Continuing Tales


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

Part 9 of 38

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The sun was just starting to redden the edges of the sky when Marinette fell back asleep. It was still pitch dark as far as he could see out of her windows, and Chat hadn't slept a bit. He'd never minded his tiredness less though- he'd finally managed to give something back to the girl who'd always been there for him, even before he knew it.

Mari hadn't told him what the dream was about, and he hadn't asked. They just spent the night in each other's company and he became intricately familiar with her face and body; the way her tired eyes still managed to sparkle in the light from the desk lamp they'd left on, the way the hollows under her prominent cheekbones disappeared somewhat when he made her smile with a trademark cringe-worthy pun, the way she nestled her face into his chest when she grew tired and her legs unconsciously tangled with his… All the moments of the night were precious to him, and he knew they'd be forever etched into his memory.

Her eyes were closed now, and she looked more at peace than she had in weeks. Chat was calmer, too. Seeing both Marinette and Ladybug so unhappy had taken its toll on both sides of his life, and he'd finally managed to do something about it. Marinette was soothed, for now, and he'd rarely been less satisfied with a night that hadn't involved Ladybug.

That being said, it was time he went home. Reluctantly, he extracted himself from the cosy cocoon of blankets, and crawled to the edge of the bed before standing up to creak open the skylight. The slight squeak seemed to reach the ears of his bed mate, as she let out a very endearing little sigh and rolled over so her face was exposed. Chat paused, not wanting to wake her. He waited until Mari had stopped moving restlessly and opened the skylight fully, taking a deep breath of the cool, fresh night air.

Not wanting to leave the warm, vanilla-y room, he looked back at where Marinette slept, and sat down on the bed next to her for a moment. Chat gazed at her sleeping, peaceful face and felt a fluttering in his heart. He smiled gently to himself, before tenderly tucking a stray strand of hair behind Marinette's ear so he could place a gentle kiss on her exposed forehead. He remained there perhaps a second longer than he'd expected, their proximity turning the fluttering into a stronger flickering of emotion. Chat stood up again and sent her a whisper as he made his way into the petrichor-scented air above.

"I'll see you soon, my princess. Cat's honour."

As he leapt deftly out onto the roof, he sent a last, longing glance at the girl behind him. And was he imagining it, or was there a soft smile on her sleeping face?


"Hey, Adrien." Nino greeted his friend with less gusto than normal. He and Alya were standing at the top of the steps outside the school before the bell and looked agitated.

"Hey, Nino, what's up?" Adrien asked, his good mood dissipating as he saw how upset the other two looked. After his night with Marinette he was hoping that today would be bearable, but apparently fate had other ideas. He'd been woken up an hour earlier than expected by Nathalie and had spent the morning at an early photoshoot he'd managed to forget about entirely. He'd missed the first half of the morning's lessons and had only gotten back in time for the mid-morning break. He walked closer, and suddenly knew the answer to his own question.

"Are you completely stupid?!" Screeched an awfully familiar voice from inside the building. The three friends winced at the shrillness, before continuing to listen nervously. "Even the bare amount of competence expected of a human being seems to be a big ask for you. I'm beginning to wonder how you haven't managed to kill yourself already by braining yourself on a lamppost!"

Adrien winced.

"Ouch. Bit harsh. Who's Chloe yelling at now, anyway? Wait, it- it's not Marinette, is it? Because if it is, I swear I'm gonna-"

Alya waved away his concerns and shushed him.

"It's not Marinette, she's not even here today. I guess she took a sick day, thank god, I'm sure she needed it. So no, it's not her."

"Then who?" Wondered Adrien drowsily, looking at all the other students who had gathered nearby to listen to the yelling that issued from behind the mostly-closed front doors of the school. Everybody he could think of seemed to be accounted for.

"That new kid, Xavier." Whispered Nino.

"Who?" Adrien stifled a yawn, his late night taking its toll.

Alya and Nino shot him frustrated looks as they listened to Chloe berating whoever it was about something. What exactly had happened was unclear, but it was no doubt something petty and mostly imagined by Chloe.

"The transfer kid. He moved here from Nice four weeks ago, remember? You went in a group with him, Juleka and Nathanael for that chemistry project!" Alya told him.

"Oh… yeah." Adrien had, admittedly, had other things on his mind, but that didn't exactly excuse him for entirely forgetting his own classmate. Xavier hadn't made much of an impression, though- skinny, short, with rotund glasses and mousy hair, he didn't really stick out. Adrien just remembered being amazed at how good at science the kid was. Like, better than Max good. "What did he do?"

Nino shrugged. "Dunno. By the sound of it, he made her drop something, or spill something. It's Chloe, though isn't it? He probably could barely even brush her shoulder and she'd try to tell everyone he pushed her down the stairs."

Alya snorted. "Wouldn't blame him if he did."

"Uh… huuh." Adrien yawned again, his tired and emotionally-frazzled brain not really computing the world around him.

Nino gave him a strange look. "You okay, dude? You look kinda… spaced."

Adrien shook himself out of his post-night-with-Marinette-trance.

"Yeah, just tired, I guess. I didn't get much sleep last night."

Alya snorted again. "Who did? I've barely slept in weeks. I've got too much going on in my brain. Mari, Chloe, Hawkmoth, Ladybug… everything's just so… off!"

"What are you on about?" Frowned Nino, ear-piercing shrieks still emanating from inside the school building.

"Well, there's all this stuff with Marinette and Chloe, obviously. Mari's so tired, she's going to make herself ill and as her best friend, I'm honestly terrified for her. Then there's the lack of akuma attacks that have happened. Like, there's only been three in the last six weeks! It's got me worried- what's Hawkmoth up to? Is he planning something? It's been too quiet, and I don't like it. I mean, I guess we should be grateful for Ladybug's sake, though. And that was my other point- every time I've seen her recently she's looked awful."

"What do you mean?" Asked Adrien quickly.

"Haven't you noticed? She's gotten so much thinner, for a start, like she's been overworked. I watched all of her and Chat Noir's last fight, I was there when the akuma attacked first. And she could barely keep up with Chat! Sure, she was energetic and all in front of the akuma, but every time Chat was looking the other way she looked like she was about to collapse. I managed to get pretty close while she wasn't looking and I could see how tired she seemed. She was putting a brave face on in front of Chat and was joking and flirting as usual," (Flirting? thought Adrien.) "But as soon as the akuma was dealt with and Chat ran off, she staggered like she was about to fall over, even though the akuma hadn't managed to land a single blow on her the entire time. Her legs were shaking and trembling and stuff. She leaned on a wall for support as if she thought she'd collapse without it and I'm… I'm pretty sure I-I saw her trying not to cry. She seemed like she was in pain, or upset, though I couldn't see where she might have been hurt.

She saw me, um, trying to take a photo, but she didn't even use her yo-yo to go over the rooftops, she just ran through some alleyways and stuff until she shook me off, and… I'm honestly worried about her. She didn't look well, I- I think she's sick." Alya trailed off, slightly embarrassed about her stalker tendencies.

But Adrien had other things on his mind.

Sure, he'd noticed how Ladybug had seemed tired and more sad, and he'd put it down to the stress from her identity-thief's blackmail. He had seen her getting thinner, but hadn't thought there was anything alarming about it… but was there? And as for Alya's claims that she couldn't keep up with Chat… he'd have noticed, wouldn't he? He couldn't possibly be self-involved and unobservant enough to not notice something like that, could he?

Normally, Chat was the one trying to keep up. When they were both trying, Ladybug far outstripped him in both skill, speed and strength. For him, it was a challenge to stay level, and he knew she often slowed herself down slightly on their patrols so he wouldn't get too tired.

But for him to be the one setting the pace, for her to be the one struggling to keep up… it scared him. Marinette being tired and ill right in front of him was awful, but for him to not even notice Ladybug's fatigue and sickness? To have to find out about it from Alya? It made him feel like the worst partner in the world.

He didn't have to wonder why she didn't say anything. Of course she wouldn't want to worry him, she knew he'd probably get himself hurt trying to make everything easier on her. There was no way she'd risk it. She'd suffer in silence. No matter how unhappy she really was, she always put on a brave face.

Stupid, brave, selfless Ladybug. She was going to get herself in danger, one of these days.

Adrien was pulled abruptly out of his musings by the school's front doors being thrown wide open as Xavier ran past the gawking crowd outside, tears running down his red, angry face. Everyone turned to glare at Chloe who stood with her arms folded, a satisfied smile on her face as she watched him storm away.

She saw everyone staring daggers at her, shrugged simply and flounced away happily with her nose in the air.

The bell rang to signal the start of lessons again and people began to move, chattering animatedly.

Alya sighed and Nino clenched his fists.

"Someone needs to get that girl under control." He muttered angrily. "It'd be better for everyone around her." Despite his usually forgiving attitude, Adrien agreed.

"I swear, she's caused more akuma attacks than anyone else. For Ladybug and Chat Noir's sake, she should be locked up!" Alya was getting slightly outlandish in her punishment ideas, but Adrien couldn't help but see the benefits of her suggestion. He shrugged slowly and turned to Alya and Nino, mouth open and ready to speak when he was cut off by a bullish roar from behind. The students turned to stare in horror as a burly, hulking figure made its way towards them from round the corner.

"I am The Scholar! My superior intellect surpasses that of all who oppose me! I seek to destroy the ignorant and annihilate the uneducated! Bow to my brilliance, or face my wrath!"

People screamed and ran in every direction. Adrien just groaned and hung his head.

Oh crap.


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

Part 9 of 38

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