A/N: This is an AU where there are no Miraculous. However, there is a Chat Noir, but he's a criminal. But is he really all that bad? ;)

Chapter 1

"Girl, I can give you a ride. Or you can stay over, you know my mom won't care!"

Marinette simply gave a small smile at her best friend's worrying. "I'll be fine, Alya. It's only a couple blocks."

"But it's ten at night, it's not safe. Especially with that Chat Noir prowling around." Alya practically spat the name of Paris's number one criminal.

The raven-haired teen's top teeth rested on her lower lip. After a few seconds of hesitation, she shook her head resolutely.

"I'll be fine. I doubt I'll even see him."


"No buts. I have to get home, we have school tomorrow. I can't chance sleeping late and not seeing Adrien." Marinette practically swooned at that last thought.

Adrien Agreste: a gorgeous, blond model who graced her with his presence everyday by sitting in front of her in literature class. Marinette was convinced the angels lent some of their golden spools of thread to make his hair. Next they found the rarest and brightest emeralds to place in his eyes. Finally, they took a piece of the sun itself and placed it in his heart. How else could he be so warm and kind?

Unfortunately she was the exact opposite of smooth, so everytime he merely glanced at her she was a pile of nonspeaking mush.

It was worse when he tried to actually speak with her. Her cheeks would heat up so much she was sure she resembled a tomato. Then she'd stutter and stammer until Alya could save her from any more humiliation.

But maybe one day everything will change. Maybe he'll fall in love with her and ask her to the movies and she'd be cool and calm and then they'd get married and have three kids and a dog and a cat-wait, scratch the cat-and a hamster and-

"Girl, you there?" Alya asked with a small smirk, snapping her fingers in her dazed friend's face. She's been witness to 'Adrien fantasies' one too many times.

"Hm?" Marinette shook her head. "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine." She took a breath, the heat in her cheeks started to wear off. "I should get going."

Alya still didn't agree, but she walked her down to her front door regardless.

"Be careful. Text me when you're home," she ordered.

"I will, promise. See you tomorrow!"

Marinette waved with a bright smile and descended from the porch steps. Alya watched her go until she turned around the corner.

The hopeful designer wasn't stupid. She glanced around occasionally to make sure no one was following her and didn't stop walking. She kept a hand in her jacket pocket, hopeful that any possible muggers would think she had a weapon.

She shivered a bit at the cool, night air. It was nearing November, she'd have to start wearing warmer clothes soon. Maybe that jacket she was sketching...

Marinette didn't have time to scream before she was roughly pulled into the alley. A large, dirty hand pressed against her lips.

Her eyes were wide with shock and fear. She tried to fight her way out but the man had her pinned to the brick wall.

"Stop fighting," he growled, holding up a small, silver dagger to her throat.

She relented, but not before letting out a small whimper. Is this how she was going to die? In an alley and be discovered some time later by some unfortunate passer-by? Her parents would be devastated, she was their only child. She would never get to become a fashion designer.

The man tilted his head at her. He didn't bother to wear a mask. His hair was a short brown color, although it could've been black. It was hard to tell in the darkness. Angry brown eyes seared into her sapphires.

"You don't look like you have anything of value..." he mused. Marinette relaxed and almost let out a sigh of relief. Maybe he'd let her go!

"But I haven't been satisfied in a long time." All of a sudden he grinned, it was purely predatory.

Marinette felt her blood run cold at his meaning.

No. No, no, no! She can't let this happen, she won't let this happen!

She bit at his hand, sinking her teeth into the disgusting skin with all the strength she had in her jaw. The effect was immediate, he sprang back and howled in pain, clenching the bit hand into a fist.

Marinette turned to run. She almost made it out of the alley but he snatched her backpack and threw her against the wall. As her head made contact she swore she saw stars.

"You little bitch," he growled. "I was going to let you go after I was finished with you and let you enjoy it. But now I'm going to tear your pussy apart and dump your body in the Seine when I'm done!"

Marinette shook. Tears prickled at her eyes and another whimper tore from her throat. She was going to die. Alya would be without a best friend, her parents without a daughter.

An angry hiss tore through the air.

The mugger and Marinette both stopped.

Her eyes darted to the right to see a figure clad in all black slowly approach them.

"Chat Noir." The man let out a sigh of relief as soon as he saw him. "You scared me there! Look what I managed to get." He gestured to the poor girl pinned beneath him.

The young designer's eyes bulged. Chat Noir? Her body wouldn't be found in the Seine now. No, it'd be slashed apart by his claws, far past any point of being identifiable.

"I see." His voice was cool, calm, and deadly. It chilled Marinette to the bone. "Let me take a closer look at her."

"Be my guest. But be careful, she already tried to get away once. She's a fighter." The man glared down at the hand she had previously bitten.

Chat Noir chuckled and maneuvered his way until they were practically nose to nose.

The news didn't have any pictures of him, he was that good at his crimes. So she was a bit surprised to see how young he looked.

His hair was blond and messy, a stray lock hung on his forehead and black cat ears were pinned to the top of his head. His eyes, most of his forehead, and cheekbones were covered by a sleek, black mask. The mask ended at his nose in a sharp point.

His eyes were bright green and seemed to bore into her. He grinned, a flash of white escaping past his lips.

Overall, Marinette could gather that he was a very handsome man. But her heart would forever belong to Adrien.

"She is very pretty," Chat Noir observed. He placed a clawed index finger beneath her chin and tilted her head up. His eyes zeroed in on her neck, eyes darkening in...what, exactly?

She didn't dare move, barely even breathe in fear of making him mad.

"Sweet little thing, isn't she? And she's all mine tonight," the mugger gloated. Marinette felt bile rise up in her throat.

"Yeah, about that." Chat Noir turned away from her and removed his finger from her chin. "I'd like to have her."

The mugger gasped in outrage. "What?! I found her first!"

"I don't care." Chat Noir shrugged his shoulders.

"You can't just steal her away from me."

Chat scoffed. "Do you forget you're talking to the best cat burglar and overall criminal in Paris? Stealing is what I do."

"You're not taking her. I haven't had sex in weeks!" The man lunged but Chat Noir was much quicker. He pulled the arm down painfully and kicked the man away from him. The mugger bent over to clutch his stomach with a groan but Chat let his foot fly upward and connect with his chin. His head snapped up and the feline criminal took that opportunity to slash his face with his claws, leaving three distinct lines across the mugger's face.

The man screamed in pain and held his face, blood now seeping through his fingers. Marinette could only watch, horrified, as Chat Noir spun and kicked him again, sending the criminal flying back several feet. His body crashed into some trashcans.

Marinette couldn't move. Chat Noir gathered her in his arms and used a baton previously strapped to his back to get to the rooftop. He carried her a few rooftops over before gently setting her down.

The girl trembled and stared into the criminal's burning green gaze. What would he do to her now? She knew it would be worse than what that mugger had planned for her.

"Now, you don't think I'm going to hurt you, do you? Princess?" He asked, his lips curling into a smirk.

Princess? Marinette's eyes narrowed, confused.

"Really, I would hope you would have more faith in me after I just saved your life," he sneered. "It would've been pawsitively horrible if I hadn't interfered."

Cat puns? Princess? Saving her life? Not hurting her? "I-" Marinette tried to find some sentence to say, anything, really. "I-"

"Hm?" He grinned, cupping a hand to his human ear. "Go ahead, all my ears are listening."

It took her a minute, but she finally managed to get out one word. "Why?"

He crossed his arms and rolled his eyes. "You'll have to be more specific, Princess. Cats can't read minds."

"I mean-" She shook her head at the absurdity of it all. "You're the most known criminal in Paris."

Said criminal flashed her a smirk. "A pleasure to meet me, I'm sure."

She was thrown off by his cocky attitude, but got back to her question. "Why did you save me?"

He shouldn't have saved her. True, there were no reports of rape or murder connecting to him, but didn't criminals turn their head away when one of their brethern did something? Why would he stop that mugger and save her?

"Despite my crimes, I do have a sense of morals. Besides, I couldn't let that disgusting piece of filth taint you. I wasn't lying when I said you were pretty." He flashed her a flirtatious wink.

Marinette felt her cheeks blush before she could stop herself. "But-uh-I-"

"How about a thank you for your knight in shining leather?" He interrupted, smirking.

"Thank you," she blurted out before she could think.

He reached forward to take her hand. Slowly raising it to his lips, he pressed a soft, warm kiss to her knuckles. He lingered for a moment longer than necessary, then raised his eyes to her.

"You're welcome, Princess." He said before returning her hand and taking a step back. "Now, while I do love calling you that, I would like to have a real name to know you by."

Her eyes widened as she bit her lower lip. Would it really be wise to let Paris's top criminal know her name?

"If you won't tell me I have other means to get it," he drawled, seeing her apprehension.

She paused, raising an eyebrow. "Wh-What means?"

"Nothing you need to worry your pretty head about. That is, of course, you do tell me your name?"

What were these 'other means'? He was right, she didn't want to know.

"Marinette," she whispered.

"Chat Noir, a purrleasure." He bowed. When he rose, his demeanor changed from flirty and playful to serious. "It's pretty late, why were you outside at this hour?"

Marinette wondered why he wanted to know that, but answered his question nonetheless. She was still afraid of those claws on the tips of his fingers.

"I was at my best friend's house. We were working on a project and we lost track of time. So I left and was on my way home and then that guy pulled me into the alley and, well, you know the rest." She fumbled with the ending.

He hissed, his lips pulling back and white teeth on full display. "Did he hurt you?"

She absently rubbed the sore spot on her head. "He pushed me into the wall when I tried to run, but I'll be fine."

Before she could comprehend what he was doing he was inspecting her hair, his claws gently peeling away the raven strands.

"No blood," he concluded. "That's a good sign. You didn't pass out or anything, so I don't think you have a concussion. Then again, I'm not a doctor. Does your head hurt?"

She had to admit, it was kind of amusing to see the man she heard so many horror stories about be caring, and towards her no less. "No, the spot just hurts a bit if you touch it."

She unleashed a hiss of her own and Chat quickly flinched away. "Like that," she breathed.

"Where do you live?" He asked.

Okay, her name was one thing, but where she lived? That's pushing it.

"I'm not going to rob you blind if that's what you're worried about," he growled, ears drooping slightly. "Or come in the middle of the night and kill you."

Marinette tilted her head. If she didn't know any better, it sounded like he was hurt by her hesitation to answer.

He's done nothing to hurt her so far. Taking a breath and silently praying she wouldn't regret this later, she spoke.

"Twelve Gotlib Street."

Chat started from his previous position of glaring to the right and gazed back at her. A slow smile stretched across his face before morphing into that grin she was getting used to seeing.

"Then hold on tight, Princess."

Marinette rose an eyebrow. "Huh?"

Without a word he scooped her up in his arms and flipped her around so she was clinging to his back, piggyback style. He pulled out his baton and extended it, and soon they were soaring above the streets of Paris.

Marinette buried her face into his leather-clad back, her grip on him tightening. Each time they fell it felt like her heart was about to leap out of her throat, but Chat Noir never let her go for a moment.

A couple minutes later Chat landed on her balcony. He chuckled at her still form, still squeezing him and head still pressed into his back.

"We're here, you can open your eyes."

In a daze the girl slowly rose her head. She blinked a couple times at her surroundings, as if she never saw her balcony in her life. In a second she regained her bearings and slipped down Chat's back and allowed her feet to touch the floor.

"Here you are, safe and sound, as promised." Chat dropped into a bow.

"Thank you." Marinette smiled shyly. "Really, thank you. My friends and parents would've been devastated if I never came back."

He tilted his head slightly, appraising her and giving a smile of his own. "That's one of the most selfless things I've ever heard."

Her eyebrows drew forward. "What do you mean?"

"You didn't mention how if you never came back, you wouldn't have been able to grow up, get a life, get married and all that. Your family and friends' feelings were your first thoughts."

"Well, how could they not be?" She asked. "They love me."

"Wish I knew the feeling," he muttered bitterly.

"Chat?" She asked quietly, extending a hand towards him.

"Nothing, Princess. Don't worry about it. I hope we meet again soon." He flashed her another grin before taking her hand and kissing the back of it. Then, with a two-finger salute and a wink, he leaped off her balcony and disappeared.

The young designer opened her trapdoor and landed on her bed with a soft thump.

If Marinette could still hardly believe what happened, then Alya wouldn't believe her at all.