Author's Note: Watching Chat Blanc, and seeing Chat Noir suffer so, so much- inspired me to write this drabble. I was exploring where it would take me... so here's the result. Enjoy,
He remembers everything- the dancing, the laughter, the late nights, the fun dinners and sweet picnics. He remembers how she kept her hair down because he asked. How she took such a long time to lose her nerves around him and just laugh. He remembers how she would bake his favorite things without ever asking what his favorite things were. He remembers her parents inviting him for breakfasts, for lunches, for dinners even when Marinette wasn't there. He remembers doing the dishes with Sabine, rolling dough with Tom and tasting bread with Rolland. Every smile, every moment, every single cherished joke they shared with him. He remembers everything.
It's bittersweet. How he remembers everything since too. How he remembers that everyone else forgot what he could never. The Miraculous Ladybugs returned everything as it once was- but they skipped him. He could never be the same again- he wasn't sure he wanted to be the same again either.
They say ignorance is bliss- and they're right. Chat Noir doesn't know what to do, what to say, how to act around the monster of a father he loves. He doesn't know how to treat his lady, his closest friends anymore. He wishes so desperately that he could just turn back time and stop all of this. He's been pretending all his life but this time is so much worse.
It's only been a few seconds since she's jumped through that portal. He's standing on top of the Eiffel Tower, with the perfect view but watching nothing. If he de-tranforms, what's to stop him from being akumatized again? All these emotions, swirling about and maiming everywhere- everything hurts.
Everything, everything hurts.
He thought he had his princess with him forever- then she leaves. He brings himself to the ground, kneeling and curling up into the smallest ball he could find. Where were the Miraculous Ladybugs- they fixed Paris but they couldn't fix him. What if this is his curse? Now and forever?
His curse for failing. Failing to be good enough. Failing to be a good son, a good friend, a good lover, a good superhero. He could feel the tears again. What once was white and blinding, is now dark and numb. He wishes everything would just stop. But then what? What would he do when everything is returned to normal?
Would he be as oblivious as he once was? What would happen if he actively pursued Ladybug once more? What would happen if he discovers Marinette's secret and the entire nightmare repeats itself? He'd have to fight his father again… lose his family, lose his mind again…
Chat doesn't cry softly. He gasps for breath, holding onto his chest with nerve-wracking sobs that shake his entire body and make him gasp for breath- not-enough-air-not-enough-tears-not-enough-he's-not-enough…
He cries for Ladybug, for Marinette- separately because he knows he can never think of them as the same person again. His chest hurts in so many different ways when he thinks of her. But he doesn't want to change his train of thought to his father.
He doesn't want to- he begs himself not to think of Hawkmoth, of Gabriel Agreste, of Father - but he does. He does think of his father- and he thinks of his mother too. The tears don't stop, and he's running out of energy. His face is in the cold, hard metal now- and he imagines it's like his father's cane when it hit him so many times in that battle so far away.
He feels like screaming it out, so the entire world can hear him. But the white world has returned to its selfish busy self- and he doesn't want to return to it. He shuts his eyes tight against the blue skies, because it reminds him of the many - too many - cloud watching that he took with his family. With his mother, with Sabine, with his Nathalie…
Nathalie abandoned him too.
But Mayura didn't hurt him. Nathalie would never hurt him. But she did. She did hurt him. So did every single person he thought he loved, and those that loved him didn't and those that didn't never would have anyways.
His mind is foggy now- not the peaceful mist he sees over oceans, but he sees that dangerous fog in spiked forests that pull you to the edge of cliffs above a roaring sea. He throws a tornado in for comparison with his thoughts. The tornado sucks up all the fog and he stands in the center, relishing the tranquility that he doesn't deserve but so desperately craves.
He wonders if… no- he shouldn't wonder. He should think. He should stand up and do the next right thing. He doesn't remember where he gets that advice from- but it feels as though he would get nowhere without doing something. He knows his lack of action caused that dreadful cataclysm. He knows he should step back, he knows he should…
The Ladybugs. They're in the distance. They're a force to be reckoned with. Like Ladybug. Like Hawkmoth. Like him. They are strong- Ladybug and Hawkmoth make decisions all the time. They're not alone either. Hawkmoth has Nathalie, Ladybug has Chat Noir. But does Gabriel and Marinette know that they have Adrien too?
He feels like he's under pressure, but it's muffling and he's becoming numb to that pain. He doesn't want to choose. But as the Miraculous Ladybugs approach him, he realizes he doesn't have to choose, not now anyways. But which one? Will he choose his father- the villain? Or his girlfriend- the obstacle? It's a question of his mother returning or not.
The Miraculous Ladybugs are near the horizon- and behind them, is nothing.
IS HE GOING TO DIE?
Chat Noir pitches back, eyes so wide they hurt. They're taking everything with them- they're rewriting the timeline! But… but… he doesn't want to change this.
Sure he's depressed and torn but all these beautiful memories- he doesn't want them to go! He covers his head as though he could protect those memories. The past few days have been the best and worst days of his life but he doesn't want them to go!
Maybe he can salvage something. No, it doesn't make sense. He blinks at the Ladybugs, willing his panic into submission. It doesn't feel nice, but it feels right. He has to do it. But it's also something he wants to do but doesn't want to want it.
What does he want? He wants to save his family, his friends, everyone he cares about. But… he realizes with the intensity of drizzle slipping into a pond, that Chat Noir can't save them. He's been trying so hard as Chat Noir… but how much did he try as Adrien?
Maybe if he didn't wear the Miraculous Mask, would his father have akumatized him? If he had confessed to Ladybug as Chat Noir, what would have happened? He's been trying to find the difference between he and his alter ego for such a long time, would it really hurt to realize he's one person?
If Adrien spent some more time with his father- would Hawkmoth be as obsessive? If Chat Noir joked around Marinette more, would she be as bashful around Adrien? He doesn't have enough time to think about these things. The Miraculous Ladybugs are here.
He opens his arms, smiles, and lets them take him away.
When Adrien gives a sudden shudder- it feels as though his entire body has been squashed, kicked, rearranged and stabbed over and over again but patched up gently. It feels odd, but it feels familiar. It feels like Miraculous Ladybug Magic.
He shakes his head, standing in front of his room door and fingering the medal almost sadly. He thinks of his father, and has the intense desire to knock on his study door and show him the medal. But he doesn't. The willpower is strong, but the reasons aren't sufficient.
He knows that he knows more now, but he doesn't know what he knows. He feels drained, trembling, and alone. He feels hardened, like soft metal with a fresh oxidized layer around him. He feels strengthened, motivated, calm. It's strange. And he wonders what Ladybug did on this adventure.
He opens the door- and there she was, just about to make a quick getaway. His face lights up, but it's tainted. There's no bright flush, but there's peace. He's not as giddy as he used to be when seeing her. But that's okay, he knows he still loves her, but something's changed. He sees her differently. It's… so much more pure now. As though he's somehow gotten closer to her, but didn't. He just feels… satisfied seeing her.
Then he wants to hug her. But she's gone before he can. He spends the rest of the afternoon contemplating if he even had a Brazilian fanclub.