A/N: What the hell is wrong with me, starting a new story when I still have others to finish? (Sigh) Well, I hope you enjoy this. I'm still working out the details (I know, I'm pathetic) and there will be no set schedule for this, sorry guys. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this :)
P.S. This is an AU where Chat's Miraculous doesn't have a limit. Chat can do however many cataclysms he wants. He still has to feed Plagg, though. Also, Ladybug doesn't exist. The earrings exist, but please don't ask me about them, because I still don't have this story entirely planned out yet. Pathetic, I know :/
Chat Noir was beloved by all.
He was brave, strong, and didn't hesitate to save a citizen from any kind of danger, even if it put himself in peril.
Key word: was.
Now, he's a menace to Paris. More than that, he's a menace to all of France. With the power of destruction at his fingertips, he didn't hesitate to level some buildings to the ground to get his point across.
France implored other countries to help, but they were all either too intimidated to help or just wanted to keep to themselves. Chat Noir's home was Paris and it seemed it was going to stay that way, so why should they bother with him and possibly endanger their own people by provoking him?
No one knew why he had suddenly snapped, but everyone remembered when.
Instead of coming to stop the bank robber, he was the robber.
Instead of helping put out the fire, he caused it.
Instead of capturing the man threatening to bring the building to the ground, he was that man.
Marinette remembered it was also around the time when the love of her life, Adrien Agreste, disappeared.
He was so warm, kind, and sweet. The sweetest and most gentlemanly boy you could ever meet. He was entirely out of her league, but he always took time out of his day to smile or talk to her. She tried talking to him, but a bunch of stutters and mumbles would come out instead to her utter embarrassment.
However, Adrien, bless him, didn't seem to mind it. In fact, when he took a look at her growing blush and heard her increasing shy stammers, he seemed to smile wider and talk to her more, as if to try to coax her out of her shell.
That's why she was in love with him. She wasn't like the other girls who only admired him for his looks and money. He was gorgeous, yes, and insanely rich due to his fashion mogul of a father, but they were merely bonuses in comparison to the gentle and kind nature of the boy.
One day he didn't show up for school. It was in the middle of sophomore year. Adrien had been going to their school for little more than a year now, Chat Noir was a fairly new hero to Paris, and Marinette was hopelessly in love with her classmate.
It was assumed he was sick, so no one made a big deal of it. That is, until the news reports declaring that Adrien Agreste, son of fashion guru Gabriel Agreste, had gone missing, had aired.
Marinette, naturally, was worried sick. Did he run away? Was he kidnapped? Was he just walking down the street and someone killed him there in cold blood?
A few days later, to make matters worse, Chat Noir was robbing one of Paris's more popular banks.
First Adrien's disappearance, and now Chat Noir had turned to the bad side? What was the world coming to?
It was a rumor among the Parisians that Chat Noir had something to do with Adrien's disappearance. However, he neither confirmed, nor denied, this rumor. Whenever someone would shout the question at him, he'd turn tail and flee, usually with his stolen loot.
Did she think Chat Noir was capable of murder? Never, when he was a hero. But now that he's the bad guy?
Marinette sometimes went out at night, trying to find her beloved classmate. Looking back on it, she knows it was stupid, but in the mind of a 15-year old girl that was infatuated with him, she thought it was a good idea. Maybe she could find him and he'd fall in love with his savior.
A few times when walking, she had heard someone following her. In blind hope, she would turn around and hope it was Adrien. However, a terrified scream would reach her ears before she could fully turn, and that was enough to send her running for home.
She stopped after three incidents.
Now, she was 18, and preparing to finish her final year of high school to go to college. She already had the best one picked out, and was awaiting for either her approval letter, or rejection letter.
Everyone assured her that her designs were amazing, that she'd get in the school no problem. Marinette wanted to believe them, but she couldn't help but feel nervous. There was always going to be someone who was better than the other, so why wouldn't they just pick that person instead of her?
"You worry too much," Alya chastised, rolling her eyes.
The girls were walking down the sidewalk, just taking an afternoon stroll. Granted, it was pretty dangerous since Chat Noir could pop up at any moment and wreck havoc, but they couldn't live their lives in fear. They had to get out and still keep their heads up.
It also may or may not also have to do with Chat Noir being the biggest scoop in history, according to the aspiring journalist. Marinette would always scold her for this viewpoint and tell her to be more careful.
"I'll be careful when I'm 80 and in a wheelchair," Alya would scoff.
"Yeah right, you're the type that would be trying to do wheelies down the hall," Marinette would then giggle.
The blackette closed her eyes and exhaled through her nose. She opened her blue bell orbs again before answering her best friend.
"I can't help it, Alya! I mean, it's not a guarantee that I'll make it in."
"It is, you're the best when it comes to fashion." Alya turned to her to give her a wink. "When they see your designs, they'll be begging you to accept!"
Marinette laughed, just thinking of the thought of a bunch of grown men and women clamoring over themselves just to write her acceptance letter.
"I doubt that," Marinette insisted, rolling her eyes.
The pair laughed until the sound of sirens reached their ears.
Alya's eyes lit up and her mouth dropped into an open smile. Her hand immediately flew to the cell phone in her pocket.
"Alya," Marinette began warily. "I don't think-"
"Come on!" She cried, grabbing onto the designer's arm to pull her closer to the scene.
Marinette silently prayed that they wouldn't get injured or get in trouble by the police for this. Alya wasn't a stranger to being reprimanded by Sabrina's father for being too close to a crime scene.
A pair of sky blue eyes widened as they took in the scene.
Police cars blocked the entrance to the bridge below the Eiffel Tower, civilians were scattered around, gasping and pointing up to the famous monument.
While Marinette squinted her eyes and tried to find what all the commotion was about, Alya hit her on the shoulder repeatedly in excitement.
"Chat Noir! It's Chat Noir! Girl, we gotta get closer!"
Marinette paled and visibly gulped. "Alya, I don't think-"
"Come on!" The auburn-haired girl insisted and grabbed her hand again, dragging her closer to the scene.
Marinette could only hope Chat Noir would stay on the Eiffel Tower and not come down, she didn't want to be face-to-face with him. She admired him when he was a hero and wouldn't mind the possibility of meeting him, but now it was the complete opposite.
She was scared to death of that cataclysm of his, the same cataclysm that had helped so many times before.
Alya stopped them to behind the police barricade. The aspiring journalist pouted and crossed her arms. "Move, we need to get closer!" She barked to the policemen's backs.
"What-" The policeman started to say, turning, but when he recognized the speaker he frowned and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.
"Hey, Mr. Raincomprix!" Alya grinned, even doing a little wave. "Didn't think I'd miss this, did you?"
The chief sighed again, looking utterly exasperated at this point. Marinette didn't blame him for that type of reaction.
"Please just stay out here and don't try to get closer. I have my job to keep and I can't lose it because some crazy reporter tried to get near an insane criminal."
Alya heaved a mocking sigh. "Oh alright, but only because you stopped chasing me away."
"You kept coming back, I figured there wasn't any point to it anymore," the man grumbled dejectedly and turned back to the feline criminal.
From her distanced view, all she could see what his black leather-clad form lounging about the railings of the Tower. He didn't seem to be doing anything. Unless he wanted to destroy it?
Marinette gasped at the possibility. She could always count on the sight of the Tower to give her inspiration of some sort, plus it was beautiful and historical. It would be a tragedy to lose such a symbolic monument.
The Mayor's limo suddenly pulled up. While news reporters's cameras flashed at the sight of the man walking out of the vehicle along with his equally-famous daughter, Alya hadn't bothered to move an inch. Her gaze was glued to her cell phone as she tried various zooms and tilts to capture Chat Noir at just the perfect angle.
Sabrina's father handed the Mayor a megaphone, while Chloe Bourgeois continued smiling and waving at the cameras.
Marinette watched as Mr. Bourgeois walked past the barricade and into the open space on the bridge.
"Chat Noir!" The man's voice bellowed loudly, thanks to the tool. "You have terrorized this city long enough. What is it that you want?"
The black blur on the Tower moved. Marinette's eyes widened and she took an instinctive step back as a long, silver baton came into view. Her head followed up it until she saw the criminal himself perched at the top with perfect balance. How did he even do that?
He smirked down at them, green cat-eyes glinting with mischief. "What do I want, you ask? Hm..." He tapped a finger on his chin in thought. "I suppose I want a lot of things, Mr. Mayor."
He didn't elaborate anymore on that. His smile still stayed in place, playful and mischievous and the tiniest bit evil.
The blackette found herself shivering. It still unnerved her that his voice hadn't changed at all since his hero days, if anything, it had gotten slightly deeper with age.
"We implore you as a city to stop your reign of terror!" Mayor Bourgeois continued, voice rising in a hint of desperation. "You used to be a hero, what happened?"
"What happened?" Chat Noir echoed, laughing. "What happened was that I woke up. I realized that no matter what I do," his voice dropped an octave, his mouth formed into a frown, "it will never be good enough."
Marinette blinked in puzzlement. Paris always appreciated the hero, they even built a statue of him in the park (though they had taken it down, long ago) to show their appreciation. What could he possibly mean? What else did he want?
"We'll give you anything if you leave Paris alone!" Mayor Bourgeois cried, ignoring Chat Noir's dark comment. "Anything!"
The former hero's lips quirked into a grin. "Anything, hm? And all you require in return is peace...my, my, you make quite an offer, sir."
Marinette waited with baited breath. Here, she would find out the fate of her home. Would it eventually be destroyed at his touch, or will it prevail?
Chat Noir's eyes scanned the crowed. For a brief, panic-stricken second, she believed he locked eyes with her. But that was impossible, why would he pick her out of the sea of faces? She was ordinary, a nobody.
Her mouth parted in fear as he grinned, seemingly directed at her, before returning his attention to Mayor Bourgeois.
"Very well, Mr. Mayor. You give me the one thing I want, and I will leave Paris alone."
She heard a collective gasp sound throughout the crowd, hers included. He was really going to leave them alone? After three years they were finally going to be able to live in peace?
She could walk down the street without any fear of seeing him, not have to worry about the building she would be in suddenly start to crumble to the ground. A life without worry of destruction.
"Thank you, Chat Noir!" The Mayor proclaimed, voice higher in happiness mixed with relief. "Now, what is it you want?"
"I want..." He paused, flashing a devilish, wicked smirk. "Marinette Dupain-Cheng."
The cameras stopped flashing.
Marinette's blood ran cold.
Alya tore her eyes away from Chat Noir to gape at her in astonishment.
Sabrina's father slowly turned toward her as well, giving the girl a confused and worried look.
Chloe even looked at the blackette with surprise.
One second. Two. Three. Four.
Marinette felt like she was going to fall over. Why was the world spinning so much?
She was barely aware of the new camera flashes aimed in her direction, could barely make out Alya's worried voice, repeatedly asking her if she was alright.
The last thing she could make out before she was met with darkness was a flash of white teeth revealed by a sinful grin.
Marinette was awake, yet she didn't open her eyes.
What happened? The last thing she remembered was...
Her eyes snapped open. She was laying in her bed in her bedroom. Alya was at the end, hands pressed to her face.
"Alya?" Marinette asked warily.
Her best friend jumped at the sudden voice and revealed her face, which was covered with tears. The designer squeaked as Alya wrapped her in a bone-crushing hug.
"Are you okay?! Oh my God, Marinette! What are you going to do? You can't go with him! You can't! I won't let you, I'll hide you, he'll never find you-"
Marinette found her head whirling with memories as Alya continued her rambling. She noted with a wry grin that usually she was the one incoherently rambling.
He. Chat Noir. Paris's hero-turned-villain wanted her in exchange for leaving her city alone. Why did he want her? Her of all things? She never even met the guy!
"You're not going with him," Alya declared, pulling away to look her best friend in the eyes. "You're not going with him. You're going to live with me, I'll hide you. You can go to college online, it'll be fine."
"Alya-" Marinette softly spoke, wanting to appease her fear, but she cut her off.
"You'll be fine," she stressed. Tears started to pool in the girl's cheeks again. "You'll...be...fine." Her voice broke as she heaved out a sob, screwing her eyes shut and letting the new tears flow.
"Why you?" She asked. "Why you? Why my best friend? You're innocent, Marinette! You have so much potential, so much talent, so much...growing left to do! It's not fair, he's not going to take that away from you!"
"Alya, please," Marinette sighed. She could feel her own eyes getting moist. "You know I have to go."
She had to. She'd do anything to assure her city's safety, to make sure all the people she cared about were safe. Even if it meant giving herself up to the most terrifying criminal in all of France.
"No, you don't. Marinette, he's going to kill you! Please, please don't go!"
Marinette closed her eyes as she pulled her in for a hug. "Alya, I'll be okay. Maybe...maybe he just needs company. It has to be lonely being who he is."
She knew it was a lie, there was no way that could possibly be the reason. He was going to do as Alya said: kill her.
"That's bullshit," Alya spat over her shoulder. "He's going to use you then kill you. Don't go, I can hide you!"
"Alya," Marinette pleaded. "I have to go with him. If I don't, then he'll just keep destroying our home. I want you and Maman and-"
Oh, God. Her parents! What do they think about all this?
"Where are my parents?" Marinette demanded.
"They're downstairs," she informed, pulling out of the hug. "They're talking with the Mayor."
The blackette bolted out of bed, racing down the staircase and going down the trapdoor to her living room. Alya followed suit, saying nothing as she followed her.
As Marinette neared her destination, she could clearly make out the voices of her parents and the Mayor.
"Please, sir, it's for the good of Paris-"
"No! My daughter is not going with that monster! You're the mayor, you're supposed to protect your people!" Her father shouted angrily. She rarely ever heard him like this.
"I agree," her mother cut in, evenly and coolly. "Marinette is not some pawn or trading piece. We refuse to give her up!"
Marinette picked that moment to emerge from her position on the staircase. At the sound of the step creaking under the weight of her foot, all voices quieted and turned their eyes to her. She blushed under their scrutiny.
"Marinette, go upstairs, we'll handle this," Tom ordered sternly.
"No, Papa," she refused, shaking her head. "This mainly involves me, I want to talk."
Her father's expression fell. He knew his daughter's selfless nature, and he beginning to grow uneasy at her tone of voice. "Marinette-"
"Papa." She came down the rest of the steps, walking to face the three of them. Alya stayed at the top of the steps, intently watching the scene play out.
"Marinette, you must go, you must! Paris is counting on you!" Mayor Bourgeois begged. "Please, for the sake of our city!"
"Paris will be fine if she doesn't go," Tom harshly retorted. "If you did your job right, we wouldn't even be in this mess right now!"
"I'm doing my best-"
"Stop!" Marinette ordered, glaring at the two previously arguing men. Her mother stayed silent the whole time, frowning pensively.
The designer heaved a sigh before speaking again. "I'm going. If it means that my home will be safe, I'm going."
Sabine's frown deepened. Her eyes crinkled, trying to fight back the tears.
Tom's mouth dropped in shock.
The Mayor breathed in relief. "Thank you, Marinette! We are all in your debt."
"No!" Tom shouted. "Marinette, you're not going with Chat Noir! You're..." He stopped, voice dropping to a low murmur, nearly cracking in sorrow. "You're our baby."
She closed her eyes to try to reign in her sadness. She may be 18, but she was an only child. She'd forever be their baby. And right now they were going to lose her, possibly never see her again.
She swallowed and opened her eyes again. "I know, Papa. I love you and Maman so much...which is why I'm leaving, I want you to be safe. Please, Papa, you know I have to."
"No. I'm going, and that's final. Besides, I'm 18. If I want to go with Chat Noir, I can. There's nothing you can do to stop me." Her tone was cold, sorrowful, and finishing.
Tom gazed at her, in pity and sadness, before slumping over and burying his face in his hands. Sabine leaned into his shoulder, face pressed against his shirt. Their muffled sobs pierced the empty air.
Mayor Bourgeois rose from his seat to kneel before her. It was a strange sight, but she didn't comment on it.
"Thank you, Miss Marinette. Paris will never forget your sacrifice."
She was awoken during the night by a rustling sound. She felt the bed dip a little in weight.
Marinette groggily opened her eyes, wondering what had waken her from her sleep.
She bolted upright in bed. Her eyes snapped open, fully alert. Her mouth opened to unleash a loud, shrill scream, but a gloved hand pressed against her mouth before she could utter a sound.
Acid green cat-like eyes pierced through her in the darkness. A lock of blond hair fell in front of his forehead, touching the sleek, black mask around his eyes. His lips were curved into a sly grin.
Chat Noir. What was he doing here? Was he going to steal her away in the middle of the night, like all his other heists?
She whimpered in fear.
"Shh," he crooned softly. "Relax. I'm not going to hurt you, Princess."
She blinked, unable to voice her confusion.
"That was quite a fainting episode today. Are you alright?"
Marinette slowly nodded, not able to process what was happening. He had to be here for some ulterior motive, there was no way he just wanted to inquire after her health.
Who knows, maybe he came here to tell her he changed his mind about her. Yeah right, fat chance of that.
But what was with his 'Princess' line?
"Good. You scared me there," he chuckled.
She scared him? Little, ordinary Marinette scared Chat Noir, the man who held the power of destruction at his fingertips? All because she fainted? Was she dreaming?
"I'm going to remove my hand, but only if you promise not to scream. Can't have any intruders interrupting us." He frowned sternly. "Promise?"
She slowly nodded her agreement. She noticed that he used his right hand to cover her mouth, the hand he always used when destroying things. She wanted it off her at all costs.
He tentatively removed his hand from her mouth. She kept her promise and stayed silent.
"This is only going to take a minute," he spoke. "You have all of tomorrow to say your goodbyes and pack whatever belongings you want. But make it light. You'll have everything you could ever need with me. Speaking of, I never actually got your consent. You are coming with me, right?"
The blackette didn't trust her voice, so she only bobbed her head again in a shaky nod. She wanted him out of here as fast as possible, to preserve whatever time she had left without him before it was gone forever.
He grinned. "So selfless. Well, I can promise you that you'll be happy with me. You'll have whatever you want, you'll have the life of a princess. I won't ever harm you, so don't lose sleep over a silly worry like that."
She shook her head, not believing him for a second. Why should she? He was a traitor, and a liar. He promised to protect Paris, but he lied.
Chat Noir's lips tugged down into a frown, as though he was hurt. She mentally scoffed. Monsters didn't have feelings, they couldn't get hurt.
"Please just go," she whispered pleadingly. No amount of pretty words were going to convince her that he wasn't going to hurt her in some way. "Just say whatever you need to and just go. Please."
He still gazed at her with that faux hurt expression, before his closed his eyes. When he next opened them, they had considerably hardened.
"Okay, I'll get right down to the point. I'll come by tomorrow night, midnight, to get you. Use tomorrow to say your goodbyes and all that. When I come, I expect you to come willingly, not kicking or screaming. Got it?"
She nodded. "Got it," she spoke, willing her voice to not shake in fear.
"Marinette," he whispered softly. "I'm not going to hurt you. I promise."
She had no idea where this newfound courage came from, but she grabbed it and used it. "You once promised to protect Paris, and look what became of that. I don't believe you at all."
His emerald eyes flickered down to the blanket below him. He didn't say a word.
"Get out. Please get out," she begged, looking away from him. She wanted him gone before he could destroy her, or her parents, or-
"Okay. I'm going." He heaved himself up out the glass trapdoor, going back into a starry night. He peered down at her, eyebrows slightly furrowed with depression.
"I know I've done a lot, but you don't have to worry about me, Marinette. I swear on my life, on my Miraculous, that you'll be safe with me."
Marinette gazed up at him, eyes wide and mouth parted at this declaration. If she didn't know any better, she'd say he meant it. She was vaguely aware that the 'Miraculous' was the device that gave him his power. He never disclosed what it was, though.
"I'd never harm a hair on your head," he continued. "I know you don't believe me, but..." He sighed. "I hope you do. Good night."
He closed the glass panel and raced away. Marinette buried her face into one of her pillows and spent the rest of her night sobbing.