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Two Hours to Save a Life.. Or End It.

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Marinette woke up, getting up and fixing her hair as she smiled sadly in the mirror. This was it. The big day. The one she had been dreading since the day they met. And it was all her fault. There was nothing she could do, either. She pulled on the black dress, fastening the bright red ribbon around her waist before slipping on her black and red flats to match. Her blue eyes watered as she tied the ribbons into her hair and she fell to the floor, putting her face in her hands as she cried harder than she had ever cried before. Her Adrien.. Her Chat.. Her partner..

She couldn't stop the akuma in time. She couldn't help him and get him out of there in time. They hadn't been sure if he would make it, and he had been forced to reveal himself when he was knocked unconscious, causing Marinette to feel her anger grow inside herself as she went after the akuma. The good news- the akuma was gone and the city was safe.

The bad news, however, was that Chat - Adrien - was wounded. Fatally. She rushed him to the hospital, explaining everything in a fit of tears and heartache. She couldn't breathe. She couldn't see straight. She watched him be wheeled away and couldn't do anything. She wasn't allowed to go back with him until they were sure he was in stable condition.

But they had called her that morning, telling her that he was.. In worse condition than he was before. That he probably wouldn't make it to see the next day. She - Ladybug - told the doctors that she'd be sending her friend Marinette in her place since she had to make sure the city was safe from any akumas that may take over somebody.

She stood up and wiped her face, laughing a little when she saw her mascara was smudged all over her face. She shook her head and fixed her makeup, smiling again sadly when she saw that she seemed slightly presentable. She picked up her bag, silently slipping Tikki inside before walking out the door and picking up the umbrella that Adrien had given her when they became friends. With a sigh, she opened it and began to walk to the hospital.

When she got in, she saw Nathalie sitting in the waiting room, seemingly upset with whoever she was on the phone with. Marinette suddenly understood when Nathalie practically screamed "He's your son, Gabriel!" before hanging up and composing herself. Marinette went over and sat beside her, shyly putting her hand on Nathalie's.

"Is he.. Alright?" Marinette asked, looking at her and smiling sadly. Nathalie just shook her head, smiling with the same amount of sadness in her own eyes.

"No, I'm afraid not. They're not sure what happened. They're not sure why he's like this, either. All they told me was that Ladybug carried him in here crying and left when they said that she couldn't go back there. I don't understand any of this to be completely honest with you." She gently patted Marinette's hand before looking at her again, smiling a bit. "You should go ahead and go back there to talk to him. Well, he probably won't reply, but at least he'll have somebody to talk to him."

Marinette smiled at her and nodded before picking her bag up and heading back to his room, knocking lightly on the door before going inside and sitting by his bed, letting Tikki out. "Plagg, if you're here, come on out. I won't bite you, and I'm sure you need the comfort of Tikki right now." The small black Kwami crawled out from under the blanket, and Marinette could tell he had been crying before Tikki went over to him and took him into the drawer, curling up with him and comforting him. Marinette could still hear the crying from the small cat Kwami even after the drawer was shut.

She lightly brushed Adrien's bangs from out of his eyes, smiling when she remembered all the times she had been too shy to do so, and remembering how she felt when she realized that Adrien was Chat. Although it had been a sad moment, she was relieved. She smiled and gently leaned down, kissing his forehead as she let a tear slip down her cheek softly, landing on him. Maybe this was for the best. A sign that they weren't meant to be together. A sign that nobody was supposed to know about their true identities.

It had been two hours. She had fallen asleep and woke up to the loud beeping and nurses and doctors rushing in to get to Adrien and push her away. She watched everything, her eyes watering more and more with every passing second. Gone. He was gone. They shouted times, writing it down and taking her out of the room, Nathalie being alerted. She ran down the hallway, pulling Marinette close and stroking her hair as she cried. They both cried.

Gabriel hadn't even bothered to show up at his own son's funeral. His memorial. His grave. Granted, he had lost both his wife and his son, but he hadn't even shown up for his son. Nathalie had tried to pull him out, but all he did was give her a box and told her to give it to Marinette. He said she would know what to do with it.

Nino had showed up. And Alya. Chloe even bothered to show up, comforting Marinette for once. They were both mourning, and she looked at her and told her that this would be the first and last time that she would ever hug her or even be associated with her. Marinette didn't care. She didn't say anything. She just sat there, holding Adrien's ring in her hand as tears rolled down her face.

The 4 had been seated in the front row, Marinette sitting beside Nathalie, Alya beside Marinette, Nino beside Alya, and Chloe on the other side of Nathalie. There were no dry eyes by the end of the night. When they were done, Marinette went back home and straight up to her room, opening the box to see a pin. Hawkmoth. Her eyes widened and she covered her mouth before slipping Adrien's ring on, the little black Kwami appearing and nuzzling up to her.

A week had passed.

Two weeks.

Three weeks passed before she finally got the courage to go out as Ladybug on her own. She made a public appearance on the news, smiling brightly yet sadly.

"Hello, Paris. It's me, Ladybug. As you all may know, our beloved Adrien Agreste has passed away.. Nobody knows what happened, but I do. I failed him. Adrien was Chat Noir. I didn't know until I saw him transform into Adrien when he got injured. I loved him, just as much.. If not more than all of you. Hawkmoth's identity has been revealed, and I've already taken his miraculous away. There won't be any more akumas. So there will be no need for Ladybug anymore." With a flash, she transformed back to her normal self, wiping her face free of the tears that were falling freely now. "I'm Ladybug. My name is Marinette Dupain-Cheng, and I was madly in love with Adrien Agreste. I didn't get to tell him, and I've failed him, as well as all of you. I'm sorry." Before anyone could ask her any questions, she left, going back to her house and locking herself away again.

And that was it. That was the end of the duo. There was no way to get them back until Marinette decided that she was ready to depart from Tikki and Plagg. But she knew deep in her heart that she would never be able to give them up. Not in a thousand years.