Chat walked with his quarterstaff in hand, slightly behind Le Paon who had her bow and arrow drawn, relaxed but still ready to fire at a moment's notice. Their footsteps resounded at the quietness of the halls.
“You seem to know your way around,” Chat commented. He knew his way around these halls like the back of his hand, but still let Le Paon take the lead since she was older. He was surprised as she knew what halls to avoid and ones to take as she led their two-party team.
“I … I live here actually,” Chat was taken aback by her response.
“Yes, I know these halls well enough.”
“Have you ever tried searching for Hawkmoth here?”
“No, I honestly hoped he wasn’t here. I guess my hope blinded me to the truth.” Chat sighed. He was honestly angry to find out his own father was Hawkmoth when Chloe told him. Even more so upon seeing the truth before his eyes when they confronted him. But now that anger was replaced by fear. Fear of losing more than just his father, but his family, his team, and Ladybug.
He glanced to Le Paon’s quiver, where adorned to the side was her miraculous.
He knew what Hawkmoth had told him to do.
Get their miraculous.
Chat had already set in his mind not to take Ladybug’s, but he hadn’t decided on anyone else.
He knew Le Paon as well enough as the other members, although she kept more to herself since she was their elder and she always wore her mask. She had always acted like a mother to them, although not as good as his own. But maybe he knew her outside of the mask. She did say she lived in the castle, so maybe she was a noble woman, or even a servant. A servant would know the grounds better.
He looked back to her face, her eyes full of determination in their hunt. She froze in place and prepared her arrow.
“Hawkmoth,” she growled. Chat Noir looked past Le Paon to see Hawkmoth and two akuma knights.
“Excellent work Chat Noir, now bring me her miraculous,” Chat’s face paled as Le Paon looked at him, worry in her eyes.
“I’m not going to take her miraculous, not her’s and not anyone else's.”
“We had a deal.”
“Then consider this deal cancelled,” Chat Noir raced towards an akuma knight as Le Paon fired an arrow at the other knight, which barely missed as the knight charged towards her.
The akuma knight withdrew a rapier and began combating Chat, who parried step for step against his opponent.
“Fine, if you won’t help me willingly, then I’ll force you to help me,” Hawkmoth raised his cane and struck Chat Noir on the back of the head.
“Take him to the tower,” Hawkmoth commanded the akuma knight, who slung adrien over his shoulder and followed Hawkmoth down the hall.
Le Paon quickly finished the akuma knight and charged down the hall to find it vacant.
She cursed under her breath, wishing she had instead kept everyone together. If Chat Noir was originally going to betray them to Hawkmoth, other members of the team could do the same.
She ran down another hall, heading west.
“Honey Bee, stop racing ahead,” Honey Bee smirked to herself as her “partner” searched the halls for her. She had one job, get the miraculous, and she was going to enjoy every moment of it. She peeked around the corner to see Ladybug round the corner, heading the direction opposite of Honey.
Honey Bee smiled and threw her trombo after Ladybug, who barely dodged the blow.
“Bee?” Ladybug turned to see Honey Bee with her rapier weapon ready for battle.
“Did you see an akuma knight? Or Hawkmoth.”
“No, just you. And your miraculous.”
“Honey? What are you talking about?”
“Give me your miraculous Ladybug.” Honey Bee held out her hand expectantly.
“I’m not just going to give my miraculous to you. I need to defeat Hawkmoth.”
“You are not defeating him anytime soon, so you better give your miraculous before someone gets hurt. And by someone, I mean, you.” Honey Bee charged at Ladybug, who barely readied her yoyo into a quarterstaff to block the intended blow.
“Why do you want my miraculous Bee?”
“I don’t, but Hawkmoth, has great need for it.” Honey Bee let go of her hold, and struck again, Ladybug barely able to counter Honey Bee’s random attacks.
“You are working with Hawkmoth?”
“Temporarily, once I get what I want, I’ll be free from him, you, and the rest of the team.”
“Don’t you see he is lying to you? Once Hawkmoth gets what he wants, he’ll toss you aside as if you were like the rest of us.”
“I’m not like the rest of you. I’m important in the real world, unlike you. I deserve respect, I deserved to be in charge, I deserve to be loved,” Honey Bee practically screamed at Ladybug, with tears running down her face, her fighting more furious than ever before.
“Honey, we all love you. You are a valuable member of the team.”
“A member that can easily be replaced.”
“No one can replace you.”
“Wouldn’t you? Take my miraculous and give to someone more worthy of the title?”
“No one is more worthy than you Bee. Do you even hear yourself? You are important to me and the team.”
“I’m not important to him. And with you out of the way, he can love me.”
“Him?” Before Honey Bee could answer, an arrow appeared out of nowhere, slamming Honey Bee into the wall.
“YOU!” Honey Bee growled as they looked down the hall to see Le Paon with her bow. She dropped her bow down to her side and walked towards the girls.
“How much did you hear?” Asked Ladybug as Le Paon passed her.
“Enough,” Le Paon withdrew another arrow and slammed it beside Honey Bee, effectively pinning her to the wall.
“I’m sorry it had to be this way,” Le Paon turned back around to Ladybug.
“Where’s Chat Noir?”
“Hawkmoth ambushed us and took him. Apparently him and Honey Bee must have discovered Hawkmoth before we did and knew of his plans.”
“No, Chat,” Ladybug sunk to the ground as her quarterstaff dissolved back into a yoyo, tears threatening to spill. Le Paon kneeled down to Ladybug’s level and put a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
“When the time finally came through, Chat didn’t want to betray me.” Ladybug smiled at this.
“Then I need to get him back,” Ladybug stood and turned to Honey Bee.
“Where do I find Hawkmoth.”
“Like I would tell you,” in a flash Le Paon had another arrow set and ready to fire into the former teammate’s throat.
“Keep going down this passage until you get to the western tower.”
“That area is forbidden to enter,” Le Paon growled, adjusting her angle.
“I swear, I don’t want to die. Please, he’s in the tower with a bunch of creepy butterflies and alchemy equipment.”
“Alchemy?!” Both Le Paon and Ladybug stood.
“I’m going to go get him. Find Volpina and Jade Turtle and tell them to go to Master Fu. We’ll retreat until we are ready,” Ladybug ordered as she headed down the hall and Le Paon headed down towards another hall.
“Wait, what about me?” Honey Bee grumbled under her breath as she willed off her transformation, only to find the arrows still holding her outfit to the wall.
“Ridiculous! Utterly Ridiculous.”
“Chat!” Ladybug called out as she broke through the shoddy door that covered Hawkmoth’s layer.
“Ladybug, what a pleasant surprise,” Hawkmoth stood beside a chair, Ladybug could see Chat’s hand poking out from the armrest.
“What did you do to him,” she readied her yoyo to fight the team’s long sworn enemy.
“Only some improvements,” Hawkmoth unlocked one of the arm bands, then proceed to unlock one on the other side. Chat Noir stood, but instead of his black outfit, the colors were tinted purple, with a butterfly etched into his clothes.
“Chat…” Ladybug’s yoyo stopped spinning as she looked helplessly at her partner.
“Chat Noir, bring me her miraculous.” Chat Noir smiled and readied his weapon.
“With pleasure Hawkmoth.”
Chat bull rushed the charge, which Ladybug side stepped.
“Chat, what are you doing?”
“Getting your miraculous,” Chat turned towards her and charged again.
“Chat this isn’t you, snap out of it.” Ladybug grabbed Chat’s staff to prevent it from hitting her.
“I don’t know what you are talking about, I serve Hawkmoth.”
“Chat, you don’t serve anyone, we work together as a team, with Le Paon, Honey Bee, Volpina, and Jade Turtle. Don’t you remember any of that?” Ladybug took the staff and flung far out Chat Noir’s reach, and meet his hands in combat.
“I know I must get their miraculous”
“No you don’t Chat, please stop this Chat.”
“Not until I have your miraculous.” They continued fighting, Ladybug holding back the tears and her punches as Chat continued to fight her with all his might.
“What are you waiting for? Finish her,” Chat smiled a smile Ladybug wished she never saw.
“CATACLYSM!” He raised his hand in the air, a dark magic formed at his hand as he held Ladybug down.
“Chat,” Ladybug whimpered staring into Chat Noir’s green eyes, his eyes no longer filled with the love he once had for her but hate and anger.
He brought his hand down as Ladybug closed her eyes to prepare for the worst. She wished she had told Chat how much she loved him. Maybe if she had told him, he wouldn’t have been akumatized.
As she waited for the blow, she felt the pressure of Chat Noir fall off her. She opened her eyes to no longer see anyone on top of her, but heard the gasping of breath. She turned to look and see Le Paon, her quiver empty of arrows, and Chat’s cataclysm infecting her side.
“CHAT!” Ladybug screamed and tackled Chat Noir, pulled his miraculous off his finger. She stumbled back as Chat transformed into the prince, and Le Paon’s miraculous willed itself away to reveal the queen.
“No, no mother no, stay with me,” the prince cradled his mother in his arms.
“Yes mother I’m right here, I got you,” the tears started to pour down the prince’s cheek and onto his mother as the color drained from her face.
“Be strong baby, and save your father. I know there is still some good…” a sentence left unfinished tore the prince to pieces as he held him mother closer, hoping to hear more of her melodious voice.
“No mother, stay with me, please, stay with me, mother. Mother? NO!!!” The prince grabbed mother lifeless form, placing his hand where he once cataclysmed.
“Please no, I take it back, I take it back.”
Ladybug looked between the mourning boy and her former mentor as tears welled up in her eyes. She wanted to help, do something to make everything better, but not even Lucky Charm could save a life according to Tikki. She wanted to go and comfort the prince, but she saw Hawkmoth standing in the shadows, staring at her opposed to his dead queen. Waiting for her to show weakness.
Ladybug ran. Away from her love, away from her mentor, and away from the man who destroyed a good part of her world.
Adrien’s sobs began to subside as he held his mother’s limp form.
“Adrien,” he felt a cold hand on his shoulder.
“I can help.”
“Can you bring her back?” Adrien glanced over his shoulder to his father beside him.
Adrien turned back to see his mother’s still form, and gently closed her eyes.
“But I can help you. Make you forget all of this.”
“Take my memories?”
“For your own good. Do you think you can live with the burden you killed your own mother?”
Adrien stiffened, the thought finally setting in. But rather than tears, he felt numb.
He was actually alone. His mother was dead, Ladybug had left him. All he had was his father, whom he knew was Hawkmoth, and now painful memories of what he had done.
He had almost killed Ladybug, but instead killed his mother, and only one person was offering to help.
“No.” Adrien let go of his mother and followed his father to the solitary chair in the room.