He should’ve kept himself a secret. Ladybug had asked to keep her identity— Chat Noir should have done the same. Instead, he foolishly thought his love might reach her, and she ran away.
Of course she did, he thinks sadly, bitterly. Marinette loved Adrien. Chat Noir was merely a fighting partner.
He barely sees the akuma that flies to his ring, settles there, flaps patiently.
“Nyah, don’t do that, little papillon,” Plagg hisses, batting the butterfly away.
Adrien starts. “Sorry, Plagg,” he apologizes, cradling the ring away from the akuma, his eyes fixed on it.
“Call your purr-recious Lady,” Plagg says calmly, floating defensively between his human and the akuma. “Quick, befurr it gets you.”
Adrien flinches. The butterfly flutters toward him, only to retreat when Plagg swats at it again. “R-right.” His hand flies to his phone, unlocks the screen, hovers over the button to call Marinette’s number.
“Adrien,” Plagg complains.
“I know,” Adrien grimaces, pressing the button. He lifts the phone to his ear, feeling his whole body tremble at every ring tone.
He wants to close his eyes in relief, but the akuma is still present. “Marinette,” he says instead, flushing when he hears all the embarrassment and relief in his voice. “I, ah…”
“I’m sorry,” she blurts, as he says, “…there’s a black butterfly in my room.”
They both pause, parsing what the other has said, and then Adrien bursts into helpless laughter. “Please just come and purify this akuma,” he gasps. “And then, if you l-like…”
“I’ll come, of course I’ll come,” Marinette says immediately. “See you in a few.”
Ladybug knocks on a frame of his huge windows in the promised time. When he lets her in, she lands gracefully, tugging her yo-yo in after her.
“Plagg’s watching the akuma,” Adrien tells her.
“You don’t have one?” Adrien asks, uncertain.
“Oh, mine is Tikki,” Ladybug realizes. “Come here, little butterfly,” she adds when the akuma starts flapping away from her. The yo-yo flashes out and catches the creature, and she releases it a moment later. Then—
“I suppose I will see you later,” Ladybug tells him, and doesn’t look at him.
Adrien’s heart drops. “Of course,” he says meekly, staring past her shoulder.
“Humans are such fools,” Plagg yawns, floating past. “Cheese, Ladybug?”
Ladybug’s face wrinkles. “Phew, no, thank you, Plagg.”
The kwami shrugs. “More for me. But hurry up and talk it out, before more akuma come. I’m not a bug swatter.”
Adrien’s ears burn. Some hero he is, growing so negative that he’s attracted an akuma.
“I’m sorry,” Ladybug says suddenly, and her hand lifts to her earring. “I’m sorry,” she repeats. “I just… I didn’t…”
“It’s fine,” Adrien says automatically.
Ladybug shakes her head fiercely. “It’s not,” she insists. “For you to feel like this… for an akuma to have… I just… I never thought it would be you.” She finishes quietly, whispering.
“Me what?” Adrien croaks, stumbling blindly into a chair and sitting down before his legs can give out on him. Ladybug follows, but he still can’t look at her.
She struggles with herself for a moment. “You know I like you— l-love you. But you love Ladybug, don’t you? I can’t… Marinette isn’t Ladybug.”
Adrien looks at her suddenly, glaring. “And Adrien is not Chat Noir, but I’m Chat Noir more than I am Adrien. Ladybug or Marinette, I love you— all of you. I just don’t know if you love Chat Noir.”
Ladybug’s lips tremble, and then she pulls him out of his chair into a hug, and they sink to the floor in shock and relief. “I don’t know if I love Chat Noir, either,” Marinette whispers into Adrien’s ear. “Will you let me try?”
Our homework until next Thursday is to fill the “sketchbook” (8 pages total) with whatever sketches!
I wanted the front to really pop, so… Watercolor wash background and some nifty sharpie designs and bam here it is!
Just as Sam brings him another beer (not really Blaine’s drink, but since it’s a pub and he’s here with the guys, he figured he could compromise this time), Blaine’s phone rings.
It’s a crowded place and through all the noise Blaine has trouble hearing Kurt’s words, but after Kurt yells ‘Come home now please, it’s important’, Blaine shouts back that he’ll be on his way right away.
He hands his beer back to Sam with an apologetic face, and stands up.
“Hey, Blaine, where do you think you’re going, man?” Bruce asks him, and the others immediately chime in.
“Yeah, we just barely started, bud!”
“How about that darts competiton? Not cool!”
Blaine quickly gets into his coat, and ties a scarf around his neck.
“Sorry guys, just got a call from Kurt, it’s an emergency,” he says, getting on a glove. It gets stuck and he realizes he’s trying to shove it on the wrong hand.
“Since they married, Kurt’s got him under his thumb,” Jack says, shaking his head, and the guys laugh.
“Come on, Jack,” Blaine says, rolling his eyes, “That’s not true.”
“Yeah, he keeps running off to Kurt at the first call, like a dog on a leash,” Kyle shouts, and Blaine’s sure that Kyle already had too much, judging from his red cheeks and neck.
“I’m not…” Blaine wants to say, but the shouting and laughing gets louder, and he can’t even defend himself.
“That guy got your freedom, you’re not a mustang anymore,” Bruce states, as if he’s sharing some deep and dark wisdom, “You’re just a friggin’ pony.”
Everyone at the table laughs obnoxiously, except maybe Sam, who is guiltily staring at his beer.
“Shut up!” Blaine smashes his fist on the table to get the general attention, “I’m not some toy, I’m not some trapped spirit, okay? I’m a married man. Kurt doesn’t have my freedom, Kurt is my freedom. We’re each other’s freedoms.”
The guys get quiet, and their silence enrages Blaine even more.
“He would run to me too, if I called him in need,” Blaine states proudly, “It’s called trust, and if you’re all too shallow to understand that, well, I give you my regards.”
He takes his messenger bag, and prays that it doesn’t get stuck, because that would totally ruin his speech. It doesn’t, and when he storms out of the pub, he can see thought the hazy window, Sam giving him the thumbs up.
I try to
leave my comfort zone from time to time, but I don’t do it as often as I
should. I give my students that piece of advice, so every time they ask me to do
something I don’t like, I do it because I have to do the same I ask of them.
For example, I hate dancing, but if they ask me to do it, I do it. I dislike
one of my coworkers, but I try to approach her whenever possible in an honest
way. That’s probably why I’ve done Gishwhes three times. I’ve left my comfort
zone a lot during the hunt. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it this year because
I’ve had a tough year, so I didn’t think I could muster the necessary energy
for it. Maybe I don’t take the initiative to leave my comfort zone, but if
there is a situation where I’m required to do it, I do it without hesitation.
At least I’ve learned that much from Gishwhes.