Pour toi je patienterai tout une vie
Car oui je t'aime, à la folie
je t'aimerai, à l'infini.
Gabriel Agreste stood trial for his crimes, but was found innocent of most of his charges, except for the murder of Alba Thomas and of course, terrorizing Paris.
He got 20 years.
"He should have gotten more,"
"Do you think Adrien knew?"
"He was a monster,"
"I hope we never hear of him again."
Those were some of the comments that tormented Adrien for the days following his father's imprisonment. The school became a dark place for him to be in, but his house was worse. It became even more haunting now that his father was gone and he knew his mother was sleeping somewhere around there and that he had no way to access her sleeping chamber.
He hadn't been visiting Marinette either, in fact, he hadn't spoken a word to her since they defeated Hawk Moth. He had been dealing with all of that alone. He had no one to comfort him, just Plagg, but for some odd reason, he wasn't much of a comfort.
He avoided his house as much as possible, so people would spot Chat Noir sleeping in the weirdest places, like a rooftop, a bathroom in a restaurant, a storage room, anywhere. Anywhere but his house.
As for Marinette, she didn't leave her house for days, in fact, she didn't even leave her bedroom. She remembered Adelynn Mason and how she couldn't do anything to save her when she fell off the Eiffel Tower, but now, the lifeless face she saw every time she closed her eyes was not Adelynn's, it was Alba's.
Alba had been her friend for so long, a frequent company from school to home, a great neighbor, and an attentive confidant. How was it that she threw all that away just because she confessed to erasing her memory once? Marinette couldn't remember why she was mad at her anymore, after all, she had proven more than once that she was being sincere.
"Marinette," Tikki said to Marinette a few days after Hawk Moth's defeat. "Marinette, you've been there for days now, you need to get up and take a shower," Her bedroom was dark and cozy, and she was curled up under her bedsheets where she was safe from everything and anyone, why was Tikki harassing her?
"Why, what's the point?" She mumbled, snuggling in her cocoon of bedsheets.
"The world hasn't ended Marinette, you need to get up and face what's coming,"
"Why? Hawk Moth is defeated, I've fulfilled my purpose in life, now I'm ready to die as well," Marinette sobbed,
"Marinette, don't cry, Alba wouldn't want it," Tikki flew next to Marinette and patted her shoulder tenderly,
"Actually," She sniffed, sitting on her bed for the first time in days, "I think I should return you to Master Fu, now that everything has been dealt with,"
"Marinette, I don't think..."
"And Chat should also return his miraculous, and he would go back to be..." Her eyes widened as she remembered, "Adrien! I haven't seen him in days, how is he? His dad... He's all by himself now, I need to find him," She blurted out, jumping from her bed and rushing to the lower level of her bedroom,
"If you're really about to visit your boyfriend, how about that shower I mentioned?" Tikki followed her owner trying to keep up with her,
Marinette smelled the clothes she was wearing, making a disgusted face she hurried to her bathroom, much to Tikki's amusement.
With a renewed sense of purpose, Marinette left her bedroom, only to be greeted with the astonished faces of her parents who marveled at the sight of her leaving her room. They hugged her and told her they understood her pain and that they all loved Alba too.
Marinette was moved by her parent's words, and she wanted to stay there, safe between their embrace, but something kept her, a sense of urgency. She needed to find her boyfriend, and quick.
She left for Adrien's house, but nobody answered when she rang the doorbell.
"It doesn't make sense Tikki," she told the kwami hiding in her purse, "It's Sunday afternoon, Adrien is always at home on a Sunday afternoon,"
"Maybe he's not receiving any visitors," Tikki guessed,
"Well, I'm not just any visitor, come on Tikki, it's time for Ladybug to knock on Adrien's window,"
Adrien sat on his bed staring at a wall for hours on end. Plagg had covered him with a blanket at some point in the day, when he saw him shivering, but it didn't help, the cold feeling came from inside.
His room seemed bigger, emptier than it had before, even though he hadn't changed a thing. Everything on his house followed that pattern, bigger, emptier, abandoned, perfectly still, quiet.
Quiet... a knock on his window broke the silence and took him out of his tormenting thoughts. He turned to his great window for the first time in hours and saw Ladybug, his Ladybug, waving at him from the outside world. He stood up slowly to open it for her, but returned to his previous position soon after,
"Hello to you too, kitty," Ladybug told him, taking a seat next to him on the bed.
"What are you doing here?" He said without looking at her, fixing his gaze permanently on the wall,
"I came to check on you, you're..."
"You shouldn't be here,"
"I'm fine if that's what you wanted to know, I have this huge house all to myself, my father is in prison, Natalie is in the hospital and I gave Gorilla the day off. I'm perfectly fine alone, nothing's gonna happen to me,"
"Adrien," She placed a hand on his shoulder, but he shoved it off as if it burned him,
"I'm leaving," He told her as if he was talking about the weather, "I thought you should know,"
"You're leaving? where?"
"America, I was accepted at a university there, I'll leave after graduation,"
"Oh, so you're leaving, leaving?" Ladybug was taken aback for a moment, "should I be happy for you?"
"It's just... what about Chat Noir, what about us?"
"Chat Noir's job is done, and us... I think we're done too,"
"We're done? You mean we're over? Are you breaking up with me?" Ladybug squealed,
"It's probably for the best, you wouldn't want to be with the son of a criminal, who is suspect of being an accomplice,"
"Adrien, what are you talking about? I love you, I..." tears threatened to fall from her eyes, but she knew, she just knew that something was not right with Adrien, he didn't mean what he was saying. "We're in this together, Adrien," she put her hand on his, and this time he didn't shove it off but he turned his face away, "It's you and me against the world," Marinette could hear him sniffing so she used her free hand to turn his face towards her to make him look at her, "Always," she finished for him, and then the tears he had been holding for years, the one he held when his mother disappeared began to roll down his cheeks, one by one until a tear became a river, and a river began an ocean of hidden emotions he had kept a secret for far too long,
"It's just too much," He leaned in and hugged Ladybug's waist, resting his head on her shoulder. Ladybug let him cry, patting him on the back and shedding a few tears herself in the prosses. Of course he would be this sad, he was practically an orphan now, but maybe worse, since both of his parents were alive but completely out of his reach.
Ladybug let him cry as much as he needed, and at some point, she let him rest his head on her lap while she stroked his hair slowly, following the rhythm of his falling tears. This was the man she loved, the one that had held her just like that when she was sad or tired, the one that made her laugh at the least likely of occasions. It was her time to be strong for him, and he let her.
"Have you talked to him?" Ladybug asked when she noticed that the tears were ceasing,
"No," He answered in a hoarse voice, "I have nothing to tell him,"
"Adrien, I need you to listen to me," She sighed. "Whatever it is that you decide to do, just know that you can count on me, it's a promise. Which is why I'm not letting you break up with me,"
"Are you sure about that? My life is a mess right now," He sat up taking a deep breath and cleaning his tears with the back of his hand
"My life has always been a mess and it didn't stop you, besides, isn't it Ladybug's job to clean a mess? Trust me, I've seen worst,"
"I don't think you have," He joked,
"Let's start with the basics, when was the last time you took a shower?"
Later that day, Adrien and Marinette decided to go out for a walk. A walk that lead them to Master Fu's coffee shop. The place was warm and cozy, and the smell of coffee and sweets permeated their nostrils,
"Ah, Adrien, Marinette, welcome back," The small man greeted them with a smile, "What brings you to my humble coffee shop,"
"We came to return our miraculous," Marinette said first, handing Master Fu a small black box that contained the miraculous earrings. Adrien did the same and placed his box next to Marinette's,
"Our mission is done, Paris has no need of its superheroes anymore,"
Master Fu was taken aback by their action since he wasn't expecting them to return their miraculous so soon after defeating Hawk Moth,
"Oh, and I almost forgot," Marinette took another black box out of her purse, but she couldn't bring herself to saying whose it was or why she was returning it. When Master Fu opened it, he revealed the 5-pearl anklet of the fish miraculous. Master Fu smiled sadly at the object and then motioned for them to follow him to the kitchen.
The kitchen was small and crowded with pans and pots. There were two doors, one that led to the outside and another one that led to a small storage room. From the first door came out a familiar person carrying an empty tray and stopping slowly when he saw who was standing before him,
"Nino?" Adrien and Marinette said at the same time,
"Oh, hi guys," He answered with a broad smile,
"You're late, child," Master Fu addressed him,
"Sorry Dud... I mean Monsieur Fu, I'll... I'll stay longer to cover for my shift,"
"You work here?" Adrien asked him,
"Since when?" Marinette continued,
"Not that long ago, it was supposed to be a seasonal job, but Monsieur Fu pays well and lets me do homework in here, so I think I'm here to stay,"
"You won't be staying anywhere if you don't go to take your place at the counter." Master Fu pointed for him to leave,
"Right, whatever you say Dud... I mean Monsieur Fu," They stayed and watched Nino go to the counter before Master Fu said,
"Follow me, children, there's something I want you to see," He led them to the storage room, which was cluttered with all kinds of containers, cleaners, mops and other cleaning utensils. It was barely big enough for the three of them to fit, but then, Master Fu pulled out a cardboard box, and out of the box a phonograph. He pulled out the phonograph and opened it using some kind of pin or passcode. Once the phonograph opened, the miraculous box emerged.
He opened the box and placed the fish miraculous in one of the drawers, then, he placed the ring and the earrings in the middle of the box, but there was something that bothered Marinette. Three miraculous were missing, of course, one of them was the turtle miraculous, but Master Fu had that one,
"Wait, where are the Moth and the Peacock miraculous?" Marinette asked,
"You never brought them to me," Master Fu shrugged,
"You never retrieved it?" Marinette asked Adrien,
"I told you I haven't talked to that man since we defeat him, plus I thought you got it," Adrien defended himself,
"Gabriel Agreste doesn't have it either," Master Fu stepped in,
"What?" Both of them exclaimed at the revelation,
"I had Wayzz sneak on the jail to look through his belongings, but the miraculous wasn't there,"
"Well, then we have to find them," Adrien said sternly,
"There's no rush, you guys have been through a lot, besides, the miraculous are dormant, there's no way you will find them like that,"
"Are we supposed to wait until someone activates them?" Marinette asked
"Wayzz will sense if one of them is activated, but for now I think you have earned a rest from your duties as superheroes, at least for now, I will find you if anything happens." Master Fu sighed, "You, children have been through a lot, and have fought showing great courage and strength, well done, Ladybug, well done, Chat Noir." He bowed his head before them and they did the same. Even if it was hard to detach themselves from their miraculous, saying goodbye brought a sense of relief. It meant that they would no longer have to fight. They would finally be able to rest.
That night, however, Adrien found himself completely alone and restless, since he didn't even have Plagg now. The kwami had been filling a void he didn't know he had, and now he was gone too. When he entered his room, it was darker than it had been before, it was as if Plagg took with him the little light that lasted in that big room, and now he was truly alone.
That was until he heard the doorbell ring, the only sound that clung him to reality. He rushed down the stairs without even checking who it was, and when he opened the door, among the darkness of the night, there she was, the luminous form of Marinette,
"I figured you wouldn't want to be alone tonight," She said, and he rushed towards her, grabbed her face and kissed her. He hugged her tight as if she would scape him if he didn't, but she didn't fall behind. She kissed him gently on the lips and caressed his hair while a tear rolled down his cheek,
"I don't want to be here tonight," He whispered breathlessly pressing his forehead against Marinette's, who ran her thumb over his cheek and smiled gladly at him,
"Come on, there are some people that are waiting to see you." She grabbed his hand and led him towards her house. The walk was slow but steady, and they arrived the bakery hand in hand, where she was greeted by her parents,
"Adrien dear, we're so glad you're here," Sabine greeted him a warm hug, which Tom mimicked, but being bigger and stronger, he caught the two of them in an even tighter hug,
"Mom, Dad, there's something I want you to know," Marinette giggled, while Tom still hugged Adrien and Sabine keeping their feet away from the floor,
"What is it, my dear?" Sabine struggled to say,
"Adrien is my boyfriend,"
"Your boyfriend?" Tom let go of the hug dropping the two of them on the floor. Adrien rubbed his behind, where he had fallen, but then Tom picked him up, squinting at him, "Are you supposed to be my daughter's boyfriend?"
"I thought you were glad to see me," Adrien shrugged smiling nervously at him, but Tom squinted even harder, "I mean, yes sir, Ma—Marinette's my girlfriend,"
"Honey, put the kid down, let's have a little chat with them," Sabine told her husband patting gently on his arm, so he put Adrien down and motioned for them to head to the living room.
Marinette's living room was small and cozy, filled with items that meant something to the family. The first thing that Adrien noticed was that there were signs of common use of the space, such as wrinkled cushions and a small stain on the coffee table. Everything on Adrien's house was clean, without a blemish, especially the common areas, but that was only because nobody used them, at least not at the same time.
But the tension in the room had been growing larger every minute, especially because now Adrien was sitting on the floor cushion while the rest of the family sat on the couch, yet Tom's searching glances would never leave Adrien's side,
"So, Adrien," Tom's strong voice dragged Adrien out of his thoughts, "what are your intentions with our daughter,"
"Dad!" Marinette protested,
"It's alright Marinette," Adrien began to speak, "Monsieur Dupang, as you know my father is in jail right now, and nobody knows for sure what happened to my mother, so you see, my life is kind of a mess right now,"
"Adrien... what are you doing?" Marinette whispered, but Adrien ignored her and continued,
"I might not be the perfect guy for your precious daughter, but I love her... I love her madly. She's the sunshine of my life and I just couldn't be without her," Adrien's words made a silent tear roll down Marinette's cheek, "We're also a great team, and... and it feels like we're almost in sync sometimes, she's brave, smart, funny and beautiful, I understand why you care for her so much, she's far too precious to me, and even if there are a thousand things I still need to figure out. I promise to protect Marinette and be there for her whenever she needs me and..."
"Stop," Tom put a hand in the air to make Adrien stop talking, "You're making far too many promises that you don't know if you'll be able to keep,"
"You said it yourself, there are a thousand things you need to figure out, how can I trust you to keep your word if there are so many things you are not sure of yet,"
"Dad, I know Adrien, he..."
"Let me ask you something, kid," He interrupted Marinette again, "Do you really love her?"
"More than I love myself,"
"And you, Marinette, do you love this kid," Marinette looked at Adrien and smiled,
"Madly," she looked at her father and continued, "He's my best friend and the guy I love, how many people can say that?"
"That settles it then," Tom stood from his seat and towered before Adrien, "Welcome to the family, son" Tom opened his arms and hugged Adrien with all his might,
"Thank you," he said breathlessly, struggling to take in more breath, while Marinette and her mother laughed loudly at the scene.
"Although to be honest," Tom let go of Adrien and put him on the floor, "I was kinda getting used to the idea of my daughter dating Chat Noir, but I guess you'll do," Tom patted Adrien on the back and he laughed nervously,
"Tom!" "Dad!" Sabine and Marinette yelled at the same time, but Tom laughed loudly and patted Adrien even harder, making him blush even more.
"It's alright, with Hawk Moth gone..." Tom was about to say something else, but then Sabine elbowed him, reminding him that Adrien was going through a difficult time because of his father's criminal history.
"Adrien dear, did you eat your dinner?" Sabine asked him,
"No, but there's no need to..."
"Come, we were just about to have supper when Marinette brought you in, and we have enough for the four of us," She was already walking out of the room into the dining room, where there were several plates placed on a small table for four.
"I'm sorry about my dad," Marinette whispered to Adrien when Tom and Sabine went to the kitchen to get the meal, "He still clings to the idea of me dating 'Paris' own superhero,'" she added with air quotes,
"If only he knew that you're Paris' superheroin," he whispered back, making Marinette giggle,
"What are you two love birds whispering about?" Tom asked them entering the room with a metal bowl on his hands,
"Nothing sir, I was just telling Marinette that I'm not used to having dinner with my family," He smiled bitterly,
"Please, Adrien, call me Tom, and you're welcome to come to eat with us anytime."
The four of them enjoyed a hearty dinner and stuffed themselves until they couldn't eat anything else.
And when it was time for Adrien to leave, Sabine hugged him and patted his cheek,
"I don't like the thought of you sleeping alone in that huge house, Tom what do you say if we let him stay the night?" Sabine turned to her husband,
"I'm not so sure," He mumbled,
"He could sleep on the couch," Sabine said,
"If it's alright with you, that is," Marinette addressed Adrien with gleaning eyes,
"I would love to but, all of my stuff is in my house," Adrien smiled broadly,
"We can go get them, can't we Tom?" Sabine insisted
"Fine, but I'll keep an eye on you." He squinted at Adrien, to what he smiled scratching the back of his head,
One night became two nights, and two nights became a week. By the end of the month, Adrien was practically living with Marinette's parents. Adrien was, of course, having the time of his life, he enjoyed spending time with his new family, plus got to spend even more time with Marinette.
Their relationship wasn't a secret anymore and things were going great between them, yet they never announced it publicly, instead, everyone just figured it out when they saw them holding hands and leaving and arriving at school together. It was especially obvious when they were caught kissing under the shade of a tree.
It was particularly a surprise for Alya, who could swear that Marinette was over Adrien. She demanded an explanation, but Marinette just said that after what happened with Adrien's father, they became even closer than they had ever been.
When Alya told Nino, he acted as if he was surprised, but he had already seen them together at Master Fu's coffee shop, so the news were not much of a shock for him. However, it took him several tries to convince Alya of how sorry he was that he didn't tell her the news immediately. She did forgive him in the end, but only after he promised never to keep such a juicy information from her.
Soon, the school year came to an end, and the date of their graduation arrived. Parents and teachers were enjoying the students' parade as they walked down the aisle to receive their titles. Every student that should have been there, was there, except for one, and every parent that should have been there, was there, except for two.
Marinette's family embraced Adrien and congratulated him on his graduation, but there was a prevailing sense of longing in his heart. His parents weren't there to celebrate with him. They weren't there to hug him and express how proud of him they were. Even if his father was an evil villain, he was still Adrien's father, and he regretted that he couldn't be there for one of the most especial events of his life.
Adrien did his very best to hide the bitter feeling growing on his heart and enjoy the Party that Chloe's father prepared for all of her classmates. Adrien danced and ate to his heart content, but his head was somewhere else, wandering all over the place,
At some point during the party, Marinette went to talk to Alya and left Adrien talking to Nino. They were dancing and having fun, but when Marinette went back to find her boyfriend, she found that Nino was standing all by himself near the desserts table.
"Nino, where's Adrien?" She asked him over the loud music playing on the background,
"He said he wanted to take a breather and went to the balcony, he'll be back soon," Nino explained, speaking loudly to make his voice heard above the noise.
Marinette nodded but decided that she needed a breather from the stress of the party as well, and decided to join Adrien on the balcony,
She found him staring absently at the sky, drinking in the silence of the night,
"Beautiful night, isn't it, my prince?" Marinette said as she walked to where he was standing. He turned around to see her and smiled, a shallow smile.
"Not as beautiful as you, princess," He extended his hand to invite her forward, she took it and he kissed the back of her hand when she got close enough,
"I understand why you needed a breather, parties can get exhausting," She copied his stance resting her elbows on the railing, taking in the beauty of the city from such a high floor.
"I'm leaving," he said after a long moment of uncomfortable silence,
"You're going home? Let me go with you,"
"No, I mean... I'm leaving Paris," He let out a shaky breath,
"What? I thought we went over this," Marinette protested, "You can't just..."
"I know, I know what you're gonna say, but I can't deal with this anymore, and now that I don't have Plagg I feel like I'm trapped in here,"
"What about my parents? What about me?" Marinette turned to face him directly,
"They've been amazing, and you," he turned and grabbed her hands, "You've been the best girlfriend I could ever hope for, but..." He turned away and leaned on the railing again, "I can't become a nuisance for you guys, I've been living at your place for heaven's sake, I... I need to find my own place. I need to find out who I am,"
"Don't you know who you are? Do you need me to remind you? You're kind loyal, you're strong, you're dependable, you're Chat Noir for heaven's sake..."
"That's nice and all, but," He cut her off, "I'm on my own now. I can't take care of you, I'm... I'm just a boy, I need to find my place in the world. I want to earn a degree, and find a job I like and... and..."
"I thought you were you father's only heir, you don't need any of that, you have a whole fashion empire on your name,"
"Yeah, but what do I know about fashion other than modeling it? I can't run a business, I'm not even 18 yet!" He threw his hands in the air,
"Adrien, you're not alone, and I promised I would be by your side whatever decision you take, but I would really, really rather if you didn't have to go away,"
"I know, I wish I didn't," He turned to face her and hugged her tightly, she returned the hug and buried her face on his shirt, "but I've thought about this a lot, and I genuinely think it's for the best,"
"What about us?" She lifted her head to look him in the eyes, "Will we do long distance? you know that never works,"
"I'd come to visit you every opportunity I got, and I would call you every night and text you all day,"
Marinette wasn't convinced, but she limited herself to bury her face on Adrien's shirt again. She knew it was useless to argue, Adrien could be stubborn if he wanted to and he seemed to be set on his decision, plus, deep down inside she knew it was probably for the best, so she let herself enjoy the night with him, for who knew how many more they would have.
The dreaded day came sooner than they had expected. It was Adrien's time to leave.
Marinette's parents regretted that they wouldn't be there to take Adrien to the airport because they had an urgent order of cakes that they had to take care of. But they gave them a farewell cupcake, and hugged him tightly before he left for the airport.
Nino and Alya had college interviews scheduled for that day, and they couldn't accompany him either, but it didn't matter, Adrien didn't want to make a fuss of his departure. Yet there was one person who was there with him, faithfully by his side. Marinette.
She didn't let go of his hand the whole ride to the airport, and it seemed that with every step closer to the gate, she squeezed his hand even harder. She didn't want to let go, but she knew that it was inevitable. She would have to let go at some point, suddenly she wished she could buy a ticket and leave with him,
"Mari, if you keep squeezing my hand like that it's gonna fall off," Adrien joked when they were right in front of the gate, but she didn't say anything, so Adrien turned to look at her in the eye, which were red and watery. "My love," he cupped her face with his hands, "I'll come back if you promise you will wait for me,"
"Adrien," She sighed, taking his hand from her cheek and holding it tight, "you know I will wait a lifetime for you because I can't help it, I love you madly," she shrugged still not daring to face him,
"My Lady," he said turning her face to see him with one finger on her chin, "I love you infinitely, and I promise I'll come back," He leaned in each time closer but stopped midway, then she leaned forward the rest of the way, getting rid of the space that separated them. They didn't even mind that they were in the middle of an airport because there was no other place they would rather be than each other's arms,
"Flight 1505 with destination to New York City, boarding on gate 21," A woman spoke from the speaker, interrupting their last kiss,
"This is it then," Marinette sighed,
"I'll see you soon," he grabbed her hand and kissed it, then he grabbed his luggage and headed to gate 21, leaving a flustered Marinette behind.
She had to understand him, the boy wanted to find his path, he was right to want that, but it didn't mean being away from him wouldn't hurt.
For you, I'll wait a lifetime,
Because yes... I love you madly.
I'll love you to infinity.
Now, while Adrien waited in the boarding area, Marinette stood outside as if she didn't know what to do next, but a sudden shake on the floor put her on guard.
The floor was trembling, in intervals, as if they were big steps.
She turned around to see if anyone else felt it, and she noticed that they were all looking at the tv, so she carefully made her way there,
"...There's a giant man causing chaos in the center of the city, we believe it could be yet another Akuma victim. It's been almost a month since Gabriel Agreste's arrest, but a man this huge is too big to be a natural phenomenon..."
Marinette's eyes widened as realization struck her, she never retrieved Hawk Moth's miraculous, nor Myura's,
"Marinette," she heard a familiar voice call her name and she turned around to see Adrien running back in her direction,
"Adrien, what are you doing here, you're gonna lose your flight," She reached to him holding his arms,
"I saw the news in the waiting room, another Akuma? How can that be? We gotta do something!"
"Something like what? We're powerless now," She whispered being mindful of the people around them,
"Well, then we gotta go find Master Fu, now!" He grabbed her hand and began to run with Marinette following close behind. But in their rush, they didn't notice that there was a cane on their way, which tripped Adrien's feet making him fall face-first on the floor, while Marinette tripped too and fell on top of Adrien,
"This, my children, is why you shouldn't be running in an airport," A small old man stood shaking his head at them,
"Master Fu!" Both of them screamed when they saw him smiling down at them,
"You're gonna need these," he handed them two familiar black boxes which they gladly took and stood up, "But before you go, there's something I need to talk to you about, Adrien, you go ahead, Marinette here will fill you up on the details later,"
"Okay, but how did you know there would be an Akuma," Adrien asked anticipating where he would hide to transform,
"Wayzz felt Nooroo's awakening, and I knew I would have to come to find you, now go, Paris needs you to be it's hero once again,"
Adrien nodded smiling broadly, and then rushed outside of the airport to transform,
"What is it that you wanted to talk to me about, Master?" Marinette asked, but he motioned for her to follow him behind a wall, out of the reach of prying ears,
"This is going to be our farewell Marinette," He smiled at her,
"Farwell? What do you mean?"
"retiring? Can you do that?"
"Of course I can! I'm 190 years old, I'd say I deserve it," He boasted
"But I mean, you're a guardian, do guardians retire? And if you do, who's gonna take care of the miraculous?"
"Why, my apprentice of course,"
"You have an apprentice? Phew, I gotta admit for a moment there I thought you would ask me to take care of them for you," Marinette laughed, but Master Fu's gaze was serious,
"Marinette, the life of a guardian is lonely and filled with secrets and deceit, you are meant for a different life,"
"But then, is your apprentice meant for such a life?"
"Guardians of miraculous are chosen from birth, and my apprentice has been learning from a very tender age. The time has come for me to retire and rest and for a new, younger guardian to take my place,"
"Alright, I can't wait to meet..."
"That's the thing Marinette, you will not meet my apprentice," Master Fu interrupted her, "If there's anything you need, you will text this phone number," he handed her a small paper with a phone number written in it, "the rest will be revealed in time,"
"Alright, I guess, but then couldn't I just talk to you?" she placed the small paper on her purse and closed it,
"I'm afraid this will be the last time we'll see each other," Seeing Marinette's alarmed expression, he cleared his throat and continued, "After I transfer the rights as guardian to my apprentice my memory will be erased, as is costume among guardians. Marianne will be there for me, and we will start a new life together. Do not be sad Marinette, this means my job is finally done," He patted her shoulder seeing how distraught she was,
"It's just... I'll miss you so much!" she threw herself in his arms and cried softly,
"There, there, Marinette, you cry as if it was the end of the world, but it's not, it's just the beginning," He patted her on the back until she calmed down, "Now, you'll need to be strong, I have the feeling that this new Hawk Moth, whoever he or she is, will be more powerful than the previous one,"
Marinette hugged Master Fu again and left to fight that giant. Master Fu was right however, this new Akuma was bigger and more powerful than other Akuma giants they had fought before, for once he was an adult and he was fast and strong. He proposed a true challenge for them, but they were able to defeat him in the end, breaking the akumatized object and releasing the Akuma, and that is how they discovered two things: Hawk Moth was back, but he was not Gabriel Agreste, because Gabriel Agreste was in custody and had not left his cell in the entire day. Someone else had the moth Miraculous, but who?
After defeating the giant, and after Ladybug explained Master Fu's situation to Chat Noir, both of them returned to the airport where Adrien's plane was still boarding, since it was delayed due to the Akuma.
Having detransformed, Adrien ran to catch his flight, but he was stopped midway by a wall of police officers wit drawn weapons,
"You're not going anywhere kid," The chief police told Adrien while Marinette watched from a few feet behind, "Adrien Agreste, you're under arrest."
To be continued...