Tony Stark had met Fox before, Peter Parker had not in any identity. He was a specialist from SHIELD, an external agent. If you wanted to be nerdy about it he was like Boba Fett in that scene with all the other bounty hunters in Empire Strikes Back, Legends Continuity. A hunter whom solved problems before they became the Avengers problems and he was very good at it, some may say the best (Nick Fury certainly would). The man stood at six foot six, with the ears on his helmet he stood above Iron Man. His colors were red and black, armour seemed more anime ninja than anime robot and he had swords just to complete the image. Spider-man suddenly felt all shy, like a four year old with his dad and suddenly they're meeting someone from work, Iron man of course lowered is visor and offered a hand to shake. Fox looked at the hand before taking it, his grip un phased by the metal hand holding his.
"So...is he a friend?" Spider-man asked meekly
"Don't worry he is. Just try not to get on his bad side," Iron man said as he re-focused his attention to Fox. "I take it you saw the news. Well it's official Gabriel Agreste was Hawkmoth."
Like a child Spider-Man peeked around Tony to gage this new and intimidating sort, almost jumping back when Fox turned his head and locked eyes with him. His eyes were orange and burning like the sun and in that instant it felt as if they were piercing through the lenses of his mask and burning right into his soul. When he offered a timid handshake Fox looked at it before taking it. His grip was firm and threw the young hero off a step.
"Spider-Man" Fox stated
"So cool. So you're an agent of shield huh?" Spider-Man replied as he returned the shake.
Fox shifted his attention from him to Tony hearing Spider-Man's younger sounding voice. Tony could feel the judgement there and didn't have it in him to give a sassy remark and instead went into the mission spiel
"Gabriel's being held in the police station not far from here, under custody and watch of Roger Raincomprix. The news of Gabriel's unmaksing has had all day coverage, just so everyone sees it"
"He almost took control of me but I managed to break free.", Spider-Man chimed in awkwardly
"Where is the butterfly miraculous now?"
Spider-Man almost double taked, Fox knew about the miraculous already? Not only that he knew the miraculous Gabriel would have been using. Tony frowned and gripped the bridge of his nose
"We don't know. Gone; It was taken by someone named Mayura"
"Ladybug and I tried to get it back but she was too much for me and her. She threatened to kill me and make Ladybug watch if she didn't give Mayura her miraculous." Spider-Man then sighed in frustration.
Fox looked from Tony to Spider-Man, his expression barely changing but something in his eyes changed. The fire burned with more intensity, he was angry.
"You should've warned me about this sooner; this has gotten out of control," Fox coldly directed to Tony.
"I know. But while they were trying to get the butterfly miraculous Chat noir attacked me after I knocked out Gabriel." Iron man replied
"Because Chat noir is Adrien Agreste, his son."
Fox visibly bristled, Spider-man's Spider Sense almost tingled because for a moment it looked like he was about to punch Tony right in the face and knock his head off. Instead he turned away and paced away from him before he turned back to Tony, whom was feeling awkward and uneasy now. Spider-Man was beginning to get worried, as he watched Fox march right towards Tony, glaring him in the eyes.
"How long have you had this information?"
Iron man bows his head, unable to meet his gaze
"I’ve known since Ladybug and Chat Noir's first akuma attack, the one called stoneheart."
Fox scoffed, almost smiling but not amused in the slightest
"For someone who goes out of their way to act like the smartest man in the room, you're a massive idiot"
Spider-Man was grateful the mask covered his agape jaw, Tony who had the visor up couldn't conceal the indignation and hot flush that went across his cheeks
"What else could I have done?"
"You could have called me back, appraised me of the situation and let me handle it. Instead you allowed children to fight these demons"
"They're called Akuma's Mr Fox" Spider-man chimed
"Look up the Chinese translation, boy" Fox growled his way
"Hey!" Tony started, "Okay I wish I could’ve brought you in on this but I had my hands full with babysitting and keeping the world from exploding, you may have heard of my other gig: The Avengers. This was Fury's call, so why didn't he call you?"
"Fury has to run shield, he thought you were acting as liason with Spiderman thus any backup or field reports would come from you. He's only as smart as the intelligence he has...you're clearly faulty intelligence"
Spider-Man snickered and then looked away as Tony shot him a glare, he shook his head. Fox had more than a point, he had the entire pointer and a blackboard of facts to go on. The ball was out of his court now, this had become Fox's case.
"So what are you going to do now?"
"I'm taking over this operation, every piece of data you have you will give to me," Fox started. "If the butterfly miraculous hasn't been returned then this war is far from over."
Tony presented his right hand and from his open palm a red and gold USB stick rose out, Fox rolled his eyes and took it without a word and Tony lowered the visor of his helmet and without a word either he took up with a thrust and rocketed away leaving Fox alone with Spider-Man. The young hero looked around sheepishly, was about to say something but looked at the expression on Fox's face and decided he best just get to swinging out of there. There was the Eiffel Tower dance tomorrow and if this guy was taking charge then maybe he would have some time off before everything went to crap again.Fox rolls his eyes, this entire situation would never have happened if he had known. He would have chased the akumas to their source, isolated hawkmoth and of course spoken to Adrien...and Nathalie. He shook his head, he knew about the problems and he had a lot of the answers. His chain of thought was interrupted when he received a call from the director of Shield, Nick Fury. He twitched as the call was directed into his ear (the ones underneath the helmet).
"Did you get what you needed from Stark?" Fury radioed in on his end.
"Affirmative, Kamali is enroute to intercept Gabriel. I will make my rounds to the mansion and do a sweep." Fox replied.
"Good work Fox. Keep me updated on anything else"
She was fully appraised of the target and the situation at hand, Roger Raincomprix was a family man and a good officer so she was not to engage him. In fact if she just made an appearance he would most likely be co-operative, apparently he was an old friend. Seeing Gabriel Agreste in handcuffs brought a wicked smile to her face, watching unseen from the rooftops she felt the urge to leap down and grab him by the neck but with that many witnesses and itchy trigger fingers there would be too much collateral. No she remembered her lessons and her training, this had to be done right and she would not let her Daddeh down.
Roger put Gabriel in the back of his police car, buckled him up and started driving. He was to be interviewed by Interpol at the Bastille, Roger had volunteered to deliver him and it was easy to understand why. This monster had put soul corrupting demons on both him and his daughter, it was frankly impressive the man hadn't shot him right between those cold, dead eyes. Cold and analytical data streaming into the HUD detailing the speed, heat signatures and calculated risk of collateral from the attack. The percentage was 45% and that was too high so it was in red.
She silently followed the car as it moved without the siren on, through the backstreets, away from the crowds. Keeping it covert, smart. With all the coverage everyone would know of the fashion designer's guilt, her thoughts went to his poor son whom she had learned the same time as Daddeh was the hero Chat Noir. She could imagine how that would hurt and mess with your head, but she put it out of her thoughts. The threat anaylsis was in the green, she could act now.
Roger's car stalled as he drove through the back alley divide, wanted to hedge his bets and not take a linear path and also cut the journey down. He threw his hands up in frustration and turned on Gabriel
"Don't get any ideas!" he ordered
Gabriel said nothing and remained unphased, it was only when the door to his right opened and he felt something wrap around his wrists did he take notice. A silver cord connected to his cuffs and with great force he was yanked out of the police car and held against the wall. The cord pulling up towards a device planted above the wall light. Roger went for his gun then felt an impact sound on the top of his car, he turned and double took when he saw who was on the roof.
"Roger Raincomprix, 15 years ago you were a cop on the beat...look at you now" The voice sent a small chill down the veteran cops spine.
"Hello?" Roger looked up and gasped
Crouching on the roof of his car. It was a woman, she was wearing full body armour that looks light weight, Tron-esque, dark rougue and...wait a minute he recognized that armour scheme. It was just like Fox's, only her colors were pink and black, and she had no helmet but a pair of goggles which ear guards which poked up like Fox ears and her mouth was covered with a bandana.
"My name is Kamali...you recognize my armour"
"Wow...I guess it has been a while. So is he here?"
"He is...he wants gabriel" Kamali leered at the prone and defenceless villain
Gabriel's eyes were wide like saucers, of all the opponents he expected to face; Tony Stark, Spider-Man, Ladybug...he never thought he'd come face to face with Fox again.
"My daddeh wants to see you, Hawkmoth" She said sending a small chin down Gabriel's spine.
"You..You're his child?!"
Gabriel's blood ran cold in his veins, Kamali showed Roger a badge from SHIELD. He could thus honestly say he handed over the criminal to the higher authorities, sure interpol would be pissed but SHIELD would no doubt smooth it over.
"He’s all yours" Roger nodded
Kamali jumped off the hood of the car and approached Gabriel with animalistic speed and cupped Gabriel's cheek with her claws, dragging the nail across the flesh, watching him writhe in her grip. Her vicious smile...she claimed Fox was her father, and whilst he doubted if he was the real one...she certainly acted like a child of his. This was not according to...wait
"where is he?" Gabriel spoke at last
"you'll find out soon enough. But first"
Kamali released him from the cord and then got the man in an arm lock, presenting him to Roger. The cop blinked in surprise.
"no cameras, no witnesses, no reports...go on...you wanna hit him"
Gabriel growled, Roger shook his head but then stopped in thought. He was an unarmed prisoner, he wasn't resisting arrest...but the man had hurt his daughter. And as soon as he gave thought to that notion he slugged the man right in the chest, knocking the wind out of him as he gagged on his breathe.
"Get him outta here" Roger moved back as he calmed down
Kamali grinned, he earned that punch. And Gabriel had earned so much worse, fortunately they were going somewhere he could get so much worse. She kept him in an arm lock, and her heels thrust her up and using her rocket boots launched herself and her hapless victim away.
Gabriel was tied to a chair, the sting from where Roger had hit him had mostly passed. He was in the dark except for the glow of a static television place a foot in front of him. The only other person with him was that Kamali brat who had taken off her bandana so he could see her smile, bearing her teeth as if she was ready to sink them into his neck and rip off the flesh.
"you know who I am?"
"yes" she didn't hesitate, "You're scum"
"maybe...but I had my reasons-"
"Let me tell you something ya bonnie loon, they all have their reasons. They all have the little lies they tell themselves, some noble cause, justification they give to make their heinous actions seem acceptable. But at the end of the day, you sent soul devouring demons after children just so you could get the powers of creation and destruction to recreate the world as you saw fit", her smile shifted into a snarl, "You're only a hero in your own story, in reality: you're a monster"
Gabriel then scoffs, his confidence and self assurance unshaken.
"I may be a monster in your eyes but to my son, I was all he had and despite my harsh execution...I was doing everything for him. He shouldn’t have found out the way he did, but he will understand why I did whatever was necessary"
"You mean bringing back Emelie?"
Kamali snickers, Gabriel blinked but it wasn't really a surprise. If she was who she claimed to be then she'd be well informed. For what little good it would do her.
"Yes. Right now he’s probably grieving because he now knows who I am and is not only frustrated with me but also because he knows that deep down he was on the wrong side."
Kamali snickers some more, trying not to laugh
"What's so funny?"
"you're either so full of shit or so fucking stupid. It's funny because the truth is gonna rip you to pieces...and I'm gonna enjoy watching my daddeh rip you apart. But I guess I can give you one spoiler...we know how to save Emelie"
Gabriel started, she had to be lying. There was no way a mere child...no not mere, if she was working with Fox then perhaps she would be privvy to some magical knowledge he had missed, the avengers had contact with sorcerors so could it be? He had to know.
"Emelie's condition, life in death? You made notes comparing the state to the Ancient Mariner before you started crying on the paper", Kamali grins, "we.know.how.to.save.her"
"How?" he growled with more urgency and insistence
"maybe you should ask daddeh when he gets here...or maybe you should ask yourself...why you didn't ask him to help in the first place?",Kamali suddenly snarled, "we know"
The urgency in Gabriel's voice suddenly retracted and he felt that cold chill once more.
"where...where is he now?"
"That's a good question, here's a better one: where is nooroo?"
"he’s...he’s gone. Mayura took him away. she’s probably taken Adrien as well, but adrien...was probably willing to go with her"
Kamali spat at his feet, looking away from him in evidentual disgust.
"Then you don't get to ask anymore questions"
"Adrien probably found Emelie and Mayura must’ve told him everything and now", Gabriel smirked as he regained his aloof confidence, "He will be very hard for you and your father to reach now"
"I've heard enough out of you for now" she growled pointedly
"I don’t know for sure but they must’ve known that someone would try to stop them.And they are smart, so I'll wager they probably have already left town with everything including emelie. My son...I’ve never been so...so proud"
Gabriel's aloof calm faded when he felt a heavy hand land on his shoulder and Kamali's smile stretched from long ear to long ear. They were not alone
"Pride always was your fatal flaw"
Gabriel gulped, then he saw Fox's helmet fall into his lap. His eyes widened and his blood ran cold as he slowly turned his head and saw him behind him, illuminated in the dim light from the television and the glow in his armour. He remembered those eyes, and he knew that face.
"It...It can't be!"
Fox dropped something else at Gabriel's feet, he looked down. It was a photo album, the cover was sky blue but he didn't pay attention to the cover but the photos that slipped out. Emelie, a teenager wearing a pretty blue summer dress and her arms linked with a young boy, just a little older than her. Dark skin, shaved hair and those intense orage eyes
"they missed a spot" Fox growled
"I...I don’t believe it where did you get all this?"
"Emelie", Gabriel gulped and tried to think before he spoke, "...you and emelie were together?"
"Let's not play coy anymore, you call me Dom and I will call you Gabe"
That tone left no room for doubt, the feral child hadn't been lying. This meant he really would know about the cure for Emelie, so maybe he could turn this to his advantage
"What do you want, Fox?"
"I want to save Emelie"
"Good, then we have a common goal. If we combined our forces we can bring her back, I can send out a secret message for Adrien and Mayura-"
"Like the secret one you sent my father? The Mercenary King?"
Gabriel's mind stopped dead in it's tracks, Dom's warm smile barely concealed the rage dripping from his words
"You remember don't you? Fifteen years ago, you sent a message to the Mercenary King to come and take me away"
"Only it didn't go quite as smoothly as you planned did it? Or do you consider the death of a mutual friend a win?"
"...that wasn't my fault"
"As a direct of your action, a squad of psychopaths attacked Paris, killed our friend, and took me away. Emelie tried her best of course, she used all the power of her miraculous...could have killed her there and then if I hadn't bartered for her life"
"Why?" Dom leered at him, "Come on Gabe, we've got so much catching up to do. It's been fifteen years, a lot has happened. I was sent back into child soldiery, you married Emelie, had a child toegther. You've met Kamali haven't you?"
Kamali waved and Dom waved back before returning with venom to the bound villain
"Come on Gabe, we're chatting. I mean by your accounts you probably thought I was dead...I mean what do you expect when you told a psychopathic zealot where to pick up his best child soldier? Were you hoping I'd get a happily ever after or did the thoughts of me in an unmarked grave, alone and forgotten fill you with glee?"
Gabriel said nothing, he hung his head. Had he just come to gloat? No this wasn't gloating, this was tormenting...he had no doubt someone as smart as Fox had indeed worked out how to save Emelie but he would not be afforded any chance to use it to his advantage. Dom knew too much, he couldn't pretend he was still his friend.
"Where is Adrien?"
"I don't know" his response was hollow
"He's lying Daddegh!" Kamali rose claws out, ready to pounce.
"No, he's telling the truth. He can't reveal what he doesn't know and that was the plan wasn't it Gabe? Waste SHIELD and interpol resources to give your successors a head start?"
Gabriel said nothing, Kamali walked to the television and placed something on top of it. A pellet, he couldn't tell but then his eyes locked to the picture as it changed from static to a camera view of his home. The Agreste Manor
"You were right, there was nothing of value there. Nothing to suggest where Nathalie took Adrien or Nooro...or Plagg"
"So it’s true they’re already gone...", Gabriel allowed himself a small smile
"Yes, you take pride in what you've done to your son. You take pride in what you have done to this city, you take in everything you do Gabriel because you believe it's the only way to do things. You're way or nothing, well here's something for you to stew on Gabe. I forgive you"
Gabriel blinked, actually mustering the courage to look him in the eyes but the moment he did Dom seized his face by the cheeks in a vice like grip. Not letting him look away from those burning orange eyes
"Oh yes, I forgive you for calling Orion. It was his men who killed Dario, it was him who sent me back into hell. It was me who didn't save my friend...I do not begrudge you for that, but what I cannot forgive is what you did to this city. In your blind arrogance and monumental ego you laid seige to men, women, children...so many children in effort to control a power you were never meant to control. If you had asked for help you would have gotten it readily, because I would not hesitate to do anything in my power to save Emelie. I would have been by your side in a moment, but instead you became Hawkmoth...and you drove your child, someone who needed his father more than anything, into madness"
Dom then turned his head to face the television, the picture had changed. The manor was on fire, the image was live and the entire building was engulfed in flames. Gabriel shook in Dom's grasp trying to look away but wasn't allowed to move.
"please...stop...." he begged pathetically, tears oozing from his eyes
"No Gabe, not yet. Not until I find Adrien and Emelie, not until I have rescued them both from your insanity. Not until I have reunited your wayward son with his lost mother only then will I stop. And I promise you this, you will not get to see that. Because until then you belong to me, no other prison will hold you, until you've suffered my judgement you don't get to take the mercy of the world's"
"I'm sorry" he whispered in a cold sob
"Too late, take heart...this is how it feels to lose everything. This is exactly how it felt when I was cradling my best friend's lifeless body and was dragged away from the girl I loved as she screamed through tears trying to reach out to me. Hawkmoth has burned this city, so he too must burn. No more akumas, no more lies. All you have ahead of you is a prison cell, and you have no one to blame but yourself"
Gabriel finally closed his eyes, the tears streaming more freely now. Dom finally released his face, slowly slipping back into the darkness along with his daughter. They were not finished with him, not by a long shot but for now they had more important things to focus on. For now, his suffering was enough.
To be continued.