this is the calm before the storm.
i’m slowly starting to become
alright with where we are.
we’re not talking,
and i haven’t seen you,
but a part of me accepted that.
because you never leave me alone
for too long,
coming back and ripping through my mind
like a hurricane.
i see the storm clouds coming
and hear the rolling thunder.
i just hope
we can hold on till morning.
Adrien is excited to reveal his true identity, while Marinette is terrified. But Master Fu says they can’t afford to be distant any longer. Chat Noir and Ladybug are meant to work in tandem both in and out of uniform, their strength stemming from the bond created between them. Yet, teenagers are sometimes better at dancing blind than running with wide open eyes, even with the steps laid out before them.
Steps in the path of an expanding world. Apart, they’ll flounder. But together, they might just stand a chance.
PART ONE COMPLETE Chapters 1 - 10 Word Count: 122,141
Chapter 17: Calm Before The Storm
That was all Marinette could see. It flowed around her like water, but didn’t cool the heated pain throbbing inside her skull. Tears spurred by agony blurred her vision—if what she was seeing was even real. She couldn’t tell.
She couldn’t even feel her own body. Weightless and helpless, and surrounded in blue.
Maybe none of it was real. Maybe it was a dream.
She tried to push back on the fuzziness, but every pulse against her head was painful. Though she tried to focus, none of her commands were obeyed. And so the blue washed all over her, as though she’d drown in the color. In and out, in and out, it faded. Or maybe she was the one that was fading.
Maybe it didn’t make a difference.
She was so tired…
“Wake up!” Her eyelids felt heavy, even as that familiar voice jolted through her. “Please, wake up!” She was trying, but doing so was difficult. Was she even asleep? Was that what this was? She wasn’t drowning anymore. No, it felt more like falling. There was so much pressure coming in from every direction—she couldn’t sit up, couldn’t open her eyes. It was easier to just plummet through the darkness. Nauseated and weak, and as though every part of her body was slowly drifting apart.
“I need you to wake up.”
No, she couldn’t.
“I know you can do it.”
It was too difficult.
“Mari…” His voice—it sounded soft, gentle, and she curled up inside its warmth. “It’s time to wake up, love.”
But it was so much easier to be whisked away—to simply let his words carry her off, safe and sheltered.
Yet, as if to contradict the notion, her stomach fell abruptly out from beneath her. As if the safe netting that had cradled her plummet had been stripped away. Suddenly, there was nothing comforting about her fall. It was cold, the darkness looming, and she couldn’t breathe.
“Adrien?” she called, but there was no response.
Finally, frantic and surging with anxiety, she reached out against the shadows. Scraping and clawing, she found her feet—found the rest of her body. Until she had enough control to search. Yet, the abyss was deep and she didn’t know how to escape.
“Adrien!” she called again, the chill surging a shiver up through her spine as she pushed onward. Pins and needles pricked through her legs, straining the muscles as she ran. But it was like moving through water, heavy and slow and unforgiving.
But it was like his voice came from every direction, yet was muted and removed somehow. She didn’t know which way to go—directions didn’t exist in this place. She was lost, unsure, and afraid.
“Where are you?”
“Here. Just as I’ve always been.”
“I can’t find you.” Pause. “Adrien?”
Yet, she was alone, wasn’t she? Inevitably, that was how she’d always known things would turn out.