A/N: First, some answers to questions and comments!

No, Max doesn't get a girlfriend. Women aren't rewards for heroes (even though we get told that so often it's easy to believe that's what we're seeing). The girl who became Toffee Applicator is Max's friend, they're working together on stuff they both love so yes it's possible something will come of that eventually but it doesn't have to. That friendship is going to let both of them become much better and more effective people so wherever it goes, they'll both be glad for it.

It was accidental on my part and deliberate on Max's (and editor Alya's) part that we never found out her name.

I've had my French corrected for the bit where Gabriel and Adrien are yelling at each other. After this bonus chapter goes up I'm going to go back and fix that because apparently what Gabriel says in context isn't "don't be so emotional" but "eat your carrots". Thank you to Ordalie Gwynfyd for suggesting something better to put there! Apparently Adrien's reply is a bit OOC, but I'm going to leave it because at that point he's really trying to bait his father so... forgive me.

Yes, Max is on the spectrum in this story. I studied with many people like Max in one way or another while I was at uni, and I've worked with a few too. It's a spectrum, and most people on it are neither idiots nor savants. They just need a little help from the world around them to be able to deal with the nonsense we've made of society and life. All this unnecessary mental noise, all these rules and patterns that seem so *arbitrary* some times. And then you grow up and people stop asking you what your favourite dinosaur is. (Mine is Malurus splendens.)

Ladybug didn't say much to Chloe. Only that Adrien was going to need her, and as many others as she could get. Which meant he would need her getting along with everyone else to make that happen. Also that Marinette would help get people lined up and had agreed to leave the hating til after Chloe'd helped save Adrien.

Yessssss... the chapters were often pretty short! They were meant to break off at slightly uncomfortable points and not quite follow the "rules" about when something was done, because Max was telling the story. I had to break my own rule about chapter length in order to write the battle scenes and that was weird.

Who was number 5 in the last battle? Well, it was both Max's coding friend, and Alya. That role was supposed to be played by one person but I split it because I decided I wanted Alya there onsite and the friend controlling the feed software offsite. But I'd already said 5, not 6. Oops. The perils of posting a story chapter by chapter!

I never did decide whether it was better if Max asked Marinette or Marinette asked Max. But I loved reading all your reasons for each!

Now, the bonus! This bonus chapter's a bit different. I had a lot of comments about this story being unusual - and yes it is, in lots of ways. I thought some of you might like to see the way a chapter was planned out before being written. Because I was writing fast, a lot of chapters didn't have much in the way of notes - maybe a sentence or two, a key line that had to be included, a headline saying whose POV it was. But certain chapters needed to be put together a lot more carefully. Such as chapter 30, when Adrien revealed himself to the world in order to force Hawkmoth's reveal. I'm not normally much of a planner, but there's always at least a clear picture of where a chapter's going before I start typing. (I type at the speed I think, so I try not to think too slowly. Funny story: this is partly because I've worn the letters off my keyboard, so I have to type fast. If I type slow I start looking to see where to put my fingers and then I can't work out how to type anything at all!) This chapter had a lot more detail than most in order to make sure it fit with the other viewpoints - and also because when I started making the notes, I only knew what had to happen but still had no idea where or how it was going to. So this is me working all that out. Once the notes got to this stage, I slept on them, and then got up the next morning and wrote it.


Viewpoint 4: Adrien, confronting his father. Reveals himself publically as Chat Noir. (The modelling gig is somewhere obvious and public, so he has to draw his father out a bit)

Adrien runs to where he meets the bodyguard.

They drive to the photoshoot.

Gabriel arrives, enters the dressing tent.

Adrien and Gabriel confront each other. Adrien plays the heartbroken teenager, Gabriel tries not to admit why he wants the ring.

Adrien runs from the tent, climbs. Gabriel tries to talk him down. Adrien transforms both to prove that he really does have the Miraculous but also so that he can climb higher, and dares his father to come after him.

Gabriel attempts to climb as well, but finds it just as unclimbable as his civilian son did. At this point Gabriel knows that if he has both Adrien and the miraculous, he can get Ladybug's earrings, so he goes for the final risk. He transforms, and summons butterflies to lift him.

Had thought to end this one on Adrien's "Claws out", but it might need to go slightly longer, not sure where to fit in Max yet. Claws Out is the best ending point in terms of tension. Adrien thinks through what he wants, (he wants his father to transform and provide proof, and he himself needs to get higher, more inaccessible to drive his father further) has clarity of feeling (he will give up his own secret identity for this), baits his father once more, says "Claws Out". Ending on Hawkmoth/Gabe's transformation is the other option, but this is an Adrien-centric chapter so maybe should stick on him and his identity sacrifice? Either that or on his feelings when he sees his father transform to come after him – but we've already sort of had his breakdown, and this is a Max story so we can't get into detail on Adrien's feelings anyway. Usually I've been ending the chapters on the first break rather than on the reaction to the break or a second break, back with the thing of leaving a lot of stuff off-screen. So Claws Out would be more consistent with the rest of the story. It depends where I want to have Gabriel commit to the trap, I guess.

This chapter will be called The Other One Ring and should probably have a line related to Tolkien geekdom in there. BC Adrien and Gabriel both geeks in their own way, and too much punsters to miss the opportunity. Original plan back as of chapter 2 was to have Adrien telling his dad he'd disown him for a "one ring" pun, but now maybe I might just let the pun happen.

Note: the Arc de Triomphe is in the centre of a large roundabout. So happenings there will be visible from a distance but pedestrians can't run to see what's going on (traffic might stop though!) People reach the Arc through two pedestrian underpasses. Raincomprix can control those and the traffic, might have a reference in the Max chapter to him being given the go. There's a lift to the museum inside the top of the arch, and then 46 steps to a lookout terrace at the top of the arch. Wikipedia has the details of the sculptures Adrien will climb. Probably better to have him stand on Napoleon's head rather than grab the boob of Victory.

A/N: This story's about Max. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten him. He's been right here, it's just that nobody happened to be looking at him. Accident? Deliberate? Well... he'll tell you himself next chapter. As in the last battle, the confrontation is told from the perspective of all five people.

Five? -counts on fingers- Four. I meant four, honest.