Summary: Foiled time and time again, Gabriel is done with being Hawkmoth. He simply cannot win; Ladybug and Chat Noir are unbeatable when they put their minds to it. Last time he gave up, he donned the pin, but immediately put it back on- so he would keep the temptation with him at all times. Surely, it wouldn't cause problems to continue to wear the butterfly pin, would it? After all, no self-respecting individual would think to remove both his tie and his pin, right? Right?
It's been four years since akuma attacks plagued Paris.
No one knows why, not even the heroes. There hadn't even been anything special about the last attack, it was a basic battle. Just a random akumatization, like any other. In fact, the attacks before had been gradually slowing down.
The media had been waiting anxiously to see when the next attack would come, and after weeks passed, people felt as though it was the calm before the storm. The heroes prepared mercilessly for an attack that would never come, and only two individuals knew why.
And when weeks became months, and months became years, the unrest fell away to ease, and it was assumed that the supervillain was gone for good. Ladybug and Chat Noir still were a public presence, and assured they would be there if anything happened, but Gabriel knew nothing ever would. Nothing to do with Hawkmoth, at least.
It was eight years since he had begun fighting for the miraculous, and four years was such a long time to fight. He knew he had fought too hard and too long to be forgiven, so he could do away with giving up his miraculous. But he had fought long enough and hard enough to know that he could not win, no matter what tactic he used.
But the nail in the coffin was when he finally discovered what everyone already else knew- that he was a horrible father. That day he finally realized what it was he had to lose.
His son had begun to date once more, the Dupain-Cheng girl. He was thrilled, he had been trying to akumatize her for years, and was certain with her strength she would be the most powerful akuma he had ever created.
He watched as the two drew closer, and he knew just how hard it would be on her if she and his son were ever to be forced apart. It was going to be perfect.
But he could not get anything wrong, no, if he messed up even once, then his son and her relationship could be shattered without him having possession of the miraculous. And he liked to believe that he was hard and cold, but not cruel. He would not ruin such a perfect relationship without reason.
Yes, that was what their relationship was. Marinette was an impressive woman, she was creative, bold, and courageous. She would speak up for Adrien when no one else would, and Gabriel was not blind to the looks his son would give her, he knew adoration well.
As he drafted his plan, he wondered aimlessly, if perhaps it had been Marinette who fell into the coma, would Adrien go to such lengths as he? Perhaps he could bring his son to his side-
But that was when realization came crashing down.
He was sacrificing his son's love to save his wife, with a plan that he would not even admit to himself that would not work. He knew it couldn't work, not with the power of time travel on the heroes' side.
And even if it did, and Emilie came back, it would come at the cost of Adrien's relationship- and perhaps even the knowledge that he was Hawkmoth.
Everything came crashing down. He had sacrificed so much; he had thrown away everything into becoming Hawkmoth. Forget his son's romantic relationship, Gabriel had already thrown away his personal relationship with the young man. Yes, that is what he is- a man. A man who lived his life distant from his father, and even longer without his mother.
"What have I done," Gabriel choked, as he recalled the conversations he had with Marinette that had proved to him just how bold she truly was. She had called him out on his parenting style, or lack thereof. Even Nathalie had given him pointers on how he could be treating Adrien better.
And so it was on an unassuming day that he made the resolution never to transform again, for the second time. The first had been after Style Queen- he was certain he had tried everything. But this time was different- he realized that he had likely tried everything but now, now there was something to lose.
"It's not too late to fix your relationship with your son, M. Agreste," Marinette Dupain-Cheng's voice echoed through his mind. Was it though?
He did not want to put the miraculous away, however. He knew that if he didn't, he would feel emotion, and would wish to akumatize, but this was something he had to face. If not, how could he guarantee that he would not simply see an opportunity, and don the pin once more? No, he wore it as a reminder.
He cleared the block he had placed on Adrien, allowing himself to feel his son's emotions, and set out to change. He began to treat Nooroo differently even, as a friend. He recognized what he had pushed away with Nathelie and pushed her away no longer. He held on to her comfort and her love like a lifeline,
And finally, he began to heal.
So here he was, four years clean of akumatizations, holding a beautiful baby girl in his arms. Her name was Emilie, though she was called Emma. Gabriel felt a bittersweet pain from the name, but it was warm, and he held a great appreciation for it he would never admit to her parents.
"Thank you so much for watching her for the night Father," Adrien smiled, but his eyes were on his little girl. He had grown so tall, and so kind, he was just like his mother.
"Of course, I would never turn up an opportunity to watch her," Gabriel assured the pair. He looked down on the little girl, with her father's same green eyes. The same startling green of her grandmother, which she would never meet.
She reached up at his tie, and tugged it right off, revealing the deep purple pin beneath. He stiffened, but surely it was unrecognizable. Perhaps it could pass off as a button of sorts.
Marinette laughed. "Emma, don't pull off Grandfather's tie," she scolded, but Gabriel was certain she didn't receive the message, as she cooed and giggled. Marinette took the scarf from her, and Gabriel swore that if babies could look mischievous, then that was what Emma looked like.
She reached for his pin, and Gabriel panicked.
"Nonono, don't take Grandfather's pin-" he began, but the damage was done.
Emma's tiny little hands took hold about the pin and ripped it out of his shirt. In horror, Gabriel watched as the small, round dot, became a large butterfly shaped pin. He glanced up at his son and daughter in law, surely, they wouldn't recognize it? Yes, it is odd for a tiny pin to suddenly sprout wings, but surely, they wouldn't connect it to the miraculous?
Marinette dropped his scarf, her jaw wide open, and Adrien was staring at it in a kind of horrified fascination.
In the words of his daughter in law, this was a disaster. "Uh," Gabriel began, but no excuse could possibly save him.
That's when Emma stuck it in her mouth.
"Ahhhh, Emma don't eat that-" Marinette was the first to react, but as the baby stuck it in her mouth, it began to glow. Gabriel's heart dropped, as the kwami flew out, somehow eating it counted as wearing it?
"Master, what-" Nooroo began, cut off just as quickly as Marinette grabbed the pin from her daughter, deactivating it again.
If any blood had remained in Gabriel's face, it was surely all gone now. And Emma burst into hysterical tears. A natural reaction, the babe had just felt the emotions of at least himself and her parents when the pin was activated, a new stimulus she had never felt before. And just as quickly it was gone.
His calculating mind now having been broken from the shock, Gabriel took to bouncing the child and shushing her, having given up on explanations. Perhaps the two would simply leave him with the child, and this could be forgotten.
"...Father?" Adrien began.
Gabriel sighed. "I don't suppose you could continue on with your date and forget about this?" he tried.
Unfortunately, as Gabriel was soon to discover, Ladybug and Chat Noir would not simply forget about it.
AN: This is a one-shot! I feel like I took the first half too seriously, but Emma taking the miraculous from Gabriel is just a hilarious idea that came to me, and I had to write it. Hope you all enjoyed!