Rainy Days and Gloomy Thoughts

BY : Cat_Eyes
Category: +M through R > Miraculous LadyBug
Dragon prints: 540
Disclaimer: I do not own Miraculous Ladybug. Miraculous Ladybug is the intellectual property of Thomas Astruc and released by Zag studios. No profit was made writing this story.

'So, Chat Noir has almost Cataclysmed Ladybug's face three times now?' Alix asked.

It was a rainy Thursday morning before class and the students had shambled in, weary and bedraggled, to take their seats. The topic of conversation had shifted to subjects appropriate for the miserable weather, but Marinette wished it hadn't gone in this direction.

'To be fair, Chat Noir wasn't in control of himself during any of those times,' Nino pointed out.

'Not the point,' Alix argued.

'Then, what is your point?' Kim asked as he balanced his stylus on his lip.

Alix tapped the desk, thinking how to phrase her thoughts. 'Well, when Chat Noir Cataclysms rock, it crumbles. When he touches metal, it rusts. Wood rots. So, what would happen if he touched a person?'

The class stilled as they looked at Alix.

'Dude, that's grim,' Nino eventually said.

'It's a good question, though,' Kim interjected. 

Chloe looked up from buffing her nails and sighed, 'they'd probably just turn to dust, like those creepy mummies in the museum.'

'I bet they'd explode,' Kim added, excitedly.

'What if they just turned black and crumbled away?' came Nathaniel's quiet voice.

'Soup,' Marinette murmured, softly.

They all turned to Marinette as she sank in her seat. She hadn't intended for anyone to hear.

Max straightened his glasses and said, 'considering Chat Noir's power decays whatever he touches, as Alix described before, I suppose if he touched organic matter it would indeed putrefy.'

'That's disgusting.' Lila curled her lip and scrunched her nose.

Max nodded wisely and added, 'the smell would be quite horrible.'

Adrien turned green and swayed a little in his seat.

'You doing alright, Buddy?' Nino placed a hand on Adrien's shoulder. 'You need to see the nurse?'

Adrien looked up and smiled at Nino, still looking sickly. He began to refuse.

'Chat Noir almost had Ladybug soup,' Ivan added unnecessarily.

Marinette wasn't sure if Adrien was going to puke or cry. Maybe both. Marinette was definitely uncomfortable with the conversation, and empathised with his discomfort. Add the fact that Adrien was a known Ladybug fan, Marinette thought Adrien's reaction was reasonable.

'You make it sound like he was going to have Ladybug soup for lunch,' Juleka told Ivan.

Adrien bolted out of the room. Nino called after him, but Marinette shot out of her seat and ran after him before anyone else could.

Marinette heard Adrien dash into the boy's room. Hoping  the bathroom was otherwise empty, Marinette crossed her fingers and followed him in. The sounds of Adrien being violently ill indicated which stall he was in.

'Adrien?' Marinette called softly as she tapped on his door, 'are you okay?' She could have slapped herself.

Adrien coughed and spluttered before he could answer, 'what are you doing in the boy's room?'

Marinette winced; he sounded weak and far away.

'You ran out of class so quickly,' Marinette fumbled as she tried to find the right words. 'Now you're sick. Is there anything I can do?' she asked.

Adrien exited the stall and Marinette leapt back, startled. He looked awful. His eyes were dull, skin slack and grey. Even his hair had lost its lustre. Ignoring the smell, Marinette gently pulled him into a hug.

Adrien was slow to respond, but finally brought his hands up to clench the back of Marinette's shirt. He heaved great sobbing breaths before he calmed enough to step back, head lowered as he wiped his forearm across his eyes.

Marinette guided him by the elbow to the sink so he could rinse his mouth out and splash his face. 'Do you want to go home?' she asked as she rubbed his back.

Adrien stood for a long moment, staring at the sink, before he finally nodded.

'Alright, come on. I'll walk you home. Don't worry about anything here; I'll take care of it.'

Marinette slipped her arm around Adrien's back and gently ushered him out of the school.

 

That night, after the clouds had dispersed , Ladybug swung onto the roof she and Chat Noir usually met on, to find he was already there. This wasn't unusual, but he had his back to her and hadn't turned around upon her arrival. He normally greeted her with enthusiasm, regardless of which direction he faced before she arrived. If she landed behind him, Chat Noir would hear and turn around with his widest grin in place and some flirtation would quickly follow. His silence was worrying.

'Good evening, Chat Noir,' Ladybug called as she raised a hand to wave.

Chat Noir turned his head. When he saw her, Ladybug noticed a wide range of expressions cross his face, but couldn't identify any of them. Ladybug figured he was upset about something, that much she cold tell. When he seemed incapable of speech, his mouth opening and closing silently, Ladybug walked up to him and turned him around by the shoulder so she could see him properly, and so he wouldn't get a crick in his neck.

'Chat? Come on, breathe with me,' Ladybug instructed as she drew a deep breath, both hands on his shoulders. Chat Noir followed her example and slowly regained his composure.

'Now, can you tell me what's wrong?'

Chat Noir looked down, and deliberately moved his hands behind his back.

'Chat?' she looked around his back and saw his left hand gripping his right wrist hard enough to gouge his suit. He was shaking with the force of it.

Chat Noir stepped back, so Ladybug straightened to look him in the eye. Still downcast, Chat Noir took another step back and shook his head.

'Kitty, I need you to talk to me,' Ladybug whispered, her brows furrowed. 'Please?' she begged as she cupped his cheeks and gently tilted his head up.

Chat's expression was pained as tears gathered and fell. 'I can't hurt you,' he gasped in a broken voice.

'What are you talking about? You'd never hurt me,' she rushed to reassure him. Chat Noir may be silly and flamboyant, but he was also honest and loyal. He'd never willingly hurt her.

'Oh, Chat.' Ladybug whispered as realisation struck. 'You weren't to blame.'

Chat Noir shook his head, dislodging Ladybug's hands. 'I should never. I should've. I should be better than that,' he cried as he sank to his knees, still holding his hands behind his back.

Ladybug knelt, pulled his head to her shoulder and held him while he cried. When his sobs had eased to pitiful whimpers, Ladybug eased back and lifted his head to look him in the eyes.

'Listen, Chaton. That wasn't you, none of it was you,' she paused as Chat Noir shook his head violently.

'I should have been better, I should never have allowed them to control me, I should - '

'Forgive yourself,' Ladybug interrupted. 'You took Dislocoeur's arrow for me. You were trying to save innocent civilians when Princess Fragrance hit you. That was so brave of you, my Kitty.' Ladybug grasped his cheeks and pressed her forehead to his.

'What about Despair Bear? There's no excusing that blunder,' Chat Noir spat as he drew back.

'If you screwed up that night, then so did everyone else,' she told him softly as she let her hands fall to her lap.

'Everyone else was innocent bystanders,' Chat Noir was beginning to sound angry. 'That miserable bear was tiny and moved fast. There's no way they could have avoided him.'

'It's ok that they were taken over, but not you? That's inconsistent.'

'They aren't super heroes. I should be better than that,' he exclaimed.

Ladybug shook her head. 'They're human. Fallible. Just like you and me. We're not "better" Chat. We're going to make mistakes. We're going to fail sometimes. What's important is that we keep going. We forgive the people who were taken over, either by Papillon or one of his Akumas. We know they aren't to blame. Since that's the case, we need to learn to forgive ourselves for our moments of weakness as well. We can't hold ourselves above other people, we can't expect ourselves to be perfect all the time. Chat, it's ok to fail.'

'Not if the price is you.'

Silence descended. Ladybug had no answer for that; Chat Noir had a point, after all. If she were taken over, Papillon would win. If she died, then Chat Noir and Fu would have to hurry to find a new Ladybug, but ladybugs had to be chosen with care. A rushed decision could lead to poor choices and a tragic outcome.

Ladybug sighed. 'You could make it without me. You'll always have a ladybug.' It may be a lie, but she needed to reassure him.

'I wouldn't want another ladybug,' he replied softly.

There was another moment of silence before Ladybug asked, 'What brought this on, anyway?'

Chat Noir shuffled and avoided her eyes. 'There was a discussion before school today. A  classmate asked what would happen if I used my Cataclysm on a person.' Chat's mouth turned down in distaste as his complexion tuned ashy.

Ladybug froze, eyes wide.

'I had to leave when people began talking about eating soup,' Chat finished with a small gag.

Ladybug remembered how to breathe. She put a finger under Chat Noir's chin and tilted his head up, looking closely at him. She ran her fingers through his hair, brushing over his human ears, as she admired the colour. Ladybug then delicately traced the edges of his mask, mentally comparing the shades of green. So alike, she thought with a sigh. She trailed her fingers down his shoulders and arms until she reached his elbows. Chat Noir make a token effort of resistance, but allowed Ladybug to tug his arms forward until she was clasping his hands, holding them so his palms faced up, supported by hers underneath.

'I trust you, my kitty,' she breathed, as she lifted Chat Noir's right hand to her face. She rested his palm against her cheek as she leaned into his touch.

Chat Noir gasped. 'Ladybug, please. I can't hurt you.' He was pleading, begging her to be safe.

'You haven't called your Cataclysm, Chaton. I'm perfectly fine.' Ladybug closed her eyes and smiled.

Chat Noir's shoulders slowly relaxed. 'How are you so remarkable, Milady?' he murmured as his thumb began stroking her cheek.

Ladybug opened her eyes as her smile widened.



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