chat Noir dodged incoming attacks, unable to bring himself to hurt her while she, despair written all over her face, aimed wound him in spite of herself, to draw blood.

He was hindered before the fight had even begun, and it wasn't long before she managed to land a critical blow. With a horrified gasp on her part, her yoyo wrapped itself around his left ankle and she yanked on the string, hard. Chat Noir fell to the ground, his scream of pain couldn't disguise the sound of the bone breaking.

Ladybug fell to her knees a few feet away from him. She shook her head miserably and hugged herself tight, desperately trying to prevent her limbs to disobey her further.

From where he was, kneeling on his good leg and leaning on his staff, Chat Noir could see her mask shining as renewed tears spilled over it.

With the leisurely pace of someone who had already won the war and had nothing more to fear, Hawkmoth walked toward him. Grabbing the leather-covered hand, he stared into the green eyes and smirked. "Game over, chaton. "

Chat Noir spurred into motion again, refusing to surrender that easily and taking his foe by surprise. Before Hawkmoth could tug on the silver ring, he extended his staff promptly, vaulting on the other side of the room in one, long jump.

Landing, he let out a cry of pain as his injured foot hit the ground, but he ignored it and half-crouched, ready to pounce again.

"I'll give you that, you're stubborn," fulminated Hawkmoth before he looked again at the shivering mess that was left of Ladybug on the floor. "Minion, break his other ankle."


The word had been all but ripped from her lips, an outrage to her enemy. "I … I—I don't want to."

It was barely above a whisper, but both men heard it clearly in the eerie silence of the Tower.

Hawkmoth reached for her with an open palm, but the slap never came. He halted his motion mid-air, looking at the blond man at the other side of the room. "You're a fighter, little bug, but even if you won't obey, it doesn't change anything. You refuse to hurt him? Fine, I will, then."

He lunged forward, cane wielded high.

Years of fencing had made Chat Noir an adept opponent, and he haphazardly stood with his staff ready. But his ankle was refusing to support his weight, impairing his movements a greater deal than he had expected.

When Hawkmoth's blow came, he was barely able to dodge it. A swat of his staff deflected the hit aimed at his heart, and the sharp metal rod ripped open the tender flesh of his thigh, leaving a wide gash behind.

The villain lifted his weapon again without bothering to take a step back.

Grasping at the unexpected proximity of his opponent, Chat Noir charged, claws out. They met Hawkmoth's face, ripping the skin open. Chat Noir stumbled a few feet further, trying to spare his bad ankle, while Hawkmoth's erupted in a demented laugh.

Raising a gloved hand to his cheek, he dabbed on the three deep and bloody gashes that the hero had left behind, smirking, "I'm about to hold the absolute power, do you really think I mind a scar or two? Accept your demise, stubborn cat. You can't even walk, and your partner—"

His taunting was interrupted by a familiar yoyo wrapping itself around his torso without warning, followed almost instantly by Ladybug.

She landed on his back, her face distorted in a grimace of pain. Her eyes met Chat Noir's, and the pure agony he read in them knocked the air out his lungs. Still clinging to Hawkmoth, she let small cries of pain as she desperately grasped for his miraculous, fighting his control over her body.

In the brief confusion that followed her reappearance into the fight, Chat Noir stood painfully and limped toward the odd pair, leaning on his staff to try and ease the pressure on the broken bones.

Just as his claws were about to close on the purple collar, Hawkmoth grinned devilishly. A flick of his wrist, and he vanished into a swarm of purple butterflies and Ladybug collapsed on the ground.

She and Chat Noir paused for a second, stunned, before the villain reappeared behind the spotted heroine.

"Duck!" the feline hero cried out, but she was still fighting their enemy's mind games and couldn't react in time. The evil butterflies took hold of her again, lifting her from the ground.

"I'll make you wish you'd obeyed the first time, mangy cat," Hawkmoth snarled, before swatting his hand away violently.

In one swift motion, the magical beings followed suit and smashed their prey against the iron wall of the viewing platform. The young hero watched, helpless, as the back of Ladybug's head hit the metal beam with a sickening sound. Her eyes fluttered shut, and she slid to the ground like a rag doll, a pitiful pile of immobile tangled limbs.

Worry for the woman he loved and pure rage instantly poured in Chat Noir veins, and he howled, his fists clenched tight, "I'll kill you for this! Cataclysm! "

Adrenaline rushed through him and he ignored the pain searing in his leg as he dashed forward, charged hand first. At the last possible second, he hesitated for a heartbeat.

Hawkmoth avoided him easily with a dry laugh and pushed the hero against the anti-suicide fence, making it shatter into a millions pieces under his hand. Chat Noir dropped to the ground with a soft whimper, his wounded ankle and thigh giving up beneath him.

Hawkmoth crouched beside the fallen hero, lifting his chin to force him to look into the cold and emotionless eyes. "See? That's the good thing with heroes. You are so predictable. You will never use your destruction power on another human being, no matter how hard you fool yourself into thinking you want to." He stood up and resumed his train of thoughts, "Haven't you figured it out yet, stupid cat? You lost. "

A polished shoe came crashing down on the arm Chat Noir had extended toward his fallen partner, ripping a deafening scream from his throat as the bones snapped under the pressure.

Turning his back on him without another glance, Hawkmoth walked to the still figure of Ladybug, brandishing his cane. Desperate, Chat Noir pushed on his good leg in an attempt to crawl toward his partner, "Leave her alone!"

Ignoring the pitiful hero who was still trying to get to the woman he loved despite an injured leg and a broken arm, the villain used his cane to pin her torso to the ground with an evil smirk. Horrified, Chat Noir choked on a sob as he saw drops of blood drip around the impact point.

Crouched beside Ladybug, Hawkmoth brushed the dark hair away from her ears. "You've been a pesky, annoying little bug for a very long time, and now your dear kitty will get to see you die before suffering the same fate."

He unclasped her earrings from her ears, robbed her of her miraculous, and a bright flash of pink left Marinette's broken body behind. Hawkmoth's eyes widened for a second as he took in her civilian appearance, but his shocked expression was quickly replaced by steel-like resolve. "I've been right all along…"

Tucking the earrings away in the pocket of his suit, he stood up and grabbed Marinette's form unceremoniously from the ground, marching toward the broken barrier with decisiveness in his steps that discouraged Chat Noir from even trying to beg for their mercy.

Chat Noir felt rather than heard the roar that escaped his lips as Hawkmoth held his Marinette, his princess, by the throat, hovering her unconscious body over the void.

If he dropped her, that would be a three hundred and eighty feet fall.

She didn't stand a chance.

Both of You

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

Part 48 of 53

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