2019-04-03 - TIMELINE X: One Secret Too Many

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Title: Timeline X: One Secret Too Many

Chat Noir has betrayed Ladybug and Sourisi to team up with Hawk Moth, figuring out the truth of the man behind all the Akuma and spurned by Ladybug and her secrets. A week later he is confronted by the duo, but the answers revealed in an otherwise peaceful night shatters bonds thought unbreakable.


Marinette Dupain-Cheng, Adrien Agreste, Niramo Umokeshi


Yamanote High City - Harajuku Trendy District

OOC - IC Date:

4/3/2019 - 5/23/2015

***************************** Yamanote High City *****************************.
+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Harajuku Trendy District +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+
 A street like Takeshita likes to warn its visitors what they're getting       
 into. Mounted on chromed gates, LED displays draw rainbows and flowers over   
 and over, cheerfully welcoming one and all, and beneath them the road has     
 just enough downward incline to appreciate just how many people have          
 accepted the invitation. This street is the heart of Harajuku, street         
 fashion capital of Japan and a world-famous mecca for youth culture.          
 Daring, experimental styles compete and combine here in a free-form paradise  
 of sartorial Darwinism. There's a place for frilly gothic lolita, glam-rock   
 visual kei, and even interpretations of Western styles like punk rock, and    
 only the boring is forbidden. Particularly on Sundays, young people treat     
 Harajuku like a catwalk, inspiring and inspired by the hip local designers    
 who run small shops here, all looking to create the next big thing. The       
 corporations moved in long ago, and so plenty of big international chains     
 have thrown their hat into this lively arena.                                 
 Harajuku is rare among the elite fashion districts of the world, however, in  
 that it is still genuinely youth-driven. Where Paris's Trocadero would have   
 an expensive cafe, Harajuku has a famous McDonald's. Cutesy candy shops,      
 crepe stands, and kitschy tee-shirt stalls combine with a whimsical           
 aesthetic to make Harajuku's target audience clear. This district is good     
 for wasting money fast, but it's mostly allowances and part-time paychecks    
 it's gobbling, and so the prices it demands are surprisingly -- dangerously   
 -- reasonable.
<Pose Tracker> Chat Noir [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

It's a warm night. The moon is full and the stars are twikling but Chat Nori does not care, at least not tonight as he finishes his patrol and lands on a flat rooftop. Not too long ago, he would have day dreamed coming him with his once lady love but..no, not now. Not after learning what she had been hiding from him. They were suppose to be partners and yet she couldn't trust him with the trust

His hands tighten into fists. No. No point of getting angry about that right now. He was on patrol for any potential Akuma.

His eyes shut. He didn't like doing this. Searching for vulnerable targets like a hungry lion, but his father insisted it was the only way to get Ladybug to hand over her miraculous. To get his mother back. While Chat Noir did believe his father didn't care who got in his way, he did believe he missed his mother as much as he did.

He sighed as he looked upon the streets. At least if he saw some targets, he could at least chose the ones that felt justified. He told his father he would help the Akuma, but only to ensure they didn't hurt or cause too much damage. That was the agreement they came upon.

Plagg didn't like the route he took, but he said he would remain with Adrien if he felt that strongly about it. Chat was still angry his kwami hadn't told him the truth, but learning he was unable to thanks to a spell from the Guardian he was willing to undrestand. Ladybug was another case.

The streetlamps showed there was only a couple walking with their arms around each other as they took a midnight stroll.

He thought briefly of just asking her to handover her miraculous, to get her to understand why he needed it, but he knew the answer. She didn't trust him enough with the trust, why would she trust his judgement now. It made no different. Chat Noir shook his head as he stared up at the moon. "I hate being lonely, but I hate being lied to more," he mutters bitterly.

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

As the full moon sends gentle rays of light down upon the skyline of Tokyo, a duo of magically -empowered maidens leap from rooftop, on the search tonight. While normally Sourisi would enjoy the pleasant weather and the wind whistling in her ears as she runs atop the buildings...the recent shake-up in Miraculous Users has been a little hard.

The memory of Chat Noir actually turning on both Ladybug and Sourisi at a critical moment, leaving them scrambling to defeat an Akuma and fight with a friend turned foe at the same time flashes in her mind. Sourisi tries to stop herself from reliving that moment over again in her head as she tries to wrap her head around the most important question.

Why? Why help Hawk Moth when his goal was both Chat Noir's and Ladybug's Miraculous? Now more innocent people can be at risk, and it's only a matter of time before things take a turn for the worst.

And the fact Ladybug still keeps a tight lip on questions Sourisi has is enough to drive her crazy, even if she does like the polka-dotted vigilante.

Forest green eyes scanning the landscape catches sight on a familiar form, and the conflicting emotions of happiness and uneasiness fills the ninja mouse. Grabbing onto Ladybug's hand, she motions towards the Black Cat and looks at her partner's face. "He's alone...maybe he might be willing to talk, or give some sort of hint?"

The eye mask doesn't hide the worried frown on her lips.

The crunch of boots meeting rooftop can be heard, and Sourisi tries to give a smile towards her uncertain friend. "Curiousity might be the cat's trade, but a mouse can't help but stick her nose out as well." The joke seems to fall flat in Sourisi's ears, and just lets out a small sigh.

It doesn't feel right, to have to worry if her fellow punster might try to attack or cause havoc for mysterious goals.

<Pose Tracker> Ladybug [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

It's been an exhausting week for the girl behind Ladybug's mask.

Her grades are slipping again. It's a repeating pattern, driven by the balance of her mundane and magical lives. When school's going well, she can devote more time to heroism; when school's going poorly, Ladybug's appearances are more fleeting so that homework has some chance of getting done. A pendulum swings from one responsibility to another, maintaining that rhythm.

She hasn't been able to recover the balance, though. With Chat Noir...no longer helping, with the rise in Akuma appearances, she's had to sacrifice more and more of that 'normal' life, and her smiles grow fainter by the day.

At least she's not completely alone. Ladybug's supposed partner may have betrayed her, but there's others - not as close friends as she might like, but still friends. At least, she hopes.

(Tikki tried talking to Marinette so many times this week, but she just didn't have the words...)

Hopping from one rooftop to another, Ladybug jolts at the tug on her hand. Her masked eyes meet Sourisi's, hesitation blooming there. She doesn't answer that worried frown right away, looking away with pursed lips of her own. Instead, her eyes find tarps covering construction in progress, the figurative bandage over a scar on the city - the aftermath of a fight where not everything could be fixed.

There seem to be more of those lately. Between magical girls with reckless power, villainous schemes, a destroyed bridge, and the Ohtori forest that still seems to burn...there's a lot of damage left unfixed.

More determined eyes meet Sourisi's, a terribly faint smile answering the little joke. "I suppose something does still smell a little fishy. You're right, Sourisi - maybe we can finally get some answers from him."

As soon as Sourisi turns away from her, though, that smile fades into something harder. Together, they set forth; together, they approach the renegade Cat. There's a little gravel on the rooftop they land on, a crunch of rocks underfoot heralding their approach.

"It's a nice evening, Chat Noir. What are you..." The quipped question fades as her face falls, and her voice has a hitch to it. "...that doesn't matter. Why? Why are you..."

<Pose Tracker> Chat Noir [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Chat Noir is about to leave, but his cat like ears hears footsteps. He cringes as he turns to see his former partners before him. He almost feels tempted to joke back at Sourisi, but he bites his lower lip. He betrayed them. No pun or joke would fix that.

The hurt look on their faces the moment he fully betrayed them still haunted at him, but he made his choice. Now he had to lie in it.

"I don't want to fight either of you. I'll just go-"

Ladybug's questions causes him halt. He feels a flash of anger. "Why?" he asks. "You really have to ask that?"

His eyes hardened. "We're suppose to be partners, but how can that be so when you clearly don't trust me," he pointed over to their mutual friend "or Sourisi for that matter with the whole truth. I don't care for Hawkmoth's methods, but at least he felt the need to be honest with me."

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Even when Sourisi knows how much she must be hurting from the betrayal, Ladybug is clearly devestated. It's only been a short week, but each time that the mouse ninja sees her ally in the fight against Hawk Moth, she's been looking more and more exhausted. Without knowing what to say, or if it was even possible to cheer her up, all Sourisi can do is just be there in those short hours that she was around.

(Takk has been her own pillar of support, but as he says, this is something only she can do.)

Even as a ghost of a smile returns with Ladybug's half-hearted reply, Sourisi can't help but look over Chat Noir intensely. He seems well enough, but...he looks sad and closed off. "Yeah. I'm just not liking how this is smelling." Maybe...was he regretting his actions?

Even as Ladybug echoes her unspoken questions, the shorter of the duo shakes her head. "What? Chat Noir...I don't want to fight you either. Just...it was so sudden, no warning...I never expected this from anyone, especially you! What could possibly..."

Sourisi can almost see fur starting to stand up on the Black Cat's shoulders from his anger, and instead of something confusing or hinting towards magical brainwashing, Chat Nori speaks sense. It doesn't stop Sourisi from leaning backwards as a finger is thrust towards her, or her eyes flickering to Ladybug right next to her.

As much as the Miraculous Ninja wants to think the best of everyone, Ladybug always seems to know more than she or Takk was willing to tell.

Despite her misgivings, this is the chance to find out why Chat Noir turned against everyone to aid Hawk Moth. Even if it means the feeling she's about to walk off a cliff. "Chat Noir...what did Hawk Moth tell you? What do you know that I don't?"

<Pose Tracker> Ladybug [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Here they are again. Ladybug and Chat Noir, face to face. The tone is so different than their usual banter, though. There's no casual flirting, no light-hearted jokes - just sorrow and regret and unanswered questions. At least Chat doesn't seem to be in a mood for a fight this time - the days that they have to fight on two fronts are the worst.

Sourisi's seen how long Ladybug is left staring when Chat Noir strikes a villainous retreat. Now they're left with...this. Just this bond that's been broken.

Ladybug steps back in alarm at Chat's anger, at what he snaps at - but hot anger flushes into her cheeks in response. Even as Sourisi asks the calm question, Ladybug lets her fury burst out. "Are you serious?! You call someone like Hawk Moth - someone who has been trying to paint us as the villains all this time - honest?! That's just..."

She shakes her head, taking a step forward into the accusation. "We trusted you - I trusted you! We never told each other everything, you've worn your mask just as long as we have - but that doesn't mean there wasn't trust!"

She flings one arm wide, gesturing to that broken building whose repair might take weeks yet. "What could make you lose faith in us badly enough to betray us like that?!"

<Pose Tracker> Chat Noir [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

He can see the exhaustion in the Ladybug's eyes, and how hurt Sourisi is as well, but his anger flares more so at Ladybug's accusations. "You trusted me?! He gave a laugh. "How many times did we ask you why you run off suddenly? How many times did we ask what you really know about the Miraculous?"

He took a stomp forward. "We're partners, we're suppose to be on the same side and yet you didn't feel the need to tell us that our Miraculous have this...this god like power!" He turns to Sourisi. "Did she finally tell you? Turns out both my and her miraculous if combine can grante close to divine power! Can make the ultimate wish. That's why Hawkmoth is after them so badly!" His eyes narrowed. "Or that 'The Guardian' is the one that gets to call us the shots here! Seems he's the one that decided only Ladybug gets to know what's actually going on, while we're just left in the dark!"

He took a deep breath to calm himself. "Rather hard to trust you, 'my lady' when you didn't even feel the need to let us know just how dangerous these miraculous are. Also, before you ask, Hawkmoth has a reason he's going after them but it's not as unreasonable as you think!"

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Sourisi tries to be the calm in this brewing storm, but she can feel her cool starting to crumble against the twin assault of anger and betrayal from her friends. The girl beneath the mask always prided herself on smoothing things over before arguments between classmates can become too hot to handle, but this verbal assault between the two is starting to burn her just for being on the sidelines.

And as much as Sourisi wants to defend Ladybug from the accusations, a small part of her is agreeing with Chat Noir.

Not that Hawkmoth is as pure and good as Chat Noir is making him out to be. "And what about the people he's been turning into villains with the Akuma? He's reaching out to people when they're under stress and turning them to his will! You can't just act like the distruction he's indirectly responsible for can be swept under the rug." The construction so close by is proof to that.

But what comes next from the Black Cat causes Sourisi's eyes to widen and stare at Ladybug.

The real reason Hawk Moth wants their Miraculous is because they could combine and unleash a god -like power? And what could be the 'ultimate wish'? And that would explain why Ladybug always seemed to know more than she let on, but...if there was trust in her and Chat Noir, surely Ladybug would have told them. That's why this is the first she's hearing of this...right?

But the slip of the tongue from Ladybug is enough to confirm there is at least some truth from Hawk Moth, and the agony of seeing her friends fight is swallowed up by the greater pain of the question of if she was ever friends with the polka-dot maiden at all.

Sourisi is still clinging to hope that there is a loose thread somewhere in Chat's story, and she turns back to him, actually walks forward several steps to him now. "What reason could he have to hurt and ruin the lives of innocences? World peace through domination? Stopping what happened at Ohtori?" Surely something that grants god-like power has to be used for something world changing...and maybe something that can prove this was all just half-truths and lies.

<Pose Tracker> Ladybug [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

"That..." Ladybug doesn't have a good counter for the points that Chat is throwing at her. Time and time again, she ran off immediately after the battle - and while she could claim she was trying to protect her identity, the truth was that she wanted to keep some kind of professional distance. Time and time again, she'd shrug off questions about the Miraculous, feigning cluelessness - but she stopped pleading equal ignorance fairly early on, after meeting the Guardian in secret.

With or without the mask, she hates liars - and so when pressed for an answer, she just avoided the question.

Ladybug backpedals two steps for every stomp forward Chat makes, face paling at Chat's greatest accusation. The divine power, the ultimate wish, the judgment of the Guardian - secrets exposed to the cold night air. The words slip out of her mouth without even realizing she's saying them. "How...how did you find out about that?..."

Ladybug already knew. She's known for months. But how did he find out?...

The look on Sourisi's face, realizing this truth, breaks her heart all over again. "The Guardian said they're...dangerous. Too dangerous to even consider using together..." It's a weak argument, weak as her voice - and in the same breath, it's the first time Ladybug has mentioned any 'Guardian'. She shrinks back at the pain in Sourisi's eyes, feeling another intangible bond breaking.

It's a mercy, when Sourisi turns her anger or curiousity back on Chat Noir for the moment.

Her maybe-former friend has good questions for her former partner, and Ladybug manages to raise her head amid the shame. Good questions, perhaps, and yet...and yet. "That...does it matter? Whatever Hawk Moth wants to accomplish - even without all the pain and suffering he's caused, he'd risk breaking the world for it. What could be worth that much?"

<Pose Tracker> Chat Noir [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Chat wishes he could feel satisfied by Ladybug's slip, but only anger. Perhaps a small part of him had hoped she would be just a shock, proof that Hawkmoth lied and that Chat Noir had merely been an idiot played. Yet, the words were like a slap to the face.

Chat Noir shut his eyes. "Does it matter how I found out?" he said bitterly. "It doesn't change the fact that we've all be risking our lives to fight when we didn't even know the full truth!"

He glares back at Ladybug. "Tell me, if the Guardian knows best why doesn't he protect the Miraculous himself? For that matter, why are you the only one he gets to tell the truth too! Or are Sourisi and I just not worthy enough?! Are we just pawns to you and him!? Little soldiers that are just suppose to mindlessly sit back and take orders!"

He takes a deep breath as he suddenly felt free of the tension that had been building for days. Sourisi then asks her question and hie bits her lip. "You're not wrong," he admits. "I don't LIKE how he's going about it, but he's desperate since he figure dit was the only way to lure out whoever had the Miracoulous." He looks to Ladybug. "Unless you're willing to just hand it over, but I doubt that. I'm working with him to minimize the damage as much as I can."

Still the question lingers and he can't avoid it. How does he answer without revealing his true idenity. His eyes soften at Sourisi, but the Ladybug speaks and her words sting a bit. He held up his head.

"What could be worth it?" He takes a deep breath. "My lady, if you lost someone you love, wouldn't you risk everything to get them back." He holds back his own tears. "Wouldn't you want a slimmer of a chance to be reunited with them? What if you were told you could never hug them again unless you took such a dangerous chance?" He held out his hands and took them back. "I can't give details, but I can tell you Hawkmoth is doing it for love, and that's the same for me."

He turns his back to Ladybug. "But perhaps with all the secret keeping with you and the Guardian, maybe you can't understand." He glances over his shoulder. "After all, how cna you love anyone if you don't feel the need to trust them with the truth? I doubt anyone can feel love if you insist on closing off your heart like that."

<Pose Tracker> Sourisi [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Ladybug faulters under the onslaught, stepping back from her fellow Miraculous User as if he held a deadly weapon in his hands. If the power of the Kwami is misused, then it might just be. As much as Sourisi wants to step forward to act like a shield for her...friend?, what Chat speaks seems to fit, especially with how Ladybug is acting.

Sourisi turns away from Ladybug, not wanting to look at her right now. The guilt the polka-dotted heroine can be felt with her faulting words, but it doesn't change the fact this is the truth being left out in the open. "...but...you could have warned us, you know? If we had known earlier, maybe we can take precautions? Maybe we...still...can?"

Fat chance of trying to get Ladybug and Chat Noir to work together again now. Chat is revealing more in minutes than what she ever found out on her own in all these months! And while she always listened to her friends in the heat of battle, there's a difference between advice and orders with no cause.

Chat Noir even has a good reason for working with Hawk Moth! He was trying to limit the destruction caused by the Akuma, which is a lot more than could be said about Labrynith or the HiME. Sourisi herself has caused more damage than she's comfortable with, and not everything restores itself once the fighting is done.

'If you lost someone you love, wouldn't you risk everything to get them back?'

Anger. A mixture of joy and confusion. Realization. Self-loathing that sits and festers for years now. The memory of a single picture of someone. All this hits Sourisi at once, and it takes her moments to realize that her hand is grabbing onto her shoulder hard enough to leave bruises. She doesn't say anything at Chat Noir, but...she understands, and she hates the fact that she understands what he and, surprisingly, Hawk Moth must be feeling.

The urge to maybe even assist Hawk Moth in return for help of her own is squashed, but not fast enough to be comfortable.

Backing away from both Chat Noir and Ladybug, Sourisi fights off the panic she's starting to feel with large gulps of air. Calming herself enough to look at Chat, she nods once. "Chat...I...i'm still going to fight the Akuma, they have to be stopped. It's not right what he's doing, no matter the reason..." Dark green eyes look at Ladybug next, but the pain and confusion in her eyes drowns out anything else. "If you had told us, maybe...look, I need time to think. Time to...find a friend, talk...get my head straight."

It's clear Ladybug isn't going to be that friend tonight.

Without another word, Sourisi leaps off the rooftop and into the construction site. She got the answers she wanted but...was it worth it knowing she's being betrayed by more than just one person?

<Pose Tracker> Ladybug [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

It's like a cavalcade of knives, as deadly as any Akuma's attack. Chat Noir attacks with accusation after accusation, and Ladybug can only flinch as each point strikes home.

"It - he - I never - " Ladybug's mouth snaps shut, biting off all her feeble protests. She could defend herself, perhaps, to say that she doesn't know everything. She doesn't know why the Guardian doesn't act, doesn't know why the holders were chosen, doesn't know why she was chosen to hear that little bit more than they did. She just doesn't know...

...but if she were to say as much, could anyone believe her?

From the side, Sourisi's own accusations come - and for all the tenderness that Chat's didn't have, they still strike home all the same. "That - I shouldn't have had to! We...we all knew people were after the Miraculous, wasn't..."

She can't even look Sourisi in the eye while defending herself. Perhaps that's even more guilt being admitted.

Her steps drift backwards with every word, footfalls marking a shameful retreat - but on the third step, she finds her footing and words for a fleeting moment.

Her hand flies up, reflexively cupping one earring as if to protect it from Chat Noir, a stony glare answering his defense of Hawk Moth. "Minimizing the damage? Minimizing?! That's rich, coming from the one who kicked his betrayal off by destroying the tool I use to fix the damage! Did you never think of talking sooner, or-" She bites her lip, gaze snapping away to focus on the distant wrecked building.

Maybe Sourisi's calmer questions have a hope of getting answers. Maybe her pointed sting might work. Regardless, she can hear the pain in Chat's voice, uncertainty worming its way into her heart. For the sake of love, would it be right - or would it not be worth the risk?...

A brutal knife of words slams home, and Ladybug gasps as she turns to stare at Chat Noir's back. Cold accusations striking at her own understanding of love, an icy blow from someone who'd professed his love to her over and over, leaving her voiceless.

And then there's another gasp from next to her, and horrified eyes turn to Sourisi. There's a finality to the mouse's words, and the pain and confusion there are like creeping stone. "Find...a friend."

It really is clear.

Ladybug's foot slides back, bumping up at the roof's edge as Sourisi turns to go. With her gone, it'll just be her and Chat, and right now...

Right now, that fight might not end well.

"...I guess I really was a fool. You're right, Chat Noir." There's a tightness in her throat, a sob she doesn't dare vocalize before the two she once called close companions. "I can't, can I? The Miraculous are a responsibility, a key to power great enough that the world could break for its want...how much of an idiot was I to think I could get away with having friends or someone to love, carrying that burden?"

Her hand falls from her ear, her earrings both sparkling in the light of some distant lamp, and her eyes close.

"...good luck, Sourisi. And farewell, Chaton."

One more step, and Ladybug vanishes over the building's edge. If any friends care to look, there's no sign of her...but maybe there's no friends left, either.

<Pose Tracker> Chat Noir [Juuban Public School (8)] has posed.

Chat Noir shut his eyes away from Sourisi. "I understand, and please know Sourisi it was never you I was upset with." He opens his eyes in time to watch her go. Laydbug then argues her cases, he flinches at the reminder of his ultimate betrayal, but he can't tell her why he did it. That it was then he realized who Hawkmoth truly was and did it in a moment of panic.

He looked to Ladybug and held up his hands. "I'm not going to fight you tonight. We're all too..emotional to fight without causing a lot of damage."

"I will say that, I never lied to you. My feelings for you were always honest."

Truthfully, they were were but he had to toss them aside. "Adieu, my lady. I hope you can find someone you are willing to be honest with."

He then summons his baton and jumps leaving behind both his love and his friendship. Such a shame it was a pretty night.