Continuing Tales

Both of You

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

Part 51 of 53

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The image on the camera fluttered, before revealing a suited up Chat Noir looking unsure of himself. He stepped back from the recording device and sat on the hotel bed beside his partner.

Ladybug looked at him briefly, seeking reassurance in the familiar gaze, then looked back at the lens. "Hello, people of Paris. If you're seeing this, it means that something went wrong during our fight against Hawkmoth."

Chat Noir took her hands into his, and stared at the recording device in turn. "We felt like we owed Parisians an explanation regarding what happened with Cosmaniak. We recently found out that there was a limitation to the miraculous cure, a loophole if you will."

"My powers only fix what has been done by the akuma, or against the akuma," resumed Ladybug, her voice slightly off. "A civilian has been hurt tonight, and because of this … technicality, the magic didn't heal her." She paused and gulped. "This is why I provoked Hawkmoth earlier tonight. Sooner or later, he'll find out about this limit, and we have to defeat him before any other innocents are hurt because of him, or worse."

Chat Noir smiled sadly, "We are recording this in case we aren't able to tell all of this ourselves after the battle, for some reason. Evidently, the civilians behind the masks also have a message to get through."

Two bright colorful flashes lit up the screen, and two young people in wrinkled formal attire appeared on the video. They both looked beyond exhausted, and the girl seemed on the verge of tears.

She spoke, her voice wavering with the emotion, "To all of our friends and family, we are so, so sorry. About all the lying, all the excuses, about what we're about to do. We had to keep this from you, to protect you from Hawkmoth and his akumas."

"We really, really hope that we're recording this uselessly," Adrien said, "but just in case, please know that getting the incredible chance of being chosen to protect Paris, to defend our city, was the best thing that ever happened to us. Whatever happens tomorrow, we are proud of what we accomplished so far. We'd like you to remember us like this, with happy memories."

He stood up and walked toward the camera, while Marinette blurted out in the background, tears finally trailing down her cheeks, "I'm so, so sorry Alya, that I couldn't protect you."

Then the screen went black.


Posted on the Ladyblog by Alya Césaire

Short of having spent the last four years under a rock, every single Parisian knows how this story goes. Some of you may even tell the tale of two masked teenagers that magically appeared out of nowhere on a beautiful summer afternoon to your children while tucking them into bed, clad in black and red suits, yoyo and staff in hand. They were clumsy, obviously unsure of themselves, but they dived into action nonetheless, defeating Stoneheart with style on what was only their second attempt.

Despite some rocky starts, the superheroic duo was quick to find its very own pace and dynamic, and soon enough they were saving Paris time and time again from the weekly villains. No matter what Hawkmoth's twisted imagination would send their way, they always made a point of stopping the new villain with as little violence as possible, take the akumatized citizen to safety and restore Paris's previous glory before parting their ways, resuming their civilian life until the next akuma.

Living such a strenuous double life was doubtlessly tedious and tiresome, and yet after every single fight, Chat Noir has taken time to reassure the victims, stressing time and time again that it was alright to experience bad emotions, that they had nothing to feel ashamed of and that Hawkmoth was the only single person to blame. It didn't matter if he was on a timer or not, he always had kind words to offer.

And at every single fight, Ladybug made sure to minimize the casualties, helping people escape even if it meant delaying the fight and losing a precious advantage on the villain. And once they were victorious, while her partner spent time with the victims, she was always out on the front lines, briefing law enforcements and reporters about what actually happened and setting the record straight. Then again, the motto was always to avoid making the victim feeling guilty. What happened was not his/her fault in any way, but Hawkmoth's.

Paris's new supervillain must have been something to handle on its own. And yet, fighting Hawkmoth's akumas isn't even remotely the only thing Ladybug and Chat Noir did for Paris over those years.

They actively participated in so many charity events, lending more than just their names to them. They have been spotted numerous times escorting young people home late at night. They have rescued more cats stuck in trees that I can possibly count. They have helped many police operations, have rescued people from burning buildings to ease the firemen work. They have patrolled Paris's streets every single night ever since the first akuma occurred, taking turns and changing their itinerary from time to time, hoping to keep the city they loved safe.

Why am I telling you all of this tonight? Why am I bothering with this altogether?

Truth be told, I'm probably biased when it comes to them. I have been on both receiving ends of their endless kindness over the course of the last four years, as a civilian as well as an akumatized victim.

As a victim, a while back, some unfounded accusations unfortunately led yours truly to be akumatized into Lady Wifi. So I know firsthand how it feels to come to your senses disoriented, groggy, and with no recollection altogether of the past minutes, hours, and in some unfortunate cases, days. I know what it feels like to know that you have done something wrong against your will, but to be clueless where it comes to what you did. I know how strange it is to see yourself on the news, looking so different from your different self that you have to remind yourself that yes, it was you, and that yes, you did that. And, first and foremost, I know how much it means to be comforted afterwards. To have someone—a superhero, no less—take time to see if you are truly alright.

As a civilian, if you're reading this it means that you are probably already aware that I have dedicated the better part of the last four years chasing them, recording every single fight, wondering about their secret identities. Even if I was digging to find out the secret they wanted to keep, they always tried to answer my questions, often smiling and bantering with each other. Looking back, it now seems as the superheroic duo just consciously dodged any question hitting too close to home for their comfort. But if I ever annoyed them, or got on their nerves, they never let it show.

Those were the good times. The times where all of Paris took their superheroes for granted, figured that Ladybug and Chat Noir would always be there to protect them.

Those days are over.

As all of Paris now know, seven days ago, at the tick of noon, Ladybug and Chat Noir walked into a final encounter against their long-term nemesis, Hawkmoth. To this day, nobody knows yet what happened up in the Eiffel Tower that fateful day. All that we know for sure is that, after Ladybug now famous threatening speech to Hawkmoth on live news, the superheroic duo Paris has learned to know and love over the years marched into the eye of the tornado without any shadow of a hesitation.

They walked in, with the clearly stated intent to stop the supervillain that had been terrorizing Paris for the last four years, or die trying.

Roughly an hour after entering the tower, Chat Noir called for emergency services.

Minutes later, three broken people were taken away in ambulances.

And this is why I'm writing to you today.

To remind you that there were people behind those masks.

Ladybug and Chat Noir's secret identities might have been revealed in the aftermaths of their encounter with their enemy, but to those who don't know them, their names don't mean anything.

They're only that: names.

And I want to change that. I want all of Paris to know exactly who are the two young people that went to fight Hawkmoth and left on gurneys.

Who are still in the hospital as we speak, the extent of their injuries still unknown.

This is my tribute to the two amazing human beings behind the magical masks.

Because Ladybug—or Marinette Dupain-Cheng—is the same strong-willed, clever and creative girl on both sides of her spotted mask. She has the same drive to right what's wrong, the same hatred of lies and injustice.

But she is so much more than that.

She's a passionate and adorable girl, with a really strong creative vibe. She loves fashion and video games, and has yet to give anyone a gift that isn't crafted by her own two hands. She lights up any room she enters, and it's totally impossible to know her without loving her. Everything about her is amazing. Incredible even.

Would you believe Ladybug is impossibly clumsy in her civilian life? And yet she is.

She's the kind of girl who can (and will) trip on her own feet, who can put salt instead of sugar in cookies, who can drop an open container of paint in the stairs.

But she's also the kind of girl that can (and will) go to the moon and back for the people she loves (and all of Paris it turns out).

Over the course of the last four years, I've seen Marinette being selfless on more than one occasion. She always went out of her way to ensure her friends' happiness, even if it meant jeopardizing hers. I've seen her offering half of the lunch she had packed one morning to a classmate that had forgotten hers at home. I've seen her stand up to bullies fearlessly. I've seen her juggling effortlessly classes, a part-time job at her parents' bakery, designing gigs, tutoring classmates in art classes as well as babysitting (plus being a superheroine apparently). All while remaining an awesome friend.

And Chat Noir? Chat Noir, whom a lot of you probably recognized as famous supermodel Adrien Agreste, well he is the same pun-loving dork and incredibly selfless and sweet boy whether he is sporting cat ears or not.

But he is so much more than that.

Adrien has the kindest heart I ever met. There isn't a mean bone in the body of that sunshine child. He has a way to make people feel good about themselves just by talking to them, and his optimism is contagious. Despite being the loneliest person I know before entering public school, despite being overworked most of the time and having every single of his moves carefully scrutinized, he was always gentle and comprehensive toward his peers.

And he's the most gigantic geek I know. He loves physics, is a walking anime encyclopedia, enjoy mathematics to unhealthy levels. He grew up under the spotlights, and yet he's incredibly shy and socially awkward in an adorable way.

Considering his strict and leisure-less upbringing, is it so surprising that Chat Noir was the most exalted, the most enthusiastic hero of the pair?

Over the last few years, Chat Noir has always been the one among our superheroic duo to selflessly comfort the victims while Ladybug was obviously reluctantly dealing with the press. Our leather-clad kitty has always been the sensitive one out of the pair, the one to strive for comforting even the worst akuma victims.

Both of their secret identities have been revealed in the aftermaths of their fight with Hawkmoth. Years of dodging the media's questions, of feeding little white lies every time anyone came too close to the truth, were rendered annihilated by their last feat of strength. There was no more hiding, no more denying when Ladybug and Chat Noir entered the Eiffel Tower that day, and when a very heavily wounded Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste left the battlefield victorious.

In light of this, I would like to ask all of Paris to respect their pain, to let them heal in peace. Both of them have battle wounds of their own to nurse, both of them need time and space to properly mend their broken bodies.

Instead, honor their sacrifice for our beloved city.

Spread the word about how two eighteen-year-old defeated a supervillain on their own, a feat the entire Parisian police force couldn't achieve.

Tell the miraculous tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir.

Both of You

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

Part 51 of 53

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