Marinette was what one would consider way too relaxed for someone who was on the way to a crime scene. It had been the first one in three weeks and she wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Since a certain night on the roof, the mysterious murder stopped appearing. Every person in the department was on the edge about something big happening, something unexpected. And it seemed like it came. When they got the call, the person o the other side said they can’t just explain it through the phone. They had to come and see by themselves. Tikki was gritting her teeth, obviously not happy with the development. Marinette bit her lip. It couldn’t have been Adrien. He texted her telling her he was working on a special project just half an hour ago.
Once they reached their destination, the technical crew along with Marinette and Tikki got out of the car and headed towards the side alley. The crowd was already restricted on that sidewalk and the road had been blocked save for the police force. When they reached the murder scene, Marinette felt her heart beginning to beat frantically. On the side of the alley, across the wall nine people were hanging, their bodies impaled on the building in such a way that it formed a huge heart.
So that was the special project.
Tikki was barking orders left and right, but Marinette couldn’t take her eyes off the wall. Anger aside, she couldn’t help, but feel a little flattered. Hell knows how much time he spent putting this plan together to create this thing when it wasn’t even dark outside. She will still kick his ass for this, though, no matter how flattering it was.
Marinette was raging. She slammed the door of Adrien’s flat behind her as she walked in the living room. He was just taking off his mask when she stormed in. He glanced at her surprised before a smile took over his features. It looked rather odd when he only had his cat lenses without the mask.
“Princess! So good to see – ouch.” he settled his palm over his cheek and looked at her surprised. “What did I do to deserve that slap?”
Marinette was fuming. “Nine people at once? Are you insane?”
He shrugged. “No, I wouldn’t say so.”
Marinette glared at him, before her eyes changed to something he couldn’t quite place. A mix of sadness and exasperation. “Why are you doing all this?”
“Oh, buginette. You are still focusing too much on me and not enough on them in this whole.thing.” he leaned over, pressing a loving kiss to her forehead. “Now, if you excuse me, I need to wash all the scum off me. There is sole meunière in the fridge if you are hungry.”
Marinette watched him disappear behind the bathroom’s door with a frown on her face.
Checking the background of the victim was a downright nightmare. She got special permission from the département de l'information to use their database. Adrien’s words were haunting her. What in the world was about those people that she wasn’t focusing on? The research of the deceased hadn’t gone too far, that was true. They had no close relationship or family, their job situation was nothing out of normal, neighbors confirmed there was nothing that could give off the vibe of a conflict with anybody. After she realized it is Adrien doing all this, she thought it made sense. She knew all he had been through with losing both his parents and she was sure he would never pull someone else through that pain. So what was about these people that made him kill them. Adrien never showed any tendencies to criminal, let alone homicidal behavior. She was missing a key piece here and he had given her a vital clue. There was something about these people. Marinette kept scrolling through the file. Until she found something that made bile rise in her throat. Opening a new tab, she accessed the file of another victim. Her eyes bugged out. She kept going through the different files, feeling both sick, but also satisfied enough she finally got a pattern.
Marinette leaned back in her chair with a sigh. Pulling out the phone that wasn’t tracked by the services, she dialed Adrien’s number.
“Ma choupinette!” Adrien’s cheery voice exclaimed through the speaker. “How are you?”
“It’s not your place to serve them justice,” Marinette stated, getting directly into the topic. “There are authorized institutions to do that.”
“You finally caught up! How sweet of you, ma minette, but do answer a question of mine. Did they do their oh so called job?”
Marinette bit her lip. They didn’t. All of the cases were swept under the rug and the identity of the assailants was kept anonymous or simply declared unknown to the public, even though they were very much known by the people in charge of the investigations. Still, it didn’t justify murder. “There are international organizations that could have taken care of it then.”
“And who would have brought it to them when they are kept secret by the people who were supposed to solve them, huh?” Marinette’s shoulder fell. He was right. “Admit it, princess. They would have never been brought to justice. Someone had to do something.”
Marinette inhaled. He had a point, but… “Over ten people, in two months. Do you know what will happen if you get caught with murdering all these people?”
She didn’t need to be there with him to know he was smirking smugly. “Good thing that I won’t be caught. Also, buginette, please, let’s not refer to those things as people.”
Correct. She shivered in disgust just thinking about the reports. Yet, there was still something out of place. “How did you get all the information from? How do you know how to find these people?”
“Oh. A wise old turtle is kind enough to guide me when it comes to that.”
Marinette frowned, before sighing, not sure what to do or say anymore. “Why all the love declarations? And your oh so called gifts.”
Adrien chuckled. “Oh, my declarations of love were as honest as they could be. And well, didn’t you know cats bring corpses as gifts for their loved ones?”
“You are not a cat.” Marinette stated, somewhere between amused and worried.
“I’m your cat. And… wait, hold on.” Marinette tapped her fingers against the desk as the noises of Adrien speaking with someone else echoed through the speaker. “I have to go buginette. We have a midnight photoshoot for a new perfume. I’m sure we can continue our little chat another time. See you tomorrow morning?”
“Yeah. See you.”
“Go home and sleep, mon cœur. Je t'aime.”
“Je t'aime aussi.” she said before closing the call.
Marinette fell on her mattress with a heavy sigh. Her whole body was screaming from how much she had stayed awake. It was well past three when she arrived back from the department. Both her heart and head felt heavy and her moral compass was spinning like crazy.
There was only one thing she was sure of. It can’t continue like this.
Paris was terrified. People who would never be targeted by Chat Noir were too scared to go out of the house. It was a constant state of panic that took much out of the life of the city. But at the same time, Adrien had a very good point. If no one was bringing these people to justice through the legal means, then someone had to do something. It didn’t surprise her at all Adrien would like to bring justice, hell knows she wanted too. But killing something just doesn’t come without a toll on your mental state. Adrien needed help.
Marinette covered her face with her palms, trying to concentrate on something on anything that could solve this whole mess that was going on. She wasn’t sure how much she stayed like that, one thousand different scenarios and outcomes running through her mind. Blinking a couple of times, she took her phone off the night desk. After a quick search, Marinette nodded, knowing what she had to do.
Yet, she couldn’t help, but open her phone gallery, checking or a specific picture. She took in the contents, beaming smiles, and happiness. Who would have guessed they will end up in this situation? Marinette run her fingers over the screen of her phone. She could feel tears pricking at her eyes.
Tikki opened the door to Marinette’s apartment wearily. Putting the key she found in the potted plant next to the door in her pocket, Tikki entered the house. Everything seemed unchanged, save for the thin layer of dust that appeared to settle over everything. Tikki got a grip on her gun and began to move slowly, taking in her surroundings. Nothing seemed out of place, no sign of fighting or resistance. Still, something was out of place. Marinette called about two weeks ago saying she needs a medical leave. Something about exhaustion and other things that might affect her performance at work. Tikki, of course, approved the medical leave. She didn’t want Marinette putting her health in peril or the sake of working. But when she tried to call last week to ask her about her whereabout the line went dead. She assumed Marinette might just have her phone closed. But after continuous calls for a couple of days, Tikki figured something had to be wrong. So she came to visit. It seems like her instincts were right.