Ladybug woke with a splitting headache. Moaning, she tried to lift her hand to her head... and found that she couldn't move her arms. Had she been paralysed? Panic struck her and her eyes flashed open, looking down at her body. Relief and worry simultaneously rushed through her. She wasn't paralysed... she was just tied up tightly. That was a bit concerning.
She groggily looked around and her gaze swept over countless students, all watching her intently from their various hiding spots. Exterminoir seemed to be the only one moving, stalking around the room... Ladybug realised suddenly that two students were moving out in the open, and as her eyes settled on them she felt her heart quicken.
"Let me go Nino!" Adrien huffed through gritted teeth, struggling against his friend's grip as he tried to get to Ladybug. "She's hurt, she needs help!"
"Bro, you're gonna get yourself killed! Chill out!" Nino grimaced, trying to pull Adrien back to his corner. For a moment, Ladybug almost wanted him to let go, to see what Adrien would do... until Exterminoir swung her warhammer threateningly above her head, bringing it crashing down on the books just in front of Adrien. Ladybug quickly changed her mind.
"I-I'm ok Adrien! Stay with the others, stay s-safe okay?" She tried to say in her boldest Ladybug voice, and she was indeed proud that she only stuttered a little bit. "I just need Cat Noir," she confessed, looking around at the window. Where was that cocky kitty?
As Adrien reluctantly backed away, Exterminoir seemed to be getting similarly impatient for the arrival of Cat Noir. Scowling, she rampaged to the librarian's desk and snatched a megaphone from under it, and lifting it to her mouth she screamed, "IF CAT NOIR DOESN'T SHOW UP IN TWO MINUTES THEN THE BUG GETS IT!"
Adrien winced and backed up against a wall as Exterminoir trudged back to the window, staring out intently. Ladybug struggled in vain against her bonds in the centre of the room, and Adrien's mind whirled as he desperately searched for a way to get everyone out of the sticky situation.
"In a minute, the cat will arrive to save his beloved bug, and when he does, I will get my revenge," Exterminoir muttered vengefully. "My library will be quiet again... as will he, for eternity!" She smiled a horrible smile and rested her warhammer on her shoulder.
"What if he doesn't come?"
Exterminoir whipped around to face the impertinent Adrien once again, who was trying to look defiant but also looked a little worried.
"Then the bug gets it," She shrugged, and far away in his lair Hawk Moth laughed, already envisioning the power he would have when Exterminoir obtained Ladybug's earrings for him.
"30 seconds," Exterminoir whispered, still facing the window. Adrien got to his feet, dodged Nino's wild grab at his legs and ran to Ladybug, thankful for his clean, quiet shoes. Her eyes widened as he approached, and she momentarily stopped struggling with the ropes as her mouth opened slightly and she goggled at him. Adrien supposed she was shocked that a mere student was trying to help her.
"A-adrien... it's not safe, go back..." She whispered as he knelt beside her and began untying the many intricate knots.
"Shh, you need help, and this is the only way... besides, I've always wanted to be your Cat Noir," he smiled, and Ladybug noticed a melancholy look in his eyes as he said it. Little did she know that he meant it in an entirely different way to what she thought...
"10 seconds!" Exterminoir screeched, turning back towards Ladybug with her eyes closed, raising her warhammer. Adrien's fingers slipped from the ropes as his hands began to shake, horror gripping him as he realised he couldn't undo them in time...
"Three... two... one... BUG OUT!" Exterminoir screeched, threw the warhammer above her head, and swung it down. Ladybug closed her eyes and winced as she anticipated the blow to come......