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The Power In Numbers

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Marinette laughed as she flew around in the clouds over the city of Paris. The view of the city was stunning from this angle, All the buildings were engulfed with the orange light of the afternoon sun and the Eifel tower was glittering with a golden glow, almost like a crown casting its big shadow on the ground below. Marinette felt so relaxed flying around contemplating all the activity down in the city. Thousands of cars were driving on the streets, honking at each other trying to get through and the pavements on each side of every road where full of people going all different directions. Occasionally when the cars stopped big swarms of people walked across the streets and disappearing in the crowd. Marinette smiled as she took in the view, then she floated up over the clouds to feel the warmth of the sun. This was how life was supposed to be. The only thing that could make this feel a little less pleasant for Marinette was the fact that school would start tomorrow..... 

Suddenly she felt something bumping into her stomach. Startled she opened her eyes and looked straight into the blue luminescent eyes of a black cat.

She screamed as she woke up from her dream. She sighed in relief as she understood that it was only a dream and that she wasn't falling to her death. That damn cat had invaded her dreams again, making her wake up. The past week the black cat had haunted her dreams making her wake up screaming with her heart in her throat and this morning was no exception. Yawning she looked at the alarm clock on her bedside table and nearly fell out of her bed.

Shit. It was the first day of school and she already slept through the alarm. As she was scrambling around her room to put some clothes on and get her things she thanked the black cat in the back of her mind for waking her up and ran down the stairs to eat breakfast, almost tripping on her own feet in the process.

"Good morning" she greeted her mom while pouring yogurt and cereals into a bowl.

"Good morning honey. Aren't you a bit late for school?"

"Yes, mom. I can't believe I slept through my alarm" Marinette groaned.

"Oh honey, don't stress yourself, it's not so bad as you think" Sabine replied looking at Marinette with a concerned look. "You're not that late after all."

"I am going to start the year off by coming late and probably get placed beside Chloe again" Marinette rambled on. "Ugh, why does Chloe have to be in my class?"

Marinette had had a few bad experiences with Chloe over the years. Chloe was the daughter of Paris' mayor and a spoiled bully who always managed to be a pain in the ass to everyone around her. Since the first day they met, Chloe had disliked Marinette and made her schooldays a lot worse by tormenting her what seemed like every waking moment. She did NOT want to sit anywhere near her again. Marinette sighed and looked at her yogurt-splattered shirt. This was going to be a long day. She quickly ate the rest of her meal and went to change her shirt and fetch her school stuff. Marinette kissed her parents goodbye for the day with a few minutes to spare. She wasn't as late as she first thought and was in a good mood going to school. With her head up in the clouds as she walked she almost didn't notice the crosswalk ahead of her and nearly stumbled out in the road.

'Phew, that was close' she thought with her heart beating like crazy. She really needed to pay more attention to where she was going, otherwise, she might end up causing a road incident. The lights turned yellow for the cars as a black cat walked out on the road. Marinette swallowed as she saw a speeding car trying to pass before the red light and acted without thinking.

She ran out to grab the startled cat and jumped to the safety of the other side of the pavement as the car continued down the road. The people around her seemed not to have noticed what happened and walked over the crosswalk as Marinette put down the cat. She flinched when she saw that it looked just like the cat that had haunted her dreams. The cat gave a suspicious look at its rescuer and sniffed cautiously on Marinette's hand. It purred and stroked itself against her leg making Marinette smirk.

"Okay little kitty, since I saved you, can you leave my dreams alone now?"

She studied the cat while it stroked itself against her leg and purred, satisfied. It was completely black, from the tip of its nose to the very end of its tail. Marinette looked at the cat's collar to see if the cat had a phone number to call the owner. Since the cat was roaming around freely and walking on the road she suspected it to be a fugitive. On the collar, a plate formed like a paw hung beside a golden bell that jingled when the cat continued to show its affection to Marinette. The plate had a name carved on it with squiggly letters. 'Plagg.'

'Huh, that's a weird name' she thought. 'And no phone number either.'

The cat stroked itself against marinates leg another time, then it stretched itself, yawned and walked a little bit forward to look back at her as to say: 'are we going or not?'

"Do you want to go with me to school little ki... Plagg?"

As a response, the cat started walking in the direction of her school and Marinette followed close behind.

"Well, I guess that means you are coming with me for the time being" she said to Plagg.

Plagg didn't seem to notice Marinette talking with him and looked at his surroundings with a very snobby look on his face. Marinette snickered under her breath. This cat was so adorable! She resisted the urge to pick him up and give him a big hug that probably would have resulted in Marinette receiving scratches to her face so she continued walking, looking at Plagg instead. After a few minutes, they reached the school. The old three-story building stood proudly facing an open area where a lot of students were standing in little groups chatting with their friends after the long summer vacation. Good, that meant she wasn't as late as she thought. She picked up Plagg so that he wouldn't get lost and looked around to find her friends. 

"Hey, Mari!" A voice from behind her shouted.

She turned around and smiled at the person that greeted her.

"Nino!" She said and ran to embrace him.

Plagg, not enjoying getting squished, snarled jumping down from Marinette's grip and scowled at them.

"Whoa, I didn't know you had a cat" Nino said looking at Plagg with a surprised look.

"I didn't until this morning," Marinette said to him while picking up the upset Plagg again. "I met him ten minutes ago when he was walking out on a road so I saved him from being run over and now he follows me everywhere. He doesn't have a number to call on his collar which means I don't know how to contact his owners, so he's staying with me until I figure something out."

"You're a strange dude, you know that?" Nino said to Plagg who gave him a suspicious look. "And you have a strange name too apparently" He added looking at the plate. "I've never heard of a name like that."

"Yeah, it's a bit strange" Marinette agreed. She was not going to tell Nino about her dream though. If she did, he would laugh at her saying that it was fate that she met Plagg and he would probably not stop teasing her for the entire day.

"Hey Mari, I saw Nath. Let's go!" Nino said to her and turned around. "HEY NATH! OVER HERE!" He shouted at the redhead standing a little further away.

"Hey guys" He said to them as he approached the duo.

"Hi, Nathaniel" Marinette said with a smile giving him a hug.

"Dude" Nino said to Nathaniel. "Did you know that Jagged Stone just released a new song yesterday? It's awesome!"

Marinette smiled as she watched her friends talk about the musician. As usual, Nino the music fanatic as Marinette called him, was talking about music. he was a great friend who loved to talk with everyone about his favorite artists. He had grown even taller during the summer, almost as tall as Ivan. His charisma and golden eyes sparkling with joy had made a few girls look twice in his direction recently. Of course, the distracted Dj hadn't noticed yet and Marinette was waiting on the day someone came to him asking him out. Nathaniel, on the other hand, was shy and introverted, not at all like Nino. With his bright red and long hair and tiny frame, he was almost the opposite of Nino with his long arms and legs, black, curly hair and mocha-colored skin. Even though he didn't talk much, he was always kind to everyone and lately Marinette had started to suspect that he had a secret crush on her. Lastly, there was herself, known as 'sassy Marinette' who didn't take shit from anyone. She couldn't stand someone being treated unjustly and when someone was being bullied she always went to stand up for them. She also wanted to be a fashion designer and had already made a few garments. She loved animals, which was probably the reason this cat was following her around now.

As Nino and Nathaniel went ahead she put down Plagg and spoke to him.

"Plagg, you can't enter here so if you wait out here while I go to school I'll come back and get you when I'm done okay?"

Marinette looked anxiously as Plagg stared at her with his iridescent blue eyes. He then meowed softly, stroked himself against her leg and walked away. Relieved Marinette walked through the doors with the other students adjoined up with Nathaniel and Nino again.


——<><><><><>——


In the classroom, everyone sat down at their usual places and packing up notebooks and pens while chatting with each other before their teacher arrived. Behind her, Nathaniel and Ivan talked lively about some Youtuber she didn't recognize, occasionally getting interrupted by Nino commenting something they said. Marinette sat down at her usual seat and thought about the day so far. First waking up from the usual strange dream and then accidentally meeting a cat with looked exactly like the one in the dream. Well, it couldn't get better than last years first day of school anyways because...

"Hey!" A voice interrupted her train of thought. "You are sitting on my spot!"

Marinette sighed. Of course. The obligatory harassment from Chloe. How could she have forgotten?

"I'm sorry Chloe, but I was here first" she said. "I really don't have the energy to deal with her right now' she thought as Chloe looked like she was about to swell to double her normal size in anger.

"Move Maribrat" she snapped at her. "Adrien is going to sit in the front seat. Shoo"

"Who is Adrien?" Marinette asked.

"Don't you even know who Adrien Agreste is? And you are supposed to like fashion?" Chloe said with a look of disdain. "He's the son of Gabriel Agreste the fashion designer. And he's like my best friend EVER so don't even dare to lay a finger on him."

"Well if he is your friend I don't even want to be near him. Go sit somewhere else and stop disturbing me. I'm not moving."

There was a time when she wouldn't have had the courage to go against Chloe's bullshit, but that time had passed with the help and encouragement of Nino and Nathaniel. She was known as sassy Marinette for a reason after all.

"You heard her. Go sit somewhere else and stop bothering everyone" a voice behind her said.

Marinette turned around to see a brown-haired girl scowling at Chloe. Chloe huffed and walked off with Sabrina trailing after her.

"Wow, that girl needs a major attitude adjustment" the new girl said.

"You tell me" Marinette replied shaking her head. "I've been in the same class as her for as longs I can remember."

"My name is Alya, by the way" the brunette said and stretched out her hand.

"Marinette, nice to meet you" Marinette responded taking the outstretched hand.

"I just have to say, the way you handled that Chloe was fantastic, girl!" Alya said to her. "You don't let her affect you at all."

"Yeah, I had enough of Chloe's attitude a looong time ago" Marinette snorted.

Alya and Marinette smirked at each other when their teacher entered the classroom and asked the students to quiet down.

"Today is the first day of school as you all know, and we have two new students in this class. Adrien Agreste, would you come here to introduce yourself?"

"He's not here Miss" Chloe chirped.

Miss Bustier frowned and looked down on the class list again.

"Well then, Alya Cesaire, would you come here instead?"


——<><><><><>——


The rest of the day proceeded like a usual first school day would. They introduced Alya to the rest of the class (to Chloe's annoyance) and then continued with regular lessons. At lunch, Marinette, Nino, Nathaniel and Alya sat together and had a great time. Alya was a really nice person and she immediately became a member of their friend group. They joked around so much that Marinette felt like Alya had been her best friend forever, even if they only just met that same day.

After finishing lunch they hung out with the rest of the class, except for Chloe and Sabrina who had disappeared somewhere. Marinette noticed that Ivan was looking discretely at Mylene. She sighed and whispered to Alya how cute they would look together if Ivan would muster up the courage to ask her out. She agreed and they burst out giggling. They got interrupted by Ivan shouting angrily at Kim.

"Hey stop it, Kim!"

"I'm just saying" Kim replied in a teasing tone. "If you don't get a move on....."

"SHUT UP! IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!" Ivan screamed angrily and walked off to the school building.

"Was that what I think it was?" Alya asked Marinette with a frown.

"Most definitely" she responded with a sigh.

"Well, I would get pretty angry too if someone was about to say that out loud when half the school and my crush could hear" Alya remarked dryly.

Marinette agreed with her completely. It was very mean of Kim to say that so everyone could hear. She walked over to Kim.

"Was that really necessary Kim?" She asked him.

"I just said that..."

"It doesn't matter what you said" Marinette scolded him. She lowered her voice so that only Kim could hear her and continued. "We all know that Ivan has a crush on Mylene, but that doesn't give you the right to spill it like that! It's his secret to tell, not yours. He obviously didn't want you to say it"

Kim rolled his eyes at her and turned to walk away. Marinette grabbed his arm to make him face her again.

"Go and apologize" she added firmly. He held her gaze for a moment before looking away and mumbling "okay, fine" and walking off in the direction that Ivan walked off too.

Marinette sighed and returned to Alya and her friends. They all gave her an understanding look and continued to talk about the classes they had left. They had chemistry next period and Mrs. Mendeleiev would probably scold them if they arrived only a minute late. They went to tech their things when a rumble shook the earth startling everybody.

"What the heck was that?" Marinette screamed.

"An earthquake? I've never seen anything like it in my entire life!" Alya shouted back. "We've gotta run or the school will crumble around us!"

Students were screaming and running in all directions in a panicked rush to get out. They all ran outside and all their jaws dropped to the floor when they took in the scene that unfolded before their eyes. An enormous stone monster almost as tall as the school was tearing the roof of the school, evidently searching for something. Then it stopped and screamed with the full might of its enormous lungs.

"KIIIIIIIIIIM! WHERE ARE YOU? GET OUT HERE AND SAY THAT TO MY FACE AGAIN!"

Marinette gulped. "Oh my god. It's Ivan." She whispered.

"Run!" Nino said and dragged Alya and Nathaniel out of the way from the enormous fist that plunged from the sky right where they stood a few seconds ago. It smashed a hole in the wall and made it crumble down right beside Marinette, obstructing the way to her friends.

"Marinette! Are you okay girl?" Alya shouted to her.

"Yes, I'm fine! Though I'm blocked in here by all the rubble" she shouted back to her.

"Stay right there! We're going to find a way to get you out" Alya shouted and said something to Nathaniel. "We'll get the police! Stay strong until then!"

"Okay!" She shouted back.

She heard a loud meow behind her and turned around.

"Plagg! What the hell are you doing here?" She said to him and picked him up.

"Listen Marinette, we don't have much time before that stone-idiot destroys half of the city. You've got to listen to me"

Marinette's jaw dropped for the second time. Wait what? Plagg could talk?

Plagg sighed and jumped down from her arms standing in front of her. Looking her in the eye he said: "Look, kid, just say 'Plagg, transform me' okay?"

"Wait why can you talk" Marinette blurted out, too confused to talk properly. "And why should I say Plagg, transform me, that's..... whooaaAAA WHAT IS HAPPENING!?!" She screamed when Plagg dissolved in a black mist enveloping her body with a flash of blue light.

The mist cleared and she looked at herself. She was wearing a black leather suit that consisted of a skintight jacket, a pair of black leather gloves with a ring on her right hand, black leather pants and a pair of thick boots with steel caps that looked like the top of a paw. To complete the outfit she had a belt wrapped around her waist with the end exiting from the buckle that was positioned on her back like a tail and a golden bell that hung around her neck, just like Plagg's bell but bigger. On the side of the belt hung a metal stick with a blue paw print on it. She felt something moving in her hair and reached up to grab a pair of cat ears. What in the world just happened?

'Now that you are transformed I can explain this much easier to you' Plaggs voice echoed in her mind.

Just what was happening to her this day? Which wicked god was playing her a joke?

'I haven't introduced myself properly' Plaggs voice once again said to her in her mind. 'My name is Plagg and I am a kwami, a spirit animal that can give humans powers. My power is the power of the black cat, with gives you better eyesight and sense of smell, superhuman agility and reflexes, the ability to climb on things and the power of destruction to put it simply.'

'What?' Marinette thought.

'Kid, I've just made you into what you humans nowadays call a superhero. A real one with awesome powers. Would you be so kind as to test them out on your stone friend over there?' Plagg huffed.

'Well okay but I'm not sure I'm the right person for the job. I'm super clumsy and...'

'Just shut up and get going before he makes half of Paris homeless' Plagg interrupted her. 'You are perfectly capable of fighting that guy. Why do you think I chose you? I'll explain everything when you fight him.'


——<><><><><>——


When Marinette swung herself out of the rubble after Plagg explaining everything a little more she jumped up on the roof to look at the mess Ivan had created. Half of the school's roof was gone and big holes in the wall where punched out when Ivan had taken out his anger on the building. Marinette prayed anxiously that no-one had been hurt and that Ivan hadn't found Kim yet because he would probably kill him by accident even if he wasn't so angry. She tried not to freak out thinking that she had to fight something that could do this much damage and sighed.

She heard a roar in the distance and looked over to see a trail of damaged buildings where Ivan had passed through. She gulped and swung herself in that direction.

'Jeez, that kid needs to calm himself down, otherwise, he seriously will make half of Paris homeless' Plagg commented.

'I know, I need to stop him as fast as possible' she replied.

When she finally caught up with Ivan he had reached the Eiffel Tower. She groaned as she saw that the police had made it before her and they were shouting at Ivan to stand down. She swooped down to snatch the megaphone from the police officer and shouted to all the people around her.

"Don't shoot him! I doubt that it would hurt him so please stand back and let me handle this!"

"And who are you supposed to be?" an officer shouted to her.

'Think of a name kid, Quick.' Plagg said to her.

Marinette stopped to think for a second and then replied using the megaphone so that everyone could hear her.

"I'm Chat Noire, The superhero that will protect you all from now on" She said. "This boy has been transformed by someone and is being used. He can't control his actions but I know how to defeat him without harming him."

"Who did this then? And how do we know we can trust you?" another officer shouted.

"I don't know yet, but I am going to protect you all and defeat him."

As an answer to that Ivan shouted "Chat Noire, give Kim and your miraculous to me peacefully or I'll destroy the whole city!"

"No, I can't. Just surrender and stop this Ivan!"

"I'm not Ivan anymore! I'm Stoneheart! And I'm going to take your miraculous!" he said and jumped towards her to catch her.

"Oh no you don't" she said and quickly grabbed the officer beside her and jumped out of the way of Ivan's enormous fists.

"Thanks, Chat Noire. He would have killed me for sure."

She smiled and winked at him. "What are superheroes for?" She said and jumped away to Ivan again.

'Well, they seem to have accepted your help at least' Plagg said to her. 'That went much smoother than I thought it would go.'

'It helps that they have a stone-man as tall as a building attacking them' she replied, exasperated. 'Plagg I don't know if I can do this.’

'Of course you can! Like I said before kid, I chose you for a reason. You are smart and brave, you have a very good chance to beat him in my opinion.'

She collected all her courage and swung her staff to hit Stonehearts leg. He lost his balance and crashed into the ground right in front of a police car. The police officers beside the car ran away and signaling to the officers to retreat, finally letting Chat Noire Handle things properly. She helped Officer Raincomprix out of his bashed car and focused on Stoneheart again. He slowly got to his feet again and threw a punch at Chat who dodged it and smacked him on the back his head, making him fall on his face.

She smiled in triumph only to get bashed by his arm that he had swung at her as he fell. She slammed into the wall of a nearby building, busting right through it. She winced as she got up to continue fighting Stoneheart. She jumped down from the building, nearly getting hit by a giant fist again.

'Plagg, talk to me! How do I defeat him?' She thought to him.

’Okay, kid. You need to look after an object on him that is colored purple. That’s where the acuma is.’

'Well, it seems like he is closing his fist around something. That's probably where it is if its the work of the butterfly miraculous. Okay then' she thought. 'I need him to open his hand. How can I make him do that?'

She ran around Stoneheart and jumped up on his back to smack him on the back of his head but he noticed and grabbed her before she managed to hit him. He started to crush her with his enormous fist and Chat Noire began to feel lightheaded from the lack of oxygen. She extended her staff to open his hand and jumped out. She landed hard on her back, gasping for air. She needed to stop him now, otherwise, things would get really ugly. Dodging Stonehearts fists again, she got an idea and used her staff to launch herself on the roof of a house where she started to tease Stoneheart so that he would follow her.

"You are so slow, you know that? Over here, gravel pile!"

"Shut up!" he shouted back and ran to smash her.

She jumped out of the way when his fists hit the house and it crumbled over his right hand. She then put her staff in-between his fingers, bending them to open his hand. It opened and a crumpled piece of purple paper fell out. She snatched it and followed Plaggs' previous instructions to destroy it. A purple butterfly flew out while a cloud of purple and black smoke enveloped Stoneheart.

'So I was right' Plagg said to her. 'This complicates things'

The smoke dissipated and where there previously was a big stone monster Ivan now sat on the ground looking confused. She caught the acuma and went to check on Ivan.

"Are you okay? What happened?"

"I swear, I didn't do anything on purpose! It’s like I woke up from a nightmare. The last thing I remember before that was a guy in my school saying to me that I didn't have the guts to tell a girl that I like her and I got mad. Then I went to fetch my headphones to listen to some music to calm myself down and a strange voice said that he could help me get back at Kim" Ivan replied. "He said his name was Hawkmoth or something like that"

"Hey it's okay, it's over now" Chat Noire said to him.

A flock of reporters ran up to them and started to bombard Chat Noire with questions.

"What happened here?"

"Was it a terrorist attack?"

"Is this the boy that turned into a monster?"

"Are you the new superheroine of Paris?"

"I will explain everything if you stop asking me questions!" Chat told them exasperated. She was still full of adrenaline from the fight making her a bit jumpy. The reporters calmed down and she cleared her throat. "This was the work of the butterfly miraculous holder, Hawkmoth. He acumatises people that have had a bad day with these little purple acuma butterflies." She held up the acuma so that everyone could see. "Therefore I am here to protect you from the acumas he creates" She said and whispered 'cataclysm'. The acuma turned into dust in her hand.

”What’s a miraculous?”

”So this is means that anyone could get acumatized?”

”You said that you will be protecting this city from now on. Are you also going to help the police with criminals?”

The reporters began to question them again but Chat put the dust in her pocket to grab Ivan and used her staff to get on top of a building, away from the reporters. She asked Ivan where he lived and took him home. His parents thanked her and wanted to invite her for tea, but she excused herself to get away because her ring was beeping signaling that she didn't have a lot of time left in her superhero form. As she swung herself back to the Eiffel Tower she looked at the damage the city had taken. She had asked a police officer if someone got hurt and miraculously the people that where hospitalized all had wounds that weren't deadly. But some of them had gotten badly hurt and one was in a coma. The police and families of the people that were hospitalized thanked her for saving the city. Jumping away on the rooftops of Paris, she stopped on one that had a good view of the city. 

'Good job kid, I am very proud of you. You handled that really well.'

'Thank you Plagg, but I didn't do such a good job' she replied with a gloomy tone. ’People got hurt and the acuma damaged loads of buildings. I was so nervous, what if everyone noticed that I was afraid? The people need an icon, something they can trust and rely on. I’m still not sure that I’m the right person for the job Plagg.’ 

’You may feel afraid kid, but you never hesitated when saving the police officers and defeating the acuma. But most importantly you prevented it from getting even worse. Can you imagine what would have happened if you hadn’t defeated the acuma?’

’I guess you have a point’ she replied to Plagg and sighed.

The beep of the ring on her hand signaling that she had very little energy left in the suit scattered her thoughts. Chat Noire got up and jumped away towards her home on the rooftops. She landed in a deserted back alley and detransformed. After checking that no-one saw her she walked towards her parent's bakery with Plagg strolling after her.

"What should I do with this acuma dust?" she asked plagg after realizing that she was still holding on to it.

"Put it in a jar or something, as a trophy of your first victory" he replied. "You deserve it."

 

——<><><><><>——

 

In his lair, Hawkmoth swore through his teeth. His minion had gotten completely outmatched by that Chat Noire! His minion, that was supposed to be unstoppable! He sighed in frustration and watched as she destroyed his acuma through his telepathic link with it. He got surprised when he still felt it hold on to its life after it got turned into dust. He had to ask Nooroo later what that meant. Wouldnt it be perfect if he could revive the acuma and per say, destroy Chat's home? That sure was a great idea.

"Just you wait, Chat Noire" he whispered to his acumas that where fluttering aimlessly around him. "I am going to make your life into hell!"

Chapter Text

"This is Nadja Chamack, reporting live from the Eiffel Tower. An enormous stone monster is attacking the city and police are warning everyone nearby to evacuate as quickly as possible. If you live nearby, then please search for shelter. What's this? A girl in black is shouting to everyone to stand back and let her handle things. Is she a special forces soldier? A hero coming to the rescue? The stone monster has noticed her now, and is charging to attack..."

Adrien zoned out while watching the report on Stoneheart for the fifth time in a row. The sheet music he should be practicing was abandoned on his piano when he ran to see the news report. He watched as Chat Noir trapped Stonehearts fist and opening the other one, freeing the acuma. The camera zoomed in on Chat Noir as she caught the butterfly and went to check on the boy that had gotten acumatized. Such an amazing girl. She had defeated the giant stone monster without hesitation when the police were too afraid to fight it. He felt really reassured when he watched her determined gaze as she destroyed the acuma.

His first schoolday was beginning tomorrow since he had a photoshoot he couldn't miss today. Because if he would have been out in the city when a crazy monster on a rampage to destroy everything his father would have prohibited him from going out of the house ever again. He hadn’t gone to a public school since his mother disappeared. He was very excited to stop with homeschooling and go to a real one again. Though at second thought, now that the city had been attacked, his father would probably forbid him to go again. Sighing, he turned off the lights in his room, changed into his pajamas and when to bed.

The next morning Nathalie woke him up too early in Adrien's opinion. He hadn’t managed to sleep until very late, thinking about the fight that went down yesterday. He groaned and got up to eat breakfast. He entered the dining room and looked surprised at his father who sat at the end of the table. This was the first time that his father had joined him for breakfast since his mother had disappeared. 

”Sit down Adrien. I need to talk to you.”

Oh. He probably wanted to talk about forbidding Adrien from going to school. He sat down as Gabriel Agreste began to talk. 

”As you probably know, yesterday, a monster attacked your school. I was thinking about not letting you go there anymore, but then Nathalie got the idea to get a bodyguard to drive you. So, from now on the condition for you going to public school is that your bodyguard will escort you to and from school every day and that you'll still attend to fencing and your photoshoots, as well as practicing piano in your spare time.”

*Thank you, father!” Adrien said and hugged him. ”I promise that I'll be careful.” 

”Good. I look forward to meeting the new friends you will make at school” Gabriel replied with a little smile breaking up the stern and serious expression he always wore. Adrien smiled and poured cereals and milk into his bowl. This day was going to be awesome.

After finishing his breakfast he put his books in a bag and walked to the car that was parked outside the gates. He greeted his bodyguard and sat down on the back seat. The ride to his school was very short, and they arrived after five minutes. Adrien's heart skipped a beat when he got out of the car and walked up the front stairs of the school. All around him students were talking and laughing with each other as they walked to their classes. He was so excited that at first, he didn’t hear the voice that was calling him.

”Adrikins! Over here!”

”Hi Chloe” he greeted her. ”Where is our classroom?”

”Follow me!” She chirped and dragged him with her.

He smiled. Chloe was very bossy and snotty sometimes, but he had learned that deep down, she really cared for people. Too bad she almost never showed it to others. They arrived at the classroom and Adrien saw that they were the first to arrive. Soon he would meet his new classmates! He noticed Chloe taking out a chewing gum from her mouth and sticking it on the seat behind him.

”Chloe, what are you doing?”

”Oh, I’m just teaching the brat that sits here a lesson. Watch and learn Adrikins!” she told him as she sat down at her bench.

”Come on Chloe, that’s really mean” he said and got up to remove it. As he grabbed the gum he heard a voice behind him.

”Hey! What do you think you are doing?”

Startled, he looked up to see a dark-haired girl with Asian features and cute freckles standing with her hands on her hips and glaring at him. He heard Chloe laugh beside him and the expression on the dark-haired girl's face became one of disgust.

”Oh. You are friends with Chloe” she said with a voice so cold Adrien felt shivers go down his spine and walked up to her seat. ”Now that you are done, could you get out of my way so I can clean my chair?”

Adrien stepped aside, trying to explain himself.

”I didn’t…”

”Yes, I bet you didn’t do it on purpose, right? You slipped and suddenly the chewing gum just appeared out of thin air” she cut him off with anger in her words. ”I don’t want to hear your lame excuses. Shut up and move” she snapped and walked past him to remove the chewing gum.

Adrien stood still just staring at herder a moment, completely mortified. Then he sat down at his seat just as more students entered the classroom. He thought about trying to talk with the girl again to explain the situation, but she would probably lash out at him again. Adrien felt frustrated and humiliated that Chloe had let the blame been put on him instead of standing up for him. As he was about to walk over to Chloe to confront her the teacher entered the classroom and everyone settled down. 

”Good morning everyone” she said. ”As you probably have noticed our other new student has arrived today. Adrien Agreste, would you please come here to introduce yourself?”

Great. Now he could embarrass himself in front of the cute girl he just unintentionally insulted. He needed to come up with an apology that would be inconspicuous enough for everyone else so that only she understood. As he got up and walked over to his teacher Adrien heard the students whispering.

”Wait, I’ve seen him before.”

”Yeah, me too.”

”Isn’t he the one from the clothing commercials on channel three?”

Sighing he began to talk. ”Hi everybody, my name as you heard is Adrien. I think some of you already have figured out who I am so I’m going to speed through it. I'm the son of Gabriel Agreste, the owner of the Agreste clothing brand. You’ve probably seen me on advertisements since I model for his company. But I don’t want that to be your image of me. I’m new here and don’t really know how things work since I got homeschooled after my mother disappeared. I don’t want your judgment to be clouded with the image that you have gotten of me until now, because things aren’t always as they seem to be at first glance.” 

As he said the last sentence he looked directly at the black-haired girl. She stared back at him with an unreadable expression. He continued.

”So I want to say that I look forward to getting to know all of you” he finished.

”Thank you, Adrien, you can go and sit down again. Class, open your English books to page 16 and start working.”

Adrien when back to his bench, hoping that she understood what he meant. They where discussing a text this lesson so Adrien got the chance to chat a little with his bench companion during the English lesson. Apparently he was friends with Marinette, the girl he had managed to offend. Adrien understood the opportunity before him and told him what happened to get some advice.

”Wow dude, you really have gotten yourself into a mess. But I guess its to be expected if you hang out with Chloe. She’s the main culprit of almost every single one” his bench mate said, chuckling under his breath. ”But I don’t think you have to worry about Marinette, she will probably forgive you if you just talk with her.”

”Well, that's the problem. I tried to talk with her but she didn’t let me explain” Adrien responded, discouraged.

”Just try again after she has calmed herself down a bit. She can be a bit snappy if she’s had a bad day, and especially if Chloe is involved. In the meantime, I think you need a friend to hang out with other than Chloe” he said as he reached out with his hand. ”I’m Nino. It’s a pleasure to meet you, dude.” Adrien smiled and took it. ”Adrien. It’s nice meeting you too.”

After finishing class they all went to eat lunch. Adrien found himself staring at Marinette in the queue and he quickly looked away. He didn’t want to get caught staring and offend her more than he already had. He got his food and looked for a place to sit when he saw Nino waving at him form a table. He started walking in that direction but someone bumped into him with a tray of food. He barely saved his tray from spilling its contents all over the place while catching the falling person beside him.

”Sorry I wasn’t looking where I was…” Marinette said but stopped talking abruptly when she saw who she was talking to.

”I’m sorry as well. The bubblegum in class this morning was Chloe's work so I tried to remove it but you called me out before I had a chance to explain myself. I hope we can still be friends if you’re not mad at me” he blurted out quickly before she got the chance to say anything else.

"Oh."

She looked at him with a mix of guilt and amusement making Adrien's heart skip a beat. 

”I’m the one who should be saying sorry then” she said. ”I shouldn’t have jumped the gun like that. Chloe's laugh of evil made me snap and when I’m angry I don’t think straight.”

”We're good then?” Adrien asked her.

”We're good” she replied to him. She smiled at him dragging him away towards the table where Nino sat.

After joining up with the rest of the group at the table she introduced Adrien to everyone. Adrien greeted a lot of people he didn’t recognize. Apparently, their class hung out with a lot of students from other classes as well. He looked at Marinette as she talked with everyone. She was so kind and open to everyone, so unlike his home where cordiality was seen by his father as the correct way to talk to people.

”Seeing something you like?” Nino whispered in his ear making him jump.

”No, I mean yes! She’s so kind and funny, I’m just not used to it.”

”Ooh, do we already have a lovebird? Alya is going to be happy” he chuckled while Adrien turned into a tomato.

”It isn’t like that! She is just a very nice person okay?” Adrien replied to Nino.

”Right, and I'm Chat Noire” Nino replied, still chuckling.


——<><><><><>——


After finishing lunch they had math and chemistry. Adrien was glad to finally have someone to study with, instead of listening to Nathalie monologuing about a subject and interrogating him. This was much more fun. He hadn’t realized that the schoolday was over until their teacher went out of the classroom and the students where packing their things and he walked out of the school with his new friends. The marks from yesterday's battle where still fresh on the school, although all the debris left on the floor had been removed. His classmates started to talk about how awesome the fight had been. Adrien shuddered a little looking at the big holes that had been punched out in the school, thinking about how terrifying the stone monster must have been. Paris’ heroine sure was brave, taking on that thing all alone.

”He really did a number on the school, huh” he said to Nino.

”Yes, it was terrifying. Although Ivan doesn’t deserve to be avoided like that. It wasn’t his fault he got controlled by Hawkmoth.”

Adrien looked over to his classmate. He hadn’t realized that Ivan was the person that all of Paris feared at the moment. He watched as Ivan talked with Nathaniel. He didn’t seem like he could turn into a literal rage monster rampaging through the city. He was just a normal guy. Hawkmoth really twisted people into the worst version of themselves. He walked up to Ivan to talk to him.

”I can’t really believe Hawkmoth made you do all this. It must feel awful.” 

”You bet. People avoid me wherever I go like I could turn into a monster at any time” Ivan replied with resignation. 

”And who says you can’t? Once a monster, always a monster, am I right Adrikins?” 

Adrien turned around to see Chloe standing behind him. His expression darkened.
”Chloe, will you stop being mean to everyone?” He said to her. ”He has already apologized to everyone and besides, he wasn’t even himself! He was controlled by Hawkmoth.”

”Yeah, like that makes any difference. He's still a monster in my eyes” Chloe said nonchalantly.
”Come, Sabrina! Let's go somewhere less nerdy.”

Adrien turned around to look where Ivan went and saw him walking off with shoulders hanging. Adrien walked up to him but Ivan spoke before he had a chance to say anything.

”I know what you are going to say, Adrien. But it doesn’t matter what you tell people, there will always be someone that doesn't think like you do, and I can’t change their opinion of me. I appreciate your concern, but it's okay, I promise.”

Adrien watched as his classmate walked away. He heard Nathalie calling his name and sighed, walking to the car that was waiting on him. He waved goodbye to his friends and got in the car, greeting his bodyguard and Nathalie. He sighed as he looked at the school, shrinking in size in the distance. As the car stopped at a red light, a little ladybug came flying through the open window on Adrien's side, landing in the hair of the oblivious boy.


——<><><><><>——


When He arrived at home, Adrien when straight to his room. His father would work until late and probably not join him for dinner, so he preferred to stay in his room and practice the song he was learning on the piano. As he sat down and began to play the first notes he thought about how he used to watch his mom play when he was little. She played for him every day and teached him how to do it himself. That was the main reason he still stuck to it after she disappeared mysteriously. His trail of thought got interrupted by a little ladybug that flew down and placed itself on the back of his hand. He smiled and continued playing. Nature had always put him in a good mood. He still remembered when he went to the forest with his family for the first time and he ran around chasing butterflies and looking wide-eyed at everything new. That was back when they still where a happy family together. He sighed as the last chords of the song he was playing faded out into silence.

”Wow, that was really beautiful!” A squeaky voice said out of nowhere.

Adrien almost jumped out of the piano stool in shock. ”Who’s there?” he said, frantically looking around his room to find the source of the voice. 

”Down here.” The voice came from the piano. But there was no-one there….

”I’m on the piano. Can you see me now?” The voice said with an amused tone. Wait. Was the ladybug talking with him?. He must be hallucinating or something from the lack of sleep. He really needed to sleep more, otherwise, he could get sick and not be able to go to school.

”Seriously? I’m right infront of you.”

”Where?” Adrien asked. He was still confused as to where the person was. Could it be a speaker planted by a paparazzi? 

”On the piano” The voice huffed. ”You’re looking at me right now.”

Adrien couldn’t believe his eyes. Was the ladybug really talking to him?

”You’re a talking insect” Adrien stated the obvious. ”Am I dreaming or something?”

”No, you are not. I am a Kwami, a spirit animal that grants magical powers. Mine is the power of luck and creation, which makes my chosen extremely lucky and able to create any object. My chosen can also repair the damage done to something. It works on both humans and objects, but it can't bring back someone from the dead. Nothing can recreate a lost soul. But you could repair the damage that Stoneheart has infected on the city, including healing those who got injured.”

Adrien stared baffled at the little bug, who appeared to be looking at him with patience. He couldn’t believe that this little bug could do such a thing. 

”Ok so how do you repair the city then?”

”Not me. You. I can transform you into what you call a superhero nowadays and give you all these powers.”

Adrien's face lighted up as he added up everything. ”Wait. So I could become a superhero just like Chat Noire? Is she also transformed by a ladybug? Or a beetle maybe? Ooh right, she is cat-themed. This is so awesome!”

”Yes, I can make you a superhero just like the chosen of the black cat. And no, she gets transformed by a cat, not a ladybug.”

Adrien couldn’t believe his ears. His wildest dream had come true overnight. He was about to be a superhero and fight villains! ”Ok, so I need to fight the acumas that Hawkmoth throws at the city, right?” He asked the ladybug.

”Yes, that is correct. The butterfly Kwami is in possession of Hawkmoth, who is using him for his own gain. To explain this I need to tell you the origin story of the Miraculous. Do you want to hear it?” 

”Yes” Adrien replied impatiently.

”Once upon a time, we Miraculous creatures where free creatures like any other. We lived our normal lives as animals until a wise man whose name was Fu approached us. He possessed great power and had a good heart, and asked us if we wanted to become spirit animals, witch purpose was to protect the balance of nature from evil. We said yes and the man gave each one of us unique powers. We suddenly understood greater knowledge than any man, and we could share our powers with a human too, making us much stronger together. Now we could aid others in need and fight against injustice. But the man’s brother, jealous that he had not received any powers, gathered the little magic power he had and put a curse on us. We were trapped inside a piece of jewelry and could only come out if a human wore it. We could then, only with the help of the human wearing the jewelry, use our powers. Master Fu Long searched for a way for the curse to be reversed, but when he eventually found it, many of us had disappeared off the map as the humans they chose ran away with the jewels.”

”So there are still other Kwamis out there?” Adrien asked.

”Yes, but not many. During the millenniums, most of the Miraculous jewels have been found and liberated from the curse. Some are still out there, and we Miraculous creatures have ben dividing into two groups, one that is still trying to find the remaining ones, and the other, with I am part of, are helping to defend itself from evil. The butterfly Kwami, was a part of that group until a decade ago when he went missing mysteriously. We tried looking for him but to no avail. Just until recently, when I and the black cat Kwami sensed his presence here in France for a moment, he was lost to the world. We felt that the curse had been put back on him and that he was again trapped in a Miraculous jewel, Completely unable to track or contact. Then, a few days later, Hawkmoth appeared. The black cat Kwami was closer to Paris than I was, so he arrived just in time to find a chosen and prevent a disaster. I have just arrived to aid them in their fight against Hawkmoth and if you want, you too can help.” The ladybug said. 

”And something tells me that you are more than willing to do it.” She giggled after looking at Adrien's ecstatic expression.

”You can bet on that! This must be the best first school day anyone has ever had in the history of first schooldays!” He exclaimed.

”Okay, I am so happy that you want to help! I knew you were the right person when I first saw you. I’m Tikki by the way.”

”Hello Tikki, I’m Adrien. So, what do we do first? Fight some Acumas?”

”The Acumas only appear when Hawkmoth uses his powers, so you need to be ready to fight them at any time. I think you should get yourself a name and then, we can go and repair the city. ”

”A name, You mean like Chat Noire? Okay, then I will be called….”

”Why not Beetle like you said before?”

”Yeah, that will do! From now on, the super-awesome superhero Beetle will protect everybody!” he said and struck a pose.

Tikki giggled at his performance. 

”Okay then. To transform into a superhero, you just say ’Tikki, transform me!’”

”Got it. Here we go! Tikki, Transform me!

Adrien watched as his body got covered by a red spandex suit with black dots and black boots and gloves in a flash of red light. On his waist, a red yoyo with black dots was attached with the string working like a belt. On his face, he had a polka-dotted red mask. He grinned widely as he grabbed the yoyo and opened his window to swing out of his house to repair the city's damage. 


——<><><><><>——


Marinette couldn’t believe her eyes. The Acuma was gone. The second day as a superhero, and she had already failed miserably. Had Hawkmoth been in her house? Did he know who she was as a civilian? 

”Hey, Kid, snap out of it! Wen need to catch the Acuma again before it causes total mayhem all over again!”

”Plagg, I let the acuma go! I have failed my duty as a superhero! And now Hawkmoth knows who I am! You need to pick someone….”

”LISTEN, kid. It’s my fault the acuma disappeared, okay? I forgot that the powers of the Miraculous changes if it is used with evil intentions. That’s probably why it could regenerate itself. and if Hawkmoth knew your identity, he would have captured you as soon as the Acuma set itself free. I know a way to fix this. I just hope that she’s already arrived…”

Before Marinette could ask Plagg what he meant, a roar rocked the house.

”We need to get moving! Quick kid, transform!”

”Plagg, I don’t know if I can do this….”

”Yes you can Marinette. I have full faith in you. I’ve always had. Since the first day I saw you I knew, you where the perfect chosen. You are smart, brave, and you always strive to do the right thing. If you can help in any way, you do it without regrets or second thoughts. So don’t put yourself down, You are worth much more than you think.”

Marinette inhaled and exhaled nervously. She could do this. She could do this. ”Plagg, transform me!” The transformation made her gain a little more confidence as she stared at herself in the mirror.

’All of Paris believes in you, and I do aswell’ Plagg said to her in her mind.

She took a deep breath and climbed up to her balcony. Chat Noire looked around, trying to spot the Acuma. The next roar came from right behind her this time and she jumped away just in time before Stonehearts fist crushed her. She tried to stand up and move out of the way from her damaged house but her tail had gotten stuck by Stonehearts fist and she couldn’t move. She froze as she saw his other fist rise above his head, ready to make her a part of the roof when Plagg screamed at her in her mind, startling her out of her paralyzation.

’Quick! Use your Cataclysm!’

”Right! Cataclysm!”

Her right fist began to emit back particles that pulsated like a heart around her hand. She quickly touched the concrete below her and Stoneheart's fist, making it crumble instantly. She fell through just in time to see Stonehearts other fist come flying at her and dashed to the side. The fist broke through the floor and smashed Her parent's bed to bits in the room below. The screams of her parents resounded from the bottom floor where the bakery was and Chat Noire smashed through the nearest window, landing on the ground inferno of the bakery. She ran inside to save her parents from the Acuma that was continuing to smash the building into bits. She found her parents taking cover under the kitchen bench and ran up to them.

”Are you okay? You need to get out of here now!” She said to them while dragging them out of the building.

”Wait! Marinette, our daughter! She’s still inside!” Sabine realized with fear in her eyes. ”We need to save her!”

”No! Run to the nearest cellar and stay there! I will look after her, it’s too dangerous for you!” She told them in an exasperated tone. ”I promise I will bring her back safe and sound, okay?” She said with a calmer voice and a faint smile on her face. Her parents where so kind, always thinking of others' safety before themselves. She resisted the urge to hug them and tell them how moved she was that they cared so much so instead she placed her hands on their shoulders to comfort them. They sighed and looked at her with a mix of worry and relief. 

”We’re so lucky to have you in this city protecting us.” Tom said to her.

”I’m just doing my job.” Chat Noire blushed a little and looked away.

”There are not many people who would have the courage to stand up against a supervillain” Sabine told her. ”Be careful out there! We believe in you!” She said and ran away with tom to a nearby house.

Chat Noire sighed and turned her attention to the Acuma again. Stoneheart Still hadn’t noticed that she wasn’t inside anymore and had almost demolished it completely trying to find her.

She tried to think of a plan but got interrupted by the loud beep of her ring, with only had one paw print left. ’Shit, I don’t have so much time left’ she thought. ’Plagg, how much energy do you think I have left in the suit to fight him?’

’I would say enough to at least use another small cataclysm, but that would really be stretching the borders. Since you destroyed a big and thick layer of concrete you really depleted a lot of energy. You will have more energy to use if you have more stamina, so the more you train and get stronger, the more energy you have at your disposal in the suit. So do only use Cataclysm if it’s an emergency because you will retransform shortly after. I think we need to be smart about it and think of a plan. Since I don’t fight I can try to come up with a good plan. In the meantime, keep him occupied.’ 

’Okay, Plagg. Let’s do this.’

’There’s the courage and determination I was talking about. Go get him, Kid!’

Chat Noire took a deep breath to calm her nerves and propelled herself up in the air with her staff. She landed on Stoneheart's shoulder and shoved her staff right in his ear. ”I hope you didn't forget about me?” Stoneheart screamed in pain as Chat Noire jumped down and ran away from the ruins that once was her house. ”Too slow! Catch me if you can!” 

The unintended pun seemed to anger Stoneheart even more. He roared so loud that the ground shook and charged at Chat Noire. She jumped out of his way and he crashed right into the building behind her. She winced at the screams from inside and ran inside to save the people. She found a couple at the entrance that where paralyzed from fear. 

”Is there anybody left in this building?” She asked them. They shook their heads so Chat Noire picked them up and ran outside. She left them at the entrance of the house that her parents took shelter in and told them to find shelter in the cellar. She then jumped up un the roof to make sure that the Acuma was still following her and looked around for the nearest open area. She spotted the Eiffel Tower and ran in that direction. She got a deja vu feeling from the first fight with Stoneheart at the Eiffel Tower. When she arrived with Stoneheart following close behind she saw all the tourists around her looking at the Acuma and scream in panic. Shit.

”Everyone! Get out of here!” She screamed at the tourists, but they were already running for their lives. She heard a roar from behind her and saw Stoneheart jumping across the Seine, landing ten meters in front of her.

”Okay, you big brute! Let’s dance!” She shouted and charged at him. He threw a punch at her that she nearly didn’t dodge and smacked him from behind. He did not fall over like she thought and turned around to smash her. Chat Noire threw herself out of the way and landed on her back, making her lose her breath.

’Plagg, what’s going on? Why is he so much stronger than last time?’

’Just like you, he gets stronger every time he gets acumatized again. Especially if it is the same Acuma. That's why you need to watch out. I have a plan now. You need to make him destroy the pillars of the Eiffel Tower and make it fall… KID WATCH OUT!’ Plagg screamed at her. She looked up and tried to dodge, but she was a second too late. She closed her eyes as Stonehearts fists smashed her into the ground.


——<><><><><>——

 

”Don’t be bemused, it’s just the news. I’m Nadja Chamack, reporting live from the Eiffel Tower where Chat Noire is fighting Stoneheart once again. The Acuma is a lot stronger this time, she looks like she could use some help. Stoneheart seems to be very angry, and…. OOOH! Did you see that? He hulk smashed her right into the ground! Is this the end of Paris’ brave heroine? He’s lifting his fists again. No, she is still alive! But she’s in really bad shape. She really could use some help, right about now, and the army and police force is nowhere to be seen. Stoneheart is picking her up now, probably to end her for good. But what’s this? Paris, open your ears, another hero has come to the rescue! The scarlet hero is trying to save Chat Noire! There may still be some hope left for our brave heroine.”

On the other side of the park, Beetle swung his yoyo at the fist that was holding Chat Noire. He caught it and dragged it down to the ground, releasing her. He quickly ran to pick her up and swung up the Eiffel Tower. They landed on the first platform and he put her down, both breathing heavily. 

”Are you okay?” he asked in a worried tone.

”I’m fine” she replied in a strained voice. ”Thanks for saving me. But who are you? Another Miraculous user?”

”Yes, I have the Ladybug Miraculous.”

”What power do you have?” she asked.

”The short version is that it allows me to create something and to repair the damage to the city” he responded. 

”Perfect” she said, with relief in her voice. ”I’m going to need that for my plan to work. We need to make Stoneheart follow us and destroy the pillars of the Eiffel Tower when he charges. Then we need him to stand right where the tower falls so it knocks him out. When I catch the acuma, you can repair everything. But watch out, he has been acumatized again from the same acuma as last time, so he’s much stronger than the last time I fought him.”

”Sounds good. I’m Beetle By the way.”

”I suppose you already know my name, but just in case I’m Chat Noire” she said, smiling weakly at him. ”Can you check if any civilians are left In the tower? I’ll distract him in the meantime.”

”Shure thing. I’ll meet you in a minute!”

The duo parted ways and Chat Noire jumped down the Eiffel Tower. She took a fighting stance as Stoneheart prepared to charge at her again. She just had to endure this a few minutes as Beetle secured the tower. No biggie. After five minutes which for Chat Noire felt like an eternity, Beetle returned. ”No civilians left” he declared. 

”Good. Now let’s go get him.”

They ran so that they stood in between Stoneheart and one of the pillars. ”Over here, Stonebrain!” Chat Noire screamed at him and jumped to the side with Beetle when he charged at them. Just like Plagg predicted, the pillar got smashed to bits, only supporting the tower with the few metal beams that were left.

”One more, then we have him trapped!” Chat Noir shouted as she ran towards the nearest one. Beetle watched as Stoneheart got up from the impact with the tower. ”You have big muscles, but that won't get you anywhere! You can’t even keep up with us!” he mocked him. 

”You little pest! I’m going to crush you like a Bug!” Stoneheart screamed in anger and charged at him again. 

”I don’t think so” Beetle replied with a smirk and Jumped out of the way. ”Heads up Chat Noire! Here he comes!” 

Chat Noire gathered the last bits of her energy and dodged Stoneheart who crashed in the pillar. A loud rumble shook the ground, and the Eiffel Tower began to tilt. 

”Quick! We need to lure him over here!” Chat Noire shouted to Beetle. But Stoneheart did the job for them by charging at them again. Chat Noire was so tired and beat up that she didn’t register the danger in time and almost got run over by Stoneheart, but beetle threw himself to knock Chat Noire out go the way, landing and rolling around a few times before they finally stopped. Stoneheart, who was dazed from the impacts with the Eiffel towers pillars didn’t notice anything until he realized that the two heroes were nowhere to be found and stopped. He heard a strange noise of twisting metal and looked up in confusion to see an enormous shadow approaching fast. The Eiffel tower crashed into the ground crushing Stoneheart and sending metal bits flying everywhere. Beetle hugged Chat Noire to protect her from the hail of metal splinters until everything went silent and the only thing that could be heard was their heavy breaths.

He got up to apologize but Chat Noire hushed him with a grateful smile on her bruised face. Beetle helped her up and she approached the spot where the Acuma stood seconds before. She saw a black butterfly fluttering away and snatched it from the air, walking over to Beetle.

”Done. Now you can repair everything.”

He stared at her for a brief moment, forgetting what he was supposed to do.

”Right” he said and swung his yoyo in the air. It started spewing out a big swarm of little red Ladybugs. They swirled around in every place where the Acuma had damaged the city, including Chat Noire and Beetle. Chat Noire sighed in relief as she felt every bruise on her body got healed by the Ladybug swarm. She looked as the Eiffel Tower bent back to its original state and its pillars got repaired. When everything was fixed again, the ladybugs returned to Beetles yoyo, entering it again.

”Thanks for saving me” Chat Noire said with a flustered look. ”I would have been dead for sure if you hadn’t come to rescue me.” She took a closed look at him now that the fighting was over and took in the sight. The suit made wonders with his figure, accenting his muscles and really left nothing to the imagination. She admired his figure until she saw that he noticed her staring. She blushed and reached out with her fist in a desperate attempt to hide it. He bumped her fist saying ”No problem, my lady. I’ll be happy to save you from danger anytime. Just call” making her blush even more. 

”W-we should check on the victim” she said to Beetle. ’Why am I stuttering now of all times?’ She thought

”Good idea” Beetle replied. ”But first, I may have a solution to the acuma problem. From what I understood, you didn’t manage to destroy the Acuma last time, right?”

”No, I destroyed it, but it regenerated somehow. My Kwami says it’s because the Miraculous has been used with evil intent, with changes its powers.”

”Okay. My Kwami told me I can also purify things from evil with my yoyo, aside from using my other powers. I can try to relinquish this Acuma from the evil inside.”

”Sounds good” she replied and gave him the struggling Acuma. He opened his yoyo making it glow, and touched the acuma with got sucked inside. Then it fluttered out of the yoyo, now completely white. They looked at the white butterfly as it flew away and then went to check up on Ivan who was sitting on the ground with slumped shoulders for the second day in a row. 

”Hey, are you okay?” Chat Noire asked him gently.

”Not really” he replied with a sad voice. ”I couldn’t handle my feelings and got Acumatized again. Now even more people will avoid me and call me a monster.”

”Ivan, it’s not your fault that you feel the way you feel. Everyone feels anger and sadness from time to time. What matters is that you know how to control them instead of them controlling you. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Now, what made you feel this way? You don’t need to tell me, just go home and think on it for a while. I’m sure that you will find a solution. And if you can’t do it alone, ask a friend to help you.”

”Thanks, Chat Noire” He said smiling at her.

”Do you need a ride home?” she asked him.

”No, I can walk. I need some time to think.”

She smiled as she looked at Ivan walking away. ”You are fantastic at pep-talks, you know that?” Beetle told her. 

She blushed again and waved it off. ”I'm just doing my job.”

”Well, I’m not sure I know anyone who would have the guts to do the job you’re doing.”

”Well, you too. You have the same job after all” she smiled nervously at him. Just what was with her today? Why was it so hard to talk to this guy?

At that point, the flock of reports that had fled the scene when the Eiffel Tower fell was returning and coming straight to them. Beetle looked at Chat Noire, who was looking at the reporters with a tired look. It seemed like she was used to them already. He had been used to them ever since he was a child, being an Agreste and modeling for his father's brand.

”Chat Noire, what do you have to say about the fight today?”

”Who is your new partner? Is he a superhero like you? Will he be protecting the city from now on?

Chat Noire held up a hand to silence them and spoke.

”This was another attack by Hawkmoth, using the same innocent civilian to do his bidding. It got a bit rough but fortunately, I got help from Beetle over here, who is also a Miraculous user. The civilian was used against his will by Hawkmoth, all because he had had a really bad day. Paris, do you want to know why he had a bad day? Because everyone around him was calling him a monster and avoiding him. You, people of Paris, caused this Acuma. There will be more Acuma-victims by Hawkmoth since he seems to stop at nothing. So please, be a little more understanding about the nightmare that they where forced to take a part in. That's all I have to say.”

The reporters started to bombard them with questions again but Chat Noire ignored them and spoke to Beetle. ”You can stay here and introduce yourself. I need to find a place to retransform and recover my energy.” 

He nodded. She looked really tired from the fight and he remembered that she had been hulk-smashed into the ground. ”I’ll take over here, you go rest.”

”Thanks. Let's meet at the top of the Eiffel Tower later. What do you think about meeting at around nine o’clock?”

”Sounds good.”

”Okay. Catch you later then!” she winked and blushed a little before jumping away, disappearing over the rooftops.


——<><><><><>——


As the clock struck five minutes before nine, Beetle swung up the Eiffel Tower and landed at the top, a few steps behind Chat Noire. She turned around and he saw her face lit up with a smile.

”Hi! I’m so happy you came!”

”Well of course I came, when a dashing lady asks me to show up at a date I always come.” He said and winked, making her as red as his suit. ”Jokes aside, I’m glad we could meet. Our first meeting was a bit messy, with all the chaos Hawkmoth threw at us.”

”Y-Yeah, I was pretty beaten up by the Acuma. T-thanks again for saving me” she stuttered.

”No problem, I bet my miraculous that you would have done the same if we swapped places.” Beetle said, ignoring Tikki’s angry buzzing in his mind bout even trying to lose her in a bet.

She smiled and Beetle was happy to see that she was loosening up a little. He sat down at the edge of the platform and gestured for her to join him. She sat down, facing him instead of the edge and studied him with an unreadable expression. 

”So, I thought we should get to know a little more about each other and our powers since we will be working together from now on. Just one rule. We don’t talk about our lives as civilians” she said. ”We can never know each other's identity, that could risk us revealing it if one of us end up being captured. What we don’t know cannot be brought out by force.”

”I can stand behind that” Beetle agreed. ”So, do you want to start?”

”Okay. I’m Chat Noire, the user of the Black cat miraculous. My Kwami gives me the power destruction, meaning I can destroy everything I touch after using my ability. I can destroy practically everything according to my kwami, except for the miraculous jewels. What and how much I can destroy depends on the material, for example, I destroyed a thick concrete roof at the beginning of the fight, and it drained almost all of my energy. But as we get stronger we can use more energy, I presume your kwami told you that. I also have better eyesight as well as excellent night vision, a very good sense of smell and the ability to climb on things with my claws. I also have the basic powers every miraculous get, superhuman agility, strength, and reflexes. I fight with my staff that I can extend and retract at will. And I can apparently move my tail” She added in surprise after wiggling her tail by accident. 

Beetle giggled a little at her reaction and cleared his throat. ”I’m Beetle as you know by now, the user of the ladybug Miraculous. I have the power of creation, which allows me to create any object. I can also heal any damage to objects and people's injuries, no matter how bad they are. My Kwami says that there isn’t a limitation as far as she knows. Apparently a previous user brought back an entire city after it being leveled with the ground” he said after a short pause after listening to his Kwami, with an amused look.

”But it also drains my energy massively, so it’s best if I use it at the end of a fight. Anyways, I also give good luck to my allies in battle and I think my suit also can heal minor wounds on my body. I have enhanced agility and strength and all that and I stick to any surface I place my hands and feet on at will like a bug. I can also purify things from evil with my yoyo. Speaking of which, I use it to fight and can do some petty cool stuff with it. Look!” he said and threw it at a radio mast. It wrapped itself around the metal. ”I can control it just by thinking about what I want it to do. Isn’t it cool?” He exclaimed, excited. 

Chat Noire giggled at his expression and nodded. He continued throwing it at every protruding thing he could find while continuing to explain it’s awesomeness, making her erupt into laughter. He smiled sheepishly at her and put it back around his waist. 

”I have a feeling we will make a pretty pawsome team” she said to him once she stopped laughing at him. ”That is if a catastrophe doesn’t happen or we let the cat out of the bag by accident.”

”Good one! I am purrsitivetly ameowzed by your punning skills” he said, making her laugh again. 

Sliding his yoyo open and looking at the screen, he got up and stretched his limbs. ”I’m sorry, I gotta split. Need to get my beauty sleep for tomorrow.”

”Yeah, it’s getting a bit late. See you the next time Hawkmoth Acumatizes some poor soul again!” She said to him.  

He waved and walked off the edge of the platform for dramatic effect, and then swung away in the night. Chat Noire sighed and looked out over the city. It looked really beautiful from up here, with all the lights on.

’Someone’s in love’ Plagg said to her in her mind making Chat Noire blush hard.

'No I'm not!' She tried to defend herself, blushing even more.

'Okay kid, whatever you are about to say, just know that I am in your head and can hear your thought loud and clear.'

'Hey! Give me some privacy!’ she thought to him.

'Just saying' Plagg mentally shrugged his shoulders. 'But you should know that you can talk with me about your problems kid. I'll be sticking around in your head whether you like it or not so it’s best if you get used to it.’

'Okay, so he may be just a tiny bit attractive with that suit on' Chat Noir admitted I defeat. ’But I’m not in love! I don’t stutter when I’m near him and think of him all the time.’

’You thought of him the whole evening when we got home, and are you absolutely sure you didn't stutter?’ Plagg countered.

’Just shut up, Plagg. I’m NOT in love. I’m not the person who falls for someone at first sight. I don’t even know him!’

’You keep telling yourself that, kid.’

’Uuuugh, is there a way to lock you out of my thoughts?’

’Nope. As I said you’re stuck with me’ Plagg said with an amused voice.

’Okay then, no camembert for you when we get home if you continue teasing.’

’I shall not utter a single word, kind lady.’

Chat Noire chuckled. ’Thought so. Let’s go home.’ She got up and extended her staff to the ground and descended gracefully. Some tourists stopped to take pictures as she propelled herself to the nearest rooftop with her staff. She smiled. They had become pretty well known by now. She wouldn’t be surprised if people from all the world would start to come here, just to get a glimpse of Paris’ superheroes.

 

——<><><><><>——

 

Hawkmoth was furious. The Acuma had come to life and began looking for its victim again, just as he went to a business meeting. He would have missed the acuma entirely if it weren't for the tv in the office. He needed to keep a closer watch on his Acumas from now on. He stood in his lair, contemplating the events of the day. The ladybug Miraculous had come to the rescue just as he was about to capture that damn Chat Noire. No matter, it didn’t change the plan. He would just have to squash another annoying bug. ”Watch yourselves, Beetle and Chat Noire. I am far from being done with you.”