Belated AN: Hey, so I started writing this a year ago for a few friends and completely forgot how confusing this could be for people who aren't familiar with Miraculous Ladybug to read! (Thanks to Night N. Gail for bringing that to my attention.) I haven't marked this as a crossover because 1) the only thing I've taken from ML is the idea of the Miraculous/Akumas, and 2) this fandom is... very small.
If you'd like to read anyway and haven't read ML, the basics are: magical accessories (Miraculous) grant the user specific powers thanks to small and adorable demigods (kwami). The two most powerful Miraculous are the Ladybug and Black Cat (Cat Noir) Miraculous, as they grant the powers of good luck/creation and bad luck/destruction to their users. Akumas are pieces of evil magic sent by the villain (Hawkmoth, the Butterfly Miraculous user) that can turn people into supervillains if they are feeling extremely negative emotions.
Also, this does take place when our main characters are around 14-15 (freshman year of high school?), and you can assume that many of the episodes that happened in the original show have already happened in some form here.
Ladybug swung through her bedroom window right as her transformation melted away. Becky Botsford landed on her feet, knees suddenly wobbling at the sudden exhaustion which swept over her.
Freed from the earrings which she was bonded to, Tikki materialized in front of her miraculous user. "That was too close," she scolded, narrowing her blue eyes disapprovingly. Becky nodded twice but said nothing in response. She took a few steps to her bed and collapsed, groaning as she closed her eyes and let her sore muscles begin to relax.
"I should've taken Bob," Becky said finally.
"You need more help than just Bob," Tikki replied. Becky's eyes flew open and she regarded the kwami with suspicion.
"If you're trying to convince me to let you take the ring again, it's still not happening."
"I can phase through objects," Tikki pointed out. "I'm not waiting for your approval. I'm waiting for you to move on from -"
Becky inhaled sharply. "Don't."
"I'm sorry," she said quickly. "But Becky, you need to let me choose a new Cat Noir."
"Bob and I are fine on our own."
"Remember last week's battle with Miss Question? Or the incident with the Contrarion? You had Bob with you then, and you still barely defeated them." Tikki shook her head. "The world has changed. You can't defeat every evil which threatens this city on your own anymore."
She drifted down to rest on Becky's shoulder. "Ladybug and Cat Noir have always worked together, and it's time for that partnership to continue."
Becky let out a frustrated noise. After several seconds of silence, she forced herself to sit back up and scooted over towards her pillows. For the first time in nearly two years, Becky reached down to a drawer in her nightstand and pulled out the small safe kept safely buried behind books and papers, took a hidden chain off her neck from which dangled a small copper key, and unlocked the box. She pulled out a smaller, ornate box from inside and flipped it open, staring hollowly at the ornate silver ring which gently rested on red velvet.
"It's time, Becky," Tikki said gently.
"This ring is a curse," Becky muttered. "Not just bad luck. I can't let -" She bit her lip and snapped the lid shut again, closing her hands protectively around the box.
"It isn't a curse," Tikki said gently. She drifted down, her red glow washing over Becky's hands. "And what happened wasn't your fault."
"No, it wasn't," Tikki said firmly. "And throwing yourself into battles without the help you need isn't keeping anyone safer."
Becky swallowed and moved a thumb over the delicate lines crossing the top of the box. Several seconds of silence passed. "Do you already have someone in mind?" she said finally.
"Take it, then," she whispered, letting her fingers spread so Tikki could pick up the box. Becky sighed and closed her eyes, feeling the weight on her hands lift away. She clasped her hands together and rested her elbows on her knees, propping up her head with her hands as she stared pensively into space.
The ache in her stomach and tantalizing smells drifting up from the kitchen finally broke through her thoughts and convinced her to get up.
The news jingle began to play faintly from the living room as Becky made her way downstairs. She knew Bob would be waiting for her in front of the television; it was his customary spot when he was mad at her. In such a central location she couldn't ignore him forever, but he could ignore her attempts to apologize as long as he wanted without seeming incredibly rude.
That was exactly what he was currently doing.
Becky crossed in front of the TV and sank comfortably into the thick cushions next to Bob. On the television a blonde reporter spoke animatedly as a recording of Ladybug's battle with Doctor Two-Brains unfolded in the background. Becky let herself watch for a few moments, cringing slightly as she watched herself take a bad hit, then turned her attention back to the more pressing matter. "I'm sorry," she whispered to the monkey. "I didn't have time to get you, so I thought I'd try to take him on my own today."
Bob folded his arms and kept his eyes trained on the television screen.
Becky sighed. "Look, I know you're mad but can you at least talk to me, please? I need to tell you something important."
"It's about the ring."
That did it. He glanced up at her quickly, suddenly looking worried. "Everything all right?" he chattered.
"Yes - well, no." She bit her lip, suddenly filled with hesitation. She'd just slighted him, after all - what if he took it the wrong way, or if he thought it was a terrible idea? What if she made everything a hundred times worse?
But it was done, and delaying this conversation wouldn't help anything. "Sort of. I've decided to -"
"Dinner's ready!" her father sang out. She cut off with a frustrated sigh as Bob lifted up the remote and the TV fell silent with a small click.
"Later," Becky muttered to him as they stood to join their family for dinner.
The empty safe still lying open on Becky's bed told Bob all he needed to know.
"You let Tikki take the ring."
Becky took a deep breath and crossed her arms. "Yep."
"Finally," he chirped, rolling his eyes.
She blinked. "Wait, you're… not mad?"
Bob shot her a confused frown as he settled down on her bean-bag chair. "About earlier, yeah. But about the ring? Why would I be?"
"Well, battles have been our thing for so long, and I didn't want you to think I was replacing you…"
He shrugged and reached for the crossword puzzle he'd abandoned earlier that day. "I didn't think you were going to. And I'm glad we're getting more help - we need it."
Becky snorted as she reached for the safe. "Funny, that's what Tikki said. I didn't think you two would ever agree on anything." She closed the safe with a click and kneeled down to place it back in her nightstand.
Bob smiled wryly. "Neither did I."
Girl and monkey were working peacefully when Tikki returned to Becky's window later that evening. She smiled at the sight, then phased through the glass when Becky noticed her and looked up from her schoolwork.
"It's done," she announced. Bob held out a lazy thumbs-up and Becky smiled, though the kwami could feel the worry emanating from the girl from across the room.