Continuing Tales


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

Part 30 of 35

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The words on his notebook blurred in tandem with his growing boredom. Adrien shook his head roughly, determined to get at least some studying in before patrol.

It took about a minute before he gave up again.

Who was he fooling, really, in trying to study on a night such as this?

Adrien flopped dramatically onto his desk with a grunt of annoyance. His hair fanned out around him and his nose was awkwardly squished against his pen, but he didn't care. Between Nathanael's mugging incident earlier that day, and the appearance of a new miraculous holder, trying to concentrate on studying was like trying climb up the Eiffel Tower upside down, blindfolded, without a miraculous.

He sighed.

"Are you giving up?" Plagg landed by his side, sounding hopeful. "Good! We can play games or watch TV instead. Homework is so dull."

"You're not the one doing it, fuzzball," Adrien grumbled, making no effort to move. "So why are you complaining?"

"Because it's boring watching you do it and even more boring hearing you complain," Plagg shot back, floating up to nudge his head repeatedly. "Come on already, we've still got time before you and Ladybug go and meet the new hero. I want to watch that show with the American cops."

"There are about a million shows about American police, Plagg," Adrien rolled his eyes, but allowed the Kwami to push him away from his notes and towards the sofa.

"I mean the funny one," Plagg corrected, urging Adrien to sit on the sofa whilst he grabbed the remote from the coffee table.

Adrien shrugged.

"Fine. One episode can't hurt, it's not like anything was sticking. I'm too distracted," he replied, slinking down in his seat and propping his feet on the table. Nobody was around to judge or scold after all.

Or so he thought.

Knock, knock, knock.

Adrien and Plagg shared a confused frown at the sudden knocking. It sounded like it was coming from… his window?

The knocking continued and Adrien shifted to the left, eyes widening when he saw Ladybug hanging outside his bedroom- as if she did so every day. He blinked a few times, to check he wasn't seeing things.

Nope. There she was, the light from his room bathing her in a golden glow, the darkness of the night providing the perfect backdrop for the mischievousness in her smile.

Oh, she was real alright, and she was giving him a heart attack.

Adrien scurried forwards, ignoring Plagg's groan and almost tripping over the coffee table, to open the window Ladybug hung outside of. A rush of cool air hit him and he gasped, the glass barrier between them removed, and she became more vivid than ever before him.

"Ladybug! What brings you here?" he rested his arms against the window frame, leaning up to her. Once again, he found himself thankful he couldn't go back in time to tell his fifteen-year-old self that something like this would actually happen. He would have died.

"Hmm, I was just swinging by. You know how it is," she replied with a casual tone, but winked and placed a gloved finger against his chin, scratching him there. In an instant, Adrien was putty in her hands. "I'm actually here to pick up an incredibly cute kitty for a date with destiny. He's tall, blonde, and puns too much for his own good. Have you seen him?"

"You can never pun too much, but I do believe I've seen the guy you're looking for," Adrien chuckled, standing on tip toes to kiss her softly, only to stand away and dramatically bow right afterwards. "It's… me! The Princess has come to collect the Superhero!"

Ladybug rolled her eyes, even as she laughed. Still, now he was closer to her, Adrien did not miss the subtle tension in her jaw, how stiff her shoulders were. He frowned.

"Rapunzel, Rapunzel. Your hair's too short. So transform already, you utter dork," she sang, and Adrien responded with more laughter. He turned to Plagg, who was still resting on the sofa cushions.

To say Plagg looked unimpressed would have been a gross understatement.

"You two are made for each other," he said, voice as deadpan as his expression.

"Aw, thank you Plagg!" Adrien replied earnestly, too loved-up to care.

"That wasn't a compliment! You two are ridiculous and I can't believe I have to put up with it," he snapped, wiggling further into his cushion in protest.

"Oh don't be such a sour-puss," Ladybug sighed having made her way into the room without Adrien noticing, causing him to jump. She didn't notice she'd startled him, however, having already traipsed over to Plagg to scratch his ear. "You know you like seeing Tikki again, and seeing Adrien happy."

"I… like…nothing," Plagg argued weakly, fighting not to close his eyes against Ladybug's fingers.

Adrien thought for moment, then a wicked grin spread across his face.

"Plagg claws out!" he cried suddenly, and Plagg yelped, cursing him as he disappeared into Adrien's ring.

When Chat Noir opened his eyes, he came face-to-face with Ladybug's raised eyebrow. Her arms were folded and her hip jutted out as if to say "really?"

"What?" he smirked. "You think I'm going to stand by and watch you pay attention to another kitty? Well I'm afraid I'm a super jealous cat. You're not allowed to stroke any other cats in my presence, or even look at them. I'm the only cat for you or else I'll have to fight all the cats in Paris and-"

He was interrupted from his ridiculous tirade when Ladybug grabbed him by the collar and dragged his lips to hers. Instantly his arms wrapped around her, holding her gently, as he fought his inner amusement. She'd never kissed him this way before- in a way that told him, quite passionately, to shut up.

He loved it.

When she pulled away, red-faced and breathless, she shook her head.

"Are you done now?" she sighed, unable to fight the little quirk of her lips if she tried.

"With you? Never!" he pulled her back towards him, throwing an arm around her shoulder.

"I meant with the whole fake douchey-jealous act," Ladybug replied, tapping his nose and wiggling out of his hold to march towards the window. He followed close behind, eyes trailing down her body. "It's unbecoming of a gentle-cat like yourself."

"Yup! Done and dusted, and de-douchified, My Lady," he chirped, reaching for his baton.

Ladybug buried her head in her hands.

"You're impossible," she giggled, climbing out of the window.

"No, I'm distracting you," he countered fairly as they left Adrien's bedroom behind and disappeared into the night. "Is it working?"

"A little," Ladybug replied faintly as she landed on the building opposite. She bit her lower lip, staring at their meeting place lighting up the Parisian skyline in the distance. "I hope Fu was able to get my message to Volpino. It was pretty last minute."

"I'm sure it'll be fine," Chat reassured, linking his fingers with hers and tugging her forwards gently. "Come on, let's go meet our new partner-in-crime-fighting!"

When Chat's arm was met with resistance he glanced over his shoulder to see Ladybug staring at the ground worriedly. Her face was a thin line of fear and he wilted. She looked as if the ground was disappearing beneath her feet and she was helpless to stop it. It pained him to see her that way.

"Hey-" he started, voice soft, but she beat him to the punch, sharing her worries before he could ask about them.

"What if we don't get along? What if I make a terrible first impression and he ends up hating me? What if we can't work together and you come back next year and the whole of Paris is on fire and I've doomed the whole city because I make such awful impressions on people?!" she rambled, clutching strands of her hair as she worked herself into an explosion of anxiety.

"Bugaboo," Chat grabbed her shoulders, tilting her chin up with his thumb so she was looking directly into his eyes. "You don't have anything to worry about. Master Fu doesn't make his decisions lightly. I'm sure whoever it is will love you because, honestly, you're the most loveable girl I've ever met."

Ladybug snorted.

"I'm serious! After all, I know a thing or two about bad first impressions," he preened, as though this was something to be proud of. "Out of the two of us I think I win in that area, right?"

He lowered his face to her ear, nuzzling into her hair and kissing it keenly.

"Riiiiight?" he purred, lighting up when she began to chortle, "remember that?" he nuzzled deeper- "remember how much you didn't like me? Remempurr?"

"Oh, my god Chat Noir, yes!" despite her exasperated tone, she was laughing fully now. Whatever strands of nervousness she felt disappeared as Chat continued his silly snuggling. "Quit it that tickles!"

Chat pulled away, grinning from ear-to-ear.

"Glad we got that cleared up!" He nodded, trying not to imagine the breathless way she'd just said his name in other scenarios.

Maybe he should pay her room a visit sometime, the same way Ladybug just had to his?

Take it slow, Romeo.

Whilst he was deep in that particular mind-hell, Ladybug snuck up on him, wrapping her arms around his waist and burying her head in his chest.

"Thank you, Kitty," she whispered, vulnerable and so sweet that his heart beat slowed to a calm serenade. He purred, wanting nothing more than to take her home and hold her all night. He could really do with the rest and he had the feeling that he'd sleep so much better with her at his side.

Sleep was, however, a luxury only those without a miraculous could afford.

When Ladybug pulled away her face was fixed into one of determination and professionalism. She nodded, more to herself than Chat, and the pair vaulted over rooftops towards the Eiffel Tower, and towards their aforementioned date with destiny.

Well, at the very least, Volpino certainly looked the part of the superhero.

That was the first impression the pair of them got as they climbed to the very top of the Eiffel Tower, where their new companion was already waiting. There he sat, legs crossed, flute resting on his lap. The orange and whites of his costume blended in with the lights of tower and his darker complexion provided camouflage with the shadows. Though his body language appeared serene, almost yoga-like, there was a slight tensing of his jaw, a clenched cheek, which gave away his nervousness.

Of course he was nervous, Chat thought sympathetically, he certainly would be if he were in Volpino's shoes.

When Volpino noticed them, his eyes widened and he scrambled to his feet, clutching his flute tightly.

"I'm not quite used to these heights yet," he explained for some reason, shooting them a toothy grin. "Nor the knowledge that I can save myself from falling."

Chat nodded.

"Yeah, I guess it was different for us, we were pretty much kids when we started so it was easy to get used to," Chat replied.

"Speak for yourself, I spent the first month terrified," Ladybug retorted dryly, stepping forward to shake Volpino's hand.

As Volpino jerked his hand forward, beaming, Chat allowed his eyes to wander over the new Miraculous holder. Chat was shorter than him, but Volpino was lean where he'd gained some muscle mass over the years due to his model diet and exercise regime. Still, he looked in a good shape, around their age, and the way his dark eyes sparkled seemed to indicate he was eager.

"I'm Volpino, it's a pleasure to meet you both, and I consider it an honour to be fighting by your side," Volpino's voice was loud, keen and full of light. As soon as he'd finished shaking hands with Ladybug, he turned to Chat and offered his hand to him with quirked lips. "The Guardian told me that I'm here to cover Ladybug if she needs it, because you're moving away for some time. I'd much prefer I wasn't needed at all, if it meant Paris keeping you, but I'm here so I will make the most of it! At least we will have the Summer to get acquainted."

Chat smiled, shaking Volpino's hand. It wasn't trust quite yet, but his instincts were telling him Volpino would be a good balance for Ladybug in his stead. He seemed bright, and optimistic, which would help Ladybug in the rare moments doubt got the better of her. Still, he was glad they had the rest of the Summer beforehand to, as Volpino said, get to know each other. It made the transition less jarring for themselves as well as the public.

Turning to Ladybug, Chat Noir got her attention with a light, professional tap to her shoulder.

"Ladybug, could you please give Volpino and I a moment?"

As he'd suspected, Ladybug looked vastly taken aback by such an ask, and fixed him with a worried frown. Volpino chose to stay silent.

"Chat," she began warily, but he waved his hands innocently.

"I promise it's nothing bad ok? I just need to talk to him, not in a man-to-man way or anything gross. Promise," he shot her his best, most trustworthy smile. If Volpino hadn't been there, he would have held her hand, touched her in some reassuring manner, to convince her he had no darker motives. "Trust me? It's something I have to say and I'm kind of embarrassed to say it in front of you."

Ladybug didn't seem completely convinced, and he could tell it annoyed her to not know what he wanted to say to Volpino, but she heaved a resigned sigh.

"Ok, I trust you, but be nice and don't bite," she replied with an eye roll, flicking her yo-yo out to her side. "Meet me at the top viewing deck when you're done with whatever you have to say."

With that she disappeared, dropping off the side of the tower and swinging out of view, leaving Chat and Volpino alone.

After a few moments of silence, Volpino broke the tension hanging in the air with a chuckle.

"Oh dear, is this the moment you tell me not to be too forward with Ladybug? Because trust me," Volpino placed a confident hand on his hip, "you really don't have to worry about that."

"Huh?" Chat blinked, then promptly shook his head. "No, it's nothing like that. This isn't me telling you to stay away from my girl or anything weird, that's not my style besides I trust her with every fibre of my being. No, the reason why I'm talking to you is, if you really want to stand by her side, if you want to step up and be a hero- then whatever you think is your best? Double it. Triple it. Becuase that woman is something special, and you're going to have to give it all you've got and then some, to be worthy to stand by her side. I should know-" he stood up straight, lips curling upwards in what he hoped was a serious yet friendly manner "-I speak from experience."

Volpino was quiet, holding his flute in one hand and his chin in another. Chat watched him with a quizzical expression, wondering what was going on behind that slightly crinkled mask.

"Ah, I see," he responded somehow airily and serious at the same time.

Chat's shoulders slumped in relief, glad to have gotten what he'd been thinking off his chest. The fact that Volpino took his words seriously caused some part of the stormy cloud (the one which had been formed the second he knew he'd be leaving Paris) to dissipate. He sighed.

"You're in love with her," Volpino continued.

Chat wasn't sure how someone could trip over air whilst standing still, but he somehow managed it.

Oh god Ladybug is going to kill me.

"W-what?!" Chat spluttered, trying to scramble back the professionalism which Volpino had managed to tear apart in record time. Was he really that obvious? "N-no it's nothing like that! I just worry for my lady- I mean Ladybug- and we-"

Volpino threw his head back and laughed.

"Relax, amico, I'm not here to judge or reveal your love to the whole of Paris. We are a team now yes?" he grinned, patting Chat on the shoulder. "Besides I understand. I have someone I love too and I would say the same and more if we were in the situation you and your Lady-love are facing. But don't fret! I promised to do my best and I will. Though it may not look it, I do take this seriously."

Chat relaxed a little against Volpino's hand, surprised his comforting words had such an affect. He couldn't quite place it, but there was a certain manner in which Volpino spoke that was familiar, reassuring in a way. He ran a nervous finger through his hair.

"Is that all you had to say?" Volpino asked, taking his hand away.

"Yeah, for now, but if you have any questions you can ask us," Chat replied, "but for now I think we've kept Ladybug waiting long enough."

"Oh indeed! It's never good to keep a lady waiting, my mother would be appalled if she knew," Volpino laughed again, before launching himself off the side of the tower, using momentum and balance to propel himself. He didn't have a yo-yo or baton like Ladybug and Chat did, relying solely on his miraculous to propel him down the tower, bouncing from one side to the other.

They made their way through a small gap to the upper observation deck, where Ladybug was pacing. As soon as she heard them, her head snapped up and her eyes narrowed, scanning for any semblance of tension or argument.

When she could find none, she ambled over to them.

"So Volpino," she began cheerfully, "you ready for a night patrol? It might be good if you practice your powers for a bit, let us know what you can do so we can plan different methods of fighting now you're part of the team."

For some strange reason, Chat felt his heart swell with pride at her words. She really was a natural born leader. It was amazing to see.

"Of course, in due time," Volpino agreed earnestly, breathlessly, and Chat was strongly reminded of a star about to go supernova with the amount of energy simmering beneath Volpino's barely-restrained exterior. "However, before we get going, I suppose now we have the superhero introductions down, I should introduce my true self yes?"

Chat jerked his head up, completely snapped out of his thoughts. Beside him, he felt Ladybug start.

Scanning Volpino's face for any semblance of teasing, Chat felt his stomach drop as Volpino ordered his transformation to disappear.

It was too late to stop him.

Even though time appeared to slow down, even as Chat made to shield his eyes and turn away.

They knew. It was to no avail.

"No wait!" Ladybug cried rushing forwards with frantic hands.

"Don't!" Chat tripped over his feet for the second time that night, and Ladybug stooped forwards to catch him even in her shock.

A burst of bright orange light lit the observation deck, vanishing as quickly as it had appeared. An orange Kwami floated out of Volpino's fox tail charm.

In hindsight, both of them realised they simply could have turned away, shut their eyes and carefully explained to Volpino that they didn't need to know his identity until they trusted each other. But hindsight is a wonderful thing and, in that moment, Chat and Ladybug found themselves to be frozen in befuddlement at how Volpino took five minutes to do something which had taken them a little over three years to do.

And then there was the matter of who exactly was standing in front of them.

"You know you really ought to have prepared them a little better! That was rather sudden, Kit," the Kwami scolded lightly. Shaking her head, she turned to Chat and Ladybug with an apologetic smile. "I'm quickly learning that my chosen is a very unique blend of impulsive and thoughtful."

Ladybug and Chat continued to stare.

"I don't believe this," Chat heard himself saying, shaking his head once more. It wasn't that it was a bad thing, to have this person be Volpino, on the contrary, it was simply…a shock.

"Oh dio, I think Trixx might be right," Volpino, or rather Volpino's civilian self, replied as he ran his hand through his now ear-less curls. "I apologise if I startled you both, but I assumed that this-"

"LOUIS?!" Ladybug cried, her brain now caught up with her eyes.

Louis' hands flopped to his sides, his eyes widened further than Chat had ever seen them, his jaw dropped much the same way Chat's had moments before.

It occurred to Chat that he should be piecing all the puzzle parts together, that he should be reassuring Louis right now. Yet, through the madness, all he could think was-

Well at least I know why he said I don't have anything to worry about now.


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

Part 30 of 35

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