Continuing Tales


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

Part 5 of 35

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The words rang his ears, reverberating through his mind like the sound of a bell, until all Adrien could do was stare.

Pink. Her favourite colour was pink. That's what she had said. That's what Ladybug had said too.

It couldn't be possible. No way would his Lady give him such a big clue, would she? But then, Ladybug didn't know he was Chat Noir. He sighed inwardly. It was probably just a coincidence. Plagg was right, he really needed to get his head out of the clouds.

"Adrien?" Marinette was staring at him. Evidently, gaping at someone like a brain-dead koi fish was something to cause concern. He shook his head for the second time in mere minutes. 'concentrate, Agreste'

"Ah- yeah, sorry. Pink, right," He stammered, but smiled in the hopes of reassuring her, "it's a good colour. I should have figured actually; you wear it a lot."

Only when she crossed her arms over herself, did he realise what he said could be seen as an insult. Marinette turned away and, in his haste to correct himself again, Adrien all but leapt forward to place a hand on her shoulder.

"No-not that that's a bad thing! Actually I think you look great in pink. It's really suits you," Adrien grinned, aware that he sounded like the biggest idiot on the planet but too worried about Marinette's feelings to care. He was starting to think that he didn't think when he was around her. Maybe he was like that when it came to sweet, smart, pretty girls. Maybe he was like that with just one sweet, smart, pretty girl. Maybe- in his wildest dreams.

All the systems in Marinette's brain seemed to close up shop for the day, even though it was only nine in the morning. She was pretty sure she was going to start drooling if she didn't snap herself out it soon. Silence loomed on the horizon, ready to descend upon them and make the situation a million times awkward. If only she could open her mouth and say something. If anything the longer it took, the angrier she became at herself. She was no longer a pathetic middle schooler with a silly crush. She was a pathetic high schooler with a silly crush thank you very much! 'I should be able to deal with things better by now.'

As luck would have it, their conversation (or lack thereof) was thwarted by a high pitched squeal and the pair simultaneously leapt into fighting stances at the sound. Neither of them noticed the others reaction. Hurrying towards the pair were a gaggle of girls, the ones from earlier, all holding Adrien's underwear photos up and screaming about wanting his autograph.

Adrien blanched, stepping back slowly, his face growing pale at the sight.

"Shouldn't those girls be getting to class by now?"

Suddenly feeling a warm grip on his hand, Adrien barely had time to register Marinette's fingers locking instinctively in his own, before she turned heel and yanked him away from the girls. The pair raced down the hallway, echoes of their thundering footsteps bounding off of the walls. Other students whipped their heads around at the bizarre sight of the two being chased by Adrien's rabid fangirls. A few took out their phones but didn't quite manage to hit record on time, or only managed to snap a few blurry pictures.

When they'd gained a good distance from the screaming girls, Marinette wheeled around a corner, opened an unassuming wooden door and leapt inside. Without a second thought, Adrien hurried in after her. The door slammed shut behind them and Marinette collapsed against it with a sigh.

Dried paint and chalk were the smells that filled the air and, as Adrien's eyes adjusted to the semi-darkness of the room, he noticed Marinette had hidden them in the art cupboard. Cupboard being a loose term, as it was more of a small room than anything. Metal shelves contained an array of art supplies from acrylics to clay. A broken kiln, door half-off its hinges, resided in the corner. He sucked in a breath, trying to regain air, but found himself near choking on the layers of dust they'd disturbed by entering the room in such a dramatic way.

"Are you ok?" Marinette asked gently and Adrien could hear the light breathlessness of her voice, his heart flipped at the sound. He cringed, remembering why they were hiding in the first place.

"I'm fine. Sorry about that. That hasn't happened in a while."

They stared at each other again, wordlessly, before a giggle burst from Marinette's lips. In an attempt to cover her laughter at the absurdity of the situation, she held her hands over her mouth. But Adrien could see the amusement sparkling in her eyes. His lips stretched into the kind of thin smile that only occurs when you know you probably shouldn't laugh, but are about to regardless.

"Shh! Shh! They'll hear us!" Marinette waved her hands even though she continued to laugh.

"I'm sure we can run off again, we make a pretty good team I think. We should consider joining the running club," Adrien chuckled pressing his palm to his forehead. In any other situation he would have been pretty annoyed by this turn of events. She'd somehow made it fun and exciting, like an adventure. The two intrepid explorers running from the jaws of the frantic jungle cats.

Marinette glowed, too high on adrenaline to feel a sense of shock and awe, too amused to stammer at his praise.

"Adrien!" She gasped, chortling still as she sank further against the door, and Adrien forced back a very impulsive, highly ungentlemanly impulse to press against her in a similar fashion. He blushed and averted his gaze, the smile almost gone from his face. Heat seeped through his blood, darting in-and-out of his arms, his face, his ears. The way she said his name…

'Get a grip, get a grip, get a grip, get a grip!' Ignoring the dust in the air, Adrien inhaled through his nose. His thoughts raced, yelled, screamed at him to keep it together and remain calm. But he had a feeling the second he looked into her eyes he'd be lost again. He remembered what she looked like when he was about to kiss her as Chat, the way her favourite colour dashed across her cheek bones and her eyes fluttered lazily, how her lips had parted in anticipation. Against his better judgement, he knew he wanted to see that look again. God what was happening to him?!

The door clicked open and Marinette, oblivious to her companion's inner turmoil, craned her head out to check if the coast was clear.

"Ok so it looks like they've gone. I think we lost them. We just have to act nonchalant," She whispered peering over her shoulder at him with a smile, wondering if her sudden calm around him had anything to do with their misadventure, or the guilt-ridden comparisons she made between Adrien and Chat. Either way she was thankful for it, despite the fact she knew it wouldn't last.

"Nonchalant. Got it," Adrien's voice sounded slightly strangled and Marinette felt self-reproach clutch her chest from dragging him into the stuffy cupboard. But, in her haste, it was the first place she could think of to hide. There weren't any classrooms or lockers in this small part of the school, so not many students came here and thus, had no clue the art cupboard even existed.

The duo crept out into the deserted hall, plastic tiles squeaking underfoot. Adrien placed his hands behind his back whistling a carefree tune as he went. Marinette stared at him, dumbfounded.

"I don't think that's what nonchalant means," She bit her lip, trying hard not to laugh again.

"Hey haven't you ever seen old cartoons? Whistling means you're innocent!" He argued with a lopsided, childish smile, one which Marinette had seen only a handful of times. Adrien had such a model-like smile, but she knew it wasn't his true one. He was just polite, and friendly. Only when he was truly relaxed did he grin properly like the way he was now, and Marinette thought it was the most adorable thing in the world. Adrien twirled away from her, restarting his merry whistling, even bobbing his footsteps as he walked in time to the beat.

It was in that moment, Marinette Dupain-Cheng had one of the greatest revelations of her life.

"You're a dork."

For the second time, Adrien stopped and stared at her. This time, however, the smile was gone from his face. He frowned and shifted from foot to foot as he promptly stopped whistling.

"Is…that a bad thing?" He asked and oh god he looked so cute, glancing at her through lidded eyes, his chin lowered. There was such vulnerability in his voice that he could have been asking her if Hawkmoth was bad and she'd deny it, say that Hawkmoth was the best person in the world, that he probably rescued stray kittens in his down time.

In order to reassure him as best as she could, Marinette smiled warmly, shaking her head from side to side.

"No. It's not bad. It's not bad at all," She replied, "I happen to know quite a few dorks. I'm a dork myself actually. I like dorks."

It was worth it, Marinette thought, to sound like a complete fool; for her short-lived calm to disappear like the sun behind stormy clouds. It was worth the thunder now raging in her heart and the lightning in her veins. It was worth the rain in her lungs making her breathless. It was worth it to see the beam lighting up Adrien's face at that moment, the summer in his eyes and the spring in his step at he made his way back to her. For a second he hesitated, making a half-movement towards her before jittering to a halt. Marinette watched him curiously as he eventually lifted his hand and gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze.

"Thank you Marinette," He breathed.

The bell for first class rang and both of their faces dropped. Though neither of them were strangers to being late, Madame Bonnet was strict and didn't take too kindly to those whom she considered slackers. Forgetting everything about being nonchalant, the pair took off down the hall once more, making their way across the school towards the computer labs.

"Oh Adrien, Marinette, so kind of you to join us," The half-British history teacher glared at them over the top of her round spectacles. The pair grimaced. Madame Bonnet was a great teacher, but everyone feared crossing her, "I've already explained your new assignment to the class, perhaps if you join Alya and Nino, you both might gain a sense of promptness and responsibility."

She dismissed them with a sharp flick of her hand and they both hurried through their apologies as they settled into the seats by their friends, who shot them looks of both curiosity and sympathy. Nino leant across Alya (much to her chagrin) and bumped fists with Adrien. Marinette sighed, she still hated getting told off, but at least they were grouped together.

"So what's the assignment?" Adrien asked curiously, looking at Alya and Nino's shared computer to see what they'd been researching.

Alya rubbed her hands together with excitement.

"Only the best assignment in the world!" She cried gleefully, "we have to research a Ladybug and Chat Noir from any point in history apart from the current pair, and make a presentation on their contribution to their society, as well as how their presence was a benefit."

Despite every muscle in his body clenching at once, Adrien managed to keep his face straight. Marinette was less lucky, her mouth quirked before she could control it. 'Of course,' they both thought.

"I wanted to do these two," Nino said, spinning the monitor around to face them. On screen was a black and white photograph of a Ladybug with short wavy hair, a long sparkling flapper dress, and a confident smirk. Beside her was a tall Chat Noir with dark hair and pointed teeth, broad shoulders and kind eyes from beneath his mask, despite a more serious expression. The pair stood close together, Ladybug's head tilted backwards almost as if she were about to rest it on her Chat's chest. Marinette stared at the picture as though she was having an out of body experience. It was so strange, to see a past Ladybug and Chat Noir, like glimpsing into a past life. She wondered who they could be. Her eyes flicked over to Adrien, but his expression gave nothing away.

"So what's so special about those two?" Marinette asked, forcing a smile through her teeth, and starting to feel more than a little ashamed that she hadn't looked into her legacy beforehand. Tikki had told her some things, as had Master Fu, but those were more about her powers and where they came from, not about the previous owners of the Miraculous.

Nino bounded up and down in his seat like a little kid watching an action movie for the first time.

"Oh what's NOT special dude?! They lived in New York during the Jazz age AND they shut down a whole crime syndicate. It's so cool! Like, there were mobsters and awesome fashion and the MUSIC of the era. Can't you just picture these two cool-cats running around, dodging mafia bullets and making Jazz-puns?"

"I, on the other hand, wanted to research these two," Alya interjected, cutting her body across Nino and wiggling the mouse until a different page popped up. Subconsciously Nino began playing with the loose strands of her hair. Adrien glanced longingly at the action. His friend made it look so easy.

This time it was a sepia toned image of a militaristic Ladybug and Chat Noir which filled the screen. Both were more serious in nature. They stood straight and posed for the camera with proud looks on their faces. Ladybug was light haired and petite, Chat Noir was tall and lean. Both of them had haunted eyes. Wartime eyes.

"This is the Ladybug and Chat Noir from the second world war," Alya explained, not even bothering to cover the awe in her voice, "to date they're the only Ladybug and Chat Noir whose identities became public after their sacrifice."

"Sacrifice?" Marinette asked, tilting her head to the side. Something stabbed at her heart, like a painful memory long forgotten.

"Yeah, they died on a mission together and were awarded medals for their sacrifices after the war," Alya continued shifting to look at Nino, who wrapped his arm around her shoulder in comfort, "I haven't read all the details yet but it looks like they sacrificed themselves to the Gestapo in order to save a legion of spies they led across Europe. It was awful. They were tortured and executed, but giving themselves up not only saved a whole bunch of spies, who continued working and collecting highly valuable information for the Allies, but it also meant that the mission they were ambushed on was still successful. Something about coordinates to a secret Nazi hideout which the English R.A.F then blew up."

"That sounds…really depressing," Marinette wrinkled her nose, her heart clenched. She glanced down at her closed purse, knowing Tikki had heard every word. Suddenly, she felt the urge to cry.

"It is but isn't is also a fantastic story? The brave and valiant Ladybug and Chat Noir, going up against Nazi's, surrendering their lives for the good of the whole world!" Alya clutched her heart, "It's so admirable and just proves how worthy they were to own their miraculous!"

"Yeah but EVERYONE'S gonna do them babe and you know it!" Nino argued "So there's nothing surprising about it, and we might not get the best marks 'cause we don't stand out."

"True," Alya nodded and the pair continued debating, trying to find a common middle ground. Marinette sat rooted to her seat, hating her active imagination in that moment. All she could picture were the sounds of the past Ladybug and Chat Noir being tortured, refusing to give up information until the Nazi's just decided to kill them instead. She felt sick, bile bubbled in her throat, scalding.

She felt someone squeeze her leg and looked up. Adrien had gripped her knee and was now gazing at her, searching for something in her eyes. He looked rather pale.

"Are you all right?" He asked, having to bite his tongue to prevent himself from calling her Princess. Truth be told he was quite unnerved at Alya's tale; he couldn't help but imagine his Lady in that situation. How helpless must that Chat Noir felt, knowing he had to give himself up to the Gestapo, knowing it was the only way. He couldn't bear to think about it more, especially when Marinette looked so upset by it herself.

She gave him a weak smile and looked down at where his hand rested on her leg. Only then did Adrien realised what he'd done by instinct, and pulled his hand away, mortified.

"I'm ok, I just…you know…hate violence and stuff," She reasoned quickly, covering her true reasons, "I don't like the thought of people so good dying in such a horrible way. It doesn't seem right." She shuddered.

"It's another reason to hate the Nazi's for sure," Adrien agreed, feeling a rush of affection for her then, almost as though she were empathising with him instead of a Chat Noir long gone.

Marinette excused herself, letting them know she was heading to the bathroom, and hurrying out of the room once she got a snappish response from their teacher. To her immense relief, the bathroom was empty and she opened her bag to see her pink Kwami trying to rid herself of the tears in her eyes.

"Tikki," Marinette said reaching for her companion, but Tikki shook her head, floating out of her purse to land in Marinette's waiting hands.

"It's ok Marinette, it was a long time ago."

"But it still hurts doesn't it?"

Tikki looked away without a word.

"Tikki you've always been a shoulder for me, let me be one for you too, let me be the one to-" Marinette's words of encouragement were stopped short by the sounds of screaming and, for a wild moment, she thought Adrien's fangirls were back in full force. When the screaming continued, however, Marinette rushed out of the bathroom to see what she really, really didn't want to see at that moment in time.

An Akuma victim was stomping around the school, litter picker in hand, zapping everything in sight until they turned into bits of litter. Including people. The foul stench of garbage filled the air and Marinette gagged, pinching her nose as she darted back into the bathroom.

"Our conversation will have to wait I'm afraid," Tikki said, even as her voice still trembled.

Marinette nodded with a scowl, oh she was going to kick this Akuma from here to the fourteenth arrondissement! Despite the sadness evoked by the subject matter, she'd been thrilled to be grouped with Adrien for a project. Just once, could she not have a moment of peace to be a normal idiot teenager in love?

"You're right," She replied. Thrusting a hand into her purse to retrieve two hairbands, she threw her hair back up into their usual twin tails, "Tikki spots on!"

Her first thought after she transformed, was to dash into classrooms and tell people to run and hide from the Akuma. Luckily, there were now Akuma-drills across all the schools in Paris and her declaration (and appearance) didn't cause too much of a panic. Instead panic filled her at the thought of her friends getting turned into literal trash, and she raced back to the computer labs.

"Ladybug!" Adrien leapt to his feet at the sight of her, "what are you doing-"

"No time to explain!" She cried pointing to the second exit opposite to her, which would hopefully lead them out of the way of the garbage-man's path, "all of you get out of here right now! There's an Akuma!"

Satisfied when she saw her class hurrying away, Nino having to literally scoop Alya up in his arms as she tried to get away and film the scene, Ladybug turned and began hurrying out to find Garbage Man when a cry reached her.


To her dismay, Adrien was rushing toward her. Her eyes bulged. 'No, no, no, no, no!'

"Ladybug, my friend is out there!" Adrien gasped. Regardless of any inklings or crazy ideas he'd had over the past day or so, the thought that Marinette was stuck somewhere, alone and scared, was making him frantic, "You know her, her name is Marinette!"

"Adrien-" She soothed, even though she herself felt an ever-growing sense of dread squeezing her chest and twisting her stomach. She needed to reassure him. Fast. The longer he was here the greater danger he was in.

But whatever she could have said was drowned out by an enraged growl. The revolting smell filled the air once again. The Akuma was close.

Grabbing Adrien by the arm, she pulled him down to the ground and they crawled under one of the computer desks. Their bodies pressed together as they tried desperately to stop breathing, stop moving, stop making a single sound. The Akuma victim stepped into the room. Ladybug could hear his light footsteps as he surveyed the area for more people to turn into victims, more bait to lure Ladybug and Chat Noir out of hiding. Instinctively Adrien wrapped his arms around Ladybug as she rested on his lap. Surprisingly he felt her squeezing him back, equally protective. One polka-dotted arm was strewn across them both, acting as their first layer of defence if they were discovered.

They both jumped at the sound of a nearby desk being zapped into a large crate of rotten banana peels. Just when they thought they'd been discovered, Garbage Man turned around and marched out of the room, mumbling angrily to himself.

When they were sure he was out of sight and earshot, Ladybug and Adrien crawled out from their hiding spots. Ladybug held out a hand to him and pulled him up to his feet. Both were reluctant to let the other go.

"Adrien you need to get out of here, find somewhere to hide now!" Ladybug cried, looking at him with wide blue eyes.

Adrien clenched his fists, knowing she needed him in a different way, knowing she needed Chat, but in the time it would take for him to hide and transform Marinette could-

"I promise she'll be safe, I promise!" Ladybug stepped forward, aware of more screams as Garbage Man found more victims, "I never break my promises. I won't let anything happen to her. Just get somewhere safe, please. Trust me, please," She whimpered and for the faintest of moments, Adrien wanted to pull her into his arms, reassure her that he'd be fine, that her Chat Noir was right in front of her, that nothing bad would happen to him.

As if she'd read his mind, Ladybug threw her arms around him, pulling him in to a tight embrace. Adrien could barely comprehend what was happening, but wrapped his arms around her nonetheless. Love and fear were a dangerous combination, he decided as he felt her tremble and found himself shaking too. It should have been strange. He remembered being Chat and holding Marinette in his arms. That should have been strange too. Chat and Marinette hadn't had many interactions together, Adrien and Ladybug less so. So why did it feel like they did this every day? Like they'd always done this?

"Please? Please get somewhere safe," She repeated, whispering into his chest and Adrien leapt out of his musings, jumping straight back into the moment. Now wasn't the time to be thinking such things!

'As you wish My Lady' He almost said it out loud.

Almost. How horrible a word.

Stepping out of her arms, he nodded to her and that was all Ladybug needed. She turned around and hurried out of the room into the awaiting battling, but not without one last lingering glance towards him.

As soon as she left he ducked down low and ordered Plagg to transform him. He allowed himself a moment, just a moment, to breathe, to calm his racing heart. It wouldn't do to enter a battle with a messed-up head.

His Lady needed him, and so did his Princess.


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

Part 5 of 35

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