Continuing Tales


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

Part 24 of 38

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"NOOO!" Chat's scream was surprisingly loud, even to himself, as he watched Ladybug crumple. He darted forwards to catch her at the last second, but his Miraculous wasn't going to hold out much longer. He couldn't de-transform, not now- not in public with Ladybug dying in his arms.

"L-Ladybug, hold on, hold on, okay?" He sobbed, cradling her body to his. Her chest rose up and down faintly, but her breathing was raspy and strained. Her eyes were rolled back, a sliver of white visible under mostly-closed lids. Redness dripped onto the ground beneath her as Chat stared around wildly, trying to think of something- anything. Civilians were starting to come out of hiding, staring and pointing at him and Ladybug. The four unconscious robbers lay prone around him, one more still unaccounted for, but police sirens were nearing. Chat no longer cared about bringing the robbers to justice- that was going to come later.

Broken gasps ripped out of his chest as he lifted Ladybug's limp body and began to push his way through the throng of Parisians. He ignored them all, didn't stop for a minute to answer questions or alleviate fears. He didn't have the time or patience.

So Chat ran.

He left the crater of the bank behind, along with the concerned civilians. He ran to the only place he could think of that would be at all safe for either of them.

"Ch- Chat Noir?" Gasped Alya as he skidded into the alleyway where she and Nino still crouched. "Is everything okay? I- Is that Ladybug?"

"Listen to me, you two." Chat growled, not taking the time to answer her questions, either. "I don't have a lot of time, so you need to pay attention. This is going to be difficult for both of you, but you must do as I say. Stand at the entrance to the alleyway and warn me the moment you see someone coming this way. Block us from view as best you can. This is going to be hard to watch, but I need you to do this, okay? I'll- we'll- answer all of your questions later, I promise." With that sentence, he also made a promise to Ladybug- there would be a 'we'. They were going to get through this. They had to.

"Wha- ugh?" Was all Nino said before Alya seized him by the arm to drag him to the end of the alleyway like Chat had asked. She shushed him, one panicked eye on her heroine and the other on the street next to them.

Chat lowered Ladybug to the ground. Her breathing was more laboured, her stomach covered in red. A faint moan escaped her mouth as he crouched over her helplessly.

His Miraculous gave its final warning beep, but he could hear Plagg in the back of his head, saying he was going to try and give him a couple more minutes. Plagg had the ability to extend the transformation for a limited amount of time, but at great effort and strain to himself. He only did it in total emergencies. The kwami would be horribly exhausted afterwards, but he could tell Adrien needed the suit right now.

"Ladybug?" Chat whispered in a broken voice. He picked up her gloved hand in his and kissed it lightly, then held it tight to his chest. His other hand fluttered uselessly over the wound, not knowing what to do to help. "Please, open your eyes. Please, stay with me."

A sigh escaped her mouth, her eyes fluttering slightly. Alya whimpered from behind him, Nino sniffling next to her.

"Ch- Chat" she breathed, her back arching slightly as the pain worked it's way through her body. The shock of the bullet had made her initially black out, and when she'd collapsed, a black fog had taken over her vision, weighing down her limbs and numbing her nerves. Her daze had been broken by Chat's voice, it worked it's way through the darkness to wake her back up, but with consciousness came the ability to feel pain. She gasped as she felt the agony sharply in her abdomen, her eyes opening fully to focus on Chat's face before her. "Chat…"

"Ladybug, it's me, it's me, I'm here," he nearly sobbed, relief etched on his face. "But you're shot, oh my god, there's so much blood, and I am so so sorry, oh god, but you're going to get through this, okay? You're going to stay with me!"

Ladybug fought to keep her eyes open, the agony pressing down on her. She couldn't move anything other than her head, so she managed to move it enough to nod, but a whimper escaped her mouth at the pain the movement induced. Redness filtered through her vision, and she wasn't sure she trusted Chat's words. He may have needed her to live, but she wasn't sure she could.

"What do I do?" He begged her for answers, but she had none to give.

"Ch- Chat, it hurts," she moaned, and his face twisted.

"I know, I know, and I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have gone after the robbers, I should have let the police deal with it like you said. Oh my god, please don't leave me, I- I can't- you need to- oh god…" his voice trailed off as the sobs consumed him, and Ladybug could barely feel his grip on her hand, despite how tightly he was clutching it to him.

She vaguely was aware of other familiar voices in the background, but ignored them as she lay on the ground of the dark alleyway, staring up at the greying sky. Where was she?

Chat sniffed, pulling her head onto his lap.

"I'm s-so sorry, Ladybug, I c- can't- I don't know w- what to do. Help me, p- please, tell me how to help you. The ambulances h-had all gone when you were shot, they all had people to t-take- they won't be b- back for ages, and how d- do I- no, Ladybug, open your eyes!" He shook her slightly as she closed her eyes, adamant that she must stay awake. If she closed her eyes, then she'd sleep. And if she slept, Chat wasn't sure she'd ever wake up.

"Ch- Chat, I'm here," she murmured, a glint of blue just visible. "But you need to go."

His heart plummeted.


"Y- your Miraculous, you're about to de-transform. I'll s-see who you are."

"You think I give a damn about that right now?" He barked a laugh, and he could practically hear Alya pricking up her ears behind him. Chat could feel Plagg failing fast, all his reserve strength used up. He had seconds left. "Ladybug, listen to me. I love you, okay? We're going to get you through this. Maybe Plagg can help, I just need you to hold on."

Ladybug nodded almost imperceptibly, her face ashen under the dust. Chat felt the transformation about to wear out, so he craned his neck round to meet the panicked eyes of his friends.

"I'm sorry. I wanted to tell you, and this isn't how I imagined you finding out." And then he felt the last of Plagg's strength fail, and the green glow enveloped him. Chat closed his eyes as he changed, feeling his leather suit change to jeans and a shirt. His boots melded into trainers and his hair shortened and grew neater.

Adrien opened his eyes. Alya and Nino goggled at him, mouths opened wide like fish. Nino stumbled backwards, gaping wordlessly at his best friend. Without a word, Adrien turned back to look at Ladybug where she lay, half in his lap. Her eyes were open, confusion and wonder and pain battling for prominence in their azure depths. Her forehead knitted in a slight frown, but before either of them could say anything, there was a slight tugging on the hem of Adrien's shirt.

He looked down to where Plagg was crumpled on his lap, clearly exhausted.

"Tikki," the kwami gasped through tired pants. "You need to get Tikki out of there."

Adrien frowned, his trembling hand tightening on Ladybug's limp one.

"What do you mean?" His heart was beating erratically, everything too overwhelming and emotional.

"Ladybug, you need to de-transform," Plagg muttered, struggling to stay awake himself. Using all his energy reserves like that wasn't good for him, but he'd done it for Adrien's sake. "If- if you die as Ladybug, Tikki will die with you. P- please, Ladybug, change back." Plagg's eyes drooped shut, and Adrien noticed with horror that Ladybug's did, too. Ignoring the startled squeaks that began to come from the other end of the alleyway as his reveal processed, he cupped her face urgently with his hand.

"No, no Ladybug, open your eyes, please!" He begged, terror pooling within him. "You need to change back, Plagg says it's important, please just open your eyes. Look at me! Please, release the transformation, open your eyes!"

She didn't, but she managed to open her mouth just enough to croak out a few words.

"Alya, I know you're there." There was a gasp from behind them, but Alya didn't come any closer. "I don't want you to find out this way, but a-ahh!" Suddenly she cried out in pain, her body convulsing and Adrien's grip tightened on her hand.

"Please, Mari. Change back." He whispered.

"T- Tikki," Ladybug stammered, tears seeping down her face. "Spots off."

The pink glow engulfed her, and Adrien tried to ready himself for what he was about to see.

It didn't work.

Without the mask, Marinette's face was paler than he could have believed. Without the suit, her body was unbearably limp. The blood from her wound took no time at all to grow through her shirt, her hand was terrifyingly cold in his. It was bad enough seeing strong, brave Ladybug like this, but Marinette seemed so much smaller and more breakable. Adrien choked out a sob as he gazed at her broken body.

"Ma- Marinette!" Alya screamed, and he heard her running towards them. "Lady- Mari- n-no, Marinette, open your eyes!" The redhead sobbed as she fell to the ground next to her best friend.

Mari's eyes flickered, but she couldn't seem to make them move open enough to see her friend's face.

"A- Alya, I'm sorry, I c- couldn't- I wanted to tell you…"

"I don't care," sobbed Alya. "Y- you have to live, okay? Please, we need you to l- live."

Adrien heard Nino approach them, sniffing. Adrien didn't mind that no-one was on watch anymore- he and Mari were both de-transformed, so he didn't have to worry about civilians watching them change back.

"Marinette, c'mon." Nino pleaded, kneeling next to Alya. "Hold on, okay? I think there are more ambulances c- coming. You have to stay with us, okay?"

She nodded, her face screwed up in pain. For a moment, there was no sound other than the three crying and her gasps of agony.

"Marinette…" came a quiet whisper from somewhere on the ground. The three looked down to see a little red creature holding onto one of Marinette's fingers.

"Tikki," whimpered Marinette, her hand twitching slightly. "You o- okay?"

The kwami nodded, great big tears pooling in her eyes.

"It was your physical form that sustained the i- injury, as long as I'm n- not part of you, I'm f- fine. Out of the t-transformation, the wound c-can't hurt me. But you n- need to live, Mari, alright?"

Marinette nodded slightly, her face screwed up in agony.

"I'll try."

"Oh, Marinette," Tikki wept, flying into the girl's pigtail to nestle against her cheek. "You're the best Ladybug. P-Please, stay, don't make me ch- choose again, not for years and years and years."

Marinette let out a sob, Nino and Alya watching in awe and confusion as she was comforted by her kwami.

Suddenly, Alya pulled out her phone.

"There must be something online," she murmured panickedly. "Something about bullet wounds, something that will help."

Nino pulled out his own mobile, and joined her desperate search, but Adrien couldn't make himself let go of Marinette's pale, limp hand. It was the first time he'd held it without either of them wearing gloves, and it felt so small and cold in his own.

Marinette let out another little sob, and he found himself stroking her hair with his free hand, making shushing sounds through his own tears.

"You're going to be fine, okay? I can hear sirens, there are ambulances on the way."

"A- Adrien," her voice was weak and it hurt to speak. It hurt to breathe, to beat her heart, it hurt to live, but she managed to crack her eyes open enough to see the face of the one she loved most in the world. "Y- you're Chat…"

"God, Mari… I'm sorry." Adrien looked down at his lap. "I'm sorry I'm me, I'm sorry I couldn't tell you earlier, I'm sorry I went after the robbers, I- I'm sorry you got hit instead of me. I- I love you, Marinette, and if- no, when you get through this, I'll spend the rest of my life showing you how much. I promise. Please… you just have to live."

He felt a light squeezing on the hand that was holding hers, and his gaze snapped back to her face in shock.

"I love you, Adrien." Her voice was stronger than it had been since the shot. Her eyes, still fogged with pain and fading consciousness, looked into his with an intensity he would have thought impossible. "I love you, Chat Noir. I love all of you, and I always w- will. I'm going to live, okay, I will. I'm not going to leave you. Promise."

Tears dripped down Adrien's cheeks as he gazed at her, then lifted her hand to his mouth to place a kiss on the back. A pained smile managed to curl the corners of her mouth, before she inhaled sharply and her back arched. A cry of pain left her mouth, and Adrien's heart skipped a beat.

He whipped his head to look at their friends.


Alya was crying non-stop, her face streaky with tear-tracks as she searched frantically. Nino's eyes were also blurry with tears, but not too much to read out the text he'd found.

"We don't take out the bullet. It might aggravate the e-entry wound. But we n- need to stop her from going into shock," he whimpered, his chest shaking with barely- suppressed sobs. "She n-needs to stay awake and warm."

"What does shock look like?" Adrien asked quickly, Marinette's pulse barely noticeable in her hand as he clutched it. She was so cold…

"Uh, clammy skin, weak pulse, fainting," Alya listed in a thick voice. She rubbed her face with a spare hand, the sound of encroaching ambulances still despairingly far away. "Feeling abnormally cold to the touch, and dizziness. The most important thing to do is to make sure she stays awake and warm."

Immediately and in perfect unison, the three shrugged off their respective jackets or over-shirts. It would have been humourous had the situation not been so dire and terrifying. They lay the clothes over Mari's shivering body, and she gave them a weak smile through her tears and suffering.

"I'm going to go flag down an ambulance." Nino told them abruptly, dusting off his jeans as he stood. "And Mari- don't you go dying on them while I'm gone, okay? I'll see you soon, promise." He kissed his hand, then pressed it lightly against her forehead with a weak smile. Alya and Adrien heard his running footprints recede and turned back to Marinette. Her whole body was shaking, the blood-loss and trauma pushing her body to the limit.

"It's so dark," she gasped, fighting to keep her eyes open. Adrien's face swam in and out of her vision, everything tinged with blackness. Spots danced in front of her eyes and the torturous pain seemed to be roaring in her ears. "It hurts, Adrien…" Marinette let out a sob and scrunched her eyes closed in an effort to shut out the pain.

"I know, Marinette, I know it does. But you need to keep your eyes open, you need to stay awake." The strength in Adrien's voice surprised everyone present, including himself. Tears streamed down his face in pain and fear, but he was adamant that she stay with him. "Mari- open your eyes."

She managed to force them open, but squeaked when that didn't reveal anything to her sight. The blackness of pain and unconsciousness pressed in on her, the bellow in her ears nearly drowning everything out.

"Adrien, I'm scared." Mari whimpered, her hand clenching around his. She could feel Tikki nuzzling her cheek and knew Alya was still kneeling by her, but Adrien's was the only name she seemed to be able to say. "Please, it hurts so bad. Everything's so dark and loud, my eyes are so heavy… I can't, I-I just… please make the pain stop."

Adrien felt his heart wrench apart at her sobs, Alya's head bowing in pain next to him, her shoulders shaking. He could hear Nino yelling in the distance and knew help was coming.

"Marinette, the paramedics are coming, you just need to hold on a little longer." He promised, his voice trembling. Mari's eyes moved to his, but they were blank and unseeing as the hurt throbbed through her.

"Will the pain stop?" She asked, her voice child-like in its pleading.

"Yes, the pain will stop," he lied, unable to betray to her how little he knew. And how scared he was that the pain wouldn't stop- not until she was gone.

Marinette nodded, trusting his words.

"Alya?" She croaked, and out of the corner of his eye, Adrien saw the redhead jerk.

"Y-yes, Mari?"

"You're the best f- fan a superhero could ask for." Marinette coughed, her body convulsing in agony at the action. "And the best friend. I- I'm sorry I never told you, I only w-wanted to protect you. And... I was afraid y-you would think less of Ladybug if you k-knew she was me."

Voices drew nearer to the alleyway, and Adrien could make Nino's out among them. Help's coming Marinette, just a little longer…

"Don't say that!" Alya gasped, clutching Marinette's knee. "You're my best friend, Mari, and now Ladybug is, too. That's the second-best thing I could ever ask for."

"What's the first?" The bluenette's voice was barely a whisper. Alya sobbed and clutched onto Mari even tighter.

"For you to stay. You need to stay, Mari, Paris needs Ladybug and I need Marinette. Please, stay."

"In here!" Nino's voice rang loudly through the alleyway and suddenly an ambulance was parked outside it. Nino and three paramedics rushed towards them, two more leaping out of the vehicle.

"Out of the way!" Commanded one, kneeling down by Mari's head. There was a flash of red as Tikki darted into Adrien's pocket, and he discreetly scooped up Plagg and hid him in his jacket. Adrien managed to stumble up, reluctantly letting go of Mari's hand as more paramedics crowded around her. Nino was next to him, gently pulling Alya away. A stretcher was hurried past him, and he could barely make out Mari's gasping breaths through all the hustle.

Adrien clapped a hand to his mouth to stop the sobs from screaming out of him, backing out of the way as they carried the stretcher past him, towards the ambulance. Alya wrapped her arms around his middle, crying into his chest, while Nino gripped his shoulder, tears cascading slowly down his face.

The last they saw of Marinette was her eyes closing as the ambulance doors shut behind her.


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

Part 24 of 38

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