Adrien barely staggered into his bedroom.
He couldn't believe it.
He really couldn't.
His father was Hawk Moth.
Adrien had been about to go into his father's office for a meeting when he overheard his father bemoan his latest loss against Ladybug to his freaking Kwami!
Adrien didn't linger to be caught out by his archenemy of a father!
As soon as he was back into the safety of his room (was he safe? His father had cameras like everywhere! He could be watching Adrien right this very second) Adrien stumbled towards his desk and crashed into it as he grappled for the edge to help him stand upright.
"Hey Kid," Plagg whizzed round him, "pull yourself together! You can't fall apart now! We're in the lair of the enemy."
"My father, Plagg," Adrien said numbly, "My father!"
"I know, Kid," Plagg said sympathetically, "but having a breakdown right now isn't going to help anyone. You won't be any help to Ladybug if you're suddenly Akumatised!"
"I can't believe it!" Adrien suddenly snapped as a jolt of utter fury raced through him. "The utter nerve of him! Here I am having been lectured and ordered about being perfect and he's been running round Paris in a mask turning people into evil monsters!"
"I'm pretty sure you're the one running round Paris in a mask," Plagg pointed out dryly, "we've never seen Hawk Moth running around in a mask. He's far too elegant and classy for that."
"So I have been obeying his orders, restricting my diet, not seeing my friends, missing classes while he blows off the latest investors meeting for a sneaky bit of evil-doing?!" Adrien ranted, not really paying attention to Plagg at this point. "He's Akumatised my friends! He took advantage of their feelings, Chloe, Sabrina, Alya, Rose, Mylene, Max, Ivan, Kim, Alix, Nathaniel, and oh my God – Nino! Plagg, did my father ignore my birthday and acted like a total dick to my best friend just to Akumatise him?!"
"….probably, Kid," Plagg admitted reluctantly, "probably."
"Urgh!" Adrien threw his hands up in the air in an aggravated manner before he sank into his computer chair. "Urgh!" he groaned again only more pitifully. "Plagg…..what do I do?!" he asked miserably.
"Well I suppose the smartest thing to do is tell Ladybug and between you arrange a surprise attack on your father ending the Akumanisations for good," Plagg drawled out, "but something tells me that's not what you want to do."
"My father, Plagg!" Adrien cried out despairingly. "My father!"
"I know, Kid," Plagg rolled his eyes, "believe me I know it sucks but you can't let him off scot free. You have to punish him for this."
"….punish him," Adrien repeated slowly as his eyes lit up with an idea. A slow, smug, smirk sprawled across his face as he suddenly relaxed back into his chair. "Plagg, do you know what would hurt my father the most?"
"I dunno Kid," Plagg shrugged, "if a piece of paper in that perfectly stacked pile was suddenly a millimetre out of place?"
"Kinda," Adrien agreed, "but it'll really drive him mad if his so called perfect son was no longer perfect."
"….does this mean we get to sleep in?!" Plagg asked excitedly.
"It means no more photoshoots at five in the morning," Adrien said, "no more restricted diets, no more interrupted classes, no more looking perfect for the cameras, and no more-"
"Yes!" Plagg interrupted utterly delighted. "Screw the smartest thing let's do this instead! Think of all the cheese we can eat without Nathalie regulating it!"
"I need to plan this out perfectly," Adrien said as he pulled out a notebook from his desk drawer and a hastily snatched a pen, "The Teenage Rebellion Revenge Ploy!" he announced dramatically as he jotted down each word with care. "I am going to do everything a normal teenager does to drive my father up the wall. That'll teach him!"
"Sure thing, Kid," Plagg grinned, "Now let's start this rebellion by eating a nice big wheel of creamy, fatty, delicious camembert."
"Erm," Adrien's face turned a faint green as he examined the smelly cheese Plagg held up in the air, "you can start on that one. I think I'll start by making sure my hair no longer looks perfect."
"Teenagers," Plagg rolled his eyes disgustedly, "it's always about how their hair looks."
Adrien merely smiled as he worked on making his hair as messy and windswept looking as it was when he was Chat Noir.
He was going to make his father pay for everything he had done and he was going to have the time of his life while doing it.
He was going to finally be Chat Noir without the mask.
When Adrien walked into class that morning Marinette literally choked on her own saliva and almost died on the spot.
Gone was the perfectly groomed hair, gone was the perfectly picked out designer clothes, gone was the soft sweet smile that she loved dearly, and in its place was a messy-haired teenage boy in mismatched clothing and the biggest, goofiest, grin. It was as if Chat Noir and Adrien decided to merge into one gorgeous boy and ooh! Marinette found it incredibly attractive.
"Adri-kins!" Chloe gasped, horrified. "What have you done to yourself?!"
"What do you mean what has he done to himself?!" Nino scoffed disbelievingly. "He looks like a normal teenage boy."
"He looks atrocious!" Chloe sniffed haughtily. "That shirt should never see the light of day especially with those jeans!"
"I thought they looked rather spiffy," Adrien grinned, unbothered by the insult to his wardrobe. "What do you think Marinette? You're the fashion designer here."
"Please!" Chloe sneered. "Marinette wouldn't know what was fashionable if it hit her in the face."
Marinette puffed her cheeks out crossly at that. "Hmmph!" she growled. "It's not what the magazines would call fashionable," she said crossly, "but that doesn't mean it doesn't look good. Adrien could make a paper bag look good so why not this?"
"Whatever!" Chloe trilled as she flicked her hair over her shoulder. "It's still a fashion disaster."
Marinette would have argued but she belatedly realised exactly what she had just said (and in front of Adrien no less!) and immediately flushed bright red in embarrassment. She slowly turned to face Adrien just in time to catch him winking at her and flushed all over again.
"Meep!" she squeaked.
Thankfully class started before she could dig herself into a deeper hole of humiliation and shame.
She had just managed to push it out of her head (thanks to the heavy and incredibly boring subject her teacher droned on about for what felt like an eternity followed by several more hours of equally heavy and boring subjects) when the lunch bell rang and Adrien jumped up eagerly.
"What are you doing for lunch, dude?" Nino asked amused. "It can't be a shoot or you wouldn't be so excited."
"I," Adrien declared loudly, "am currently rebelling against my father and today I am going to have pizza!" he sighed blissfully at the thought of heavenly food and Marinette sighed simultaneously at how beautiful he was at that moment. "You want to come?"
"Urgh!" Chloe groaned disgustedly. "And consume a vat of grease that would spoil my flawless peaches and cream complexion?! No thank you! Invite me when you rediscover your taste. Come on, Sabrina."
No one paid Chloe or Sabrina any attention as they all gaped at Adrien in disbelieve.
"Dude!" Nino exclaimed. "What happened between you and your Dad?! Wanna talk about it?!"
"I just learnt what hypocritical bastard he is," Adrien scowled, "and decided if he can run around doing whatever he pleases then so can I and what pleases me is to eat all the junk food I missed out on because of the stupid restrictive diet I've been put on which I bet he never had to follow! He probably has packets of crisps and sweets galore stocked up in his secret evil lair"
Everyone was taken aback by the sudden unleashing of what sounded like years of resentment. Marinette was surprised as she never imagined Adrien – easy-going, sweet, patient, Adrien who puts up with Chloe – to sound so furious and frustrated with another person. She wanted to each out and give him a hug but the thought of being in such close proximity to the boy she loved, to touch him, to feel him against her, to smell his scent, almost sent her brain into a meltdown and instead she awkwardly thrusted a hand into her handbag and yanked out a cookie before she all but flung it into Adrien's face.
"Here," Marinette smiled as she held out one of Tiki's cookies (and boy she will pay for that later when Tiki gives her the cold shoulder for hours on end), "have a cookie."
These were the magic words apparently as Adrien's anger melted away instantly and his usual sweet, soft, smile replaced it.
"Thanks Marinette," he said as he took the cookie and bit into it. His eyes rolled back into his head and Marinette's knees almost gave out at the incredibly should be illegal erotic look on his face! "You're the best."
"Oh! I, erm ah, you, gah, it's nothing!" she gabbled before she then burst into a fit of sheepish giggles. "Here," she hastily grabbed another cookie (and was almost bitten by Tiki), "have another. I can make you a whole batch tomorrow if you like."
"Can you?!" Adrien cried out eagerly. "Could you also bring in macaroons and eclairs and croissants and well anything that would make my dietician faint?!"
"Whatever you want," Marinette promised, "I'll bring it in for you."
After all her mother always said that the best way to a man's heart was through his stomach…
(It's also the best way to a Kwami's forgiveness as Marinette had to bake a lot of cookies to get Tiki back onto talking terms with her.)
So far Adrien's rebellion was going beautifully.
He felt full, fat, and sleepy as he had eaten a lot of junk food and slept ten whole hours without doing any extra homework or getting up at an unreasonable early time to ensure he looked perfect. And to top it off no one has noticed yet (apart from his friends) so he was getting away with it like nobody's business.
Step two was going to be harder because step two involved actually telling Nathalie that he was rebelling.
And Nathalie wasn't easy to say hello to let alone rebel against.
"Here is your schedule" Nathalie said in her usual monotone at breakfast, "you have an uninterrupted day at school today but as soon as it finishes you have-"
"No," Adrien interrupted with a yawn.
Nathalie blinked at that in surprise. It was probably the most human thing Adrien had ever seen her do. "I beg your pardon?" she said quietly.
"I said no," Adrien replied loudly and calmly, "I am not going to any photoshoot or interview or catwalk or piano class or anything else you try to schedule me in. I am going to do the things I want to do whether you like it or not."
"Don't be ridiculous!" Nathalie huffed. "You have always kept a schedule without complaint before-"
"Why would I complain when no one is listening?" Adrien asked bitterly, "but now people are going to listen because now I'm just not going to show up so you can tell me my schedule all you like but I'm not going to follow it. I'm on strike."
"You will attend a photoshoot," Nathalie said sternly, "and this is the last time we have to discuss it."
"Last time we discuss it," Adrien agreed, "but I won't be turning up to the photoshoot."
He then walked to school (with the Gorilla following him at a painfully slow pace in the limo causing a huge traffic jam and embarrassing Adrien) in which he enjoyed another day filled with baked goods and fun with his friends. He made plans to spend the afternoon in the arcade with Nino, Marinette, and Alya.
His smile fell flat when he stepped out of the school to find the Gorilla lurking nearby. Obviously Nathalie wasn't going to give up without a fight and Adrien had no plans of giving up his strike either…..a determined, battle-ready, smirk flickered across his face as he suddenly snatched up Marinette's hand.
"Meep!" Marinette squeaked as she flushed bright pink. "Adrien! I – you – wha….?"
"I can't get caught!" he whispered hastily. "I refuse to go to another photoshoot. At the count of three let's run for it."
"One…" Adrien murmured, "…two…THREE!"
Marinette squealed the entire dash down the stairs which turned into a case of the giggles as they dodged past the Gorilla and ran as fast as they could down the road. Adrien didn't know how long they kept it up for but eventually they slowed down into a tangled panting mess and the Gorilla was nowhere to be seen.
"I…think…..us….safe now…." Marinette choked out between gaps. "Oh!" she groaned as she clutched her side. "I think I got a stitch!"
Adrien choked on a laugh at that. "The seamstress!" he wheezed. "Has a stitch!"
Marinette's disgust at his pun so eerily similar to Ladybug's own disdain set him off laughing properly. Marinette soon joined in with her own giggles and after some great difficulty (thanks to the laughing) they finally managed to catch their breath in time for Nino's text to reach Adrien's phone.
"Nino says they're waiting for us at the Arcade," Adrien read out, "he says we owe him a soda for running off like that."
"Hey Adrien," Marinette said suddenly shy once more as she looked down at her feet, "why exactly did we have to run again?"
"Oh," Adrien shifted uncomfortably, "I'm refusing to go to photoshoots right now."
Marinette looked up slightly, her big, blue eyes filled with such worry and concern that it temporarily stole Adrien's breath away. "Is….is everything all right with you and your Dad?" Marinette nibbled her lower lip nervously. "Do you wanna talk about it?"
"I can't!" Adrien snapped. "I just….can't!"
He shot her an apologetic look but she shook her head dismissively in reply. "That's okay," she reassured him, "but when you can or if you just need too, we're all here for you. You can talk to m-m-me," she stammered slightly, "or Nino or Alya, or even Chloe. You know that, right?"
"I do," he assured her, "and I'm lucky to have such good friends like you. It's just…..right now the only thing I really, really, really want to do is piss my father off. I want to teach him a lesson but I don't know how. So I guess," he rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly, "I'm acting out a bit. Not that he has noticed yet."
He couldn't help but feel bitter about that as well. Adrien was misbehaving and not acting like himself and his father hadn't noticed yet. He was probably too busy scheming his latest evil plan for world domination in whatever secret lair he was hiding in the mansion.
"I'm sure he will," Marinette offered weakly.
Her attempt to comfort him brought a smile to his face which turned wicked when a new-ish idea returned in his head.
Teenager rebellions involved shocking things like Mohawks, multi-coloured dyed hair, and some more permanent changes to appearances, right?
"So am I once I get a tattoo or an eyebrow piercing," Adrien grinned, "which one do you think I should go for?"
Marinette choked and squeaked simultaneously that. "I….I…I… d-d-d-don't think that's a wise idea!" she blurted out. "You might regret it when you're no longer angry with your Dad," she explained quickly as Adrien's face fell in disappointment at the lack of support on this one (Plagg, however, told him he should get a tattoo of a wheel of camembert on his buttocks when he aired the idea originally. Adrien was furious with his father but he wasn't that cross….yet.). "….but we could always get some temporary tattoos instead and try them out?"
Adrien beamed in delight at that and the rest of the afternoon was spent (aside from tag-teaming with Marinette to kick Nino's and Alya's asses at the arcade) buying up all the Ladybug temporary tattoos that were available and covering his right arm from top to bottom.
His father actually greeted him when he came home late that evening.
He stood at the top of the stairs looming over in all of his evil, terrifying, glory as he glared down at Adrien. His eyes trailed up Adrien's right arm as a great look of distaste crossed his face. "Grounded!" he hissed out. "For a month! And you better come out of that room with a better attitude and a clean arm, young man!"
Adrien merely smirked in reply.
The constipated look on his father's face was well worth the grounding.
(As was watching Marinette cover up her entire left arm with the matching Chat Noir temporary tattoos.)
It shouldn't surprise Gabriel that Adrien didn't obey his grounding sentence and yet it did.
After all his perfect, obedient, son was suddenly not perfect and while his sulky teenager act was predictable and childish it was equally puzzling and frustrating. Adrien should be doing what he was told while looking like the masterpiece he was and instead his son was refusing to follow his schedule, running off with hooligans, coming home with Ladybug tattoos (that particular memory will haunt him forever. It's bad enough to lose to that girl every week but to have his son covered in her colours? Urgh!), and disregarding his authority in the most despicable uncharacteristic manner.
It had been three days since Gabriel had grounded Adrien and each and every day Nathalie reported to him that Adrien wasn't in his room. This followed by reports from maids that there was junk food wrappers in Adrien's room and more reports from the shoot staff about how Adrien wouldn't cooperate and do his job led to Gabriel to haul Adrien into his office for a lecture.
"…You are being childish!" Gabriel snarled. "You cannot throw a tantrum every time something doesn't go your way Adrien. You're going to be a head of a business one day and your behaviour has to be impeccable. You have to do things you don't want to do with grace and dignity. Learn to grow up!"
"Says the man that trashed his office every time something doesn't go his way," Nathalie coughed loudly and clearly.
Gabriel really hated that smirk it was eerily similar to that scoundrel Chat Noir's smirk that it made Gabriel's stomach turn.
Instead of acknowledging his arrogant child's smirk, Gabriel turned to face his assistant. "Do you need a throat lozenge, Nathalie?" Gabriel said coolly. "I recommend you leave to find a glass of water to help soothe your throat."
"Yes sir," Nathalie replied.
And with that she left calm, cool, and collected. The complete opposite to how Gabriel was feeling right now as he gazed at his insolent child.
"I dislike your attitude," Gabriel scowled, "it is abhorrent and unprofessional. This was not how I raised you."
"Pfft!" Adrien snorted rudely. "When did you raise me? I recall a long string of various servants and Nathalie keeping me fed and clothed and, well," his lips quirked into that annoyingly arrogant Chat Noir-esque smirk, "not bored. I wouldn't call it entertained either. I don't remember seeing you there."
Gabriel bristled at that. "I resent the implication that I had nothing to do with your upbringing. This is my roof you are living under and it is my money that has kept you clothed, fed, and entertained," Gabriel felt his jaw lock irritably as he gritted his teeth. "I have ensured that you receive nothing but the very best and this is how you behave. How did I raise such an ungrateful child?"
"The best material things are nothing compared to actual love and time spent together!" Adrien snapped crossly. "Which you never do because you're too busy being a-"
"Enough!" Gabriel said sharply as he held up a silencing hand. He had a lot of paperwork to get through that he had fallen behind on thanks to his last three attempts to snatch the Miraculous. He was also well behind the upcoming winter line and still had three deals to negotiate. He did not have the time to deal with his son's childish tantrums. "You are going to go to your room and think about your behaviour and I hope to see you tomorrow with a much improved attitude."
"What?!" Adrien yelled. "That's not fair! I haven't had my-"
"Now Adrien!" Gabriel ordered. "I have work to do."
"Work?" Adrien retorted scathingly. "Or ev-"
"GO TO YOUR ROOM!"
There is a moment of silence as Adrien glowered at him with all the resentment a teenager could muster for their parent and Gabriel merely stared back undaunted. Eventually Adrien's impatience got the better for him and he let out a wordless huff before he stormed out of Gabriel's office, stomped up the stairs loudly, and slammed his bedroom door shut so hard that the light fittings in Gabriel's office shook.
Gabriel sank down into his chair and sighed heavily as he rubbed his temples. He was certain that he felt a migraine growing. "Where did I go wrong?" he muttered. "Is it his mother's absence? I'm working on it, Damnit! Adrien I'm working on it but until Lady…." Gabriel trailed off horrified as he caught sight of Adrien leaping down from a tree out onto the street on his CCTV screens.
Adrien landed perfectly on his feet unscathed (thank God!) but the arrogant brat then suddenly looked directly into the CCTV cameras before he suddenly stuck both of his middle fingers up and his tongue out of his mouth.
Oh dear God! His son was turning into a hooligan!
Gabriel suddenly felt a strange pins and needles sensation crawl up his right arm before he hastily shoved his left hand over the intercom button on his desk. "Nathalie," he said calmly as possible, "what are the first signs of one having a stroke?"
Adrien now had spots.
His rebellion had been ongoing for weeks now and after eating unhealthy food each and every day for it there was now red bulging marks on his chin and forehead. He hadn't gained any weight thanks to his superhero activities but he had neglected his skincare as part of his rebellion and now his face was suffering the consequences. It was the first time in his life that he ever had spots, Nino had high-fived him and welcomed him to puberty, Chloe shrieked and wept for him, the press made a big deal about it for a day or two, and everyone else hadn't even blinked an eye.
Well there was a suspicious increase of skincare products in his bathroom but if his father wasn't actually going to say something then Adrien wasn't going to acknowledge the skincare products.
Adrien had also continued to doing what he wished instead of following a schedule. He still attended fencing classes (because he actually enjoyed those) and the odd Chinese lesson but otherwise his time was spent with his friends and he enjoyed every moment of it.
But it couldn't last. Eventually his father would lose his patience and another, real, confrontation would take place.
And Adrien was right.
When his father found Adrien's conveniently left in a communal part of the house plans for a party he was immediately called in for another 'meeting'.
"Enough is enough," his father said coldly, "when are you going to stop these childish antics and return to your usual well-mannered self?"
"I don't know, Father," Adrien replied mockingly, "when are you going to stop your evil antics and actually act like a parent?"
His father's eye twitched irritably at that. "Running a successful business is not evil, Adrien," he said calmly, "and I have been acting like a parent."
"A parent," Adrien grounded out, "wouldn't Akumatise all of my friends."
There is a beat of silence and his father actually, genuinely, looked stunned. It's the most human Adrien has seen his father look in years.
"Ah," his father said quietly, "I can explain. Adrien you must understand-"
"What's there to understand?!" Adrien yelled. "You're Hawk Moth! You're the man terrorising Paris. You're the man possessing my friends and making them hurt each other. My God, you're evil! EVIL I tell you!"
"First," his father scowled, "I'm not making them do anything. They wanted that power Adrien, they wanted to hurt each other. Secondly I wouldn't have to terrorise Paris if Ladybug and Chat Noir gave me what I wanted," Adrien spluttered indignantly at that, "and finally I am not evil. I have a very good reason-"
"THERE IS NO GOOD REASON TO SEND MONSTERS OUT TO ATTACK ME!"
"I am not attacking you!" his father had the audacity to actually look horrified at this. "I have prevented my Akumas from harming you. I stopped that swordswoman from harming you when she tried to fight you and when Volpina had the nerve to try and kidnap you I managed to persuade her to use an illusion instead. I will never let you get harmed."
Adrien laughed at that, loudly and bitterly, and almost hysterically. He laughed. "That's a good one," he said, "because your Akumas have brainwashed me, locked me into freezers, hit me, oh, and one even erased me from time itself once!"
His father gaped at him. "W-w-what?" he stammered. "No, no," he shook his head. "I am in perfect control of my Akumas. I see through their eyes and I have never seen any of that happen to you. I wouldn't let it. I wouldn't!"
"Well maybe you should have looked closer," Adrien said bitterly, "because you did," he held up his hand to reveal his Miraculous. "All so you can have this. Plagg! Transform me!"
He didn't know why he had so recklessly revealed himself. Just that was so cross and angry and bitter that his father could deny actually hurting Adrien. That his father was in denial about how heinous his crimes actually was. He wanted to open his father's eyes and make him regret his actions.
His father looked shocked at first and then, horrifyingly and infuriatingly, a smirk curled at his lips. "Adrien!" he breathed. "My boy! My clever, perfect, boy! Do you have any idea what you and I could do together? Together we can steal Ladybug's miraculous and-"
"OH MY GOD!" Adrien yelled. "I am not fucking working for you! Especially against My Lady."
His father glared at that. "Adrien there is no need for that sort of language!" he scolded. "And if you would just listen to me. I have-"
"You're not even sorry!" Adrien burst out crossly. "You just found out that you sent monsters after your only child and you're not even sorry!"
"I have nothing to be sorry about," his father said stubbornly, "I'm trying to tell you that I need the Miraculous in order to-"
"I don't care!" Adrien snapped. "I will never forgive you for the things you have done! You haven't just sent monsters after me, you sent them after the girl I love!"
"Love?!" his father laughed derisively. "Don't be ridiculous Adrien you have no idea what real love is. Your embarrassing infatuation for that girl is only that. An infatuation. Love, real love, is sacrificing everything."
"I have sacrificed myself for Ladybug!" Adrien cried out. "And I will do it again! Because I love her!"
"You do not and will not," his father scowled, "she is our enemy and I forbid-"
"Your enemy!" Adrien interrupted. "And you can't forbid me. Do you really think I am going to do anything you tell me ever again after finding out that you're an evil mastermind that is planning world domination?"
"I am not planning world domination!" his father protested. "If you would just listen to me I will tell you that I am planning. And if you think for a single second that I am going to let you make a fool of yourself for the likes of that girl then-"
"You're not letting me do anything!" Adrien snapped. "I do whatever I like and you know what I'd like more than anything? I'd like to give My Lady a kiss."
"You will not!"
"I will too!" Adrien said childishly. "A big fat one!"
"Adrien Perfect Agreste!" his father barked. "I will not have my son kissing my arch-nemesis who is preventing me from re-"
"I'm not listening to you!" Adrien declared as he went to the window. "Now excuse me, Father," he said mockingly, "I have a date with a Lady to keep."
"Not if I can help it!" his father growled. Adrien ignored him as he jumped out of the window and into a nearby tree. Just before he could jump into the street though he heard his father call out; "Nooroo! Transform Me!"
Ladybug had been in the middle of a patrol when Chat Noir called out her name. She whipped round to look at him only to widen her eyes in horror at the sight of him running full-throttle at her as a familiar man in purple glided after him on a flock of white butterflies.
She still remembered Volpina's illusion of Hawk Moth well enough to recognise him when he was there in the flesh.
"CHAT!" she screamed, petrified. "BEHIND YOU!" she gestured wildly with one hand as her other one jerked towards her yoyo. "HAWK MOTH IS RIGHT BE-hmmph!"
She never got her warning out when Chat Noir suddenly collided into her and moved with such speed that she'll never be able to remember exactly how he did it as he somehow suavely manoeuvred her into an over the top dip and covered her mouth with his.
It was the fiercest, most passionate, kiss she ever had (well….it was her second ever kiss but still!) and it stole al of her breathe away.
And then it was over and she was standing upright again as her hair flopped back onto her shoulders, slightly mussed, and her knees buckled as she tried to stand her ground.
Hawk Moth landed in front of her with the coldest, most terrifying, glare on his face. "Adrien Perfect Agreste!" he growled. "I told you not to kiss that girl!"
"Meep!" Ladybug squeaked as she felt her cheeks burn with embarrassment. Oh my God she had just kissed Adri - and then realisation slammed into her like a bus. "Wait, WHAT?!" she screeched.
Chat Noir was Adrien?!
"You can't tell me what to do Father!" Chat Noir spat out. "You're hardly on any moral high ground anymore."
"WHAT?!" Ladybug bellowed.
She had been right?! Gabriel Agreste was Hawk Moth?! But he had been Akumatised! She was there when he became The Collector and went on a complete rampage, how can any of this be possible?!
She was dreaming!
She had to be dreaming!
She reached down and pinched herself. "Ouch!" she yelped as she flinched from the pain.
Okay, she wasn't dreaming…..
WHAT THE HELL?!
Neither Hawk Moth nor Chat Noir appeared to notice Ladybug freaking out as they continued with their stand-off. Chat looked typically defiant as he crossed his arms while Hawk Moth looked distinctively disapproving. "I told you!" Hawk Moth hissed through gritted teeth. "That I have a very good reason for what I am doing. Now will you step away from that girl? She is our enemy!"
"Your enemy!" Chat pointed out as he reached out and grabbed Ladybug. She squeaked, startled, as he suddenly dragged her towards him, half her of face suddenly buried into his chest as he squeezed her close. "My love!"
Hawk Moth's jaw twitched irritably at that.
She wanted to jump for joy and die out of embarrassment simultaneously. There was also a few other conflicting emotions thrown in including a tinge of sadness (he wouldn't say it if he knew who she was), and flutter of fury (was he only dong this to piss off his father?! The nerve!), but none of this mattered right now.
What mattered was that the Agrestes were Hawk Moth and Chat Noir and were currently having a stand-off while she was being utterly useless!
"I refuse to acknowledge it," Hawk Moth said sternly, "continue with this childish charade and I will disinherit you. Now step away from the girl and come home!"
"Sorry Father!" Chat Noir said so mockingly and insincerely that not even the stupidest person would ever believe he was actually sorry. "But I will not be going home. Ladybug and I are going to run off to our romantic hideout where we will have lots of unprotected sex to give you the illegitimate grandchildren you always desired."
Hawk Moth physically blanched at that while Ladybug definitely felt righteously pissed off for being used as payback against a bad parent.
"THE HELL WE ARE!" She roared furiously. Her face was probably redder than her own suit at this point from all the embarrassment. "Enough of this nonsense!" she snapped. "Lucky Charm!"
Two minutes later and with only three beeps left and both Hawk Moth's cane and Chat Noir's baton tucked under one of her arms, Ladybug knocked timidly on Master Fu's door. It took him a while to answer but when he did he was blatantly in his nightclothes and just got out of bed.
He yawned and rubbed his eyes blearily. "Marinette?" he murmured. Behind her she could hear some disbelieving splutters which she had pointedly ignored. "Sorry, Ladybug," he corrected himself, "What is it? Has something happened?"
"I'm sorry to bother you at such a late hour, Master," she said sheepishly, "But I don't suppose you do family therapy as well as masseuse and Kwami healing?"
Master Fu blinked bewilderedly. "Huh?"
At this Ladybug gave the red and black spotted rope in her other hand a vicious tug which caused both Hawk Moth and Chat Noir to stagger before Master Fu.
"They're father and son," she explained dryly, "you can tell because they both have the same sulky pout."