Chapter 1: Sonata (Part 2)

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Ladybug noticed the music change into a soft violin piece; it shifted the overall mood, breaking some of the tension between them.

Ladybug continued, "Chat, I can tell you're not a bad person. You've never actually hurt me in battle; you only ever try to subdue or incapacitate me. Don't think I haven't noticed. In fact, I'm pretty sure you don't have a mean bone in your body. And more than once, you... you've even saved me."

His eyes widened. "Wha-? I did? When was that?"

"It was when I wasn't transformed. One time an akuma was chasing after me and it was so hot on my heels, there was no way to hide. He threw a car at me but at the last second you rescued me. You carried me to a building nearby, and told me to find shelter and to stay safe. I... I would have been killed."

He scrunched his face, coming to a realization. "And then you wouldn't have shown up as Ladybug and we wouldn't have been able to take your miraculous anyway..." He looked away and mused, "I wish I could remember what you looked like outside of the costume."

Ladybug smiled briefly, then became serious. "My point is that I think under different circumstances we could have even been friends. I think that YOU think you guys are doing a good thing. But you're actually not. Hawkmoth is harming people. And you need to realize that. It's not something that can be easily erased with a lucky charm. Things and buildings can be fixed but memories and trauma remain. Is this how you'd like to be remembered?"

"Ladybug... I... What choice do I have?" he looked back at her exasperatedly. "Hawkmoth, he's ruthless and determined. And he's... he's not just my boss." He leaned a bit closer and murmured quietly, "He's family. If I defied him, what would I do? Where would I go? He'd take my miraculous away if I even tried. I don't have a choice."

"You always have a choice, Chat. I can help you. We'd figure something out, we could come up with a plan."

"Ladybug, please. I can't do what you're asking me to do. I can't. Just let me have your miraculous. We could stop fighting and then you'd never have to see me again. I'd be out of your hair and you could live a normal life and be a normal girl who worries about normal things, and not have to worry about-" he motioned his head upwards, referring to the akuma's party, "All of this."

Ladybug fell silent. As alluring as a completely ordinary life sounded, she knew from the moment she accepted her miraculous that she would never have a regular life again, and she had come to terms with that already. That didn't mean she didn't miss it though. Being able to go out with friends or on dates, or even finishing her homework on time instead of having to stay out late patrolling, and being able to sleep soundly without a care in the world... It all sounded so out of reach for her.

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