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The water was still, murky, and dull. He knew that the water hadn't always been there, but he preferred the world with water. It made him feel like he was on an island, which was fitting because then it made sense why he was alone.

Why was he alone?

He couldn't recall. Funny.

He should really find Marinette. She'd know why he was alone for so long. And then he could tell her how much he loves her and she can give him her Miraculous so Father can bring back Mother and they can be a happy family again. The four of them.

That's what Hawkmoth... Father... promised, right? That's what he remembered, at least. Before that intense, white energy ripped through him and the world came crumbling down. At that moment, he'd felt so free. His power was infinite; he was destruction. He'd never felt anything as wonderful as that moment, except maybe when he danced with Marinette at his last modeling banquet. She was so gorgeous in his memory, with her luscious hair pinned up into a beautiful up-do. Her shampoo had smelled like cherry blossoms.

Where was she now? He needed to find Marinette so he could please Father. And once he pleased Father, everyone would be happy. Even Mother! She could meet Marinette! Oh, Mother would love Marinette!

To Chat Blanc's dismay, Marinette was nowhere to be found. Was she hiding from him? She was always so sneaky, that Ladybug. Perhaps this was a game? It wasn't a very fun one, though. He was so awfully bored and the sun had started to set again.

He didn't like the night; it had been night many times since he'd channeled the power of destruction and it never got easier. The world dripped with coldness and the water hissed with creatures, mutilated animals that had endured Chat’s destruction. He couldn’t name what they once were, but they reminded him of some of the creatures that Alix told their class about last Halloween. Marinette had listened to her tale of demons and specters with bated breath, curling her fingers around Chat’s. Alya had teased them about it, but Marinette retorted that she hadn’t been scared at all and had only held Chat’s to comfort him.

He couldn’t remember if he had been scared or not, but he’d laughed. In fact, it’d been so long since that day that Chat couldn’t even remember what ‘scared’ was anymore. What did it mean to feel afraid? He couldn’t say. He hadn’t felt much of anything in a long time. The only emotion that occupied his soul was boredom. Marinette’s game had stretched out for what days and weeks. He wasn’t sure how much longer he could search for his silly bugaboo.

Father must be impatient as well. He’d explained if Marinette loved him, that she would help him save Mother. He hadn’t realized he could save Mother, but Father had realized; that’s why he’d become Hawkmoth. Sure, he’d spent much of the last two years fighting his own Father, but that didn’t matter anymore. Chat Blanc was unquestionably loyal to his Father. That’s who Chat Blanc was.

The only rogue element was Marinette, and he was sure she loved him, so that meant he only needed to find her. They would save his Mother together! And then they could be a happy family… happy.

Isn’t that what mattered at the end of the day? Happiness . Chat Blanc just wanted to be happy again.

Why was Marinette taking so long? Why was she postponing their happiness? Father wanted Mother, Chat wanted Father to be pleased, and Marinette loved Chat. It all came down to Marinette… Marinette, Marinette, MaRINETTE—

He crouched above the water, staring down at the murkiness below. It was day again and the creatures had receded to wherever they slept during the day. Now the only creature out and about was Chat. He hummed to himself, carving his own sounds out of the silence. There’d been much of that lately, too. Silence .

One little cat on the roof, the one supposed to go…”

His singing voice had never been that notable, but it distracted him from the emptiness of the world. Maybe the world was his soul because that was quite empty too.