Marinette and Adrien stared limply at the darkened sky. Smoke permeated the thick air, matched with the scent of metal as the duo settled in their fate.
It was over.
Marinette repeated the phrase over and over in her head like a mantra. The idea didn’t really sink it’s claws in her mind, though she lay in the midst of the blooming destruction of her city. Regardless, that didn’t stop the sensation in her chest from choking her as she struggled to cement the idea into reality.
Hawkmoth won, she realized. He won and took away their miraculous. He took away Tikki and Plagg and now he was about to take away what’s left of the world they know. Knew, maybe. Marinette wasn’t really sure whether or not the universal balance had already begun to tip, and she wasn’t very keen on knowing either.
Perhaps she was still holding out hope for their future. Gripping at the faintest straws, lest she loose herself in the truth of failure.
Perhaps she was just naive—which was surprising really, considering the horrors she and Adrien witnessed during their time as the unstoppable duo, Ladybug and Chat Noir.
“Ladybug,” Chat Noir spoke, many nights ago. His voice dripped with uncertainty and the barest hint of hopelessness as he stared out into the vastness if Paris.
Ladybug focused her attention to her parter, legs dangling from one of the Eiffel Tower’s beams.
“Yes Chaton?” She encouraged, peering at the boy with curiosity. If he noticed her worry at his sudden seriousness, he didn’t say anything.
“Do you...do you ever think we’ll beat him?” Chat flitted his gaze to meet her eyes, surprise marring her features. Lately, he’d been feeling unease with the akuma attacks. It’s been two years since it has started, yet they still weren’t any close to defeating Hawkmoth.
Ladybug, ever in tune with her partner, knew exactly what he was talking about.
“Why would you ask that?” She smiled, playfully punching his shoulder.
“Of course we will Chat. Have some faith.”
Chat matched her smile with an equally blinding grin. “Yeah, you’re right.”
A beat passed. “You sure know how to have a pawsitive outlook on life you know.”
Ladybug rolled her eyes at the pun, but still scooted closer to lean against Chat’s shoulder. Together, they watched the sun set in the horizon, only leaving once their eyes began to droop.
Faint memories of peace and hope now tasted bitter as Marinette recalled them. It was as if she was witnessing her life flash before her eyes; a tell-tale sign of her inevitable demise. Alas, such death wasn’t that merciful—only dreadfully slow. Was it not for the numbness she felt in her heart, Marinette thought she would have been screaming in agony by now.
Halfheartedly, she turned her face to look at Adrien, who lie right next to her with his gaze looking upward. Blood dripped from her forehead as she moved, muddying her already fuzzy vision.
As if sensing her shift in attention, Adrien moved his bruised arm that it could grasp Marinette’s, letting her know he was with her. She, in turn, entwined their fingers together in spite of the rawness of her split knuckles.
“Adrien,” Marinette croaked out, surprising herself with the roughness of her own voice. Adrien shifted his head that it faced Marinette, weakly smiling, and matched her gaze.
Ladybug looked over her shoulder, where Chat Noir trailed behind her as they walked across the Pont Des Arts, street lamps and stars illuminating his gentle features.
She hummed in reply, prompting Chat to continue his trail of thought.
He grinned, striding in larger steps to catch up to the heroine.
“Don’t you think this is quite ro-meow-ntic?”
Ladybug shot him a flat look. “You just ruined the mood,” she deadpanned.
“So you admit it!” Chat Noir ribbed, clutching his stomach.
Ladybug gasped, pink dusting her cheeks and prouncing her freckles. She watched as he recovered from his stupor, jumping onto the railings as if he were an actual cat. “That’s not what I said and you know it!” She squeaked out.
“Keep telling yourself that M’lady”
They continued in comfortable silence, basking in the warmth of each other’s presence as their minds drifted elsewhere.
“Say,” Chat began, “Would you go on real a date with me once this is over?”
“Who says this is a date?,” Ladybug teased, shooting him a sly smirk at his implications and in turn ignoring her quickening heart rate.
Chat Noir simply laughed at her remark, but continued. “Seriously though LB, would you?” His eyes were hopeful and sincere, as if he poured out his every being into a simple question.
“Maybe,” She replied, a gentle smile gracing her features. Chat dropped from the railing as they reached the end of the bridge.
“I’ll hold you to it.”
“Marinette?” Adrien replied, caressing her thumb as he spoke. He took her in, as if trying to memorize every curve and juncture of her face—as if it was the last thing he’d see. It probably was, he thought, but that fact didn’t dishearten him. Quite the opposite actually. When did he, the embodiment of bad luck itself, become so lucky that his last memory of this world would be of his beloved? His lady. His princess.
“Nothing,” Marinette spoke, “it’s just that i’m so glad it’s you Adrien.” Her heart filled with joy and admiration; the tears brimming at the back of her eyes held relief, pain, and love. Oh, so much love.
“I am too, princess.” Truthfully, Adrien wouldn’t have had it any other way, and he couldn’t imagine anyone else behind the mask. How ironically lucky was he, really? Adrien had have fallen for two people, only to find out they were one and the same.
Marinette sighed. It wasn’t a sigh of exasperation nor disappointment, as Adrien observed. Rather, it was a sigh of contentment.
“When this is over, will you go on a real date with me?”
Adrien’s mouth opened slightly, both out of surprise and endearment. His face flushed, matching the swollen gash on his cheek.
“I mean,” Marinette spoke, wistful as she imagined a future with him.
“I was thinking a stroll and a picnic at Champs-Élysées maybe? Or whatever you’d like of course.”
Adrien beamed at the request, a twinkle flickering in his eyes. “I’d love to, M’lady.”
He coughed, chest shaking from exertion. Marinette squeezed his hand in support, gaze still softened by Adrien’s words.
Adrien inhaled—His smile was small, but it was somehow filled with so much warmth.
“I’m gonna have to put a rain check on that though.”
The two locked eyes once more. They peered into each other’s souls, searching and scanning and diving.
As deep blue matched emerald pools, all that needed to be heard was known, and all that was known was all that mattered.
For them, that was enough as they lay, broken and battered and on the verge of falling. They had each other, and that was enough.
“I’ll hold you to it,” Marinette whispered.
A blinding white light flooded her vision, and Adrien’s grip turned slack.