Chapter 2: Repercussions
Hawkmoth was disappointed. His akumas searched the whole town and didn't find anyone to akumatize. At least he had Volpina. "Volpina, I want you to break into the police station and check the records on all people turned into statues by Style Queen." He ordered her.
"What about Adrien Agreste, Hawkmoth?" Volpina asked.
"Forget about him!" He commanded. "Helmet or not, I'm sure that boy seen with Cat Noir is him."
"Whatever." She shrugged and did as Hawkmoth ordered her. In the next morning, Adrien Agreste tried to go to school but the entrance to Agreste Mansion was blocked by reporters.
"Adrien Agreste, are you really Cat Noir?" A reporter asked.
"Does that mean your classmate Alya Césaire was right about Ladybug also being a student at Collège Françoise Dupont?" Another reporter asked.
Gabriel Agreste's assistant Nathalie Sancoeur showed up. "Excuse me, members of the media." She politely asked. "Adrien Agreste mustn't be late for school. I'm sure all of you understand."
They did understand after taking a look at Adrien's bodyguard. 'No wonder they call him 'The Gorilla'.' A reporter thought.
That reporter wasn't the only person making wonderings. Lila's mother was wondering which school in Paris remained open after all those akuma attacks. 'I'd better call the Mayor.'
When Adrien finally arrived at school, he found himself being stared at by his classmates. "What?"
"Adrikins, don't worry." Chloé Bourgeois reassured her loved one. "Your Queen Bee will protect you until it's clear Hawkmoth won't be falling for that ridiculous story."
"It won't take long." Alya teasingly replied. "Just have Adrien show up with Cat Noir without that helmet and voilà, problem solved."
"Nice plan, Césaire." Chloé sarcastically stated. "It could have worked in the past but it won't help matters nowadays."
"Why not, Chloé?" Adrien asked.
"Two words, Adrikins." Chloé answered. "Rena Rouge."
"What?" Alya was outraged. "Why would I… I mean, she, be a problem?"
"Now that Hawkmoth knows Ladybug has an ally with the power to create illusions, he'll likely suspect Adrikins and Cat Noir together will be just some illusion to trick him." Chloé haughtily explained.
Alya didn't know what to say since Chloé had a point. Adrien, on the other hand, was relieved that he could reject the idea without admitting he's really Cat Noir. "Don't worry, Adrien." Nino reassured his friend. "I can check all your modeling sessions ever since the akuma attacks started. Surely you must have at least one of those as your alibi."
"Oh, sure. Thanks." Adrien uneasily said.
Chloé cell phone pinged and she read the news. "Oh, no! It's horrible!"
"What?" Alya maliciously asked. "Was your favorite perfume discontinued?"
"No!" The Mayor's daughter was too upset at the news to feel insulted. "Someone is claiming to have identified the impersonator."
"What?" The other students shouted and then looked at her cell phone. "It's just a fan who likes to dress like my Adrikins but the media sensationalists don't care about that." Chloé commented.
Adrien, on the other hand, was worried since he recognized his friend Wayhem. He knew using an identity impersonator wouldn't protect his secret forever but he expected to have more time.
"This Wayhem character refused to comment on the notion that Adrikins is Cat Noir and it was him under that helmet to protect the secret but showing a devoted fan who dresses like Adrikins still makes the idea less ridiculous." Chloé commented.
Ms. Bustier then showed up and told Chloé to turn off her cell phone so class could start. After an almost whole day of lessons where the rumors about Adrien Agreste being Cat Noir made it hard for the students to concentrate, they were interrupted by the sudden appearance of Lila and her mother.
"Hi, Lila." Marinette maliciously asked. "How were things with Prince Ali? Or was it another of your lies?"
"Lila, what is she talking about?" Her mother asked.
"Lila said she was visiting Prince Ali during Heroes' Day, Mrs. Rossi." Ms. Bustier explained.
"And Lila told me the school was closed because of akuma attacks." Lila's mother replied and then approached Adrien. "Are you really my daughter's boyfriend or is it another lie?"
"What?" Adrien was shocked. "Mrs. Rossi, I don't know what your daughter told you about me but we never became a couple."
"And now I understand why, Adrien." Lila commented. "As a superhero, you have to avoid having romantic interests so your enemies won't use any of them against you. It's already bad enough that you have to worry about your father."
"Lila, I'm not Cat Noir." Adrien lied but was really worried about his father.
"Denying until the end, I see." She commented with disdain. "Either way, tell Ladybug that you being Cat Noir doesn't change anything because she couldn't have expected me to have known that back when she pretended to apologize."
"Why don't you accept the apology as real?" Marinette asked.
"Because either it wasn't made in front of Adrien Agreste or she couldn't have expected me to have known back then it was." Lila answered.
"Lila, I've already told you there's a chance Ladybug doesn't know this aspect of our culture." Lila's mother admonished her.
"Class dismissed." Ms. Bustier announced. "Is there anyone willing to lend her the material she missed so she can copy it?"
"I'll do it." Max volunteered.
Later on, when the students were about to leave for home, they were interrupted by 'Ladybug' showing up. "Cat Noir, your secret identity was discovered!" She said. "Give me back your Miraculous so I can give it to another hero."
"Imposter!" Marinette shouted.
"Marinette, how can you be so sure?" Alya asked.
"In second thought, she may be the real deal." Marinette quickly said and then remembered a detail. "Except that I don't think she'd choose a student to be a Miraculous holder." She lied as a cover up.
Alya and Nino glanced at each other.
"Hey!" Chloé protested. "She chose me."
"That doesn't count." Marinette argued. "She merely lost a Miraculous and you found it. She doesn't even let you keep it."
Meanwhile, Volpina was hidden at the roof waiting to see if Adrien would fall for her new trick.