Hello everyone and welcome to my new story. This is an idea that has been bouncing around my head for a long time until I finally managed to settle down to plan it and write it. I hope that you guys enjoy it.
Rated M for violence, graphic violence, infrequent strong language, darker themes, and themes of mental health and trauma. There will be detailed descriptions of anxiety, depression and PTSD, including descriptions of panic attacks, suicidal feelings and flashbacks. It is the aim of this fanfiction to portray trauma and mental health as accurately as possible, so if this may be triggering for you, I recommend you do not read.
There is also the possibility of season two spoilers for those who are not caught up, particularly with the first half of season two.
I do not own Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir. This is merely fanfiction written for fun.
~ Madness Within ~
Chapter 1: On The Prowl
The moon hung full, high and bright in the dark night sky above the city of Paris. The air was completely still, and the night was eerily quiet. It was late, and no one was out and about. The citizens of Paris had long since known not to stay out past dark these days. For the past four years, night time had been his time. If you went out at night, you were mad. Only criminals dared to risk it, taking advantage of the quiet streets and lack of witnesses to carry out their petty or serious crimes.
However, that was often their last mistake.
As previously stated, night time was his time and if you were a criminal caught in the night, there was no help for you. The sight of green, glowing, cat-like eyes would be the last sight you would see before pain you could never possibly imagine gripped you. Tortured to the brink of insanity, played with like a ball of yarn before inevitably being dumped like a used old toy in front of the nearest police station. He would never kill you, and to be honest, that made it all the more scary. He would never grant such a mercy. Police had now long been used to finding mangled and broken bodies in front of their doors, barely able to make out past the blood covered and swollen features, the face of someone long wanted by police.
Chat Noir sat in his trade mark cat-like position on top of a chimney of a tall building. His glowing green eyes kept close watch over the city, his black leather ears twitching any time he heard even the slightest noise. This had become his routine every night. It wasn't like he had anything better to do. All day long, he lay in the now empty Agreste mansion, alone and feeling nothing. It felt like his whole body had become an empty and hollow shell, incapable of feeling anything. At least torturing criminals, especially the more serious ones, let him come close to feeling at least something. A small sense of justice, a small feeling of guilt and disgust towards himself, a small sense of pleasure. It was not enough though.
When you have lost everything, what was the point?
Squinting his eyes tightly shut, images of that fateful night once again began assaulting every inch of his mind, not granting mercy to any single cell of his being. He clutched his forehead with his leather gloved hand as the face of his father stared at him, deranged and lost to the realm of reality. The magic of Hawkmoth's transformation dropping as Chat clutched at the butterfly brooch and ripped it from his father's shirt, revealing the broken face of a defeated man. Screams of his mother's name echoed around his head, stabbing at the small remaining pieces of his shattered and blackened heart. The face of his beloved Ladybug as she…
Chat Noir groaned like a wounded animal, shaking slightly and nearly falling to the side. Any other time, he would welcome those beyond painful feelings and let them wash over him like a powerful tsunami and let them drown him. The current would capture him, dragging him away, and he would just let himself float along into the endless ocean of suffering that now consumed his life. The memories of…her were the only times he could feel true emotion again instead of the endless apathy, the endless nothingness that now plagued him. And he welcomed the torment. After all, it was his fault that Ladybug, the love of his life, was…dead.
"CHAT NOIR!" A familiar voice called out to him in the still night air.
Snapping out of his painful flashbacks, Chat lazily turned around before plastering a wide grin on his face, his perfect white teeth sparkled in the moonlight. He let out one short, manic laugh as he stared at the familiar people spread out across the rooftops behind him. The three people who had been acting like a thorn in his side for the past four years. Yet, they still stupidly persevered. Chat Noir had to admit that he envied them. Envied their will power, their strength and their passion. All things that he used to possess when he had been proud and excited to be a superhero and defend Paris from akumas. But there were no more akumas. He was the enemy now. And they were the heroes of Paris now. Not him.
"Well, hello foxy," Chat Noir teased, standing up while remaining slightly crouched like a predator waiting to pounce. "What do I owe the pleasure this fine evening?"
"Cut the act ally cat," Rena Rouge snapped, flute held tightly in her hand, "Now hand over your miraculous and we won't ever bother you again." She held out her hand, her hazel eyes narrowing.
Chat Noir pretended to think for a moment. "What a tempting offer. But I think I'm going to have to decline."
"Don't make us fight you Chat Noir!" Queen Bee threatened.
"What? Because you're scared you'll lose?" Chat teased. "Why don't you just buzz off and leave me in peace."
Carapace took a cautious step forward, the only person to show an element of concern towards Chat Noir all these years they had been fighting. "We're trying to help you Chat Noir," he pleaded, "we can get you the help you need." Carapace ignored Chat when he rolled his eyes at that remark. "Please…Ladybug wouldn't have wanted this."
Rena Rouge and Queen Bee instantly froze, followed by Carapace once he realised what he had just done.
The one rule they did follow in regard to Chat Noir and he had just broken it.
Master Fu had warned them about this from the very beginning and, for the most part, they never broke that one golden rule. But when they did, boy did they and the city pay for it.
Rena Rouge shot Carapace a glare, though she knew that her partner only meant well. After years and years, they were becoming increasingly desperate to capture Chat Noir and seize his miraculous just like Master Fu had implored them to do. He reminded them that Chat Noir was no bad guy, just a lost young boy without his Ladybug that had been sent over the edge. Rena Rouge and Queen Bee often found it hard to see things from that point of view though. All they saw was Chat Noir disrespecting Ladybug's memory by becoming some insane vigilante who did not truly care about justice. No one truly knew what happened that night in the battle against Hawkmoth. All that they knew was that Chat Noir came out a changed man with nothing left of Ladybug but a pool of blood and a single red ribbon from her hair.
Oh how Rena Rouge had mourned the death of her superhero idol. No body had ever been found, but after weeks and weeks of waiting and waiting, the citizens of Paris assumed the worst, and the fact that even Chat Noir agreed that Ladybug hadn't made it just cemented the theory even further. People searched for her body in the hopes of possibly finding her true identity and informing any possible family she may have had, but it was all in vein. In the end, the investigators concluded that her body simply must have been cremated in the fire during the battle, leaving nothing but traces of blood and a single red ribbon.
The city mourned for what felt like an eternity. Mayor Bourgeois declared three days of national mourning; shops and businesses closed out of respect. The whole city wore red and black, Ladybug's trademark colours, and a spectacular public funeral was held. That was when Rena Rouge had been chosen, followed by her two partners, in the possible hope of helping Chat Noir, of finding the ladybug miraculous. Alas, they still failed in those two missions. And they continued to fail this night.
Chat Noir remained perfectly still, his wide grin frozen unnaturally on his face. Meanwhile, the three new superheroes of Paris held their breath. The deep hole in Chat Noir's chest throbbed and pulsated at the mention of her name. A name that was too beautiful and too perfect to be mentioned through anyone's lips. They were undeserving of her mere mention.
"How dare you," Chat whispered, his smile morphing into a murderous glare and his whole form stiffened. "HOW DARE YOU EVEN MENTION HER NAME!" He cried out, looking and sounding more and more deranged. He reached behind him and grabbed his baton, extending it and holding it in front of him, ready for a fight.
"Look, Chat, just calm down," Carapace pleaded as gently as possible, despite his shaky voice.
"He's right though," Queen Bee sneered, flicking her blonde hair back, "we dare mention her name because you dare to disrespect her memory and everything she stood for. If she really meant something to you, you wouldn't be doing all of this right now."
Chat Noir wailed, "YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SHE MEANT TO ME!"
With that, he swung his baton and came charging towards them. He swung at Queen Bee, though she managed to jump out of the way just in time, much to Chat Noir's frustration. They really were starting to improve in their fighting and defensive skills. If Chat was still a superhero, he would have been proud and impressed.
But he wasn't a superhero anymore. He didn't know what he was.
Hissing menacingly, he swung at Carapace who he managed to land a painful blow on. Carapace grunted and fell back, nearly falling off the roof before managing to catch himself just in time. Rena Rouge charged at him, swinging her flute around which Chat Noir easily dodged. His vision was completely red in anger and all he could do was think about how amazing it would be to tear these rookies apart for daring to speak of her.
Rena Rouge charged at him again and Chat further extended his baton, slamming it into Rena Rouge's face. He smiled wickedly when he heard the satisfying crunch and snap of her nose breaking under the force of his baton.
Rena Rouge let out a pained shriek, stumbling backwards and gripping her nose in her hand. The unmistakable sight of blood began to drip and seep out between her fingers, and her team members gasped before running towards her. Chat sighed, now feeling bored of fighting them, his anger having been replaced by a crippling misery that hung over him like a dark, violent storm cloud.
Using the concern for Rena Rouge as a distraction, Chat quickly ran away over the roof tops before ducking behind another chimney. He let out a breath he didn't realise he was holding when he realised that he hadn't been followed. He'd successfully lost them. For how long, he didn't know. He could tell from their brief fight tonight that they were improving. Despite it being three against one, Chat Noir had always been able to easily take them on with vast amounts of experience on his side. He wasn't sure how much longer that would be the case though.
One day, they would likely get his miraculous, and his true identity would be exposed. Then he would likely be carted off by men in white coats just like his father before him. Maybe this was some sort of cruel family curse. To lose their soulmates and go completely crazy. Like his father, Chat had considered using the cat and ladybug miraculous and wish for his Ladybug back. The only problem was, her miraculous was missing. He wondered if that had also been destroyed in the fire. He had asked Plagg, however the only response he received was a grumpy, angry silence, which was typical of Plagg these days.
Chat Noir stared down at his ring that displayed a glowing green paw print. Half of the key that could possibly lead to him bringing his lady back. Slowly lowering his hand, tears began dripping down his cheeks as he pulled out a small object that he kept tucked safely in one of his pockets. Chat Noir gently cradled the small red ribbon in his hands as if it was the most precious item in the world. This was all that was left of her. The only physical trace that proved she ever existed. His chest contracted painfully at the familiar dark blood stains that still remained on parts of the ribbon, staining it a darker shade of reddish-brown. He couldn't bring himself to wash it though.
Bringing the ribbon up to his nose, Chat Noir gently sniffed it, savouring the small trace of her scent that still lingered even after all these years. It was sweet, like vanilla and strawberry with the faint hint of freshly baked bread.
The scent brought a very tiny, reminiscing smile on Chat Noir's face. Oh how he longed to wrap his arms around his lady and breath in that intoxicating scent once again. He missed everything about her: her warm, gentle and friendly voice; her determination; her stubbornness; her passion; the playfully annoyed look she would get on her face every time he would make a pun.
But now…she was gone.
And it was all his fault.
With that thought, Chat Noir collapsed onto his knees as he held back the sobs that were trying to claw their way out of his chest. He pressed the red ribbon to his face as if he was burying his face into his lady's hair. The scent washed over him, however, instead of helping him float to safety, it only held him under the water, as deep and dark as an endless abyss. The guilt of everything that happened tied itself onto his foot and dragged him down into the deep dark depths. His lungs burned and cried out for oxygen. His brain replayed that day where everything had gone wrong and he had lost the love of his life.
The sound of footsteps in the distance dragged Chat Noir out of the deep water. He gasped for air and his eyes snapped open as his ears began twitching at the sound. The footsteps were small and light, obviously from someone petite. A woman perhaps?
Chat listened harder. This person was powerwalking and didn't seem to be making any effort at sneaking around. Chat smiled sadistically as he carefully tucked the precious red ribbon back into his pocket before standing back up. This person was going to regret being out and about at this time. Only criminals and himself walked around in the dead of night, and he couldn't wait to leave his little present outside the nearest police station.
Chat Noir hopped from one roof to another, using his sensitive hearing the cat miraculous granted him to find the source of the footsteps. Chat Noir finally found the street to see a small form walking down the street, purse clutched in their right hand, the black hood of their coat covering their face.
That's when Chat heard it. The sound of a second pair of footsteps.
Turning his head, Chat could see a much larger form making their way down the street wearing jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. It looked like a very burley man, and he had his hands in his pocket with his eyes firmly glued to the back of the woman he was following. It was clear who the most dangerous criminal was here. That's when Chat watched as the man picked up his pace, and then his green eyes widened in shock as the woman twisted around as if to confront him. This girl was either immensely brave or immensely stupid. The man just laughed at her confident stance.
"Don't try and be brave now," the man mocked before sinisterly adding, "I like it when they scream."
He yanked his hands out of his pockets, pulling a very sharp looking knife out with them.
The girl gasped and took a small step back, holding her hands up, ready to defend herself.
Chat had seen enough. Feeling a growl rumbling deep within his chest, he jumped down from his hiding spot, landing between the ever-decreasing space between the man and the girl he was after. Both of them gasped at the sight of Chat Noir landing before them and the criminal scum stumbled back slightly, eyes wide as he began to sweat with fear. This made Chat Noir smirk.
"C-Chat Noir." The man stuttered, clutching the knife even tighter and pointing it at Chat Noir.
This just made Chat's smirk widened even more. "The very same."
"L-look, I don't want no trouble, I didn't mean any harm."
"Suuuurrrreee you didn't," Chat purred before he straightened his posture, pretending to relax. "In fact, maybe we should even share her. Take it in turns until she's begging for death. I'm bored, and I sure could use some fun."
The man's eyes widened. "R-really?"
Chat frowned. "No, you sick bastard. Though I wasn't lying when I said I needed some fun." He crouched down and smirked again, digging his claws into the concrete beneath him, the sharp scratching sounds of this action echoing down the street and into the night. This made the man visibly gulp and Chat Noir laughed.
"I'll tell you what," Chat chuckled, "seen as I'm in such a generous mood, I'll give you a head start. I'm gonna count to three."
The man didn't move, instead he glared at Chat Noir with a new-found, foolish sense of confidence, and pointed the knife at Chat again. Chat remained unphased, merely smiling as he began to playfully count.
The man still didn't move.
"I'd start running if I were you. Two…"
Still no sign of the man attempting to make a run for it.
Chat Noir rolled his eyes before shrugging. "Suit yourself. Three."
With that, Chat Noir leapt forward, letting out an animalistic growl. The man shrieked in fear, his bravery from earlier instantly disappearing. He rose the knife and attempted to stab Chat Noir in the chest which he easily avoided. The man then began waving the knife erratically as Chat attempted to grab hold of him.
Chat's eyes widened as he felt a stinging sensation across his cheek followed by something warm oozing down his face. He reached up and gently brushed his fingers over his cheek, ignoring the pain it caused, before he removed his fingers and looked down at them. His blood trickled through his fingers, and he heard the girl, who was still foolishly standing around, let out a gasp.
"I was thinking of going easy on you, yet you continue to insult my generosity." Chat's voice became a menacing growl. His dark slit pupils expanded as he glared murderously at the pathetic excuse of a man in front of him. Finally, the man's common sense appeared to kick in, and he began screaming and running for his life. The look on Chat's face was unmistakable. The man clearly saw no use in denying it nor fighting back any longer when it was obvious he would lose.
Chat laughed manically. "Oh, so now you decide to run!" He took off after him. "Come here little mouse." He sang as the man continued to run down the street and scream. Chat easily caught up, moving down to run on all fours before bending his knees to powerfully leap towards the screaming criminal. As much as Chat was enjoying hearing those terror-stricken screams, he knew he needed to put a stop to them. With Rena Rouge and her gang prowling around the city, they were sure to hear and easily find him and stop him from having his fun. He'd had enough of being pestered by those rookies for one night.
Crashing into the man's body, he grabbed hold of the man's wrist before knocking the knife out of his hand, sending it flying through the air to the other side of the street. It landed on the ground with a clatter and Chat smirked down at the man he now had pinned beneath him. He dug his claws into the man's wrist and he screamed in pain as Chat began to draw blood. The man attempted to reach up and punch Chat Noir in the face with his other hand, but Chat's reflexes were too fast. He grabbed the hand that had tried to punch him and easily overpowered him. With both hands pinned easily by only one of Chat's hands, he used his now free hand to return the favour, punching the man across the face, hard.
"This is for my face!" Chat hissed, slowly digging one of his claws deep into the skin of the man's cheek before dragging it along, making an identical cut in his face that he had given Chat.
The man screamed in pain, and all the while, Chat maintained a sadistic grin on his face, enjoying the way the man's face contorted in pure fear and intense pain.
However, his fun was interrupted by the sound of light footsteps running towards them. That stupid girl just did not seem to have any sense of fear and danger.
Once Chat had extracted his claw from the deep gash now on the man's cheek, he punched him again, causing blood to drip out of his mouth and nose as his eyes began to flutter closed.
"Don't you dare pass out on me!" Chat growled. "The fun has only just begun!"
The running footsteps grew closer and Chat's frowned. "Honestly, I don't blame you for wanting to sadistically watch your would-be attacker have the tables turned on him," Chat spoke to the girl, though he didn't turn around to face her, "but I'm not lying when I say this isn't going to be pretty, even for someone as clearly mad as you."
Chat punched him violently again, smiling at the sound of the scum's jaw bone cracking. He was about to raise his hand to strike him again when two small, warm hands wrapped around his wrist and held him back.
"Stop it!" A high-pitched voice ordered.
Chat froze. That voice…it sounded just like…like hers…
But it couldn't be….
NO! She was dead! It was impossible!
Chat didn't want to bring himself to turn around and look at the source of the voice. Maybe he'd finally fully descended into madness and he was now hallucinating? Was he dead? Had that man actually properly stabbed him and he was now in the afterlife with his beloved lady?
He knew he had to look though. He couldn't remain frozen here forever, too scared to turn around.
Bracing himself to see some sort of Ladybug hallucination, Chat Noir slowly turned his head around. However, his eyes widened at the completely unexpected sight. Standing there, with her hands still tightly gripped around his wrists, the black hood of her coat now lowered, was the familiar sight of a girl he had not seen in years…the distraught and angry face of his old classmate…Marinette Dupain-Cheng.
Thank you for reading the first chapter. Feel free to let me know what you think in a review.