So, I wrote another story... This is gonna get crazy folks. Better hold onto your hats.
Marinette set down her pencil with a frown. She stroked the page of her sketchbook in disappointment, letting out a deep sigh. "This isn't very good," she thought sadly. Marinette had been trying to create an outfit suited for the upcoming winter. This was the first time she tried designing something like this and now she knew why.
Her design for a coat looked like a marshmallow and her knitted hat looked boring and droopy. Everything about the design seemed stereotypical and lame. Even the colors were bland. Successfully finishing this design would definitely be a challenge, but that was how designers got better. They had to challenge themselves and step outside their comfort zones. Marinette grabbed her pink eraser, prepared to start from scratch, when there was a tap on her shoulder. Marinette looked up and saw Alya, laughing. She was startled by Alya's presence and knocked her sketchbook across the table. It slid across the surface of the table and fell onto the floor.
"You're such a klutz!" Alya smiled. She bent down and picked up Marinette's sketchbook. Marinette laughed nervously and quickly tried to put the book into her bag. "Don't put it away!" Alya protested, wrestling the book out of Marinette's hands. Alya opened it to the page Marinette had been working on. She was eager to see Marinette's newest designs.
"Don't look!" Marinette exclaimed as she attempted to steal the book back. Alya swerved around Marinette's attacks as she examined the design. "It's good," Alya said, handing the book back. Marinette greedily took it and shoved it away. She didn't want anyone else seeing it. "No it's not," Marinette sighed. "It's boring and no one would ever wear it. I need to come up with something better. I know I can do it."
"That's the spirit. Don't get down, girl. You are the best designer out there. I'm sure you'll come up with something amazing." Alya winked at Marinette. If Marinette was ever feeling down, Alya was always there to pick her back up. Their friendship was strong and they always had each other's backs. The only reason at least half of Marinette's designs ever became finished products was thanks to Alya and her motivational skills.
"Anyways," Alya continued. "You were so busy scribbling in your notebook that you didn't realize class ended. It's time to go home. I don't know about you, but I don't want to spend anymore time in this place than I have to."
Marinette glanced up at the clock and saw that Alya was right. She must have zoned out completely. It was hard not to. Most days, learning about French literature just wasn't that exciting especially compared to what Marinette dealt with on a daily basis as Ladybug.
Marinette zipped up her backpack and slung it over her shoulder. "Should we go?" she asked. Alya nodded and pulled out her phone with its mini-ladybug charm swinging along the side. "Before we go, I have some questions I want to run by you."
"Questions? About what?"
"They aren't for you, silly. They're for Ladybug. I'm trying to find a time to conduct an interview with her for my Ladyblog. It's been awhile since I've given the world a good update on the life of Paris's greatest hero. I made some questions to ask her, but I need to know if they're good or not."
"Okay, read them to me." Marinette felt a little guilty whenever Alya brought up Ladybug. Alya's greatest passion in life seemed to be discovering Ladybug's identity and in fact, Ladybug was standing right beside her at this moment. That was why Marinette never hesitated to answer Alya's questions or provide an interview as Ladybug. It was the least she could do for her best friend.
Alya pulled up a document on her phone and began to rattle off questions. "If one of them sounds funny or confusing, just speak up," she explained to Marinette. "Okay, first question. How did you and Chat Noir meet?"
Marinette nodded her head in approval. It was a good question and one she could answer without much trouble. It wasn't something she never publicly discussed, but no one had never asked. Leave it to Alya to break new ground.
"Second question," Alya read on. "Are you and Chat Noir in a relationship?"
"Woah!" Marinette exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air. "That one's a bit personal, don't you think? What's with all the Chat Noir focused questions? I don't know if that cat needs any more attention. He's already full of himself."
"That's just what the people want to know. There's obviously something going on between Ladybug and Chat Noir. I can see the romantic tension between them when they're out saving Paris. I just want to confirm the facts."
"Maybe you better find out if it's true before you call it a fact," Marinette grumbled. She had no idea other people were so interested in her relationship with Chat Noir. It was purely platonic at least from her side. The kitty had a little crush though it was hard to tell since he was so flirty. But if people really wanted to know, perhaps she should answer it honestly.
"I think it's an okay question," Marinette announced after much consideration. "If people want to know, then someone needs to tell them. It's better than having people spread rumors. I don't know if you'll get the answer you want though…"
"I knew you'd see my side of things," Alya grinned with a devilish glint in her eye. Her journalist spirit was clearly shining through. "I have a follow up question for that depending on how Ladybug answers, but I doubt I'll need it. Onto the third and final question. What's your true identity?"
"That one might be pushing it."
"Thought so…" Alya deleted the question from her list. She knew from the start it was going to be a gamble. It had been more of a joke than a serious question. If Ladybug had willing to answer that question, Alya wouldn't be running around all of Paris trying to discover the masked heroine's identity.
"Only two questions then?" asked Marinette. She expected a lot more. Normally, Alya was filled to the brim with questions and the desire for answers. Alya shrugged and replied, "I don't want to waste Ladybug's time. She's a busy girl. Saving Paris is time consuming. Besides, these questions will get me everything I need to know for now. Well, mostly everything."
"You're really persistent, you know that?"
"Every good journalist is." Alya gave Marinette a giant smile and thumbs up. Marinette sighed and facepalmed. She had a feeling that someday her identity would be exposed to the world courtesy of her best friend.
"Let's get moving," Marinette said, taking another look at the clock. "Almost everyone has left and you know we have a bunch of homework." Marinette didn't really want to do her homework, but that was beside the point. She just wanted to talk about something else. "Fine," Alya jokingly huffed with a roll of her eyes.
Meanwhile, Adrien was waiting outside the school, sitting on the stone ledge that led to the main doors. He held his phone and scrolled through his recent messages. There was a text from Nathalie explaining that Adrien had been assigned to a last minute photo shoot. It was for a new ad campaign advertising a pair of brand name sneakers. The shoes weren't the Gabriel Agreste brand, but the company was an important business partner. Having a model as popular as Adrien Agreste would surely put their shoes at number one and strengthen the relationship between the brands.
Nathalie said the shoot would be starting at exactly 4:00. It was essential Adrien arrived early so he could have his makeup done and change his outfit. The Gorilla was supposed to arrive at 3:00 to pick Adrien up after school. It was now 3:10 and the Gorilla wasn't here yet.
"Nathalie will kill me if I'm late," Adrien thought as he prayed for the Gorilla to show up quickly. It didn't matter if it was his fault or not. Any tardiness reflected badly on Adrien as a model and on his father as a parent and businessman. Adrien didn't want his father to come visit him solely for the purpose of a good scolding.
"Dude, what are you still doing here?" a voice asked as a black shadow fell onto Adrien. The blonde boy looked up and spotted his best and only friend, Nino. Nino held his bottle of bubbles in one hand and his wand in the other. He blew into the wand and a spray of bubbles came out, floating gently into the sky.
"The Gorilla isn't here yet," Adrien complained as he popped one of the stray bubbles with his finger. "I'm going to be so late!" He tapped his leg up and down nervously as he gazed down the street hoping to see a familiar white limo come around the corner.
"Relax," Nino said, taking a seat next to Adrien. "I'm sure your ride will be here soon to take you to work, I assume. Man, I've never seen a kid work as much as you. Aren't there like laws against that or something?"
Adrien shrugged. He didn't mind too much. It wasn't like he had anything better to do. His modeling jobs rarely conflicted with his jobs as Chat Noir. Modeling was simply a means to an end. It pleased his father and kept the arguments to a minimum. He didn't plan on making it his future career.
"You need a vacay and soon," Nino exclaimed as he wrapped his arm around his friend. "You'll work yourself to death and you have better things to do than be dead. Am I right?"
"Yeah?" Adrien questioned. He wasn't quite sure where Nino was going with this. "What I'm saying, dude, is that you need a break. Take some time off. Take a trip to the countryside. Rent a boat. Go fishing. I don't know. Do something else. Anything else at this point. I worry about you." Nino had a concerned expression and Adrien was startled. This was the first time anyone had cared about his wellbeing like this. It was almost refreshing.
"I'll take that advice," Adrien agreed with a smile. "Maybe I do need a break. A bit of time to myself…"
"There you go. Just chillax and breathe." Nino's advice sure was strange, but he was right. "I can't exactly turn down jobs though," Adrien thought. "Maybe I can spend an extended time with Ladybug the next time I see her. That would certainly be a pleasant vacation. I'm positive she'll agree if I ask her." Adrien's thoughts were interrupted by a loud honk. He quickly looked up and saw the limousine parked outside the school, waiting for him.
"Gotta go!" Adrien exclaimed as he jumped off the stone wall. "See you tomorrow!"
Nino waved as he watched his friend sprint to the car. Adrien opened the door and jumped in. Nino watched the limo speed off in a hurry. It raced down the street, dodging in and out of traffic. "Poor guy," Nino thought sadly. It upset him to see his friend taken advantage of by his own father. He hoped that Adrien would take his advice and find some way to take a break. All the stress of not only being a model, but a "perfect human being" as some might say, could pile up fast. Nino didn't want to see his friend break because of it.
As Nino decided to head home, Marinette and Alya came out of the school. "Would you seriously watch that?" Alya said with a raised eyebrow. "I mean, it's a show meant for little kids, isn't it?"
"What's your point?" Marinette grumbled defensively. "That doesn't mean it isn't good." She and Alya were debating over a new TV show that Marinette had discovered. She found it while channel surfing with Manon. It was intended for kids Manon's age, but Marinette had fallen hopelessly in love with it.
"I'm changing the subject," Alya announced, no longer wanting to hear about Marinette's fangirl shenanigans. There was something else she was far more interested in. "How are things going with Adrien? I haven't checked in a while. I feel out of the loop."
"You haven't missed anything," Marinette sighed as she shrugged her shoulders. "Nothing ever changes. Every time he speaks to me, I foam at the mouth and am unable to speak anything of any intellectual value. Whenever he looks in my direction, I slink away like a hermit crab into its shell. If I so much as hear his voice, I feel like I might faint. That makes it kind of hard to make any progress ever."
"I think you might be over exaggerating. You've definitely gotten better around him. I've seen you two hang out before. You only act like a complete idiot a quarter of the time now," Alya laughed as she patted her friend on the back. It was hilarious how utterly hopeless Marinette was. Still, Alya believed that Marinette would one day succeed in her romantic endeavors. That girl wasn't the type to give up without a fight. Though it would be a long, painful, and cringe-worthy fight.
Alya and Marinette's conversation was interrupted by a sudden buzzing coming from Alya's phone. "It's a news update," Alya said, unlocking her phone. She read what was on her screen and her eyes widened. "I have to go, Mari! I'll see you tomorrow!"
"Wait, what's going on?" Marinette exclaimed. Alya showed Marinette her phone which had the newest headline in French news. Akuma Attack in Downtown Area the title read. "Ladybug will definitely be there," Alya explained eagerly. "I can't miss her. I need these questions answered ASAP." Alya shoved her phone into her pocket and took off sprinting. It was the fastest Marinette had seen her friend run in over a year. There was no slowing her down when it came to Ladybug.
As Alya's figure faded into the distance, Marinette snuck back inside the school. It was practically empty since all the students had left and there weren't many extracurricular activities going on. Marinette went into the nearest bathroom and opened her purse. Tikki came flying out, slightly agitated. "An akuma?" the little creature asked. Marinette nodded. It was time to get to work.
"Tikki, spots on!" There was a bright red glow that engulfed Marinette and her normal clothes transformed into Ladybug's iconic suit. A stylish mask covered her face and she was ready for action. Ladybug pulled out her yo-yo and slid it open. Besides being a handy weapon, it also functioned as a phone, web browser, and if necessary, a mirror. On it was the newest news update. It was a live feed reporting from the sight of the akuma attack.
"All residents are advised to stay inside until the situation is dealt with by Ladybug and Chat Noir," the black haired announcer explained. A picture of the akuma flashed on screen. It was a tall, red skinned creature. It was wearing a sweatband and running clothes. Around its neck dangled a shiny, silver medal. Maybe it was some kind of athlete?
Ladybug realized that this was no time to sit in the bathroom thinking. She needed to get out there and stop the akuma before anyone got hurt. Plus, she didn't want Chat Noir to get there first and have all the fun. She stealthy left the bathroom and emerged from the school. She pulled herself onto a nearby rooftop using her yo-yo and swung her way to the site of the akuma attack.
As expected, chaos was waiting for her. The attack was taking place right outside Le Grand Paris which seemed to be a popular spot for akumas. The akuma was racing around, tagging people as if he was playing a game. When the people were touched, they were frozen in place, completely immobile. Ladybug watched in horror as people became glued in their positions, unable to escape. The akuma ran around at a terrifying speed. It would be difficult to keep up with him.
"Hey slowpoke!" Ladybug yelled, trying to get the akuma's attention. "Up here!" She waved at the akuma from the rooftop she was standing on. Because akuma's were fueled by anger or some other negative emotion, they were easily provoked and that meant they were easily tricked too.
The akuma glanced up at Ladybug and gave her a wide smile. "So you finally decide to show up, Ladybug?" he taunted. The faint, pink outline of a butterfly appeared on his face. This was a sign that was Hawk Moth was communicating with the akuma and probably commanding him to steal Ladybug's miraculous. The akuma began to laugh. "My name is Speedracer and let's see if you can defeat me in a race!"
Before Ladybug could react, the akuma had sprinted up the side of the building and beside her on the rooftop. "Not good!" Ladybug cried as she hopped down to the ground. This guy was fast and she would have to be clever to outrun him. Her legs wouldn't be able to carry her even half as fast as the akuma.
Speedracer ran back down the building and towards Ladybug, taking as many victims as he could in the process. Each one he froze in place made him move even faster. He stayed in the same place for hardly a millisecond before moving on.
He was about to speed towards Ladybug when a silver baton stuck itself out in front of him. Both Speedracer and Ladybug looked over and saw a cheeky Chat Noir pull his baton back. "You didn't start this game of cat and mouse without me, did ya?" he smiled, revealing his sparkling white teeth. "Let's see how well you can keep up with this cat." Chat Noir bolted away as a distraction. He knew he needed to give Ladybug time to come up with a plan.
Speedracer, unable to resist a challenge, ran after Chat Noir. Lucky for that daring cat, running on all fours was more efficient than on just two legs. Ladybug watched Speedracer chase Chat Noir up and down the nearby buildings. Ladybug gazed back down at her yo-yo and thought, "He's trying to buy me time. The akuma has to be in that medal. I just need to use my Lucky Charm and deevilize this akuma before Chat Noir gets caught."
"Lucky Charm!" Ladybug tossed her yo-yo into the air and there was a swirl of ladybug light. A long, but sharp red and black spotted stick fell into her hands. "Is this a javelin?" Ladybug wondered, examining the object in her hand. "What the heck am I going to do with this? I can't shish-kabob the akuma."
By now, Chat Noir was heading back towards her with Speedracer hot on his tail. He doubted that he could keep up this pace much longer. His lungs were starting to burn and his legs were close to giving out. "C'mon, my lady," he pleaded internally. "This cat is getting close to the finish."
Chat Noir raced towards Ladybug and that's when an idea popped into her head. "Chat Noir, lure him in front of me!" she shouted. Chat Noir nodded and changed his path to run in front of his lady. He didn't know what she was planning, but as usual, he would trust her.
The akuma followed as expected. He wouldn't let himself be bested in a race by another unworthy opponent. He ran into position and Ladybug thrust the javelin towards him with a mighty hyah and prayed she had good aim.
Her ladybug luck was there to save the day. The javelin hooked the small metal ring that connected the medal to the ribbon it was dangling on. The medal ripped off the ribbon and fell onto the ground. "My medal!" the akuma screeched, searching the ground for its precious prize. Chat Noir saw the shiny disc on the ground and lunged for it before the akuma could get close. He threw it hard against the ground and a crack formed allowing a purple butterfly to fly out.
Ladybug ran over and threw her yo-yo at the akuma. It snapped up the butterfly as Ladybug pulled her yo-yo back towards her. The lid opened and a white butterfly flew out peacefully into the sky. "Bye-bye little butterfly," Ladybug giggled as she watched it disappear.
"Miraculous Ladybug!" She threw the javelin into the air and it dissolved into red light that swirled around, returning all the akuma's victims to normal. A purple mist formed around the akuma victim, leaving behind a confused teenage boy in a tracksuit. "What happened?" he said, grabbing his head. "Where am I?"
Chat Noir proudly strutted over to Ladybug. "Pound it!" They smiled as they fist bumped. It had become a post-fight ritual for them. A symbol of their excellent teamwork. "We've saved the day again, bugaboo," Chat Noir winked. Ladybug rolled her eyes. "I wouldn't expect any less and I told you not to call me that anymore!"
"Ladybug! Chat Noir!" Both the heroes turned to see a familiar girl running toward them. It was Alya with her phone in hand. She had clearly been filming the entire ordeal. That girl never missed a beat.
"I'm here live with Ladybug and Chat Noir," Alya said, talking to the phone. Ladybug assumed that she was livestreaming. Alya flipped the phone around and shoved it in Ladybug's face. "Do you have time to answer some questions?" she asked eagerly.
Ladybug knew she only had a few more minutes until she transformed back, but Alya only had a few questions. She could spare the time. Her earrings hadn't even beeped once yet. "Sure thing," Ladybug smiled. "Ask away." It would help that Ladybug knew the questions in advance. She had her answers all ready.
"How did you and Chat Noir meet?"
"We both turned up to save the day during Paris's first akuma attack. It was purely chance if you ask me," Ladybug responded, not even phased. Chat Noir stepped in front of her and smiled directly at the camera. "I pre-fur to call it destiny," he interjected. Alya laughed, pleased to catch such a moment on film. Fangirls adored Chat Noir's puns. They couldn't get enough of them. This would definitely be popular on the blog.
"Second question," Alya announced. "I promise it'll be quick. I know you don't have much time before you detransform. Are you and Chat Noir in a relationship?"
Ladybug and Chat Noir answered simultaneously with conflicting answers. Ladybug glared at Chat Noir and he smiled back sheepishly. "I change my answer," he said, still maintaining a confident attitude. "We will be in a relationship. It is TBA at the moment."
Ladybug scoffed and rolled her eyes again. Why was Chat Noir such a hopeless flirt? Alya blinked, a bit taken aback. She hadn't expected this result. She genuinely thought Ladybug and Chat Noir were in a relationship, but it looked like Ladybug didn't like Chat Noir in that way. It was time for Alya's follow-up question.
"Is there someone else you like?"
"Hmm? I mean only like the greatest, most handsomest guy in all of…" Ladybug trailed off. In thinking about Adrien, she had let a little too much slip out and went into Marinette mode. She hadn't expected this question and answered unconsciously.
She covered her mouth with her hand and let out a small gasp when she realized what she had revealed. Alya looked at her with wide eyes and Chat Noir was in shock. "Not good," Ladybug thought. "I think I really blew it this time!"
She put her hand over the lens of Alya's phone. "I think that's enough for today," Ladybug said quickly. "Oh man, I think I hear my earrings beeping. Gottagobye!" Ladybug swung away on her yo-yo, hoping that all of Paris hadn't seen her awkward confession of love. Of course, no one knew who she was confessing to but that wasn't important. It was still really embarrassing.
Alya and Chat Noir stood at the scene unsure of what to do or say. Chat Noir's face had gone pale and there was a pained look on his face. "That's all for now," Alya exclaimed suddenly as she turned the phone to face her. "Stay miraculous!" Alya winked and then shut off the phone. When she looked up from her screen, Chat Noir had vanished. "Where did he go?" Alya wondered aloud.
Chat Noir had jumped onto a nearby roof and was hiding in the shadows of a chimney. "She likes… somebody else?" he whispered to himself. His heart shattered into a million pieces. Ladybug had always rejected his love, but she had never mentioned having someone else in her life. He thought he was her one and only. He thought he was the only boy who cared about her. Obviously, he had been wrong.
He realized that he only played a small role in her life. Outside of being Ladybug and Chat Noir, they knew virtually nothing about each other. She was in love with someone else this whole time and he never would have known. The duo couldn't share all their secrets, but Chat Noir wanted to know more about his lady.
He wanted to know all the little details about her. What was her favorite flower? How did she take her eggs? What style of dress looks best on her? He longed to know all of this, but now there was one question he needed to know the answer to. Who did she love and why was he better than him?
"I'm a fool," Chat Noir thought. "But I'm a fool who doesn't give up. I'll convince my lady that I am the perfect cat for her. This is a fight I won't lose!" Chat Noir let out a triumphant purr and raised his fist in the air. He wouldn't let this bad news get him down. It would be difficult to win Ladybug's heart, but he could do it. His love for her was deeper than any ocean and brighter than every star. It couldn't be extinguished by her crush on another man. He would love her until the end of time.
Still, he couldn't help but be hurt by Ladybug's indirect rejection. His heart was sore and his mind felt weak. It would take some time to recover, but the next time he saw Ladybug, he would have to face her bravely. He couldn't begrudge her feelings. That wouldn't be right. Chat Noir wanted Ladybug to be happy, but he was sure she would be happy with him. He would find a way to make himself into the perfect guy for her.
Chat Noir leaped over the roofs, thinking to himself. There were a lot of ways he could try to impress Ladybug. He hadn't even come close to exhausting his whole arsenal yet. Clever cat puns were only the beginning. There were greater things to come.
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