OMG guess who's not dead!
Hey petals, hope you're all doing well xx
A huge, huge thank you to Clairelutra who let me borrow their words for this fanfiction! Her fic, "No Room for the Devil" can be found on Archive of our own under the name clairelutra (exosolarmoon). Their writing is simply superb so go and check them out on AO3!
Reading "No Room for the Devil" first will also help to understand this chapter a little more
Laughter rang out across the roof tops, bouncing off the sky and echoing in the ears of passing civilians. To them, the sound meant safety and vigilance, the laughter of their two beloved heroes surely meant all was well in Paris. Midnight walkers passed below them in comfort as low chuckles and high giggles preceded belly laughs that tinged them with warmth in their chests.
The sound of two giggling vigilante was assumed to be caused by the camaraderie that could only ever be forged in circumstances such as theirs. Well, the civilians weren't wrong in their assumptions, but more often than not, to pass the time Ladybug and Chat Noir found themselves on a website they had discovered a few months ago, the link buried in comments from the LadyBlog.
Fanfiction about the two heroes, who after hours of reading blog posts and theories about themselves, had stumbled across a rather impressive sized niche of writers who dedicated themselves to writing about Ladybug and Chat Noir.
The dim glow of the phone lit up Chat's face as he read on, Ladybug trying, and failing, to stifle her giggles behind her hand beside him as he read on, his legs swinging good naturedly, voice deepened for special effect. "Therefore, I we can only conclude that Ladybug, Chat Noir and Hawkmoth are hoaxes created by none other than our very own Mayor Bourgeois! Created in an attempt to keep Paris at peace with itself and to keep civilians in line. The fear of turning into an "akuma" (played by, of course, well-paid actors who rely heavily on makeup and prosthetics) is enough to subdue angry outbursts and ensure that Paris is a happy place for all, thereby increasing its attractiveness to tourists and keeping the economy alive."
He finished with a flourish, expression deadpan as he looked at his companion. "Were you aware of this my lady? That we are," he checked the screen again, "'mere holograms created by the Parisian government to instill both fear of the unknown and respect of law enforcement into civilians.'"
Ladybug hastily morphed her silly grin into a sombre expression. "We have been lied to this entire time?" The corner of the lips quirked, ruining her otherwise perfect poker face.
"It would appear so my dear Lady. We are not real, just holograms created for government propaganda." Only his green eyes glinted with mirth, his expression betrayed nothing.
A moment of silence passed between the two before an unladylike snort broke it.
"That is actually the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life." Ladybug threw her head back and laughed openly, a deep belly laugh that made her friend laugh alongside her, his teeth glinting in the light of the phone as Ladybug struggled to compose herself again.
"You should see the comments, Alya, you know the girl who runs the Ladyblog? She's absolutely shattered their theory, it's hilarious."
"Ah, it's nice to know someone's got our back." Ladybug leaned in closer to see the retort, absently brushing back a loose hair that fell across her eyes. "Where do people come up with these things? Honestly, you'd think that they would have something better to do than discredit us."
"No idea." Chat's eyes narrow as they focus on her hand brushing back her hair in a seemingly innocent gesture. His tongue darted out to wet his lips before shaking his head violently and regaining self-control. "Probably some guy who lives in his mom's basement. Your turn." He shoved the phone somewhat unceremoniously into her hands.
"Fanfiction or fan-theory?" She cleared the search bar and settled back against the iron lattice behind her.
Chat took a thoughtful sip of the hot chocolate before passing the thermos to her. "Fanfiction, hit me with a new one."
Without acknowledgement she keyed in his request, slim fingers sliding over the keyboard. "Clairelutra's got a few new ones." She sipped at the drink absently. "Or there's this one by 'ProbablyVoldemort,' looks interesting. The A.K.U.M.A Program." She looks over at Chat. "Gentlemen's choice."
"All of the above." He lazily flicks lint from his knee.
"We're not going to have time to read them all."
"Sure we do!" Chat reached over her and randomly tapped the story at the top of the list. He settled in beside her, unclipping his baton for maximum comfort and trapping it between his legs so it didn't make an escape attempt.
The heroine rolled her eyes as he took the thermos from her hand. "It's an Enemies AU."
Chat wolf-whistled. "Oh nice, I love these. Sexual tension?" He tilted the phone screen towards himself to read the tags. "Ooh, 'sexy violence!' I like that!" He shot a dramatized wink at Ladybug, complete with wriggling eyebrows and exaggerated lip-slobbering.
"'But not violent sex u feel?" She shot the next tag back as her retort, snatching the phone away from him. "Stop that with your eyebrows it's creepy."
His grin widened and the wiggling increased.
"Stop," She whined as she pushed him lightly. "I bet if you didn't have a mask on, they'd look like creepy little caterpillars." She laughed, putting a gloved hand in his face and shoving him away, his chuckles muffled against her hand as he pushed back against it. "'No room for the devil.'" She read.
"Am I the devil or are you my Lady?" Chat interjected as he attempted to grab the phone from her hand.
"You do this every time!" She snapped, putting the phone facedown on her leg and prodding him in the chest with a finger a little harder than necessary. "Just listen and the title will make sense later!" She coughed lightly, recomposing herself before scanning over the summary and finding the first line.
"'Four minutes and twenty-two seconds!'" She spoke loudly, cutting off whatever ridiculous excuses he was going to use to justify his continued interruptions. Tonight, he was complacent. She continued to read, her voice low and soothing, the story alive on her lips. Her voice faded into a soft hum of sound, as he watched her read. Watching her, as she sat completely still and absorbed in the story, was easy. Her bright eyes flickering from line to line, tongue occasionally wetting her lips as she continued the story, a movement that left him fixated on her lips for a little longer than he should. He blinked a few times to help him focus, hiding his guilty expression as her voice came back into focus, he realising he'd missed out on the last few paragraphs and had no idea what was going on.
"(The really terrifying thing about Chat was that he never stopped. He always got back up. She could kick his ass six ways to Sunday and he'd still be ready to go for the seventh round. She could take him down, but she couldn't keep him down, and in marathon battles like this one, she was at a profound disadvantage. All it would take was one little slip and she'd be at his cataclysm's mercy.)"
Chat's eyebrows pulled together in worry, he took her hand gently, pulling it towards his chest and over his heart. "I'd never." He vowed.
She looked away from the phone and into his eyes instead, a genuine smile on her lips, a warm glow in her chest. "I know chaton." She squeezed his hand before withdrawing it and bopping him on the nose to dispel the sudden seriousness. Chat shuffled closer, their arms pressed together, ears pricked forwards and eyes resolutely fixed on the phone screen, determined not to let his gaze wander to her face again.
"Checkmate," Chat repeated, panting this time, the low timbre of his voice and the hot air fanning over her throat making Ladybug shudder."
She started to giggle. "What's funny?" Chat demanded. "There's nothing funny about that, you're in a serious situation here!" He poked a clawed finger at the screen.
"The low timbre of his voice!" Her giggles shook her core. "But your voice is all cracked!" Hysteria overtook her and she fell sideways, still giggling.
"That's not tr-ue." His protest fell short as his voice broke mid-word. "Just keep reading, you pest." He pulled her upright again, slowly her giggles subsided, but after another few sentences they stopped altogether. "Experimentally, she licked her lips again." For some reason the words felt weighted, out of the corner of his eye he saw her tongue run over her lips nervously. He couldn't be sure if the action was intentional or not. "Wanting. That look was wanting." He felt the muscles in his stomach tighten, the story had taken a turn into something that resembled his reality. Wasn't there a saying about it? 'Art imitates life?'
The words tumble from her lips now, slightly hurried, beside him Ladybug is captivated, her eyes fixed on the screen, cheeks darkening. "Forty-seven and her tongue was pressing against the cool metal next to her face, suggestive hum vibrating in her throat." He fought to hide his frown, but his tail flickered behind him anxiously. His voice is catching and it's embarrassing, he didn't think this is where the story was going to end up, yet here they were and he wants to stop but he can't, the words compelling him to read on. "At forty-two seconds left, she stopped counting."
At forty-two seconds he stopped listening, something in his gut warmed and his muscles tightened and demanded that he pounce, a high ringing resounded in his ears, undeterred by the flattening again his skull. The unfairness of her skin-tight suit clawed at him, the smell of her, unidentifiable but so very uniquely Ladybug, the way her lips moved, faster now, embarrassed at the words falling from her lips and her heartbeat cutting through the white noise, tempting, tempting, tempting.
"She ran." The glow disappeared and for a moment so did she. His eyes readjusted to the light, the phone lay locked at her feet, her hands shaking slightly.
"That was… interesting." He was first to break the silence, his voice surprisingly even.
She turned her head in his direction, but without the light from the phone, unable to make eye contact. "She always writes well."
"Yeah, her love stories make me feel things." He responded without thinking, and instantly he hates himself. "You know… Happy, curious, excited… nervous." He can feel the blush across his cheeks and shrugs it away before remembering that her kwami doesn't equip her with night-vision. "I don't know." He turned his head away, disengaging from the silent conversation they've had a hundred times but never had the courage to have out loud. Fingers touch his knee and he whipped his head around so quickly he might have to treat himself for whiplash later. Contact.
"I… feel things too… sometimes when… when we're not reading." Her voice doesn't waver, but it's hesitant. Unsure.
"What things?" They are facing each other now, he doesn't remember turning towards her. A breeze picks up, her hair gets caught in it and goose-bumps raise on the part of her neck he can see above her collar.
Ladybug wet her lips, eyes narrowing, trying to focus on his face in the dark. "I'm not sure." He knows it's a lie, but the darkness has given him unexpected confidence and he knows that the conversation they keep not having, will never go away.
"Happy?" Their legs touch and the pit in his stomach is consumed by lead, this is happening, finally, finally happening.
"Curious?" The breeze has died, the only thing that moves now is her, legs tucked to the side, hand over his, a finger stroking the back of his hand.
Chat can feel the heavy thumping of his heart, has it somehow moved to his throat? Breathing is hard, thinking is hard. "Excited?"
Her lips curve at the edges, her body moves forward with intent and he mirrors her, in perfect synchronisation like always. Her breath is warm on his face, noses touch, lips so close he can taste her.
"No." Ladybug tilted her chin, asking a question she knows she doesn't have to voice. She can feel his lips resting against hers, not quite a kiss but invitation enough.
She can feel his lips move as a breath against hers before he kisses her.
"I think the devil is you my lady."
Sorry I've been away for so long, life got in the way, but I'm here now and I'm going to stay xx