Disclaimer: I don't own.

Marking Tells

When Marinette was little, the thing she loved more than anything was superheroes. They were everything to her, the end all be all, her idols and her passion, and eventually, her fate.

She loved their powers, she loved their morals, and she loved the feeling of safety being near one could bring. That feeling of being protected, and cared for, and like nothing bad could happen to you when they were there.

Of course, living in Paris, she didn't get to see them often, as her city didn't have it's own personal protectors.

This didn't mean she never saw them in person, of course.

The first time she met a hero, was when she was five.

Her parent's bakery was only just taking off on an international level. It was the first, and last, time they decided to leave Paris for their business. They had been asked to do catering for a rich teen's birthday party.

The teen, Jason Todd-Wayne, wasn't the nicest, but he seemed to prefer Marinette's company over that of the other kids who'd come, for some strange reason, so she was kind to him. After all, it wasn't every day somebody turned fifteen, and if he wanted to spend it with someone a third of his age then with others that were his age, who was she to judge?

This meant she had a front row seat when a group of men stormed the hall and started waving big, black things that made loud sounds when pointed in the air. In the confusion that followed, Marinette got separated from Jason and lost sight of her parents.

So, she did what her parents had told her to do.

Stay where you are.

That didn't turn out very well.

One of the strange men grabbed her and dragged her to the other children they had caught. Not many, just two of them. But it still made her nervous. Didn't these men know about not going anywhere with strangers? She shouldn't be with them. She should be back where they had taken her from, so her parents could find her.

She didn't know much English, just enough to get by, so she didn't know why one man started shouting at the other adults in the room.

And then the men were shouting something else, and she was picked up and flying.

She looked up... and fell in love.

Robin, sidekick and partner of Batman, was carrying her away from the men.

She clung to him tightly during their short venture, finding herself unable to let go even after they landed in a small alcove near the ceiling.

Another costumed hero, whom she would later recognize as Nightwing, landed next to them, carrying the other two children.

"Stay with them Robin," he ordered. "This won't take long at all."

Then he was gone, as Robin sputtered out some kind of protest.

She would never be able to remember much after that. Just a bit of waiting to the sounds of the fight below, then have her fingers pride from Robin's cape by her mother as her father held her.

It would be the last time her parents ever thought about going to Gotham.

That didn't mean it didn't make an impression on her.

A few days later, back in Paris, she found a grumpy looking robin wearing a hooded cloak, with a strangely bat-shaped red belly and what seems to be a sword just above her left hip, and a sunny looking black cat with a blonde mane, posed as if about to playfully pounce something off to the right side of her back, just under her ribs.

When she went to her parents, they told her about Soulmates.

~! #$%^&*()_+

Everyone always had two Soulmates. One would be your romantic partner, the other your best friend. They would be the two people who would know you better than anyone else, and would always be on your side, having your back in even the messiest of situations.

That didn't mean they were easy to find.

Maman was lucky, Marinette was told, to find both her Soulmates early on in life. Papa was her romantic Soulmate. There would be no one else, for either of them, even after death do them part, because if one were to go, the other would follow soon after. Nadja Shamach was her platonic Soulmate. They were best friends, though they didn't have nearly as much time for each other as they wished they did. They were both simply to busy.

Papa, on the hand, while he had met his platonic Soulmate, didn't know who or where they were. They had met, for a brief moment in Italy. The problem was it was in the middle of a shoot-out in the streets, a turf-war between two rival Mafia Families. They'd locked eyes across the street, only to be forced in two different directions by the chaos. Papa knew they were still alive, if only because the Soul Mark hadn't turned black, but that was it.

Still, it all seemed so fantastical, and Marinette couldn't wait to meet hers.

~! #$%^&*()_+

For a few weeks, she was convinced that one of her Soulmates was the boy back in Gotham, the boy who had saved her (as her parents had explained the situation later), the Boy Wonder, Robin.

Then, it was announced world-wide.

The Joker had killed Robin.

Marinette's grumpy robin mark remained fully colored.

She still mourns for his death.

~! #$%^&*()_+

The next time she sees superheroes in person is a family vacation when she's seven to the Hall of Justice in the United States of America, joined and led by her grandmother, Gina.

They join a tour, walking around the building and looking through the glass walls at all the different heroes there. They even have the luck looking down at Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman as they have a heated (though muted) conversation with each other.

This is when Marinette spots him.

The new Robin.

He stands with Superboy and Wondergirl, all watching their mentors in seeming amusement.

Somehow, even through the mask, Marinette meets the latest Boy Wonder's eyes when he looks up and waves at the tour group. She's only just able to wave back shyly before she's pulled away by her grandmother to follow their guide.

This is her last encounter until many years later, when her classmate is turned into a giant stone beast and she finds a reality breaking magic jewel in her room.

~! #$%^&*()_+

"Wow, Marinette, that's such a pretty picture."

The bluenette smiles happily up at her teacher. "Thank you, Miss Bustier!"

The woman returns her smile, and continues. "With clothing design like that, you could be a fashion designer."

Marinette shakes her head. "No, I'm just drawing Robin and Batman. I'm gonna be a baker, just like Maman and Papa. And my pastries will be so good even the Justice League will fly to Paris just to eat them!"

Her teacher frowns and crouches. "Marinette, I know you admire your parents, but you shouldn't build your future off of what they want. You should follow your own path."

"But –"

"No buts Marinette. Just think about what I've said, alright?"

She walks away before Marinette can answer.

~! #$%^&*()_+

When Marinette is ten, after numerous conversations of the like with the red headed teacher, Marinette tells her parents that she wants to be a fashion designer. They're a bit sad, but encourage her to follow her dreams, going out and getting everything she could need to start learning to sow.

(At the same time, she stops searching for news about Robin, and the Justice League as a whole, which means she misses the arrival of the fifth Robin. One who wears a cloak and wields a sword as his main weapon.)

By the time she turns 13, she makes all her own clothes, and more than a few things for her parents. She's so happy, and is always willing to make things she's asked to.

(So why does she always look at her parents when their downstairs together, dancing as they bake and serve customers, laughing and enjoying life, and wish she wasn't sitting on the stairs, drawing her next piece?)

~! #$%^&*()_+

The day she starts Collège Françoise-Dupont, is the day she finds herself pulled into the world of heroes.

It starts off simply. Get up, go to school, get harassed by Chloe Bourgeois (her long term bully), and make friends with a new girl, Alya.

(Why on Earth Alya decides to use a comic book character as an example instead of one of the real heroes, Marinette doesn't know, but it still get her point across.)

Then things get weird, when Ivan, a large boy in her class, gets turned into a stone monster.

All the students are told to rush home, and when Marinette gets to her bedroom, she finds a strange box she'd never seen before. She opens it, and is startled by the bright red light that blinds her.

Her reaction... is not elegant, and causes a heated blush every time she thinks about it.

It takes a few minutes, but the tiny creature that appeared in the light, called Tikki, the Ladybug Kwami of Good Luck and Creation, calms her down and explains what was going down.

Marinette takes unsurely to the skies, and meets her partner, a boy dressed as a cat. A black cat. With blonde hair.

She half expects to feel the Connection of their souls, a burning sensation in her Mark, as soon as she locks eyes with slitted green ones, but the feeling never comes.

After she de-transforms, she asks Tikki about it. The sprite-like being smiles at her.

"The Wielders of the Ladybug and Black Cat Miraculous are always Soulmates," she says cheerfully, "because Plagg, Kwami of Bad Luck and Destruction, is my counterpart, my other half in more ways than even your Soulmate bonds could make you believe, and for us to not have owners so well connected, so balanced with each other, would mean the deaths of you both. Whether that means your platonic or romantic is up to you both." She furrows her brow. "Normally, you would be able to Connect with each other, in and out of costume. Unfortunately, with the way Hawkmoth is doing things, we can't let you know each others identities. It's to dangerous. Because of this, Plagg and I are blocking you. Please don't freak out!"

Marinette sucks in a breath of air and holds it for a moment, then lets it out to stop from doing exactly that. She nods to the Kwami, and waits for her to continue.

Tikki beams. "When Hawkmoth is defeated, we will drop both the block on your Marks, and the glamour that hides your identities from each other. Your relationship will grow naturally from there. Until then, just be patient, alright? Everything will be fine. I promise."

Suddenly, the news comes in that more of the stone beings had appeared, and Marinette has more to focus on.

In class the next day, she meets a "friend" of Chloe's as he puts gum on her seat, gets mad at him, then has to deal with keeping Ivan calm so he doesn't turn back into Stoneheart. It only delays the inevitable, and she tries to give Tikki away to Alya. That to fails, and by the end of the fight, she knows who their real opponent is, and has the confidence boost she needs to truly be Ladybug.

By the end of the school-day, she also makes up with Adrien, Chloe's friend, and gains more than a slightly irrational crush on the blonde haired, green eyed boy.

~! #$%^&*()_+

After that, she's surprised to find herself juggling everything in her life pretty easily. She has her original schedule (going to school, doing commissions, helping in the bakery, etc.) but she now has superhero duties, hanging out with her classmates (which was a surprise, cause her class had never been very close), and trying to find out who Hawkmoth is. There are a few hiccups of course, mostly caused by the crush on Adrien that shouldn't even exist, and the fact the League seems to be ignoring the situation here in Paris, but it's all good.

Then even more is added to her plate.

It starts with a liar.

Lila Rossi is new to her school and class, starting with them right before Marinette's fourteenth birthday. As soon as she steps into the courtyard, she spreads nonsensical tales. Tales of fame and glory, of being able to introduce her friends (because they are her friends now) to there idols.

Tales of being best friends with Ladybug.

With Marinette.

So, the secret heroine tries to do something about it, to nip her lies in the bud.

She only succeeds with Adrien. And in getting Lila Akumatized.

But this is also when Tikki introduces her to the Guardian of the Miraculous.

When all is said and done, Lila disappears on a "world trip" with her mother, and Marinette begins training to be the next Guardian.

The next few months are easy and fun, as she works with Master Fu to unlock secret powers in the Miraculouses, and chooses temporary Holders to help in their battles.

She also helps her friends form a bad. This is how she meets Luka, the older brother of her classmate Juleca.

Luka is special, with such talent with music that she finds it hard to leave his side. Wondering, if only for a moment, if he is one of her Soulmates, she meets his eyes.

She isn't sure how she should when it turns out he isn't.

Then, Luka is Akumatized in defense of her hard work and his band's when they're ripped off by a corrupted producer.

"You're the most extraordinary girl, Marinette," he tells her as Silencer. "As clear as a musical note, and as sincere as a melody. You are the music that's been playing inside my head since the day we first met. My lack of Soul Marks doesn't make a difference in the way I feel for you. I won't let anything happen to you."

The next day, she pulls him aside, taking a walk with him, because she wants to understand him.

"I don't know what I told you as... that," he says, fiddling with his guitar as he plays a tune he'd said sounded like her to him, "but I know you're special, even if you're not meant for me. I don't need any kind of Mark to tell me that."

"How can you stand it?" Marinette burst out despondently. "Not having any Soul Marks?"

Luka looks at her from the corner of his eye, fingers never ceasing their movement on the strings. "I know it's hard to understand," he says quietly, "and it's even harder for me to explain, but I don't need them. I can hear everyone, Marinette. That woman over there, –" his music takes on a sharp, rhythmic sound as they watch a sharply dressed woman pass them at a hurried pace "– that couple the ice cream man just served, –" it changes into something like a love balled she could vaguely remember "– Andre himself, –" this time it becomes a slightly altered version of the song the match maker always sings "– even you." He returns to the song he'd already been playing for her. "It's rare not to have Soul Marks, yes, but what everyone always seems to forget is that there is always, always, something there to make up for it. Mine just happens to be hearing people's Souls singing."

Marinette stares at him in awe. "Wow." Her voice comes out softer then she meant it to be, but she can't bring herself to care. "That's amazing, Luka. Have... Have you found them yet?"

He smiles, and looks fondly toward the sky. "One. I don't think she realized, cause she doesn't have any Soul Marks either. I don't know what consolation she got. It could be years before it even activates, or for her to listen to the signs, but I know, and for now, simply being her friend is enough for me."

She smiles, and the two spend the rest of their time daydreaming together, about what their Soulmates, and the life they would have with them.

~! #$%^&*()_+

Then Lila "comes back," and it all goes down hill.

Her friends force her to the back of the classroom, to accommodate for Lila's "tinnitus," and when Marinette tries to tell Alya that Lila was lying, she got chewed out for being jealous because of Lila also having a crush on Adrien.

Afterward, Lila threatens her in the bathroom.

If Marinette didn't play along, the liar would take away all her friends.

This is only the first of many times Marinette is almost Akumatized through Lila's actions.

Adrien comes to talk to her too.

Only, he's a lot nicer.

"I know she's lying," he tells her quietly, "and I won't be able to do much to help with her. My father likes her for some weird reason, but I'll my best to dampen her effects. Come talk to me whenever it's getting to be to much, okay? We'll also keep a detailed account of every lie she tells, and everything she does wrong. It may take awhile, but we will stop her."

That's exactly what they do. It doesn't make it easier to deal with her. Especially when Alya realizes she and Lila are platonic Soulmates just a few minutes after she and Adrien talk.

Then Master Fu is forced to give the Miracle Box by Hawkmoth and Mayura (his new assistant and Holder of the Peacock Miraculous), and with it the Guardianship, to her, losing his memory in the process.

Marinette is left floundering, and the only time this eases is when she isn't in school, with Adrien, with Luka, or alone with the Kwamis.

It doesn't take long for things to truly hit rock bottom.

It's a relatively normal day, and Marinette finds herself called up to the front of the class to answer for another of Lila's lies about her, when her side is consumed in a white hot burning sensation, like getting stabbed with a molten blade. She claws at her side, right over her grumpy little robin, and manages to pull her shirt away from it just in time to watch the rest of the color fade from it.

Nononononononononononono,thiscan'tberight,theycan'tbegone,whyISTHISHAPPENING,HECAN'TJUSTLEAVEHERALONE,NONONONONONONO-

When she comes back to herself, she finds that she is clutching Adrien in what has to be a back breaking hug. He's muttering to her, holding her just as tightly, even as a man in a paramedic uniform tries to coach her into breathing, which. Okay, yeah, breathing might be a good thing.

It still takes a few moment for her to remember how.

When the air finally strikes her lungs, all she can do is let a heart clenching sob. Her Soulmate, her grumpy, sword-wielding, little robin, her romantic Soulmate – because she can tell that now ohgosh – is gone, he's gone and he's never coming back.

~! #$%^&*()_+

It takes a while before they can get Marinette to let go of Adrien enough that they can get her on a stretcher to take her to the hospital. Even then, she can't bring herself to let go of him entirely, keeping a death grip on his hand.

Her mom (when had her mom gotten there?) rode in the ambulance with the two teens, promising quietly that her Papa would meet them there.

She finds herself unable to focus on much at all, the only thing she can see clearly is Adrien,sitting next to her and holding her hand just as tightly as she is.

Still, she listens to the paramedics talking with Maman with half an ear, not quite comprehending, but listening non the less.

They're talking about her, speaking of how a broken Soulbond could effect her life. She had never met him, so she should be able to continue on, though it would be best if they found her other Soulmate, or she would start to fade. Even with them, she still might fade. Everyone reacted differently. There was simply no way to tell.

~! #$%^*()_+

Time passes, she's not sure how long. The only thing she can truly pay attention to is Adrien's presence, or lack there of.

After an indeterminable amount of time later, her vision clears, allowing her to meet the relieved gaze of Tikki.

"Oh, Marinette," the Kwami whispers, then flies forward to snuggle into her neck. "We thought we lost you."

Marinette places a hand over the tiny quivering body, as tears leak from her eyes. "I... Tikki," she says hoarsely, "he's gone. He – he's gone."

"Shhh, I know Marinette, I know."

A shift of movement draws her eyes to the open window, where moonlight streams in between the windblown curtains.

When had it gotten dark?

Another motion, and her feline partner steps into the light.

"Are you alright, Milady?"

Marinette can't bring herself to be surprised by his presence, nor his knowledge of her identity. "Chaton." She stretches out her free hand toward him. He immediately steps forward to take it, sitting on the side of her bed.

They remain there in silence, simply taking in each other presence.

"Mari," Chat says suddenly, "I... You were out for three days. Hawkmoth seems to have taken a vacation, cause there haven't been any Akuma, but... Anyway, Tikki came and got me. She couldn't wake you up. I... for what it's worth, I'm sorry. Tikki and Plagg say they're gonna stop blocking our connection as soon as you're strong enough to leave the hospital, and we can be together in civilian life, though we'll have to pretend that we already knew and were just keeping quiet for privacy's sake. I mean, if that's okay with you?"

"It's fine Chat."

For a moment they just look at each other.

Marinette startles at the sensation of cool water pulling against her side.

It couldn't be.

Could it?

She pulls the sheets away frantically, ignoring Chat's squawk about indecency.

She looks down at her grumpy robin. It fills up with a radioactive green color, before fading back to the colors it had been since she'd first seen it all those years ago.

"Is that...?" Chat asks.

"My Soulmate," she murmurs. "He's alive?!"

"You will need to be careful from now on, Marinette." Tikki says solemnly. "I've seen this before. Your Soulmate has been resurrected by what is known as Lazereth Water, a magic substance that can heal any injury and bring back the dead, at the cost of the victim's sanity. The only way to bring back their mind is if a close family member, or a Soulmate, guides them back to themselves. Let us hope he has someone nearby that can help."

~! #$%^&*()_+

The next few days are hectic. The doctors are baffled, her parents are ecstatic, and Adrien visits every chance he gets.

(He's the only one of who she thought were her friends from school who does.)

Luka comes too, pulling Kagami, a fencer Adrien had introduced to them both, along with him. She can feel nothing but happiness when the day before her release, Kagami jumps from her seat, grabs Luka by his shirt collar, and plants a kiss right on his lips.

When she pulls back, Luka smiles lazily at her. "Took you long enough."

~! #$%^&*()_+

Being home is different. Her parents check on her every half hour, making sure she takes it easy as the doctors said. The Kwami's check on her to, some to look at her Mark and make sure her Soulmate isn't going to hurt her, others simply because they want their Guardian to be okay. That doesn't mean she doesn't sneak out to defeat Akumas when they reappear. (Chat won't let her do more than stand there and purify the butterfly. As much as she appreciates his concern, it get really annoying really quickly.)

Adrien, Luka and Kagami visit often, making sure she's alright and keeping her company. She's glad, though, that Adrien had the forethought to visit her alone the first time, or she definitely would have freaked out in front of them when she met Adrien's eyes and realized that her Soulmate and partner had been right there this entire time.

The night before she'd been deemed ready to return to school, Adrien stops by as Chat Noir, warning her that Lila had been busy these last few weeks, and while the teachers had been told by the school board that they had better treat her gently or else, the Italian liar had made it out to be that Marinette had faked her "episode" for attention.

So, naturally, there was no sympathy from her classmates. She became the school pariah, to be bullied and ridiculed, whenever the teachers weren't looking of course.

It got to the point where she tried to change class, and even schools, only to be blocked every which way by Lila.

Marinette did everything she could to stay positive, only to find herself getting visits from little black evil butterflies every other day. Even with her true friends supporting her, she knew this would last. They needed to find Hawkmoth, now.

So she did the only thing she could think of. She reached out to the Justice League. Unfortunately, they wouldn't acknowledge her, telling her to stop prank calling the line, that this was only for emergencies, and she could be arrested for calling them.

Frustrated, she and Adrien talked it over. Together, they talked with the Kwamis. Kaalki, the Kwami of the Zodiac Horse of Teleportation, offered the solution.

"Use my Miraculous and go to one of their cities. They are quite famous, after all."

How could they say no to that?

Now was figuring out the matter of which one.

They decided on Gotham, as the Batman wasn't one of the Leaguers that had turned them away, and would more than likely investigate their claims before sending them away.

At sixteen, two and a half years into this uphill battle, they were both ready for this to end. And maybe get rid of Lila while they were at it.

They skip school the next day, using the Horse Miraculous to travel to the city of the Dark Knight.

To their fortune, they find him as soon as they step out of the portal. The fact they land in an all out brawl between the Bat Family and a butch of gun totting lunatics, not so much. She and her partner tried glances, then join right in.

(It hadn't been often, but they had fought plain old criminals before. Patrolling their city they had done at the start, though it hadn't lasted long for either of them. They were just to busy.)

It's a sign of the Bats' ability to adapt that they immediately make room for them, though Marinette cannot say the same for the grace with which they do so. That is to say, none at all.

There's a lot of shouting, both at her and Chat, and at each other, but they get the job done, and soon, all the gunmen are rounded up.

Only then, does Batman approach them with his team.

"Who are you, and what are you doing in my city?" It's said in a deep, gravelly voice, and Marinette can easily where his reputation cam from.

Just as they'd planned, she steps forward. "Bonjour. I am Ladybug, and this is mon partner, Chat Noir. We are the heroes of Paris,and we have been trying to get a hold of the Justice League for assistance." At this point, she sweeps her eyes over them. There's seven. Batman, Nightwing, Batgirl (one she hasn't seen before, as her hair is blonde), another girl she doesn't recognize, Red Hood (who she could remember very little about), a boy she doesn't know, and...

Robin.

No, not just the Robin, her Robin, as testament by the warmth being given off by her Mark. Her grumpy little robin, who looks exactly like a bird version of this teen.

She had found him. She had finally found him.

Vaguely, she can hear voices call out in concerned inquiry, but she can't focus. All she can see is him, her Robin, who is staring at her just as intensely.

"Milady, breath!"

Chat's words break her out of it, and suddenly realizes she's half collapsed in his arms. She looks up at him sheepishly, apologizing with her eyes, then turns her gaze back to the others, finding Nightwing is supporting Robin, conveying worried older brother very well for someone with his eyes covered. Most of the others look confused, except Batgirl and the boy she doesn't know, who look pretty excited about what just happened.

"So Demon Spawn, how does it feel to have met your romantic Soulmate?" Mr. Unknown asks.

"Tt." Robin glares balefully at him. "Shut up Drake."

Nightwing gives a tiny slap to the back of his head. "No names on the field, Babybird."

That starts an argument, pulling in all but Batman, who sighs in frustration and pinches the bridge of his nose before turning back to her and Chat.

"Ignore them. You were about to tell me why you are in my city."

Marinette gulps. She can't focus on her Soulmate right now, she has to think about her city. So, she tells him. About Hawkmoth, Mayura, and the never ending battle, because no matter what they do they can't find them. She tells of calling the League, only to get turned away. Time and after time. Of finally just taking matters into their own hands and traveling, seeking assistance to finally end this.

Batman listens, not even twitching as she talks, keeping still even when his team gathers around him to hear too.

When she's finished, Batman does something she'd never seen an adult do.

He takes action.

~! #$%^&*()_+

The first thing that happens is she and Chat are dragged to the Bat-Cave, sat down, and questioned three ways to Sunday about everything they know about Hawkmoth, every Akuma, and every ally he might have. It's so thorough, she doesn't even realize she's sharing her suspicions about Lila being an accomplice until after she says it. Its a relief when he believes her.

Then, he gives the okay for his team to share their secret identities with them. It surprises them, but he points out that their masks don't hide them from Soulbonds.

(As he says this, he glares at Batgirl and the boy who'd been introduced as Red Robin, who very close together and very obviously not paying anyone else a lick of attention.)

Which is how they learn the Bat Family is also the Wayne Family.

That... explained a few things.

She and Adrien de-transform, figuring the show of trust deserves one in return.

Nightwing, aka Dick Grayson-Wayne, pulls her partner aside, leaving her with alone with her romantic Soulmate, Robin, aka, Damian Wayne.

They stand there awkwardly for a while, neither really sure how to act around the other. Finally unable to take the silence anymore, Marinette does what she does best in situation like this.

She begins rambling.

She talks, and talks, and talks, not really paying attention to what she's saying, but needing something to fill the quiet.

"Wait, what was that?"

Marinette stops mid-sentence, mouth closing with a click. "I-I'm sorry?"

Damian glares at her. "What you just said, about this girl ruining your reputation."

Oh, she'd started talking about Lila. Oops.

Still, she explains, telling him all the stories the Italian had been spinning, and the times she'd gotten Marinette hurt or in trouble.

When she's finished, he studies her for a moment.

He nods firmly. "Father, Gordon, and Drake will not doubt be handling your villain, so I will handle this girl."

"But-"

"No buts. This will be something I will enjoy doing, as my first courting gift to you." He bows, then walks away as Marinette watched after him in stunned silence.

~! #$%^&*()_+

Three days later, Adrien's Father, Gabriel Agreste, and his assistant, Nathalie, are arrested for being Hawkmoth and Mayura, their Miraculouses are handed off to a watching Ladybug and Chat Noir, while Adrien somehow ends up in the custody of billionaire Bruce Wayne, scheduled to leave for Gotham as soon as the trials are finished.

(Its mentioned in the news later that Hawkmoth had a second ally, though their name was being kept out of the media as they were a minor.)

That day at school is particularly brutal, as while everyone is celebrating the end of Hawkmoth's reign, they haven't forgotten about the school outcast. Lila, especially, is in fine form, getting Marinette five detentions before they even break for lunch.

Deciding she was done with this treatment for today, Marinette begins the short journey home.

She gets halfway down the steps when she hears a familiar sound.

"Tt."

She looks up, unable to stop the smile from forming on her face as she sees him."Damian, hi!"

He dips his head. "Good day, Beloved."

She flushes as red as her costume at the endearment, which he answers with a satisfied smirk.

Now that was familiar territory. "I though Adrien was the cat, not you, Grumpy."

He sputters. "G-grumpy?!"

She finishes her trip down the stairs to the sidewalk, smiling coyly. "That's what I've been calling you all these years, my grumpy little robin."

Cue more sputtering, and Marinette can't hold in her giggle.

"Oh, that's so cute," an unwelcome voice coos. "Marinette has found someone who is willing to put up with her bullying ways."

Marinette clenches her eyes shut and hunches in on herself, wishing with all her being that Adrien wasn't being held at the police station today, being questioned about his father's actions.

"None of that, Beloved." Then again, Damian was still here, and had already promised to take care of this for her. "You are worth far more then her." He raps his arm around her waist, then tilts her head up with his free hand. He turns her around to face her tormentors, still keeping an arm around her hips. "You are Lila Rossi?"

The liar blinks. "Yes, I am." She gives him an innocent look, so rotten Marinette was almost sure she saw flies buzzing around it. "And who are you?"

"Tt." Damian motions off to the side, where a severe looking man carrying a brief has stood silently.

Now, they man steps forward. "Usually, I would insist on a parent being present, but sense we have been unable to get in touch with Madam Rossi, I must do this hear. Mademoiselle Rossi you are being served." He holds out a manila folder. "All the details are in here. I suggest speaking with your mother, for if you both don't show up to the court date, your diplomatic immunity will be revoked, and you will be dragged there. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a meeting with the school board."

And just like that, he was gone.

As Lila tries to do damage control with her followers, Marinette turns to Damian with a raised eyebrow.

"Tt. I told you I would handle it."

She smiles. "You did."

"You will also not be staying here. It is wrong to separate Soulmates once they have found each other, so Father has spoken with your parents. You will be transferring to Gotham Academy, where I go and Adrien will also be transferring to. No one will dare to mess with you there, and, they do, it will not be for long."

She giggles at the malicious smile on his face. "No," she agrees, "I don't think they will."

This was her grumpy robin, after all. No one would be able to get passed him.

(AN)

Happy Valentines Day!

Thank you for reading. If you have any comment, ideas, constructive criticism, or spot any errors, please leave them in the comment box below.